Where In the World Are The South Asian Podcasters?
Find the best South Asian podcasts from around the world
1:50 PM GMT+1 on September 7, 2023
It feels surreal. My face, magnified a hundred times, stares back at me from giant billboards in Leicester Square London and Fashion Avenue in New York.
As a podcaster, being on giant billboards in the two biggest cities in the world is a rare “pinch-me moment”. I feel the same way when I’m picking up awards for my Masala Podcast.
I try hard to savour these BIG moments but it’s hard. Being visible as a South Asian podcaster living in the West is so rare, that it feels unreal. I often walk around awards dos and podcasting shows feeling like I don’t really belong in these spaces, because I see so few South Asians.
South Asian podcasters are so few that I can’t even find data on how many South Asian podcasters there are. Trust me, I’ve looked.
This is astonishing when South Asians make up 25.2% of the world’s population (not including the diaspora). We’re highly visible in so many professions, medicine, engineering, law, tech but not podcasting.
South Asian Heritage month (18th July to 17th August) did inspire a few “Top South Asians list” but we need much more visibility as podcasters.
So I set out to do put together a list of the best South Asian podcasts from around the world (this list is focussed on the global South Asian diaspora).
I wanted to show the world that we can make bloody good podcasts that also create social impact.
Here’s my list of Top South Asian Podcasts:
Masala Podcast is my South Asian feminist podcast tackling cultural taboos, from sex to porn to nipple hair. I try to talk about deeply personal experiences and interview some of the world’s most powerful South Asian women. The podcast has won multiple awards and has been featured extensively in the press. The brand new season explores the American South Asian feminist experience. Look out for references to sex and Bombay Mix.
Brown Girls Do It Too
British South Asian Hosts Poppy and Rubina confess to all sorts of funny and intimate details of their sex lives, from dirty talk to the A to Z of sex toys. Having won multiple awards and now with their own stage show- “Brown Girls Do It Too: Mama Told Me Not To Come”. I went to see the show myself and couldn’t stop laughing!
Ami Thakkar Raval was a lawyer, a freelance writer, a backup Bollywood dancer, a DJ and now a podcaster. “Tuckered out” from figuring out her true calling, Ami decided to interview the diaspora of global South Asian trailblazers to hear how they had figured it all out and highlight their fab contributions. With lots of uncle jokes thrown in.
South Asian Trailblazers
Host Simi Shah aims to amplify stories of South Asian success, so that generations of South Asians can hear from leaders who look and sound like them. They’ve interviewed trailblazing South Asians, including ClassPass Founder Payal Kadakia and Actor Kal Penn. Expect to hear some inspiring success stories.
South Asian Stories
Show host Sameer Desai has an award-winning podcaster talking to successful South Asians around the world. Interviews include high-profile folks like Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Asha Rangappa from CNN, Raj Bhavsar from the US Olympic Team, Priya Krishna with NYTimes, filmmaker Gotham Chopra, Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, and musician Madame Gandhi. Listen out for some big name guests.
That Desi Spark
A South Asian millennial podcast, where hosts Nehal Tenany and Annika Sharma talk about topics that impact their dual South Asian American identity. Their aim is to “spark South Asian conversations and ignite the world.” I loved listening to their interview with Maitreyi Ramakrishnan from “Never Have I Ever”.
Girls That Invest
Hosts Sim and Sonya, are on a mission to make the world of investing less intimidating for women. Their podcast, Girls That Invest, has over 5million downloads and is the world’s #1 investing podcast for women. Featured as Forbes 30 under 30, TEDx US, Vogue, Forbes USA and Business Insider, they’ve just announced that their company “Girls That Invest Media” is now a multi-million dollar company. Isn’t this super inspiring?
This wonderful podcast is a “safe space for BIPOC 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and allies.” Hosts Sharon and Niri are two queer South Asian cis women on a mission to highlight and celebrate queer and trans folks in their local community through this podcast. I love what Sher Vancouver stands for!
Roots with South Asian Today
Sick of the usual chai and Bollywood tropes, this podcast dives deeper into identity, gender, race, caste and sexuality through conversations with South Asian voices from across the world. This podcast comes from South Asian Today, Australia's first media start-up for South Asian women and non-binary folks. Made in Melbourne. Loved all around the world.
Know more South Asian podcasters? Let’s make South Asian podcasting more visible, please fill in this form.
You can follow Sangeeta on Instagram here.
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