The 2023 Women of the Year Awards: Innovator – Runner-up

The runner-up in the Innovator category of the 2023 Women of the Year Awards is Shama Gupta, president and director of Aeon Group of Companies.

Shama Gupta
President and director, Aeon Group of Companies (Aeon Stone & Tile Inc., Habitat by Aeon and Poliform Vancouver)

Shama Gupta believes that her career was driven by destiny. 

Back in Delhi, she was in the business of exporting stone. She often travelled for work, and when her son moved to Vancouver to study at SFU, she didn’t feel safe leaving her daughter behind in India. So she relocated in 2008 and launched an online stone business that same year. 

It wasn’t easy, especially as a newcomer. Gupta remembers selling via phone calls, admitting that online was just not her thing. 

She founded Aeon Stone & Tile in 2009, with one business partner, Amit Thale, and one warehouse worker. The warehouse worker would prepare product samples, Thale would cover sales by meeting clients (mainly designers) and Gupta would manage everything else—calls, interiors, accounting, etc. But, as destiny would have it, the experience helped her realize a market need for Italian stone. “The aim was to bring what was not available in Vancouver,” she maintains. 

After changing gears on her offerings, Gupta hired more salespeople to increase client engagement and became more familiar with local designers and architects. That’s when she decided to expand the business. 

“It was my dream to develop a few businesses, not just keep working with one,” she adds. In 2017, Gupta launched Habitat by Aeon to veer into the world of high-end kitchens, eventually adding doors, closets, vanities and more to its downtown showroom.

A year later, she opened a third business under Aeon to bring Italian furniture company Poliform to Vancouver. Now Poliform Vancouver is the brand’s flagship store and Gupta is a member of the Interior Design Show – Vancouver, National Kitchen and Bath Association (B.C.) and Italian Chamber of Commerce.

With 20 staff on board, Gupta is not one to dwell on the past: “When the results are good, you just forget the pain, right?” she says.