John Klyce, Reporter Memphis Business Journal
Nighat Akbar Shah
Shah Holdings Group, VP and co-owner
“I am a dreamer and an achiever.”
“Don’t let anyone tell you, ‘You can’t do it,’” Nighat Akbar Shah said.
If people have told her this, she clearly didn’t listen. The VP and co-owner of Shah Holdings Group — which has a portfolio of about 600,000 square feet of gas stations, restaurants, and retail space in the Memphis area — Shah prepares and executes the company’s operations and strategic goals. She also ensures projects are completed on time while looking for opportunities for new development.
Shah also manages her own stock portfolio and invests in startups.
Originally from Chitral, Pakistan, Shah built a hostel for women there that can house 200 people. And when the coronavirus broke out, she helped finance the production and distribution of face masks to hospitals, business unions, and other places in Chitral.
Here, she’s aided the Mid-South Food Bank and is involved with the Junior League of Memphis.
What is your next big professional goal? To create entrepreneurial opportunities for young adults by funding new ideas. I have started this on a small scale and wish to take it to the next level.
What professional achievement are you most proud of? Success and achievement are very subjective. Completing my undergraduate degree with a perfect GPA, and a master’s degree in one year, while at the same time mothering two wonderful young kids and establishing a successful business, makes me proud. I would shortlist properties to buy from the Shelby County Land Bank before my evening classes at the U of M and update my kids’ very hectic schedule of tennis, voice, math, science, and everything in between for the next morning. I worked through it all!
What super power would best equip someone entering into your profession today? People entering any industry should have the ability to believe in themselves and cultivate a support system and aptitude for hard work. With real estate, one needs to be patient, because construction and development take their sweet time.