Balwa dropped out of college and entered the family's hotel Business. His Father, Usman, started Balwa's restaurant at Marines Lines and Balwa's Hotel at Mumbai Central. He partnered with Billionaire real estate developer Vinod Goenka to form DB Realty in 2006. In a few years, the construction company claimed to have 21,000,000 square feet (2,000,000 m) of saleable area in ongoing projects and another 40,000,000 square feet (3,700,000 m) in upcoming projects.
Balwa was arrested for his role in the 2G spectrum case by the CBI on 9 February 2011 on the allegation that DB group transferred ₹2 billion to a media company owned by members of DMK party. Former Telecom minister A. Raja allegedly helped Swan bag licences for 13 circles, including Mumbai and Delhi, for ₹15.37 billion. DB realty is one among the companies that purchased 2G licenses in 2008. DB Reality floated Swan Telecom. The CBI also arrested two executives on 29 March 2011 including the brother of Balwa, Asif Balwa. A Delhi high-court on 29 November 2011 accepted the bail plea of Shahid Balwa and other under-trials. On the 21st of December, 2017, a Supreme Court appointed Special CBI Court acquitted him of all charges relating to his role in this case.