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US television show invites Indo-American entrpreneur

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New York: Indo-American entrepreneur Shaan Patel, a 26-year-old from Nevada now residing in the southwestern US was invited to the popular American television series Shark Tank.

Shaan Patel will be pitching for investment for his startup ‘2400 Expert’, a company that prepares students for SAT (scholastic assessment test) and ACT (American college testing) on the January 29th episode of ABC’s hit show which has the ability to make multi-millionaires in a few years of those who manage to get a deal.

A Clark High School graduate, Patel put in nearly 2,000 hours of work into developing the curriculum and books for his prep course.

His product pitch claims 100 strategies developed by a perfect-scoring SAT student, double the course hours and half the price of top instructors.

“The secret to getting on Shark Tank is to ignore Shark Tank. Entrepreneurs who would like to get on Shark Tank should not focus on getting Shark Tank. Instead, they should focus on building their business,” the American Bazaar quoted Patel as saying in an interview to CBS.

Patel who has bootstrapped the venture is not resting on the possibility of whether he gets a deal or not on the TV series. However, he is creating a buzz within the community with his call-up on the show, said the report.

“You should start with a great idea, but more importantly great execution of that idea. Once you have done that, Shark Tank will be much more interested in what you have to offer,” Patel said.

Patel is also trying to “recruit” viewers for his Shark Tank episode and he’s throwing a viewing party on January 29, 2016, at his alma mater Clark High School where he’ll also be giving away $30,000 worth of SAT prep books and another $100,000 in prep courses to the general public, revealed the report.(IANS)(image: business2community.com)

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How advertisements in India are defying gender cliche

Ads playing an effective medium in moulding opinions of society

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How Indian advertisement industry is breaking the gender stereotype

Feb 27, 2017: The most important part of advertisements is the story line and it gives a spur on the social media when the lessons from the story line are timeless. Needless to say, every time a free-spirited ad is released, it not only sparks conversations over the internet but also leaves a viral trail of debates. Just in the same way, some of the Indian advertisements did when they strove to change the mindset of people with regard to gender difference. We often tend to slur women not realizing the essence of being a woman, it takes strength and an indomitable spirit to be a woman. This article will talk about how advertisements in India are leading by example and discarding gender difference.

Let’s recall some of the advertisements that did away with gender difference.

Nike’s recent ‘Da Da Ding’ ad starring Deepika Padukone as one among other female athletes is a powerful ad which got the people talking about giving importance to female athletes as well. It showcased females of a real athletic figure which is not animated and has got nothing to do with ‘legs and butts’.

(A still from Nike’s Da Da Ding advertisement)

The ad portrayed women as fierce and passionate about sports. Once upon a time, Nike’s product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners and then, a fitness craze emerged –and the folks in Nike’s marketing department knew where to mark their next move, an applause for Nike for initiating a spellbinding effort.

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Whisper, Touch the pickle ad

(A still from Whisper Touch the pickle advertisement)

Whisper, Touch the pickle ad is another exemplary of breaking taboos surrounding women’s menstrual cycle. The whisper #Touchthepickle campaign makes an attempt to purge the baseless superstitions owing to Dos and Dont’s in menses. The ad showcases a young girl who dares to touch the pickle while she is on her periods. It conveys a sensible meaning to its viewers to break away these taboos. The ad was lauded internationally and awarded ‘Glass Lion Grand Prix’ award at Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Many advertisements over the years have sold the cosmetic product but fewer have tried to change the societal conception of beauty. Even fewer have tried to do both, Joy Cosmetic is the brand that did it in India.

(A still from Joy beauty advertisement)
The ad begins with showcasing a well renowned oversized comedian, Bharti Singh asking the viewers “What did you expect, 36-24-36?”, and shuts down body shamers who presumed it to be an ideal body size. The ad conveys effortlessly that an Ideal beauty has nothing to do with body and shape.The advertisement has a sensitive message and is meaningful to its consumers.

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While there is a lot of chaos regarding section 377 in India, Ebay India took an audacious stance through its ad titled “Things don’t judge”.

(A still from Ebay India advertisement)

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Indian-American leader Puneet Ahluwalia to contest for the state’s House of Delegates in US

Ahluwalia heads consultancy and IT businesses in the Washington DC area, along with active participation in the US politics

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Voting (Representational image), Wikimedia

Washington, February 3, 2017: Indian-American Republican leader from Virginia Puneet Ahluwalia is contesting for the state’s House of Delegates for the 34th district against the incumbent Kathleen Murphy.

Ahluwalia, 10th District Representative on the Virginia Republican State Central Committee, served as a financial chair of the Asian American presidential inaugural ball in January, American Bazaar online reported on Friday.

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“The success of our community demands us to be active and participate in mainstream politics. It is our responsibility to strengthen the diversity of our nation,” he said.

“… We should be supporting President Trump and Republican leadership in creating and promoting American jobs with strong emphasis on balanced trade between US-Indo Pacific Region.”

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“We should not lose focus on eradicating terrorism and enemies of democracies,” he added.

Ahluwalia said that he would work to strengthen the Republican Party’s base in Virginia, among other things.

“We will watch our allies’ back and it is important that communities, including the Indian-American community that has benefited most from this great nation, play a pivotal role in the revival process. I had a choice but I chose to stand up and participate in the political process and serve the public of 34th district,” Ahluwalia said.

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“Our nation is at a crossroad where we will take new positive direction as we embark on a journey to make our nation stronger.”

He added: “I have the support of my wife, kids and friends, and supporters and very importantly the leadership of the Republican Party, especially Barbara Comstock.”

A Delhi Public School (DPS) alumni, Ahluwalia heads consultancy and IT businesses in the Washington DC area, along with active participation in the US politics, since 1998-99. (IANS)

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Locating Desi: A Survey to establish Identity

Political mobilization of the word 'desi' in USA

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An Indian girl. Image Courtsey: food.ndtv.com

By Shubhi Mangla

Kerishma Panigrahi, a student of the New York University is pursuing studies in issues related to religion, race, racial subject formation mainly within the context of South Indian Diaspora. As part of her course, she is currently working on “Locating Latinidad“. The study includes tracing its history, genealogy and constitution as an identity. She has started a survey to know about the personal and political identification of people of South Asian descent in USA for folks who are 18 years or older.

You may take the survey here: Locating Desi

Kerishma says, “How I identify can shift as quickly and as easily as my surroundings shift; depending on where I am and who I’m with. I could be a Gujarati, Oriya, Indian(-American), South Asian(-American), American, desi, “brown”…the list goes on. What I became fascinated by was how intertwined and slippery racial, ethnic, and national identities are and how contingent they can be on one’s surroundings—which makes it even harder to effectively locate”.

What complicated her was the word ‘Desi’. According to her, it is a word which she can feel closer to and politically identify herself with it. With her experience from living among other South Asians in US, she feels that ‘desi’ is more of an informal and comfortable word as compared to South Asian-American. She is curious to know the experience of other folks of South Asian decent about the non-existent  political mobilization of the word ‘Desi’ compared to mobilization of ‘latinx’.

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According to her, ” ‘Desi’ is also an imperfect term and there are shortcomings that may take away from people’s ability to identify with it; does “desi” have the ability to expand and accommodate this difference? Is there a disparity of identification along age group, migration status, country of origin, multiracial status? How does multiple diaspora (e.g. folks of Indo-Caribbean or Indo-African heritage) effect identification?”

Report prepared by Shubhi Mangla- an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism and Mass Communication in New Delhi. Twitter @ shubhi_mangla