Category: The DesiConnect

Udai: Impressive Student Initiative Towards a Better India

We often put the spotlight on one particular individual within a non-profit organization in our Non-Profit section of our magazine. This week we decided to put the spotlight on the tremendous work an organization does as a whole. Udai, founded in 2005, is a completely student based program aimed at raising awareness and making positive impacts on pressing social issues in India. Udai’s team works around the clock to implement projects such as their “Inspiring Independent India” internet campaign or collaborating with the Love Foundation to help support HIV/Aids affected children. Take a moment to read, learn and be inspired by...

Sadiya Ahmed of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago

CAIR-Chicago isn’t following some cookie-cuter approach to building up their non-profit name. Since their official launch on January 5th, 2005, CAIR-Chicago has prided itself upon being anything but a traditional organization. Despite being a chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) , which is the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, CAIR-Chicago functions as an independent organization with its own strategy and set of goals. Twenty-three year old Sadiya Ahmed serves as theGovernmental Relations Coordinator for CAIR-Chicago. The organization strives to bypass previous barriers such as generational, class, and racial gaps by stress the common aspirations and challenges that face us all. In...

Be The Cause Founder Sukh Chugh

Mahatma Gandhi once said that “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. While many of us constantly struggle to conduct all three actions in parallel, thirty-one year-old Sukh Chugh seems to have figured it out. Regardless of where he may be today, Sukh is quick to point out that his path to self-fulfillment and genuinely was crossed by the allure of corporate world perks. Having previously high-powered professional positions at various consulting and financial companies, Sukh didn’t have to pay for his car, gas, apartment, or even food. As Sukh puts it, he...

Fashion Jeweler Amrita Singh

What’s gold and shiny and worn out [to parties]? If you answered Amrita Singh’s jewelry, you’re correct. At only 29 years-old and just three years in business, Amrita Singh Jewelry has caught the attention of the stars and fashion magazines, from Jennifer Lopez to Elle magazine. Amrita’s success was somewhat accidental, when her interests in jewelry making fused with art and travel. The result? A collection inspired by the Mughal era of India, with bangles, earrings, necklaces, and rings made from wood, clay, metals, and semi-precious stones. Find out what drives Amrita to success and creativity in this week’s Young & Professional Profile. About the company Amrita Singh...

Artist and Animator Sanjay Patel

What do you have to do to become a part of one the most highly regarded creative teams in the world? According to thirty-two year-old Artist and Animator Sanjay Patel, you should “get a specific education that youÂ’re passionate about, find a mentor, and get prepared to fail at least three times.” Perhaps then, at your fingertips will be the possibility of working at Pixar Animation studios, the Academy Award winning computer animation studio which has revolutionized creative talents to a whole new level. At Pixar, Sanjay is responsible for bringing 3D models to life in the “same way an actor brings life...

Lesson Learned: Don’t Forget to Check Your Ass

I’m here to bare my soul about a particularly embarrassing interview experience I had that resulted in me…well..baring my ass. Accidentally, of course! Here’s what happened: I was going through the interview process for a hi-tech Fortune 500 company that consisted of four interviews. I made my way through the first three and had just one more to go that could make or break me getting this job I really wanted. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous. The morning of my interview I had my friend drop me off in front of the company. As I walking towards the...

CEO of Virgin Comics Sharad Devarajan

He may have studied painting in his undergraduate coursework, but don’t peg thirty-one year old Sharad Devarajan as a struggling artist. In fact, Sharad could be described as quite the contrary. By using his training in the fine arts to fuel a knack for entrepreneurship, Sharad has established himself as a pioneering force in the industry of South Asian comic magazines and children’s books. As CEO of Virgin Comics LLC and Virgin Animation PVT. Ltd., Sharad manages numerous aspects of the business including strategic alliances, investor relations, and product development. Having worked with big name creative powerhouses such as MTV Networks and Ford Modeling Agency...

Lend-A-Hand India

Ever wondered if there was a recipe for non profit success? Well, we’re here to tell you that there are plenty and we’d like to share one with you this week. The “Lend-A-Hand India” recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of an unmet cause (in this case the poor of India), 6 cups of young professional determination and drive, mix in strategic partnerships and sprinkle on top some grassroots initiatives and you have yourself a bonafide non profit. The Lend-A-Hand Indian organization, founded in 2003, made sure they had all the ingredients of success before they launched so that they could...

Rajesh Setty

A writer, a teacher and an entrepreneur; Rajesh Setty, 35, Chairman and co-founder of CIGNEX Technologies, is a renaissance man in the truest sense. Since publishing a novel at the age of 13, Setty has never looked back, exploring and excelling in a myriad of fields. As CEO of CIGNEX, Rajesh quickly established the company as a leader in the world of open-source business software while increasing revenue by an average of 250%. He has become a prolific blogger, continues to teach regularly, is a frequent guest speaker and has most recently published his seventh book Beyond Code. Rajesh does all this in an...

Tanzila and SAAVY

It’s election time and you look around to see who’s standing in line to vote. You see many men and women of varied ages and ethnicities, and you figure it’s a pretty good turn out. Well, one young and forward-thinking South Asian took a closer look at the crowd and realized something very obvious and yet, very understated. She had to ask – where have all the young South Asian voters gone? Tanzila Ahmed, 26, a Bangladeshi-American, found this gap at the voting booths unacceptable and took matters into her own hands. Founder of SAAVY (South Asian American Voting Youth)...