24 episodes

Join Sameer Desai as he chats with South Asians around the world to uncover their identities, successes, failures, and most importantly, stories. He profiles artists, writers, filmmakers, athletes, entertainers, and many more to discover South Asians who have taken a different path. Visit https://southasianstoriespodcast.com for the full list of episodes and email sdesai3@gmail.com to reach out!

South Asian Stories Sameer Desai

    • Personal Journals

Join Sameer Desai as he chats with South Asians around the world to uncover their identities, successes, failures, and most importantly, stories. He profiles artists, writers, filmmakers, athletes, entertainers, and many more to discover South Asians who have taken a different path. Visit https://southasianstoriespodcast.com for the full list of episodes and email sdesai3@gmail.com to reach out!

    Neeta Sreekanth – Sports Media Maven and her incredible journey working at the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, IGN, and INFLCR

    Neeta Sreekanth – Sports Media Maven and her incredible journey working at the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, IGN, and INFLCR

    Neeta Sreekanth is a Sports Media Maven and has worked at some of the most iconic sports and media companies like the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, IGN, and INFLCR. Neeta got her start in the digital and social media world at the Dallas Cowboys.  She then transitioned to ESPN working in their social media department as an associate producer and social media manager for a little over 4 years. There, she helped ESPN maintain a ​#1 ​ranking in sports social media engagement during her entire tenure. 

    Her experiences in social media brought her to IGN Entertainment as the Director of Social Content and Strategy. During her time at IGN, Neeta transformed them into a global leader in social media engagement with focus on video games, entertainment and pop culture, oversaw relationships with social platforms, spearheaded content partnerships with the company, and drove social content strategy around key events such as E3, San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con and SXSW

    Neeta was hired in a newly created role of Chief Operating Officer at INFLCR in October 2019. She currently oversees the company’s marketing, partnerships, emerging strategy, product innovation and athlete network teams while building INFLCR’s brand as the leading social media content delivery platform for sports. 

    In this conversation, we discuss:



    How Neeta spearheaded some of biggest social moments for the Dallas Cowboys #FinishTheFight early in her career 

    How asking the right questions is so critical for capturing the right content (She shares a great story with Tom Holland and Spiderman)

    Where Neeta thinks social media is headed and how it’s so important to entertain your audience 



    Neeta is a social media trailblazer and her stories are just killer. So without further ado, please enjoy my in-depth interview with Neeta Sreekanth.

    Connect with Neeta



    Twitter

    Instagram

    * LinkedIn



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    • 1 hr 25 min
    Rahul Rai – Award-Winning Actor, Dancer, and TikTok Star and building his legacy one follower at a time!

    Rahul Rai – Award-Winning Actor, Dancer, and TikTok Star and building his legacy one follower at a time!

    Rahul Rai is an award-winning actor currently living in Los Angeles who has built a massive following on TikTok (937k followers and over 34M likes as of July 2020). His videos are some of my favorite – some laugh out loud funny, some emotional, and some really informative (Like his other financial literacy TikTok account – TheLaymanInvestor). 

    While Rahul spends most of his time honing his craft in acting and dance, he also finds time for his other passions, martial arts and philosophy.  He trained in Tang Soo Do, a Korean-based martial arts made famous by Chuck Norris, and at the age of 13 attained his black belt.  Most recently he started training in Jeet Kune Do, a martial art created by the one and only Bruce Lee.  

    In this conversation, we discuss:



    How Rahul got his start in acting in LA and the biggest things he learned in the last 5 years

    The rise to stardom on Tiktok and how he gets his inspiration from shows like The Office and Friends

    His obsessive drive to be a pure “force of nature” in acting like Denzel Washington or Marlon Brando



    Loved chatting with Rahul and his thoughtful, strategic approach to everything!  So without further ado, please enjoy my interview with Rahul Rai.

    Connect with Rahul Rai



    TikTok

    Instagram

    Website

    * YouTube



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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Dr. Arati Kreibich – Neuroscientist, council member, and politician and her story running for New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District

    Dr. Arati Kreibich – Neuroscientist, council member, and politician and her story running for New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District

    Dr. Arati Kreibich is a Democratic Council Member in Glen Rock, New Jersey who is running for election to the U.S. House to represent New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District!

    She is a trained neuroscientist who earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with her research focused on opiate addiction.  

    In 2016, she ran for Glen Rock’s Borough Council in 2017. She won, becoming the first South Asian elected to the council. Arati has made the climate crisis a priority, leading a successful charge for town-wide clean energy consumption and a plastic bag ban. 

    In this conversation, we discuss:



    How Arathi got interested in neuroscience and the science of addiction and relapse

    The impact of the 2016 presidential election as Arati’s defining moment in her decision to run

    Her climate change agenda and how she’s making an impact at a local level 



    She’s a candidate I would 100% vote for, so make sure if you’re in NJ go vote by mail on July 7, 2020!

    Connect with Dr. Arati Kreibich



    Twitter

    Facebook

    Instagram

    Website



    Listen to the podcast! (And please leave a review if you enjoyed it!)

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Wardah Khalid – Policy analyst, activist, and speaker on U.S. foreign policy and her role in strengthening Muslim-American engagement with Congress

    Wardah Khalid – Policy analyst, activist, and speaker on U.S. foreign policy and her role in strengthening Muslim-American engagement with Congress

    Wardah Khalid is a policy analyst, activist, and speaker on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, refugees/immigration, and Islam in America. She currently works on Capitol Hill as an APAICS Congressional Fellow and is the Founder and President of Poligon Education Fund, a national civic education and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress. 

    Wardah has significant experience advocating on refugee and immigration policies with faith based NGOs and advising members of Congress, the White House, and State Department on the Iran nuclear negotiations and human rights issues pertaining to the Syrian and Israel/Palestine conflicts. 

    Her UN efforts include consulting for UN CTED on lone wolf terrorism, field work with UNRWA in Jordan, and working with UNDP and the Permanent Mission of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in New York. Wardah is a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI) Fellow at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, and former Scoville Fellow. 

    Wardah was recognized by ABC’s Nightline as one of the country’s top millennial activists. Her writing and commentary has been featured in outlets including the Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, NPR, US News & World Report, Al Jazeera America, and Haaretz. She previously authored the “Young American Muslim” blog for the Houston Chronicle and hosted the show “Reality Check” on One Legacy Radio. 

    Wardah holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Additionally, Wardah is a CPA and received a BBA and MS in Accounting from Texas A&M University. 

    In this conversation, we discuss:



    How Wardah changed careers from accounting to International Affairs and never looked back! 

    What it’s like to speak to a member of Congress and the process behind it! 

    Wardah’s involvement in the Iran Nuclear Deal and being part of history! 



    Really enjoyed this conversation – it made me evaluate my civic duty and how much I don’t know about my state and local representatives! Without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Wardah Khalid.  

    Connect with Wardah



    Twitter

    Facebook

    Instagram

    Website



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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Brian Benni – Family Karma Bravo TV Star and his role in the 1st Indian-American Reality Television Show

    Brian Benni – Family Karma Bravo TV Star and his role in the 1st Indian-American Reality Television Show

    Brian Benni is one of the stars of the hit show Family Karma on Bravo and one of my favorites on the show. Family Karma (See Vogue review!) tracks the stories of seven first-generation Indian Americans and their parents in Miami. Growing up in traditional, multigenerational households, this group is bonded by their strong cultural ties and vibrant Miami social lives. 

    With parents and grandparents instilling their cherished Indian customs, and adult children who are drifting more towards the “American Way,” the two worlds collide in the most unexpected ways. These friends are determined to live life to the fullest, navigate the pressures of being in adulthood, while maintaining their deep-rooted ties to an incredible Indian culture. 

    Brian is notoriously known as the resident “party boy,” is ready to retire that title and settle down. Now that the 27-year old moved back home and works in IT, Brian’s parents are urging him to start a family of his own. In the past, Brian has been hesitant to start a relationship with women in his community, but lately he’s had a change of heart. Moving back home has brought his childhood friend, and crush, Monica Vaswani back into his life; but he wonders if he’ll ever be good enough for her.

    In this conversation, we discuss: 



    Brian’s background growing up in Miami and how he came to appreciate Indian culture

    Brian’s favorite moments on Family Karma (+how he deals with people asking him about Monica!)

    His love of comedy and what he plans to do next after the show



     Loved chatting about Family Karma with Brian. Be sure to check it out on Sundays on Bravo at 9pm EST/ 8pm CST.

    Connect with Brian



    * Twitter

    * Instagram



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    • 42 min
    Vikram Vij – Celebrity Chef and Owner of Three World-Famous Restaurants and his story to elevate Indian cuisine

    Vikram Vij – Celebrity Chef and Owner of Three World-Famous Restaurants and his story to elevate Indian cuisine

    Vikram Vij is an Indian-born Celebrity Chef and Owner of three Indian restaurants Vij’s Restaurant, Rangoli Restaurant, and My Shanti. He has received numerous accolades and awards – including Vancouver Chef of the Year, Best Indian Award, and Best Restaurant. 

    Vikram has been a guest judge on Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada, as well as the first Indo-Canadian Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. 

    Vikram released his autobiography in spring of 2017, entitled Vij: A Chef’s One Way Ticket to Canada With Indian Spices In His Suitcase. It tells the story of his journey to Canada and the growth of his businesses over the past 30 years.

    He has two TEDx Talks: I am Sword and How to guarantee your friends will like you more .

    In this conversation, we discuss: 



    The start of Vikram’s culinary journey in Austria and how he had to learn German

    * Why Vikram called his first restaurant Vij’s as an ode to his grandfather 

    * The incredible story how VIkram served Justin Trudeau and his father at Vij’s 



    Loved chatting about all things food and restaurants.  So without further ado, please enjoy my interview with Vikram Vij!

    Connect with Vikram



    * Twitter

    * Instagram

    * Facebook



    Listen to the podcast! (And please leave a review if you enjoyed it!)

    • 1 hr 5 min

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