Amit Mehta - A Bright Mind Will Always Stand Out and Carve Its Own Niche (Founder - Ace Infoway)

Technology is changing at a lightning speed. Keeping up-to-date with the trends is what gives you the edge to not only survive but also to stay on top of the competition.

Tell us about your background, journey, and upbringing.

I completed my formal education and right away landed the opportunity to manage an NIIT center. I was the youngest of the staff and was the Centre Head, leading a team that comprised all of my seniors. Even though I gained some immaculate experience during the time I spent at the center, my interest was always in IT and Software.

In those years, technology and infrastructure were far from what it is now, and owning an IT firm was unheard of in a city like Rajkot. Soon after, I joined the Ace Group, which worked in multiple industries, and here is where I got the experimental opportunity of developing an IT and Software Division. We named it PlanetAce.

Originally we were into website development and gradually it expanded into other distinct specializations. Time went by, and we started acquiring international clients, expanded our service portfolio, and even initiated taking up more advanced projects.

Our team was growing at a fast pace, which led us to set up an office in Ahmedabad, the economic capital of Gujarat. By now we had rebranded from PlanetAce to Ace Infoway.

In 2014, eCommerce was a thriving sector across the world and that’s when we took the leap to start our dedicated e-commerce division called QeRetail.

The journey from 2 to 200+ was quite a ride and even today we have been able to retain our start-up culture. This is what keeps us young and fresh. We do not have a rule book to be followed.

What inspired you to take action in your direction and what are your future plans?

Internet was considerably new in India and everybody was fascinated and intrigued by it and so was I. Technology was supposed to define the upcoming era and I wanted to be a part of it. Planet Ace came my way and that was it. I grabbed the opportunity and was determined to make it a success.

Technology is changing at a lightning speed. Keeping up-to-date with the trends is what gives you the edge to not only survive but also to stay on top of the competition. Our future plans involve finding and retaining talent, investing in new initiatives, and creating a work culture that fosters growth and learning.

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What does your typical workday look like?

My typical day is mostly centered around my people. As the CEO I consider myself to be the Chief Entertainment Officer first, and the Chief Executive Officer later. My entire management philosophy revolves around the idea that people should come to the workplace to revel first, and work is the by-product.

So far, this philosophy has worked wonders for our team. A great deal of my time is spent meeting and talking to my people. I think motivation is a two-way street, and our energy really bounces off the other.

I enjoy getting to learn new facets of those I work with, and that’s what helps me understand how to push them to do their best. There is no one formula to do this. Every person is different and it takes a different approach each time.

New initiatives are an integral part of our growth plans. Discussions on new ideas and strategies with my leadership team are an important part of my schedule.

After all these years of experience, the one thing that I have learned is that risk-taking ability is pivotal for growth. The growth of an individual and the growth of an organization are intermingled and I always strive to create an environment where people are ready to take risks. For themselves and for the collective at large.

Several global companies have come out and thrown their support behind not needing a formal education. What is your opinion about this?

The idea of education has evolved over the last few decades, and so has the means of it. For this reason, I believe that formal education is important but not indispensable.

A bright mind will always stand out and carve its own niche. You try to confine them with stereotypes of learning, and you lose them. We aren’t unaware of exemplars who dropped out of the Ivy League and became the greatest leaders of all time.

How do you handle someone who has lied on their resume?

Most people lie on their resumes. No resume is a 100% authentic description of one’s skills and abilities, which is why I never judge a person by the resume. I have my own ways to evaluate a person’s skill set, which is mostly done by engaging them in a conversation.

I am fond of people who are either thinkers or excellent doers and now I know that both are necessary. Any team or organization is sure to succeed with a merger of the two.

How has covid changed things at your workplace & which of these changes do you intend to make permanently?

Covid has changed the world, and of course, it has changed the workplaces that function within it too. The concept of remote working, which was only a part of the gig economy, took over the world, and that too overnight. It naturally came with its own challenges - of team communication, fast burnout, time management, and higher stress levels.

Although I can’t overlook the positives of this set-up - the entire global talent pool became so much more accessible, I still greatly believe that in-person experience can never be replaced with digital communication.

Today I see a hybrid way of working, wherein certain functions can work remotely - those which are more process-oriented or depend on individual contribution.
The foundations of any creative work still lie in collaboration, and brainstorming requires an environment that is conducive to innovation. That’s how the work comes through with new ideas.


What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs or those eyeing the top job?

My advice to those who aspire to build their own collection is to have a people-centric approach. Invest in your people, their growth, and their development.
Surround yourself with people who are better than you.

When it comes to personal growth, always trust your instincts. Never hold yourself back from reaching your full potential by putting another’s opinion of you before your own. And of course, take failure with a heart of acceptance. Accept that it’s part of the road to growth, and success can never teach as much as mistakes do.

To quote a few lines from Robert Frost’s famous ‘The Road Not Taken’ -

" Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. "

Which is your favorite book/show and why?

Some of the books that instantly come to my mind are - Who Moved my Cheese? – Like I already said before, taking risks is important and what’s just as valuable is to be unafraid of change. This piece by Spencer Johnson conveys the same brilliantly.

How to Win & Influence People – This one gave me a lot of insights on the basics of communicating well, and after all, that’s what you’re doing most of the team as a leader.

Rich Dad Poor Dad – This one’s a known classic and is essentially a crash course on personal finance. What I really liked about this book is the sheer practicality of showing that at times playing safe is not a good decision, because it leads one to miss out on the bigger rewards in life.