Meet The Crew

Sahil Singh Aleria

Sahil Singh Aleria

Graphics/Video Partner

Hello I am Sahil Singh Aleria from New Delhi, India.
I am just a storyteller and my means of telling a story are rapping, direction and photography. Alongwith that, I am a visual and digital artist. I’m currently running my record label in New Delhi, SUNFLOWER RECORDS. I have been working in this field for around 3 years. You can have a look at my work and profile in the following links.

Hima Barot

Hima Barot

Operations
Harbir Bassi

Harbir Bassi

Photographer

Hi, I’m Harbir Bassi! and it’s going to be my second time taking photos at UDC. Born and raised in Queens, NY and currently a junior at Vaughn College studying airport management and air traffic control.

Favorite Desi Food: Butter Chicken

Mohit Batra

Mohit Batra

Co-director, Hospitality

Hey what’s up, my name is Mohit Batra! I am 23 year old currently in Optometry School. Along with that, I am a dancer, entrepreneur, as well as an avid campaigner to bring the South Asian fever to different people and of different races. I view as myself as an entertainer while also trying to make a difference in the world, through healthcare and by bringing a smile to everyone I talk to.

Along with that, I will be launching my own company soon (details TBA) but in the meantime, look forward to seeing what a show we put on for #UDC2018 🙂

Prakriti Chadha

Prakriti Chadha

Conference Operations

Hi,  I am Prakriti Chadha! I am new to working with the Urban Desi Crew. I was born in India raised in New Jersey and have been here most of my life. I am a New Jersey Institute of Technology Alum. I am a Certified Financial Planner at Fidelity Investments , where I am helping individual and families with their long term financial planning. When I am not doing retirement planning and crunching numbers; I enjoy a lot  of performing arts and music that NYC has to offer. My favorite kind of music is Punjabi and Hindi and my perfect day includes good music and good friends. I am looking forward to seeing you at UDC 2018

Abhinav Chintakunta

Abhinav Chintakunta

Co-Founder, Production

I am Abhinav, currently a first-year MBA student at the Johns Hopkins University. Although my background is primarily in the Pharma sector, I have various passion projects within the entertainment field. Along with being a co-founder of UDC, I am part of the production teams of the New York Indian Film Festival and the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival. Originally, I am from Hyderabad, India, and also a huge fanatic of its legendary cuisine. This year I look forward to meeting many of you and our team hopes to showcase an exceptional and an unforgettable experience.

Nila Choudhury

Nila Choudhury

Press, Hospitality

Hello! My name is Nila Choudhury. I’m a journalist working on a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Yes, I know it makes no sense, but I make it work. I’ve built a career in the field of journalism for over 6 years now putting to use my encyclopedic knowledge of useless Bollywood and urban desi information. I live on pizza and bagels so clearly I’m a New Yorker, born and raised. I love to sing badly, stay up past my bedtime reading and watch corny Bollywood movies. The Urban Desi Conference and Concert is near and dear to my heart so I’m pleased to be apart of this event once again.  

Himanshu Darji

Himanshu Darji

Photographer

My name is Himanshu Darji and I am a current student pursuing my bachelors in Electrical Computer Engineering & Technology. I have been doing photography for 4 years now and I am an aspiring celebrity / fashion photographer!

Malay Desai

Malay Desai

Operations

My Name is Malay Desai! I am currently a Undergrad business student at Rutgers. I am big foodie and traveler. I love listening to new music. Love meeting new people. I currently work for PNC bank and a Event Company called M4U Events. This is my second year being fully part of UDC. Glad to be part of a growing organization.

Asim Farooki

Asim Farooki

Photography

Hi I’m Asim Farooki and consider myself very lucky to be an award winning photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on Fashion and Media. Most of my work has been featured on the international front including countless work in Bollywood and Pakistani Media. I took a hiatus from my medical career to pursue my passion of the arts and thats usually a big no-no for a brown guy so I definitely am not your average guy. I’ve ventured into Hollywood with my acting, directing and production. I can’t dance for my life but my love for music and the arts has gotten me to where I am today. I was a panelist for UDC2017 and look fwd to contributing once again. A little known fact, i’ve lost over 190 pounds to live the life I’m trying to make today, so anything can be dreamt and fought for!

 

Follow me
IG: @asimfarooki
FB: Asim Farooki Photography

Neha Gandhi

Neha Gandhi

Operations

Hi, I’m Neha Gandhi! I’m a communications, media relations and events specialist based out of New York City. I am a co-Director for the national South Asian a cappella championship competition All-American Awaaz, presented by the non-profit organization the Association of South-Asian A cappella. I love discovering interesting, artistic, musical and unusual experiences, which can range from Breaking-Bad pop-up bars and secret rooftop alternative rock shows to dark alley theatre productions and interactive Christmas light installations. You can usually find me harmonizing with the sounds of the ACE trains.

You can discover and connect with me by following me!
Facebook: @nehaggandhi
Instagram: @nehaggandhi
Twitter: @nehaggandhi

Furwa Hussain

Furwa Hussain

Food/Beverage

My name is Furwa J. Hussain. My family is from Gilgit, Pakistan and I have been a New Yorker since 2003. I am a published author and am in the process of writing children’s books highlighting the qualities of the desi diaspora. The hope is to fight prejudice against cultures at a very young age. I am employed by the NYCDOE and am on my way to becoming a licensed therapist. Along with my professional aspirations, I run a small community non-profit called Who is Hussain NYC/NJ – currently, we are building a house with Habitat for Humanity for a family in need. In this past year, we were able to start a donate your birthday initiative and served over 1000 meals. Our goal is to open community service opportunities for brown communities.

The smell of spices in my coat, every time I walk out of my house makes me Desi. The urge to drink chai with my egg benedict makes me Desi. The pride I feel when I hear Mundiya by Punjabi MC at an American party makes me Desi. Being a self-proclaimed Sufi and enjoying Bulleh Shah poetry makes me Desi. Being able to rejoice in the beauty of the following sentence makes me Desi! “Masjid Dha De, Mandir Dha De, Dha De Jo Kucch Dainda,
Par Kisi Da Dil Na Dhain, Rab Dilan Vich Rehnda”

Make sure to connect for more Sufi poetry or community service opportunities:
Instagram – Furwahussain
Facebook – Furwa J. Hussain

Hassan Jaffrey

Hassan Jaffrey

Transportation
Monty L. Kataria

Monty L. Kataria

Co-Founder, Host
Being born in New Delhi, India to a simple family and by growing up all over the world, I can consider myself a global citizen. The education I have received in the capital of the world, New York City, the citizenship of this globe has only been enhanced. With the constant support and teachings of my parents, extended family members in India and the involved South Asian community here in New York, I have been able to stay connected and true to myself and my roots. I have been connected to my community here in ‘the city that never sleeps’ in a very dedicated manner. I spend most of my time heading Production at the New York Indian Film Festival and co-chairing the youth committee at the Association of Indians in America, NY Chapter. Both these not-for-profit organizations focus on the South Asian communities as well as the new immigrant population coming in every day. Using powerful networking tools such as social media, email blasts, mass marketing and providing the audience correct information that is relevant to them and much more is the key to success in connecting both the market and the people that the market is comprised of. As I mentioned above, the correct training infused with the hands-on experience in the community itself will enable me and the community to become more close-knit and provide unity in the diverse melting pot both for New York and the larger universe we live in.
 
– Monty Lokesh Kataria (@montyislive)
Riya Kaur

Riya Kaur

Operations

I am from Long Island, New York and i’m currently pursuing my bachelors in Speech Pathology at Queens College. I am an aspiring actress and my hobbies include playing the piano, dancing, and trying new food places! I also have an interest in pageantry and was crowned as Miss Teen India USA in 2014 and Miss India NY in 2016. My favorite Indian sweet is Gulab Jamans!

 

Instagram: @riyakaur_

Sahil Kumar

Sahil Kumar

Transportation

I am Sahil Kumar! I am a 2nd year with the Urban Desi Concert & Conference. I was born & raised in India. I am Punjabi at my core. I would like to believe I am a Jack of all trades. Most of my days are spent managing my family owned Indian Restaurant and in my spare time cooking up a delicious meal. My brother and I also have our own DJ entertainment company DJ1ENYC where we work hard to bring our guest the best music from many of the artist that you will see in UDC and more. I enjoy singing and have a vast taste in music , those that know me say that I like music in all era but the 90’s are my favorite .I am excited to be a part of the UDC team and looking forward to seeing you all.

Follow Me 👇🏻
Instagram- Sahilkumar9
Snapchat- Sahilkumar90
Facebook- Sahil Kumar (Honey)

Zahid Mahmood

Zahid Mahmood

Videography

My name is Zahid Mahmood, a New York born Bangladeshi working full time in the start-up world. I started our photography/video company called IMI.NYC with a close buddy named Owen. I am also a part of a band called Blazin Annex where we released multiple mainstream albums back home and now currently produce other artist straight out of our basement studio. My hobbies are my oxygen, but chai keeps me alive =)

Follow me on Instagram – @imi.nyc

Nihar Makwana

Nihar Makwana

Videography

Hi my name is Nihar Makwana, I am currently a 4th year graphic design student at NYIT. I was born and raised in a suburb right outside of Philadelphia. Photography and video have been a passion of mine from a very young age and about 6 years ago now I started my own photo/video business. Along with photography and video I have a passion for dance and music which is why I can’t wait for UDC 2018!

Instagram: _NiharMakwana_
Twitter: _NiharMakwana_
Website: www.niharmakwana.net

Raj Maheshwari

Raj Maheshwari

Co-director, Hospitality

Hi, I’m Raj Maheshwari! I’m a third-year veteran with the Urban Desi Crew, born and raised in New York and a proud alum of Queens College. When I’m not chowing down samosas in Jackson Heights, you can find me working at my family business where we manufacture and supply Ghee across the United States. I’m a Rajasthani at heart, like to think I’m a good dancer, love the Hindi 90’s playlist on Saavn and can’t wait to see you this year at our show!

 

Follow me

Facebook – Raj Maheshwari

Instagram – @iamrajmaheshwari

Twitter- @dearrajusa18

Simran Jeet Saini

Simran Jeet Saini

Transportation

Hey this is Simran Jeet Singh aka Sainisaab. Born and raised in New Delhi, India. This is my third year with the team of UDC. I also am indulge with a lot of event plannings and did shows as well. I did my bachelors in Electronic and Comp. Engineering from NYIT. I was also a part of Bhangra team in NYC few years ago.
Favorite Indian food is obviously Butter Chicken and Naan (no doubt about that one)

Social media links :
Instagram : i.sainisaab
Facebook : www.facebook.com/simransinghsaini1989
Twitter : @SimranSaini1989

Trisha Sakhuja-Walia

Trisha Sakhuja-Walia

Co-director, Hospitality

Trisha Sakhuja-Walia—a digital content curator and social media strategist with a knack for event planning—manages more than 100 contributors, and oversees business development and marketing efforts at  BrownGirlMagazine.com—an online magazine created by and for South Asian women who believe in the power of storytelling as a vehicle for community building and empowerment. With a passion for publishing meaningful content, she’s always on the hunt for the next big story. Raised as an Indian-American in the suburbs of New York City, she is proud of her hyphenated identity and continues to find unique ways to empower young women living in the diaspora.

Follow her on Instagram @tsakhuja_Walia for lifestyle inspo.

Chanpreet Singh

Chanpreet Singh

Co-founder, Finance
Prerit Seth

Prerit Seth

Digital Media Partner

Hi, I’m Prerit. Born in India and having grown up in New Jersey / New York city, I’ve found a personal connection to the Urban Desi culture, music, and movement.  Alongside pursuing my undergraduate education at University of California, I’m also an entrepreneur and creative in the media and advertising world. I run my own agency, Seth Studios, which offers marketing, website development, virtual reality, xand brand strategy services to a wide range of clients. I’m passionate about the urban desi culture and music as it has allowed me to rekindle my desi identity while also maintaining an authentic “western” twist to my heritage. It’s inspired me to throw major events, club nights, and shows across Los Angeles and New York with top desi talent. I’m also a huge history nerd, chaat enthusiast, and a sucker for old Shahrukh Khan films.

 

Say what’s up to me at:

Follow Seth Studios

Somya Sharma

Somya Sharma

Operations

Hi, my name’s Somya Sharma and I’m stoked to be part of the Urban Desi crew! Born and raised in NJ (aka Little India), I’m so excited to see the Indian community coming together more than ever before to succeed across all industries. I’m pursuing a dual career in medicine and entertainment, focused on fusion dance and modeling. My art incorporates facets of all different cultures, and aims to create a more integrated, fluid understanding between different social groups. To me, being an Urban Desi means being grounded in our traditions, and also a global citizen at the same time. I hope UDC can help you celebrate this concept and evoke a deeper sense of community into Indians across the globe.

Siddhi Vaishnav

Siddhi Vaishnav

Operations

Hi, my name is Siddhi Vaishnav & I’m a lifelong born & bred New Yorker with a few adventurous pit stops in Bombay & Antigua where I dabbled in acting/modeling & medicine respectively. I have my own boutique fashion label called Clic By Siddhi & I’ve been a dancer/choreographer for over 3 decades with my mom’s dance school, Nartan Rang Dance Academy of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan as well as various NYC troupes including my alma mater NYU Nasha. You can’t keep me too far from Gujarati khichu or rasiya muthiya or I’ll probably eat your hand to get to them! My life quote hasn’t changed since I was 11 & I still live by it: “In life as in dance, grace glides on blistered feet.”

Jashima Wadehra

Jashima Wadehra

Conference Operations

Hi, I am Jashima Wadehra!
A writer/brand strategist by day, aspiring Kalakar by night. You can find me practicing my Giddha and Bhangra or trying to break the gol gappa eating world record, I like to think  with a Punjabi soundtrack anything is possible. When I’m not eating or dancing , I’m traveling to new places searching for untold stories. I can’t wait to meet you in the city I call home at UDC 2018!

Let’s connect:
FB: Jashima Wadehra
Instagram: TheChatterboxLifeEnthusiast

Divya Jethwani

Divya Jethwani

Conference Operations
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