Shama Hyder   

By Devika Goberdhan
Name Shama Hyder
Occupation Author, Founder & CEO of Zen Media
Category Tech
Country of Residence USA

A visionary strategist for the digital age, Shama Hyder is a social media marketing guru, a web and TV personality, a bestselling author, and the award-winning CEO of Zen Media, a global online marketing and digital PR company. Dubbed the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by Fast Company magazine, Shama has been honoured at both the White House and The United Nations as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs in the country.

Hyder, originally from Goa, India, moved with her family to Texas, U.S.A. in 1994. Hyder attended the University of Texas in Austin, finally graduating with a master of arts degree in organization communication in 2008, during which she focused her research on social media, specifically Twitter.

Think even bigger! I truly believe we are our own biggest limitation.

Shama Hyder/

At the age of 23, upon wrapping up her studies, Hyder firmly believed that social media could be a powerful resource for businesses to capitalize on, but no one wanted to hear her out. And so, after receiving numerous rejections for the jobs that she had applied for, armed with an entrepreneurial eye and strong instincts about what social media could be, Hyder decided to forge her own path by establishing Zen Media in 2008 and launching it officially in 2009.

With just $1,500 US, Hyder launched her firm, which focuses on social media marketing for a multitude of global businesses and organizations including Mary Kay Cosmetics and the United States Navy. In the first year of operation alone, the company experienced exponential growth of a whopping 400 per cent. Hyder, the CEO and founder, and her team of approximately 30 continue to generate similar growth, which is arguably due to the focus placed on doing the best job possible for each client.

Since the launch of Zen Media Hyder has been one incredibly busy boss. When she’s not busy working with clients to improve their social media reach and engagement, she has been writing books. Seeing that there was a lack of material that catered to digital marketing in the social media age, Hyder sought to rectify the problem with her first book published in 2010, The Zen of Social Media Marketing. Since then, Hyder has released newer editions of the best-selling book, with the latest and fourth version published in 2016.

Hyder also writes a column on business and marketing for Forbes and Inc magazines and hosts Shama TV, a web television series that covers new media technologies, trends and marketing strategies. In 2012, she hosted two weekly segments on the television station CW 33, KDAF-TV in Dallas, Texas named ‘’Tech Zen with Shama’’ and ‘’Socially Sound with Shama.’’

Hyder has also found success nationally and internationally as a keynote speaker, sharing the spotlight with the likes of the Dalai Lama and former U.S. President Barack Obama and delivering impressive and relatable speeches for the Yale School of Management, NASA, NATO and AT&T. Additionally, Hyder has earned a merited position as a digital strategist and often appears on television programs, such as Fox Business and CBS to provide her opinions.

Over the last decade, Hyder has earned several well-deserved accolades and high-praises including nods from Business Week, which named Hyder one of their Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25 in 2009, and Inc. Magazine in 2014 and Forbes in 2015, where she was recognized on each of their Top 30 Under 30 lists. LinkedIn acknowledged Hyder as a “Top Voice” within marketing and social media in 2016 and 2017.

Be Agile. Your first idea will rarely be your best one. Be willing to shift gears to best suit your marketplace. Remember that there will always be another mountain! You will always have more you want to do, accomplish, and make happen. True entrepreneurs are always building and learning.

Shama Hyder/ Grafix Cat Media 

Hyder has also been recognized as one of the 100 best and still developing entrepreneurs in the United States by the White House and the United Nations. She has received the Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO and Hermes Gold awards, and she has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” and “Millennial Master of the Universe” by Entrepreneur magazine and Fast Company magazine, respectively.

Passionate about empowering youth, Hyder serves as a mentor and works closely with the Young Entrepreneur Council in fostering youth entrepreneurship around the world.

In 2018 Hyder published her second book, another best-seller, Momentum: How to Propel your Marketing and Transform your Brand in the Digital Age, which provides strategies on how to be successful in the digital age of web marketing.

Shama Hyder was included in The ANOKHI List 2016 coffee table book and was the recipient of The ANOKHI Award that same year.

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Devika Goberdhan

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