The founder of DESIblitz Arts, Indi Deol, was told by his teacher at school that he would ‘never amount to much in life’ – which only spurred him on to become a shining light for British Asians in media, literature, and more…
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
I was raised in a working-class environment by my parents who came over to England in the early 70’s from Punjab, India. At primary school I was often in special classes where the kids who were slow starters were taught how to read and write properly. I remember being told by one teacher that I would never amount to much, but as those words echoed in my mind they spurred me on to work double hard and persevere to succeed in my life. My favourite subject at school was art and at college I decided to combine that with fashion design. At De Montfort University, I graduated with an honour’s degree in Fashion and Textile design. In Birmingham, like most other places outside of the capital, fashion design jobs were virtually non-existent and so I found myself moving to London to work but I disliked the move and after a year I was back in Birmingham and now on the scrap heap! I started working in retail and then sales or for anyone who would take me on but my creative side would not let me stop there and so DESIblitz.com was born in 2008.
IT’S WHAT I DO
I try and empower other people to tell their stories and try to create a fairer representation of British Asians within media, literature and many other sectors. Last year I launched DESIblitz Arts to provide a platform that supports and introduces new authors, spoken word artists and poets. Our literature festival is an annual event – this year it’s run from the middle of September until 1 October – with a series of online and in-person events. We have been working with emerging writers and also with more established authors and artists from British Asian backgrounds who act as role models. DESIblitz Jobs was formed four years ago to provide a service for employers to reach out and recruit from our audience, which mainly comprises of young British Asians and numbers in the hundreds of thousands each month.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE
I would like to help as many people as I can achieve their dreams of working in the media sector or in the creative arts. Through our work with DESIblitz Literature Festival I aim to highlight the quality writing of authors from a South Asian background, bring them to the attention of a wider audience, and to support the publishing industry as it searches to diversify its catalogue of published authors.
Personally, it’s being the fittest version of myself. Professionally, it’s growing DESIblitz to be the largest online British Asian lifestyle magazine in the UK.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
What goes up must come down, so be kind to everyone you meet along the way!
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM
Where do I start? The people, humour, diversity and how no other place I have visited or lived in gives me the same homely feeling.
To relax I like to go for long fast-paced walks, to the gym or listen to some good reggae or hip-hop music.