Mentorship Mondays

South Asians in Sports is launching Mentorship Mondays! 

Meet with sports industry mentors every Monday via Zoom for three weeks in August! Get to know and learn from leading South Asian sports industry professionals from Canada and the USA every week for 1 hour. 

This program is by application only. Fill out this short application in order to be considered and matched with a business leader within your industry/area of interest. Groups of 3 mentees will be assigned to one mentor. This program is open to professionals and students.

The deadline to apply is July 20th, 5pm EST. Limited spots are available. Mentorship Mondays is only available to members of SAIS (join here). 

Meet the Mentors:

AKASH JAIN – Consultant, Business Development, Marketing and International Strategy

ANMOL  MALHOTRA – Head of Sports Partnerships, Snap Inc.

AKSHAY KHANNA – General Manager, North America, StubHub

BOBBY SAHNI – Partner & Cofounder, Ethnicity Matters

DEV SETHI – Head of Sports, Instagram

GOPAL PATEL – Director, Corporate Partnerships, Canucks Sports and Entertainment

INDIVAR KUSHARI – Chief Data & Information Officer, Canadian Football League

ISHVEEN ANAND – CEO & Cofounder, OpenSponsorship

VINAY VIRMANI – Partner & Chief Content Officer, UNINTERRUPTED

VIJAY SETLUR – Marketing Instructor, Concacaf and Marketing Instructor, Schulich School of Business-York University

Questions? Email us:

SAIS Statement on Current Events

South Asians in Sports is deeply saddened and angered by the numerous men, women and children of color who have been systematically oppressed by the deep-rooted racism in our society. We at South Asians in Sports stand in solidarity with the Black community. We condemn these recurring instances of both overt violence as well as wide-spread insidious oppression inflicted upon the Black community.

We are also aware of the South Asian community’s perpetuation of prejudice against Black Americans. We urge our members to address anti-blackness in your own homes and community. As a network that is made up of over 500 sports-industry professionals, we must encourage athletes and leagues to use the immense power of their platform for justice. These platforms can move society in the direction of critical thought, equality and peace. 

Take action to encourage reform.

Looking for Internships in 2020?


Looking for the perfect sports internship? We have put together some opportunities that can help our student members get a foot in the door to sports. We will be updating our permanent internships page as and when opportunities become available.

Looking for sports business events to attend this year? Check out our list with discount codes.

Program Name
Contact (if any)
Program Link
NASCAR Diversity Internship Program
USTA Undergraduate D&I Internship
Stefanie Iennaco—human-resources/national/usta-internships.html
USTA MBA D&I Internship
Donna Dozier—human-resources/national/usta-internships.html
PGA Works Fellowship
Diveristy Fellowship Program
Tyrone Brooks
Associate Program
Red Sox
Take the Lead Fellowship
Internship Program
Associates Program

Member Spotlight: Harshal Sisodia

Current Location: Seattle, WA

Occupation / Current Title & Organization you represent: CMO + Co.Founder of Super Heroic // //

We are a children’s experience company that focuses on footwear and apparel. As parents first, we are driven by our children and their amazing outlook on life,  their sense of adventure, and their creativity.

We don’t ever want our children to question their superpowers or their ability to achieve, so we made it our mission to do something about it.

Why did you choose to have a career in the sports industry?

I don’t know if I chose this career as much as it’s picked me. What drove me was trying to find a career in which I can express my creativity in different ways from ideation to execution and all the steps in-between. I also grew up in a sports household – my dad was an avid cricket player, and we were always around hi-caliber athletes like Sunil Gavaskar and that iconic 80’s Indian cricket team. So I think being around those guys gave me a love for sports. Which then manifested itself into my career path of advertising, which then led to Jordan and Nike. All were preparing me for my own company.

How has being a South Asian impacted your career in sports (positively or negatively)?

It’s in every aspect of who I am.
My culture, my identity is what gives me my perspective on things. From marketing campaigns to creative to having empathy and treating people with respect. So from that aspect, it’s incredibly positive.

From a negative standpoint – I have had to fight racism and stereotypes the entire way because I was the only brown person that I knew of doing what I was doing – so it’s not as if I had a network to lean on or someone to follow. I just had to keep my head down – and grind. I will say also I have faced an equal amount of stereotypes from our own people as well. Which was and still is super disheartening, but I use it as an opportunity to change those stereotypes one person at a time.

My hope is I can share my story for the next generation so they can learn and have the tools to handle it and fight it.

What was your inspiration for designing a shoe just for kids?

For me, it was about getting back to treating our kids like the kids they are and not mini-consumers. Making products that have empathy and thought and passion built-in – not just a profit margin. We see our selves as the guardians of the creative youth – and our entire DNA is getting kids to be more confident and helping them achieve. Lastly, I knew we could deliver on all this because of our team – which also includes the world’s foremost experts in the industry, not to mention my Co.Founder Jason Mayden.

What advice would you give to the next generation of South Asian sports industry professionals or those trying to break into the industry?

Nothing is given. You have to network, but more importantly, be and build authentic relationships. If you’re true to yourself, things will fall in line because people vibe off that authenticity. I would rather have ten folks that I can call at any moment to rock versus 100 that are just mutual relationships.

Second – be respectful of the process and the legacy. From footwear to sports organization – the countless amount of time that has gone into building these things – they won’t change overnight – you have to understand why things were done a certain way so that you can apply the change or expertise you bring to it.

Serena had this excellent quote which I have been vibing with –  “Not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn’t stop winning.”

Go get it, and as always reach out and ask for help if you need it. We are stronger together.

Event Recap: How Social Media is Impacting Sports Culture

South Asians in Sports

On Tuesday, August 6, the South Asians in Sports organization presented a panel discussion entitled, “How Social Media is Impacting Sports Culture” at SeatGeek’s headquarters in SoHo, New York. The event offered attendees unique insights into the nexus of social media and sports through  stories and advice from two accomplished professionals, Anmol Malhotra, Head of Sports Partnerships, Snap Inc.(the parent company of Snapchat) and Dev Sethi, Head of Sports, Instagram. The discussion was moderated by Jyoti Agarwal, a Lecturer at Columbia University and a Harvard M.B.A., who is an established strategy and marketing leader with more than fifteen years of experience leading teams to drive success. The event, which lasted from 6-8 p.m. was free and open to the public, drawing approximately sixty attendees from a range of backgrounds and walks of life, including athletes, students, career professionals, and fans.

South Asians in Sports

Agarwal kicked off the event by asking the panelists about their career paths. An enlightening discussion ensued as Malhotra and Sethi narrated their journeys from backgrounds in technology, advertising, and finance to the sports’ social media universe. They explained that their diverse experiences had offered them transferable skill sets and perspectives, which have fostered success in their current roles in sports industry.

South Asians in Sports

Malhotra oversees sports partnerships at Snap Inc., leading relationships with leagues, broadcasters, and rights holders including the NFL, NBA, MLB, UFC, FIFA, Fox, Turner Sports, and NBC. In this role, he also focuses on strategy for several content partnerships and sales initiatives with leagues, teams, and athletes to help them engage new audiences, experiment with innovative forms of distribution and achieve their business objectives. In addition, Malhotra helps manage international growth initiatives with sports partners across Asia, Europe, MENA, and Latin America. Anmol is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and resides in New York City.

South Asians in Sports

Sethi oversees strategic partnerships at Instagram, across the sports ecosystem, which includes athletes, leagues, teams, and media. Before joining Instagram, Sethi was Complex Networks’ first Chief of Staff reporting to CEO Rich Antoniello. There he was responsible for developing strategic external partnerships as well as aligning internal operations across content, business development, finance and production with the goal of maximizing output and efficiencies across Complex’s portfolio of millennial-focused brands.  Dev is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a native of the D.C. Metro Area.


Both panelists explained that all social platforms are eventually looking to accomplish the same things within the sports industry – to consistently find unique ways to engage fans through their platforms. As a matter of coincidence, they both arrived at their current roles from non-sports positions and offered salient career advice. Malhotra explained, “There is no right or wrong career path in the sports industry. One should be flexible. I started in finance but always knew that I would want to work in sports.” And Sethi added, “Sometimes, it is also helpful to take a break from work to channelize your inner self and reassess what is best for you. Be persistent and patient in pursuit of opportunities and also find ways to make yourself unique.”

South Asians in Sports panel discussion and networking event Aug 2019.

Audience members asked the panelists probing questions about each of their day to day responsibilities: “What does the social media space look like in the near future?” “What are some of the resources that they look at to keep up with the latest news within the sports industry?” Sethi and Malhotra listed the Sports Business Journal and Front Office Sports as excellent resources for staying in the loop. They also suggested that those interested in the field consult books written by people about the industry.

After the enriching discussion, the panelists took part in a networking session, interacting personally with the attendees. As gracious hosts, SeatGeek provided an inviting space and ample refreshments. This was a wonderful, enlightening event that offered participants new and helpful insights into the complex integration of social media and sports from two prominent leaders within the space. Through SAIS convening this gathering, those attending, from so many different backgrounds and career stages, were able to meet, share, and learn.

Authored by
Vratik Sharma

Event: How Social Media is Impacting Sports Culture

South Asians in Sports is excited to host our upcoming panel discussion and networking event titled, How Social Media is Impacting Sports Culture. Join us on Tuesday August, 6th at the SeatGeek office for a discussion with the head of sports partnerships from two leading social platforms, Anmol Malhotra (Head of Sports Partnerships, Snap Inc.) and Dev Sethi (Head of Sports, Instagram). Learn about their journeys, current business challenges and predictions for the future of sports business. The discussion will be moderated by Jyoti Agarwal, Lecturer at Columbia University Sports Management School (previously, NBA).
Special thanks to SeatGeek for graciously hosting the event.

When: Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 6pm-8pm

Where: SeatGeek, 400 Lafayette St Fl 4, New York, NY 10003

A free event open to members and non-members. Must RSVP to attend.

Doors will open at 6pm. Event starts promptly at 6:30pm.

Click here to RSVP

South Asians in Sports panel discussion and networking event Aug 2019.

May Member Meetup Recap and Pics

Last night, South Asians in Sports hosted our first networking event of the year. The meetup took place at Baar Baar, a trendy new gastropub in New York City’s Lower East Side. Attendees mingled over delicious hors d’oeuvre courtesy of the restaurant and drinks. Sports professionals from various industries; media, marketing, law, business development and tech and sports; basketball, cricket, baseball and tennis had a chance to network with one another.

Check out the pictures from South Asians in Sports Member Meetup below.


Member Meetup in New York City


As we continue to grow, it inspires us to learn just how many South Asians are making waves in sports. We wanted to give our members an opportunity to connect in person. Join us on Tuesday, May 28th from 6-8pm at a trendy new Indian gastropub, Baar Baar in New York City. Enjoy lite bites courtesy of Baar Baar, and a happy hour cash bar as you mingle with fellow professionals. RSVP here.

Member Spotlight: Quazi Syque Caesar, a Trailblazer for South Asian Gymnastics

“It was the first sport I ever played, it was the first organized sport I’d tried. It’s the only sport I’ve ever done. And it clicked.”

Quazi Syque Caesar is a gymnast from Florida, who has represented the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Bangladesh national gymnastics team in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Winner of Bangladesh’s first international gold at the Central South Asian Artistic Gymnastic Championships in December 2011, Caesar is now retired and currently the Assistant Coach of the Stanford University Men’s Gymnastics team. His introduction to gymnastics was serendipitous, encountering a flyer for gymnastics while he and his father were walking home. His father asked young Caesar if he wanted to try it. His training began in 1997 in Florida, where he was the “only South Asian in the facility” as far as he can remember. He remembers the gym had “people from all kinds of background, and everyone was very welcoming.” Thus began a journey that would see him perform at the college level for the University of Michigan and at the international level for Bangladesh, a country he holds dual-citizenship for alongside the United States.

Caesar+Quazi+Syque+Asian+Games+Day+6+0Re1GGztH6rlCaesar understands the financial sacrifices his parents had to make to adhere to his training. One of three children, Caesar tells us about the expenses that come for parents when putting their kids through gymnastics. The cost of uniforms, competition fees, and coaches’ fees all add up.

“My parents were struggling a bit sometimes,” he says, with no shortage of gratitude. “We were driving and travelling all over the place. There was definitely a time and financial burden in the family. But they were really supportive the entire time.”

Athleticism is in his blood. Caesar’s father had been a soccer player for the Bangladeshi national team and encouraged his son to push himself to the next level. His mother was excited as well. They were both pleased by his determination and commitment to the sport.

Balancing academics with training was much easier in high school for Caesar than in college. The latter proved to be a struggle, especially in his first two years.

“In school I had figured out the system,” he tells us “I got straight A’s because I had figured out how to get straight A’s.”

As for college, the gymnast wasn’t sure how to study or learn material in the same way he had cracked the system in high school. He freaked out when he saw a D in his report card in his freshman year, an incident he refers to as an “eye-opening experience.” Incidentally, he was injured his sophomore year, and used that time to regain focus on school. By junior year, he got the hang of doing a better job balancing his academics with his gymnastics training.

The process for Caesar to represent Bangladesh in the Olympics started in late 2010. His college coach suggested that if Caesar was interested in taking his gymnastics career to the next level that he consider competing for his home country, a thought that had not occurred to him before, although his father had been thinking of it for a while.

“In the year 2011, we started that whole process, thinking if I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it all the way,” he says. “My dad had contact within Bangladesh Olympic Association and the general sports federation and then we just started conversation and a year and a half-long process.”

By the end of 2011, he was able to compete for Bangladesh.

His community at the US were as equally as supportive as his immediate family to his status as an Olympian. He loves the feeling of being recognized, and being asked for his autograph. Everyone around him, and especially his family, was highly supportive and proud.

Naturally, there were cons alongside pros to his rigorous schedule, especially when it came to family and culture. Fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan was challenging, since he had to go through intense training four hours a day. He remembers trying to fast during training and literally losing consciousness.

Although in general the South Asian family lifestyle suited his training since his family had late dinner. But he also missed out on special family time since he was on a strict routine.

“My schedule in high school was waking up at 5.45 in the morning, drive to school, which was 25 miles away,” he remembers. “So I’d leave around 6.15, get there right before 7, had school from 7-2. Then I’d drive another 60 or so miles or so to the gym. I’d get there around 3.40, and had practice 4-9. Then another long journey back. I’d get back home around 10 o’clock. I’d eat dinner, do my homework. And refresh all over again.”

This wasn’t uncommon between the higher level high school gymnasts. But for him, this meant missing out on quality time with his family, as well as missing out on spending weekends with extended family in Florida.

While Caesar absolutely loved the thrill of competition, he had to retire because of the brutal training.

“To compete at the highest level you can’t do anything except train,” he says. “It was a full-time job. That’s just at the gym. In order to get at that level you’re gonna get injured, you have to do physical therapy, you have to do rehabilitation work. It was pretty brutal, if you wanted to be good. I’m someone who didn’t just want to participate.”

He also mentions that there isn’t much financial gain when it comes to male gymnasts in the US, unlike somewhere like Japan where the men overshadow the women. Moreover, he didn’t have a real job or work experience until he was 24 years old, because he had done nothing for train for almost twelve years of his life.

He misses competing immensely, from the the adrenaline rush, to the feeling of nailing his routine. He also misses the brotherhood that comes with being part of a collegiate team.

“When you’re growing up in high school in the comp level you’re by yourself,” he says, referring to competitions as “boring.” “But in the collegiate world, it’s super loud and exciting and being obnoxious and in general teammates behind you just roaring and cheering. I miss being a part of it and knowing I’m competing against the best in the world. That was motivating for me. And to be able to prove myself.”

While he was finishing off school in communications and sports management, Caesar was trying to figure out future employment. His only work experience had been as an administrative assistant at the University of Michigan.

“I had nothing, all I had was gymnastics, I was a gymnastics nerd through and through,” he recalls. “There was a point I’d seen all the college men’s gymnastics video on YouTube. I was all in, was always a student of the sport, a fan of the sport. And during the time I was training, I’d help guide the coach. Something just clicked, that it was something that I was good at.”

Syque_Caesar_JT_120816_120His friends encouraged him to look into coaching, something he had never realized was a real job as it hadn’t felt like one knowing his club gymnastics coaches growing up. During his last year at Michigan as an administrative assistant, he began reaching out to collegiate coaches across the country. The men’s gymnastics coach at UC Berkeley at the time loved his work, but did not have a position available. But, he talked to the head coach at Stanford, and Caesar got accepted as the Assistant Coach on the Stanford University men’s gymnastics tea, without any coaching experience.

Caesar sees a bright future for South Asians in gymnastics, as the typical body type is suited for the sport.

“You want to be small but you want to be wide. you want to be strong but you want to be quick,” he says. “The people of Bangladesh are built for it. “

However a lot of South Asians currently living in the subcontinent don’t have the privilege to play sports in the proper facilities with trained coaches, and are more asked to focus on academics. His parents’ immigration to the United States definitely paved the path for him to participate in sports professionally, and he had the options available to him.

“You need to have a proper facility, and an educated coach,” he says. “Those two things are super hard to come by. It’s difficult to be a good coach, and have a big or great facility. It’s hard to have the combination of both. It really comes down to having a good coach. Somewhere like Bangladesh it’s gonna be a long process.”

According to Caesar, coaches have to stick with a gymnast from when they are six to the age of eighteen or nineteen years.

Caesar himself is in his fourth year of coaching now at Stanford, as passionate and excited about the sport as ever, glad to have an opportunity to share his knowledge and wisdom. While it is busy, he also loves that it is fun. It is clear that not only does he love coaching, but he loves every single aspect of gymnastics.

Written by Padya Paramita
Instagram: padya307
Twitter: @padya307

The Ascent of Nandita Nagangoudar

Sports can be greater than oneself, and used as a platform for social change. A shining example of an athlete aspiring to work toward a better future for women and children is mountaineer Nandita Nagangoudar.

Born and raised in Hubbali, Karnataka, Nagangoudar has already conquered four of the world’s seven summits. Initially a computer engineer and marketing manager, Nagangoudar now hopes to complete all of the seven highest peaks in the world, with the goal of empowering youth and women across India and the world through her journey and achievements. Her conquered peaks include Asia’s Mt. Everest (South Col), Oceania’s Mt. Carstensz Pyramid, Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, and and her latest conquer Europe’s Mount Elbrus, which she scaled this past October.


She was handed a great honor before her Mt. Carstensz Pyramid expedition, when in 2017, Nagangoudar was chosen to represent the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which comprises of 12 nations, on behalf of India. At the ASEAN flag handover ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia  in 2017, Nagangoudar delivered a speech on the theme of strengthening India’s ties with other nations and womens’ empowerment through mountaineering.

Advocating for social empowerment is not new to Nandita. She believes her dreams “are as big as Everest as she not only aspires for herself but for others too.” Alongside empowering women and speaking for strengthening of India’s ties with the world she also advocates for awareness toward climate change, education, and fitness through all through her adventures completing the Seven Summits.

Nagangoudar’s next expedition awaits her in South America, where she will aspire to scale the continent’s largest peak, Mount Aconcagua of Argentina, which lies in the Andes mountain range. Carrying both the flags of India and Karnataka, Nagangoudar hopes to create awareness for the education and uplifting underprivileged children.


Once she has conquered Mount Aconcagua, Nagangoudar would only have the highest peaks of Antarctica and North America left to complete the the Seven Summits. As Nagangoudar continues to rise, her accomplishments grow with her, and 2019 seems to be a year full of hope for this humble and passionate mountaineer.

You can support/follow Nandita on her next climb on Facebook:

Written by Padya Paramita
Instagram: padya307
Twitter: @padya307