Profile of Achievers

Shagun Malhotra | Celebrate the small accomplishments just as much as big ones

CEO and Founder | SkyStem | New York, NY United States

I never wanted to be an entrepreneur – I am what an accidental entrepreneur! I was asked by a financial services giant to lead the remediation effort due to a failed regulatory audit. This happened due to broken internal controls around the month end process. After a year of arduous work, we were able to deliver a clean audit and retain the banking license. Through this, I realized that there was a dire need for a automation of this very manual and tedious process. And this realization made me a founder of SkyStem!

What do achievements mean to you?

Achievement is when we reach a level of satisfaction and contentment correlating to the level of effort we expend. Usually, things that come without much effort don’t feel like an achievement even though it might be objectively considered an achievement. We create goals, to get there we follow a path. Following that path requires discipline and will power and when we manage to succeed, it truly is a feeling like no other. Another achievement is altruistic, where seeing someone else prosper and grow due to my contribution also feels good. Celebrate the small accomplishments just as much as big ones.

What excites you most about the work that you do?

Bringing an idea to reality is a feeling like no other. The process is grueling and unpredictable. There are so many steps on the way that can invalidate the previous steps which can be so nerve wracking. We have numerous customers using the software – its exciting to know that it makes their work life easier and better. The best is when we get positive feedback on how our software has contributed to their work life. We are always working on making the customers experience better via great support and constantly innovating to provide features to benefit our customers.

Do you have a mantra or motto that you live by?

Do what you say and say what you do. Keeping your word is the one thing that you can control and it shows integrity. It’s quite bewildering to see how rare this is. Either people just forget what they say or don’t quite put value to their own commitments and words. I feel that that being true to your word is essential in building and strengthening personal and work relationships. It is imperative in building trust which is the building block for everything. 

First job

Pizza Delivery

Work philosophy

Put in all you got or leave.

How do you stay motivated

Knowing the feeling of progress keeps motivation going. Breaking up things into small pieces is the key. Small wins should be appreciated which in itself is motivating and achievable.

Guiding principle

Have integrity and do your best for your colleagues and customers.

Goal yet to be achieved

Selling the business for a lucrative amount.

Best decision

Finding my business partner.

Worst decision

Not starting my business sooner.

Definition of leadership

Grit and Resilience.

“Knowing the feeling of progress keeps motivation going. Breaking up things into small pieces is the key. Small wins should be appreciated which in itself is motivating and achievable.”

— Shagun Malhotra

Best mentor

My father

One word that best describes you


Like best about job

The freedom to think outside the box and try new things.

Like least about job

Administrative things that have to be done that involve no creativity.

How you’ve approached change

Positively with resilience

What are you really into outside of work?

Reading, Traveling and learning about new things.

Pet peeve

When people don’t do what they say.

Most important lesson learned

Nothing worthwhile is as easy as it seems.

Greatest fear

Regretting the last words you ever say to someone.

Idea of perfect happiness

When I can see that happiness is a choice and that it is all around me.

Greatest strength


Characteristic most admired


Characteristic least admired


Current state of mind

At peace

Exercise of choice

Yoga – good for body, mind and soul.

Question you want answered

Why are there so many people who do not know how to keep their word?

How do you learn?

By doing

Most influential book read

Fountainhead – Ayn Rand

Most ecstatic moment

Realizing that I could fall in love.

When it’s all over, how do you want to be remembered?

Someone who made people feel seen, listened to and that they mattered.

How do you manage social media?

To stay connected and share with friends and family who are not in close proximity. It helps to feel as though they are part of your journey.

Favorite word


Favorite quote

Oh there are so many but here is one on my mind these days – 1) “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect” – Brene Brown. 2) “Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.” Ayn Rand

Countries you would like to visit

Morocco, Tanzania, The Amazon Rainforest

Favorite car (brand)


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