Executive profile of Sonal Shah


Name: Sonal Shah
Organization: Northwest Software Inc. and EZRecruit.com Inc.
Title: Northwest Software Inc., president; EZRecruit.com Inc., investor and board member
What we do: At Northwest Software, we provide information technology (IT) and software engineering solutions and staffing. After over 1,000 person-years of experience, and 13-plus years as an IT consulting company, NSI has diversified and invested in EZRecruit.com, a company that streamlines and automates the "human capital acquisition and procurement" process.
Education: LCEH degree in homeopathy medicine from University of Bombay, India; master¹s in business administration (M.B.A.) from University of Portland, Ore. Residence: Portland


Essential business philosophy: Ethics, innovation, customer responsiveness, trust. It is OK to be aggressive and motivated, but above all "ethics" and "trusting relationships" is my primary philosophy. Our consistent responsiveness to customers allows us to earn and build their "trust" and put in place long-term win-win relationships. Best way to keep competitive edge: To stay ahead of the competition, and as a personal commitment to innovation in our industry, we have invested in EZRecruit.com. This company has invested over 25 people-years to develop revolutionary enterprisewide products to streamline the process of staffing both permanent and temporary hires.
Guiding principle: Success is an attitude, or attitude is success. Look for a positive in every situation. Consider every adversity as an opportunity to improve and change.
Yardstick of success: Continue to grow the information technology business by 10 percent for the next year, and become a dominant player in the "human capital acquisition and procurement" market.
Goal yet to be achieved: Our business goal is to leverage our strengths to become a significant global player in the procurement of human capital, both full-time and contract. While we are making good progress, we would like to realize accelerated progress by aligning with a large player with significant clout and branding.


Best business decision: My best decision was to invest in EZRecruit.com to reduce total recruitment cost, shrink requisition-to-fill time, and streamline vendor management. If a company is spending a lot of dollars in outsourcing, EZRecruit can significantly reduce this cost.
Worst business decision: Not diversifying in geographically dispersed locations. Being a woman-owned and diversity business, we could have been a dominant player in the public sector had we opened offices in strategic locations.
Toughest business decision: In 1997 one of our customers abruptly suspended our firm as their approved nationwide supplier. After many requests, the customer committed that our firm would be reinstated as a national supplier if we passed their comprehensive on-site audit. We passed the audit but were never
reinstated. The toughest business decisionwas to not take any adverse action (in spite of advice to the contrary), but hope for reconciliation and reinstatement some day in the future.
Mentor: Andrew Carnegie. His leadership style centered around his wonderful people skills.
Words that best describes you: Quiet, aggressive, determined


Likes best about the job: I enjoy working with people, and meeting with customers, and making presentations. Also, I enjoy the fact that I work with my husband.
Likes least about the job: Writing proposals.
Pet peeves: People who are negative, and think about problems and obstacles. I would like to see people give solutions to a problem, rather than point out problems.
Most important lessons learned: You cannot do it all, learn to delegate. Also, so many times I think we could have grown more rapidly if we had opened offices in other geographical locations.
Person most interested in meeting: To name a few (some are not alive now): Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, Andrew Carnegie. And Craig Barrett, Intel’s CEO. I would like to meet him to discuss our past performance.
First choice for a new career: Heal people by natural medicine


Favorite quote: "’Success’ is an attitude, and ’attitude’ is success." I do not know who wrote this.
Most influential books: "Power of Positive Thinking," "Seven Habits of Highly Successful People"
Favorite movie: "Gandhi," "The Fugitive," "Air Force One," "Patriot Games," "Indiana Jones."
Favorite music/musician: Soft rock and jazz of the ’80s
Favorite toy: Play Station, good way to keep the kids busy! Preferred community involvement: Junior Achievement. I would like to motivate kids and others to achieve in whatever field they want to progress in.
Favorite restaurant: Sweet Tomatoes
Death row dinner: Spicy Indian food, and curries Favorite vacation spot: Oregon Coast, or anywhere I can relax with my family
Favorite way to spend free time: Reading, exercising, spending time with family "