Shahzil Amin, a 25-year-old inspirational, young South Asian entrepreneur, started his first company Rocketbills, while studying at University of Texas in Dallas.
Since then Amin launched two other successful companies, Plugged and Blue Track Media, recently bought by Karlani Capital, where Amin is now a managing partner.
“Many founders start a company for themselves, but I think about it differently,” Amin said. “Start a company for someone else, someone you deeply love. Because most of the time you’ll eventually get over letting yourself down. But when you’re doing it for someone you love, you’ll work that much harder just to make sure you don’t let them down.”
Plugged, launched in 2011, is an audio brand that sells headphones and produces premium quality listening without the premium price tags.
“Today, we’re building beautifully designed products that perform incredibly and are accessible to every music lover,” Amin said. “We’re reinventing the listening experience from the ground-up. This isn’t Plugged by some irrelevant celebrity, this is Plugged by you.”
The musical inspirations behind Plugged include Jay Z, Kanye, J. Cole, to name a few. Amin stated that the motivation behind Plugged was not about money, but more about the passion for music.
“We know music is a catalyst to empower an entire generation of revolutionaries,” Amin said. “Think about the music you listen to when you’re alone and how it affects your mood and state of mind. You feel every hook, beat and lyric, as it blocks out all the noise from the outside world. That’s what we call being “plugged in.”
You can purchase a pair of Plugged headphones online or in select stores in New York, Texas and Barbados.
Amin’s other business venture includes a digital marketing agency, Blue Track Media, which specializes in customer acquisitions through multiple advertising channels.
“The first inspiration behind Blue Track Media was to make money, to be honest,” Amin said. “Growing up, my family had it rough and I couldn’t just stand idle watching my family members struggle.”
Amin said he chose to go down the online advertising route because deep down inside he’s always been a tech geek.
“You know those ‘Get a Free iPod’ advertisements? Well believe it or not, I actually got one. Being as curious as I am, I had to figure out how exactly I received this free gift, so I kept digging and finally researched just enough to be able to start a similar company,” he said.
Blue Track Media advertises to new customers around the world, by implenting a similar ad strategy to that of Facebook. Amin said their new focus is towards mobile advertising.
He said his constant motivation behind his success, is his family. After his father’s passing at the age of 16, Amin assumed the role of “head of household.”
“We went through hell growing up, living paycheck to paycheck,” Amin said. “My mother busted her butt to provide for our family, and my sister practically raised me. Everything I preach, from hustling to staying humble, was taught to me by them. Everything I do is so that I can provide a better life for them.”
As for future plans, Amin said he plans to continue to grow his companies, as well as, invest in other entrepreneurs.
“Long-term is to impact the world in a positive way,” he said. “But I also have other plans that aren’t business-related such as island-hopping, opening a food cart, developing my own line of hot sauce, riding every rollercoaster in the world and many others.”
Amin is truly an inspiration for young South Asians who aspire to enter the start-up world.
“I just have this really big itch to make a difference globally. It keeps me up at night,” he said. “Mark Twain put it best when he said, ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’ I believe I’ve found out why, now I just need to find out how. I won’t stop until I do, no matter how many times I fall off the horse.”