For the relaunch issue of The Asian Era as a lifestyle magazine, we brainstormed quite a bit for the right cover story idea. Profiling some people who have given away their substantial wealth for charity? Nah! Who besides 5 Hour Energy founder, Manoj Bhargava, because other well known names – like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett – are not South Asian. How about profiling some beautiful South Asian women? Nah! Who is to decide — beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Besides, in our holistic outlook, inner beauty is as important as the outer.
Albeit that line of thought led us to this cover story: profiling12 inspiring, successful women. Women, because they still face challenges in their chosen careers even in America. Indian American women more so. So we should acknowledge the ones who manage to achieve what they set out to. Learn from them. Our girls can seek inspiration from these role models.
Considering our media house is headquartered in New York, and our circulation is mainly in the East Coast region, we confined our search for cover story profiles to the NY-NJ-CT area. We were not looking for Nikki Haley or Indra Nooyi type of women, because much is known about them and their story. After some persistent efforts and follow ups we were able to get interviews with those on our priority list. As you can see, these 12 women are from diverse fields – from politics to music, and from philanthropy to accountancy. Some have broken family taboos, others pursued unconventional careers, and some others who have achieved excellence in two different fields of activity. We asked these women to tell us the highlights of their stories, to share the secret of their success as well as lessons learn, and give inspiring messages for Indian Americans, young girls of the community in particular.