Sheela the Entrepreneur

In the professional world, individuals generally hope to follow the path to a field of endeavor about which they are passionate. After a few years of working, it is natural for the more ambitious of these to try going out on their own, to start their own financial, medical, or legal practices. The success rate for such fledgling businesses, however, is not very high. The brightest star in a particular professional field is not automatically endowed with the skills needed for management, the perseverance to survive market volatility, or the expertise to strategize growth or marketing efforts. Yet, Sheela Murthy faced those odds with an indomitable can-do spirit and came out on top.

In 1994, the dining room table of her home held a fax machine, and that was the beginning of the Law Office of Sheela Murthy, later known as the Murthy Law Firm. Her husband took a sabbatical from his position as photography professor at the renowned Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore. He secured the domain name and built a website. From the moment she went online, Sheela became a much sought after source of information. Foreign nationals and their employers found clarification on matters of U.S. immigration law. This sounds so logical, now. It even has a name – strategic inbound marketing – but, at the time, the idea of giving her knowledge away seemed counter intuitive. An attorney’s knowledge is her product. By providing information on the law, though, Murthy built a base of loyal readers and potential clients. She demonstrated her understanding of the law, and her genuine, caring nature.

The secret to her success as an entrepreneur has been the use of technology. Through her law firm’s website, MurthyDotCom, she was attached to a brand recognized worldwide that signifies trustworthiness, knowledge, care, and compassion, empathy for each immigrant, family, and business using U.S. immigration law. Murthy’s firm is probably the world’s most successful example of social entrepreneurship. Her focus is not to make a profit, but to help others, change lives, and empower every immigrant going through the immigration process.

Widely acknowledged by the business community, Murthy has been honored in many ways over the years, and she continues to give back. She mentors young women in business. She lends her talents in her role as Chairwoman of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, and serves on numerous boards and committees.

A list of Sheela’s mentions in the media and her public appearances is available here.

Entrepreneurial Accolades

Accolades and Honors in all areas are available here.

  • Women of Substance, Best Lawyers® Business Edition, 2017
  • Influential Marylanders, Daily Record, 2016
  • Maryland Chamber of Commerce names Sheela Murthy Chairperson to serve 2015-2017 – only the second woman in the organization’s history, 2015
  • Employer Partnership Award, Jewish Community Services, 2013
  • Largest Minority-Owned Businesses, Baltimore Business Journal, Murthy Law Firm ranks 11th in the Baltimore area, 2013
  • Future 50 Award to 50 of the region’s fastest-growing companies, SmartCEO Magazine, 2013
  • Inc. 500|5000 lists Murthy Law Firm among the fastest growing private companies in America, 2012
  • Innovator of the Year, The Daily Record, 2012 
  • Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Professionalism, and Contributions to the Community, 2012
  • Most Admired CEOs, The Daily Record, 2012
  • Women Business Achievement Awards of the Brava Hall of Fame, SmartCEO Magazine, 2011
  • Maryland’s Top 100 Women Award, 2011
  • 50 Influential Marylanders, The Daily Record, 2011
  • Inc. 500|5000 lists Murthy Law Firm among the fastest growing private companies in America, 2010
  • 100 Most Influential Entrepreneurs & Professionals, Indus Business Journal, 2010
  • Best of Business Award, Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA), 2010
  • Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2009


Sheela Murthy : Top 100 Women

Sheela Murthy : Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

Being a Successful Entrepreneur: TEDxBaltimoreWomen

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