Passion Project: IndyaVids


Since I can’t seem to get enough of social in my day job, I have joined forces with founder/CEO of the popular Bollywood Entertainment website DesiYou. Ash Kumra and I are working together to launch a new user generated video website. IndyaVids will be a site dedicated to help ALL PEOPLE learn how to bring what they love about the Indian Culture into their own lives. This could be trying to cook their favorite Indian dish from their local Indian restaurant, or practice and fine tune their Yoga moves. The site will host videos that will help connect users with others that want to share their expertise in several areas that are rooted to the South Asian Diaspora.

We have come a long way and on February 28, 2011 IndyaVids will be presenting our business plan at the 2nd annual Irvine Entrepreneur Forum. I will personally present our plan….wish me luck! You can learn more about the competition here: http://bit.ly/fWo0lk

Below is what is motivating me to take on this project.  While I will always share updates on my personal handle’s, you can also follow our progress here from our office sites:

Web: www.indyavids.com
Twitter:  IndyaVids http://bit.ly/hs1OT7
Facebook:  IndyaVids Fans http://on.fb.me/dMa4rZ

I call this a passion project because I have always wanted to build a company that could bring to two cultural worlds together. My American identity (I was born in the US) with my Indian heritage.

During my senior year at UCLA, my parents thought it was a good idea to take to me India. I had not been since I was child, and I was threatening (that’s how they took it) to go on my own after I graduated. Fearful, that all the people in India would see that I have “America” written all over me and would thus somehow take advantage of me, my mom decided to plan a trip.

The three of us went to New Delhi, Agra, Amritsar, Beas, and Jaipur. I have plenty of stories about this memorable trip, but the one thing that really mattered was the choice I made to enter the corporate world and to no longer pursue of my PhD in Sociology. My desire to research the South Asian diaspora was strong, but I realized that now was not the time for me to pursue this goal. The choice was difficult and complicated. Whatever my reasons I promised myself that I would some how return to my goal of understanding and promoting the South Asian Diaspora. Through this I would help to build a bridge between people from different backgrounds.

I had first met Ash Kumra from a mutual friend. We met in 2010 during the NBA playoffs and bonded over beer and chicken wings. He told me about his company DesiYou and I was really excited to meet an entrepreneur that was trying to marry the South Asian culture with a profitable business (without exploited the culture). We both loved our work and loved our heritage.

After several conversations over the next few months Ash asked me to join his team and help launch this company. I am confident that we will build some that people will enjoy and benefit from. So get your camera’s ready, and get your Yoga pants on…..it’s time for you to make your videos and get them on IndyaVids!

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Eating is about relationships


Ever since graduating with my MBA in June 2009,  I have been doing my best to get back in shape.  Its funny that I have gained the amount of weight that I have, since I am used to being that “skinny little” Indian kid in high school.  While, I feel great and I have seen success, I really want my quest for fitness to be more than just looking good (I would be lying to you if I said it was not a factor).  It’s about being happy.  Yes, I know…it’s a cliche, but it’s the truth.  I need to change the way I look at my body and my relationship with food.  I am lucky that my frame allows me to hide much of my weight, but people close to me notice the gain.  I notice the gain.  What is worse, is  that I suffer from the yo-yo effect.  I will go through months of good eating, hitting the gym and playing the sports that I love and back to eating junk and missing the gym.

By design, I am attempting to drop the pounds slowly.  Understanding that my ultimate goal Its important that exercise is not just something I do just to lose weight rather its a way to spend more time with friends, family and feel good about myself.   My weight gain started before the MBA, so that means that there is something broken with my own behavior.  Most of this has to do with my ability to manage stress in my personal life.  I have observed that I tend to eat bad food when I am unhappy or angry.  Its that that I eat more, rather the food I select to eat tends to be fatty, processed food.  I eat fast food, or frozen food.

I have to be honest, I don’t think its fair that I blame the MBA for my weight gain.  I can blame age, runs to Taco Bell, my addiction to Sushi, Shabu Shabu, and ice cream.

I will continue to share my thoughts and struggles in the area.  I also would love to hear some comments from you on your relationship with food.  What is your relationship with food?