Shazi Visram ’04

Founder, Happy Family, and Founder and Chief Mom, Healthynest, New York

Considered by President Obama to be “not only an outstanding businesswoman, but also a leader that all of us can emulate,” Shazi Visram is a daughter of immigrants who took life-changing risks in order to create a better world for their children. For as long as she can remember, she has wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself. Ms. Visram has always sought to create abundance and pay it forward—the question was: how? Her journey took her to Columbia Business School, where she had an “Aha! Moment” while listening with a compassionate ear to a friend’s anguish about the difficulty of finding the time to make her own baby food, and the lack of healthy options in the traditional baby food aisle. In that moment in 2003, Happy Family was born. Ms. Visram made it her mission to create a progressive business that could positively impact the health of our children while giving back to those in need and also supporting sustainable agriculture.

Under Ms. Visram’s guidance, Happy Family has continued to thrive, announcing in May 2013 a partnership with Groupe Danone, a global company whose mission is to bring health through food to people everywhere. The strategic alliance will raise the bar for children’s nutrition in the US, combining their shared commitment to social responsibility and innovation.

Ms. Visram’s accomplishments have earned her the respect and admiration of her peers and colleagues, including being named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 in 2012, honored by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011, and nominated as one of Babble’s “Moms Who Are Changing The World.” Happy Family was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the country by Inc. Magazine for two years running, was noted by the Women’s President’s Organization and American Express Open as the number one fastest growing woman-owned business in 2012, and was named as Fast Company’s 2012 “Rockstar of the New Economy.”

In addition to her MBA from Columbia Business School, Ms. Visram holds a BA in history from Columbia College. In addition, she works with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) as a mentor to young and aspiring entrepreneurs from low-income communities. Ms. Visram lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.