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Secrets of Success: Pavana Jain


There are some “rules” of business success most entrepreneurs abide by. But many also have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that helped them achieve success. In “Secrets of Success,” a weekly interview series here at’s Small Business Forum, I ask some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners to share their insights and success secrets with you.

Meet: Pavana Jain, the CEO and cofounder of ShiftMobility, the automotive industry’s first fully integrated mobile solution. SHIFTMobility connects automotive micromarket constituents with an intuitive mobile platform. The technology delivers market efficiency for multi-tier distributors and local service provider networks. Using multi-constituent architecture, data forms and visualization, SHIFTMobility revolutionizes the way the auto aftermarket industry collaborates and grows their businesses using just a phone or a tablet. Pavana co-founded SHIFTMobility in 2013, after accumulating more than 25 years of technology industry leadership, innovations, and executive management experience at Fortune 100 companies.

Pavana, who oversees all aspects of the company, firmly believes mobile-integrated enterprises could benefit from unheralded efficiencies and cost savings. She says, “The automotive industry is rapidly bringing innovations to the technology sector. Connected cars will generate and consume lots of digital content. It is our job to bring highly cost-effective mobile-integrated cloud solutions enabling the industry to seamlessly deliver content directly to customers and offer an innovative business services network through similar innovations in the auto aftermarket.” What did you want to be when you grew up?

Pavana Jain: I always wanted to be a in a field that brought together technology and medicine. However, back then a bioengineering major was not offered at colleges. While pursuing postgraduate studies, I focused on neural networks and autonomous systems. That got me closest to where I wanted to be while growing up. Why did you start your own business?

Jain: I am fascinated by the advances in cognitive systems and [the possibility] we could eventually link up smart devices to knowledge systems. There seemed to be a future with smart devices and connected cars. I also saw where the automotive industry could eventually be, and the choice to do something was right in front [of me]. Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?

Jain: Arvind (cofounder and company president) and I had been asking ourselves what would it be like if we could link up the fragmented automotive industry from bottom to top with just our smartphones and cars. What could we learn from terabytes of information? How would the future of connected car ecosystems transform businesses and commerce? We found the paradigm shift, and the pivotal moment came when leading automotive businesses joined us in our journey—the answer that seeded SHIFTMobility. What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?

Jain: First, don’t be averse to taking business risks. You do that anyway every day of your life.

Second, make every dollar count in your business. You do that anyway when you manage your household budget.

Third, build open and honest relationships inside and outside the company. There is no point compromising on core values. What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?

Jain: Keep learning and keep evolving. Do you have a 2015 small business prediction?

Jain: Mobile commerce with Apple Pay is heating up. We also expect B2B commerce on mobile to gain significant momentum this year. What’s your favorite book?

Jain: I like to read fiction and biographies. If I were to pick my all-time favorites, it would be The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Mahatma Gandhi’s biography, The Story of My Experiments With Truth. Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?

Jain: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure … than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt