Staff Reporters
Dec 22, 2022

40 Under 40 2022: Chandni Shah, Kinnect

While possessing sharp business acumen, Shah’s core strength lies in nurturing diverse teams, investing in people training, and encouraging fresh perspectives among staff.

40 Under 40 2022: Chandni Shah, Kinnect
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Chandni Shah

Founder and chief operating officer

Kinnect has been one of India’s success stories, a homegrown digital agency that has gone on to win Cannes awards and clinch top-tier clients. A key player behind this rapid growth is Chandhi Shah, co-founder of the firm alongside Rohan Mehta. In just over 10 years, Shah and Mehta built the agency to great heights, adding clients such as P&G, Intel, Google, Amazon, Coursera, Disney+Hotstar, HDFC Bank, and TVS Motors to its name. Last year, Kinnect’s dynamic rise caught the attention of IPG and FCB who acquired the indie shop. And despite IPG’s acquisition coinciding with Shah’s pregnancy, she admirably streamlined processes and tasks to ensure a smooth transition for the Kinnect team. 

Shah is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to weigh-in on pitches or offer direction on projects. Her leadership has benefited all teams and even led to the acquiring of some recession-proof clients like TikTok and others named above. In addition, many existing clients have signed longer-term retainers owing to the agency’s blend of business acumen and deep relationship-building, leading to a high client-retention rate.

As a leader, Shah is a believer of honest communications and frequently encourages her team to voice out, even if they include opposing perspectives. This democratic style of leading—paired with her open-door policy—has naturally earned the respect and admiration of her team. Adding to this, Shah pioneered #KinnectorsGiveBack which encourages staff to give back to the underprivileged. Meanwhile, her internal #GetALife programme reimburses staff monthly for taking up any physical activity of their choosing while also facilitating one-on-one free consultations with psychologists to discuss mental health issues.

Furthermore, she introduced KinnectEdge, a training and development programme catered to upskilling staff and keeping them up to date with industry advancements. To do this, the firm partnered with the Indian Institute of Digital Education (IIDE) to develop a curriculum and to oversee the programme. It’s a win-win arrangement for IIDE as promising graduates at the institute are mentored and hired by the agency through this programme. From the sidelines, Shah cheers on the internal #KinnectPride initiative which supports staff who identify as LGBTQ+.

Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 


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