Successful Desi women in the US with Unconventional careers

by | Sep 24, 2019 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whenever another Desi asks what I do for a living, I see this puzzled look on their face for a brief second when I reveal my career choice. The Desi stereotype career choice is in the field of Technology or Medicine. I’m a Marketing Specialist in the corporate world and I thoroughly enjoy my field of work. I wouldn’t be lying if I said, I’ve been advised to sway into the Tech field to be a part of the clan. I LOVE what I do and I’m in the field of Marketing, Business and Advertising by choice 🙂

Funnily, I studied in Pharmacy school before I did my Masters in Business Administration – the thought of spending the next 40 years as a pharmacy tech still gives me jjitters.

To be honest, for South Asian or Desi standards, if you’re not a doctor, engineer or lawyer you’ve taken an offbeat path. Now that I’ve set some context for you, I wanted to introduce you to these stellar Desi women in the US who are doing amazingly well in their careers or as Desis may say ‘unconventional careers’.

successful desi women in the US

Sukhi Singh

Sukhi Singh is the founder of the multi-million dollar Indian food company, ‘Sukhi’s’. Sukhi was responsible for bringing Indian food to mainstream America through venues like farmer’s markets, Wholefoods and Costco. Sukhi was born in India had a natural gift for cooking, inspired by her grandmother. In 1985 she moved to the U.S with a passion and vision for sharing her native cuisine with those who love good food. She was an entrepreneur and with the support of her family, she began cooking in a rented kitchen, selling products at local farmer’s markets, creating a name for herself in the Bay Area. In many ways this is a great example of a classic immigrant journey — the entire family pitched in, demand grew, and a business was born. Sukhi’s passion for cooking Indian food and her strong determination and vision to grow was the inspiration behind Sukhi’s Indian Cuisine
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Minara Rahman

Minara Rahman is the founder of Hijabi Life, a Muslim lifestyle blog. Hijabi Life is about being Muslim in America, food, fashion, beauty, and parenting. As a Muslim American in social media, she felt a void of Muslim lifestyle blogs particularly for women of different sizes. She gets candid about the hurdles and challenges of working in the professional space. Minara El-Rahman is a social media professional who is also a licensed attorney from the San Francisco Bay Area with a passion to inspire our younger generation about Islam, especially in the arts.
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Sandhya Patel

Twenty four years ago, Sandhya Patel broke into one of the toughest industries as a minority woman. Sandhya Patel changed the face of meteorology as she broke barriers with hard work, perseverance and grit to be where she is today. This is her advise to the young girls out there confused about deciding a career path “Work hard and don’t give up! If you really want to do something, reach for the stars because anything is possible! I’m sure you will encounter obstacles … we all do but, learn from them and grow and keep going. Don’t give up on your dreams because I never did, and I am living my dream now!”

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desi women in the US

Nafisa Bakkar

Nafisa Bakkar is the CEO and co-founder of Amaliah, a modest fashion, beauty and lifestyle platform for Muslim women. Nafisa Bakkar and her sister, Selina, launched Amaliah from their mother’s kitchen table in 2015 as an Instagram page to curate Muslim-friendly clothes from top brands. In the last two years, Nafisa and her co-founder sister, Selina, built a community of over 250,000 users who turn to Amaliah for curated modest fashion. The platform includes over 70 collaborators who share stories of the ethnically rich and diverse Muslim women’s community. Nafisa has definetly created an impact and she has build this business without compromising on her values.
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[blockquote author=”Gretchin Rubin” ]What I do or my work is exactly what I would do if nobody paid me[/blockquote]

Amita Roy

Amita Roy is the founder of on raising culturally aware children. She’s an author, educator and thought leader. Amita made it her life’s mission to empower parents to invest in the cultural wellbeing of children so that they become connected to their identities and increase their curiosity for other cultures of the world. Amita published two children’s books, Lights, Camera, Diwali! and It’s Time For Holi! to tell the stories of Indian American families celebrating the Hindu holidays, Holi (festival of colors) and Diwali (festival of lights), in the US. At the same time Amita is also an Adjunct Professor at San Jose State University. Her mantra is “Try to do one thing every day that gets you out of your comfort zone.”
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women in the US

Minal Mehta

Minal Mehta is the Co-Founder and President of BollyX and her mission is to empower people who have a passion for dance and fitness, to build a vibrant community around healthy living and to share the joy of fitness with others. With an M.B.A. in general management from Harvard Business School, Minal has leveraged her expertise in marketing and strategy to drive BollyX’s brand and build a vibrant community around healthy living. As a master trainer and choreographer for BollyX, she leads instructor certifications across the U.S. and teaches regularly in New York City. Minal was surrounded by a diverse community which gave her the courage to combine her passion for dance and to start her own company. Kudos to her for breaking the stereotype of the “analytical Indian girl”
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Masuma Mansuri desi women

Masuma Mansuri

Masuma Mansuri is the Founder and Creative Director at Pink BANOO. Masuma has a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Textiles and Clothing from UC Davis, and has completed a marketing certification program through UC Berkeley. Since then, she has held corporate positions at several retail organizations including LVMH and Williams-Sonoma Inc.Masuma launched her South Asian women’s clothing brand benefiting girls’ education in need in May 2014. Masuma overcame barriers and broke into the fashion industry without having a formal education on the subject, challenged herself and dared greatly after a five year career hiatus and helped over one hundred and fifty girls (still counting) receive an education. She is one confident Asian woman who is following her dreams!
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What does your career path look? I’m curious to know

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