South Asians are spread globe-wide and have contributed to the societies they are a part of and making a difference at a global level. Be it the corporate world, arts, music, fashion, beauty, you name it, we have global icons. Here is a list of desi Icons that make us proud today and make us believe in the limit-less possibilities.
1. Indra Nooyi
Indra Nooyi is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. Nooyi was named President and CEO on October 1, 2006 and assumed the role of Chairman on May 2, 2007. Nooyi leads one of the world’s largest convenient food and beverage companies, with 2008 annual revenues of more than $43 billion. She was named as the 3rd Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune on 2014. The world recognizes her as a true inspiration not only for Indian women but also for all the women of world. It is incredible how she has proved her worth and productivity in a male chauvinistic society. Nooyi is one of the highest-paid business woman in the world, pulling in an astonishing $46 million between September 2013 and September 2014, a nearly $20 million lead over her closest competition.
2. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, is a journalist and documentary filmmaker by profession. She is the first Pakistani to win an Oscar. She won the award for her incredible efforts in documentary: “Pakistan: Children of the Taliban” in 2010. The documentary featured the sensitive issue of children being forced and brainwashed to join the militant forces. Another incredible documentary (2012), which won an Emmy Award is “Saving Face”. The documentary discussed the sensitive issue of acid attacks on Pakistani women. The Documentary featured more than 100 acid attacks incidents on women. Surely she has made Pakistanis women proud through her dedicated work of bringing positive change in Pakistani’s women lives.
3. Nadia Ali
Nadia Ali is a Pakistani American singer and songwriter. She was born in Libya to Pakistani parents in 1980. The family relocated when she was five years old and she was subsequently raised in Queens, New York.
She started her career as songwriter of the band iiO . The band’s first song “rapture” made it to the top 2 on the UK singles. This song also gained popularity all over Europe. This successful journey never stopped there, in year 2006 their single known as “Is it Love” made to the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart. In 2005 she started her career as a solo singer. Her first album “Embers” was released in 2009.
4. Aziz Ansari
Aziz Ansari is a stand up American Comedian; his family is from Tamil Nadu, India. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated from NYU as a business major in 2004. He studied at the South Carolina governor’s school of science and mathematics. He is popular for his skills to add Desi element to his comedy.
In the year 2000, Ansari started his career as standup comedian in New York City. In 2007, he was starred in the show named “Human Giant” because of his comedy skills.His role in this season lead him to gain roles in films like Funny People, I Love You, Man, Observe and Report, and 30 Minutes or Less. In January 2010,He also released his first DVD, named Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening,
5. Lily Singh
Lilly Singh was born on 26 September 1988). Her birth took place in Ontario in Canada. Her parents belong to Punjab India. According to her closed relatives, Liliy Singh has always been a tomboy in her childhood. She studied Psychology from York University. She is also known by her YouTube name Superwoman. She is an Indo-Canadian YouTube personality, motivational speaker and a comedian. After beginning her channel in 2010, she as successful to have gathered over 400 million views, and her channel has over 4 million subscribers. She is particularly famous for her sarcastic takes on everyday life.
6. Amir Khan
Amir Iqbal Khan was born in 8th December 1986. He is an English boxer by profession. He was previously awarded the title of champion of WBA,WBA (Super) and IBF Light Welterweight. He has the honored to be the youngest British Olympic boxing medalist. In year 2004, He has won silver at the Athens Olympics only at the age of 17. He is also privileged to be known as one of the youngest British world champions. At the age of 22, he won the WBA Light Welterweight title, He made Pakistanis proud by being the first-ever British Pakistani boxing major world champion.
Khan was born and grown up in Bolton, England. He was born in a Janjua Rajput family, who had roots in Punjab, Pakistan. He attained his education at Smithills School in Bolton, and Bolton Community College. Being a Muslim, he actively supports the Muslim Writers Awards.
In his family, Khan has two sisters and one brother, Haroon known as “Harry” Khan, an undefeated Professional boxer. Sajid Mahmood, an English cricketer is related to Amir khan through a paternal grandfather. Lal Khan, when discharged from Pak Army, moved to America is Amir’s grandfather.
In 2012 Khan got engaged with Faryal, whom he met in New York, when she was a political science student. Their marriage took place in June 2013 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel; more than 4,000 guests were invited for the ceremony in Amir’s hometown of Bolton.