‘Be constantly hungry for knowledge’: Hiren Shah, Founder & Chairman, Vertoz

The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

Hiren Shah is the Founder and Chairman of Vertoz. He is a true marketing and business development visionary with over 23 years of experience in the web services industry. Hiren has multiple digital ventures like Vertoz (A Programmatic Advertising Company), QualiSpace (A Cloud and Hosting Service), Vokut (A Content Publishing Company), ConnectReseller (A Domain Name Reseller) which are bootstrapped without any external investment. Apart from being an entrepreneur, Hiren is also an adventure sports fan and a gadget freak.

Here are his answers to our Proust questionnaire…

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being healthy.

What is your greatest fear?

Not being healthy.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Being egotistical.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Putting me on hold when I phone them.

Which living person do you most admire?

Ratan Tata.

What is your greatest extravagance?


What is your current state of mind?

Ready for adventure.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Complete veracity.

On what occasion do you lie?

Only under certain circumstances when nothing else is possible.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I'm quite comfortable with my appearance these days.

Which living person do you most despise?

Anyone who commits hate crimes.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Respectfulness, egalitarianism and empathy.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Strength, decisiveness and intelligence.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“I want everyone to be happy.” I even say it to people I hardly know.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Money, health and art.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Art and music skills.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to make more time for my family.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Making people laugh. I don’t know if it’s an achievement, but I love doing it.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Same as I am.

Where would you most like to live?

On planet earth.

What is your most treasured possession?

My ability to maintain a calm mind in the face of highly testing circumstances.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being hospitalised.

What is your favourite occupation?

Learning new skills.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I’m a big fantasiser.

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty, bravery and truthfulness.

Who are your favourite writers?

Robin Sharma and Shiv Khera.

Who is your hero of fiction?


Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Christine Lagarde.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My father.

What is it that you most dislike?


What is your greatest regret?

I have no regrets.

How would you like to die?

Quietly and painlessly without knowing it.

What is your favourite journey?

San Francisco to Los Angeles via Highway One

What is your motto?

Be constantly hungry for knowledge.


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