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CEO is the most coveted title in the employment hierarchy. Not simply because it’s the highest position in the company but also because it has the obligation of making critical business decisions and serving as a link between management and business operations.

With time, the idea of leadership has made great strides, spawning various new titles. However, people still turn to CEOs for guidance and their ability to steer enterprises through choppy waters until they reach the coast of profitability. Their creative exploits are frequently documented for future generations to learn from them.

Our entrancing edition, “CEO of the Year 2022,” intends to honor the efforts of CEOs in their ascent to success by delivering widespread industry recognition to them and their teams for surmounting obstacles through innovative business strategies.

We are thrilled to spotlight Mr. Palak Shah, CEO of KONZE India Pvt. Ltd., for securing the expansion of his firm through strong management and leadership. He is known as KONZE’S backbone for his role in mushrooming the firm from its inception. His versatility stems from his 14+ years of technical experience, which includes product development and marketing.

Business Connect recently interviewed Palak to have a better understanding of his leadership and how KONZE became a reckoning name under his stewardship. 

BCM: We appreciate you being here today. We’d first like to know your business philosophy and how it fits with the principles upheld by the KONZE Group.

Mr. Palak: We instill the value of “optimism above all else” and strive to foster teamwork through the motto “Less me, more we.” We are committed to leveraging IT and digital automation to scale up the operations of the Edu-Immigration industry. We have a powerful team of over 250 people working in Australia and India to make our collective dream a reality. This shared vision has been diligently cultivated and ingrained in our work culture. We are proud of how far we’ve come. We tell our employees to “Be your own boss,” and we provide them the tools they need to be decisive and accountable for their roles.

BCM: Appreciate your thought process. How has journey thrived over the years?

Mr. Palak: We founded KONZE in 2018 with the sole intention of transforming the Edu-immigration field. In 2019, we launched SEARCHMYANZSCOKONCHECK, and KONPARE, our first three products. SEARCHMYANZSCO is a skilled occupation search engine that assists firms in the Australian immigration market in optimizing their business operations.

KONCHECK is an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission-accredited, 100% online police check application. Lastly, KONPARE isa digital Overseas Health Insurance (OSHC & OVHC) comparison and management tool that connects businesses with premier health insurance providers. It also aids in opening up fresh avenues for generating revenue.

The success of these products prompted us to perform extensive market research and explore industry gaps. The work paid off at the outset of 2021 when we introduced KONDESK and KONSIGN, two new products. KONDESK, our top-tier CRM system, aids companies in enhancing efficiency and productivity in their daily operations. It contains the top features needed in a CRM designed specifically for the Edu-Immigration market. KONSIGN is an e-signature system and document repository all in one. With this, we are redesigning the workflows of other solutions already in use in related industries.

During this time, we also opened our office in Ahmedabad – a sprawling complex that truly encapsulates KONZE’s vision. This is helping us expand operations to meet the growing demand for our SaaS-based products in multiple countries.

BCM: What a solid foundation you’ve created! As an IT leader, what are your views on the present IT scenario? How are your deliverables making a difference?

Mr. Palak: The adoption of revolutionary solutions by a select few industries is still a barrier in the modern IT space, despite substantial breakthroughs. Change is inevitable, but most businesses are wary and scared of it. Ultimately, this holds them back from unleashing their business potential and reaping the benefits of IT. I believe we need to focus on boosting awareness of the tangible benefits of IT solutions. In that light, we designed our deliverables for businesses to overcome these fears and smoothly transition to IT-driven solutions.

BCM: Your journey led you to consistently represent KONZE Group at ICEF events. How will you describe your experience?

Mr. Palak: So far, the experience has been surreal. My team had the good fortune to fly to Berlin and reconnect with colleagues and acquaintances from the global industry. The prospects we discovered in just three days have been our biggest takeaway so far. We could discuss our company and gain a thorough understanding of other people’s businesses from a first-hand perspective. This was vital to our learning experience since it helped my team and me to understand the pain points of our sector like never before.

BCM: The focus of ICEF Berlin 2022 was on the educational sector. What was your contribution to this event’s core theme and motive?

Mr. Palak: We have always had strong ties to the international education industry and intend to keep strengthening them beyond ICEF. Our main goal was to make the advantages of the integrated digital solutions we offer more accessible to everyone. We’ve gradually come to understand, from our existing clients, that raising awareness of these products can be valuable for the entire industry. After COVID, the industry, is steadily reverting to its previous state. Given that we are experts in this field, we seek to play a pivotal role in it.

BCM: You will soon be attending the premier event, ICEF Dubai 2023. What are you anticipating to see at this hosting?

Mr. Palak: We anxiously await continuing the excellent talks we have had at prior events. My team has already started interacting with attendees, and I’m genuinely thrilled to be at another spectacular ICEF event. Moving beyond the realm of business, occasions like this are crucial for preserving friendships and fostering camaraderie among those pursuing a similar vision. Knowledge exchange is critical and only possible at events of this magnitude.

BCM: ICEF Events will host the ICEF South Asia event 2023 in February. What do you hope to gain from this upcoming event, and how will it help your plans for business growth?

Mr. Palak: In the coming years, the South Asian education industry is expected to expand rapidly. We sincerely want to be a part of this growth, riding the wave and enabling businesses to be their best selves. Given our presence in South Asia, this would allow us to grow our professional community there. There are several opportunities for mutual gain, so it’s crucial for us as a firm to present ourselves in the best possible light. Being a part of such events provides us with prospects and boosts our faith in the firm’s future.

BCM: ICEF Events is about to host ICEF ANZA in April 2023. (Australia New Zealand Agent Event). What professional goals do you have for this prestigious meeting?

Mr. Palak: Given that we have Australian roots, this will undoubtedly be a humbling experience. We have established a solid core network of local education firms and agents throughout the years. They are a long-standing partner of ours, and they are aware of the significance of our work. ICEF ANZA will be a vibrant addition to our reputation and serve as a foundation for upcoming strategies. Our team will have the chance to express its gratitude to all who have so far put their faith in us.

BCM: Your achievements and prospects are commendable. Coming towards the end, I’d like to have a glimpse of your journey, spanning through different industries?

Mr. Palak: I’ve had an intriguing career so far, so it has definitely been a blessing. My journey to the role of CTO stems from my years spent in software architecture, development, team building, and entrepreneurship. After a significant period of developing industry-specific products, I was approached by KONZE for the role of CMO.

Given that I was introducing users to IT development, I truly enjoyed it. As my knowledge grew over time, I was promoted to CEO of KONZE. It is both a task and a learning experience rolled into one. I find the position of CEO interesting because of my strong roots in IT. I have always lived by the thought, “With technology, we can achieve the unimaginable, so have faith in it.” Build, market, serve, and improve—this strategy will always bring you success.

BCM: Thank You Palak for your time. It was a genuine pleasure to speak with you.

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