Asees Singh on How She's Built her Passion Hustle

Tell us about yourself!

I always find this question hard to answer, because where do I even start? I work in PR and built a career over the past decade working with startups across adtech, fintech, and most recently consumer electronics. As I grew my professional career I simultaneously explored and honed my passion for dance by co-founding a dance company called South Asian Grooves, which was a way for me to marry my dual sense of identity as an ethnically South Asian person growing up in the U.S. I like to say I have a passion hustle, which is dancing and my main hustle, which is being Sr. Global Communications Manager for Belkin.

What does a typical day in the life look like for you?

Each day is so different but it usually entails waking up between 6am and 7am. The first thing I have to do is take a shower. I'm a morning shower person, and it's the only way I truly feel awake and ready to start my day. From there I go straight into meetings or emails, and it's pretty non-stop until the early afternoon/evening time, which is when I take a break to exercise. While I don't subscribe to a single workout regimen, one of my favorites is Pure Barre and of course dancing. I got Covid early on in the pandemic and it took its toll on my body. I'm grateful I didn't have life-threatening symptoms, but I only started feeling like myself again in the last couple of months, and I'm trying to get back into working out and dancing regularly again.

You’re an angel investor! What makes you interested in a particular company? What do you look for?

I am new to angel investing, so I use the term lightly. Diem is my first investment and the thing that caught my eye was the product. I'm a firm believer in the community that Diem offers women. So I'd say I look for an amazing product that has a clear purpose and space to grow. I want to invest more in minority-founded companies, so I also look for founders from underrepresented communities and want to support them and work with them in any capacity to help bring their products and vision to life.

You're also in tech PR, what drew you to this space?

I was drawn by the power that tech had to create change, in any industry. I started my career in entertainment PR as an undergraduate intern at New Line Cinema, but it wasn't until my first job that I got a taste of what tech PR was all about. The innovation I saw was inspiring and the people I met along the way kept me intrigued.

PLUS! You founded South Asian Grooves... tell us more about it?

South Asian Grooves (SAgrooves) is a dance company I co-founded in New York City. It was a wonderful venture and learning experience on building a company and community from scratch. SAgrooves brought together the two different, but harmonious, sides of my and cofounder's upbringing as South Asian women growing up in America. Drawn to our roots but also interested and trained in the dance styles of America we wanted to bring the two together through our love and passion for dance and started teaching classes. One of the things we always stressed in class and something I carry with me to this day, is the idea of being uncomfortable leads to growth. I think it's so applicable in our everyday lives especially as women. We're often put in uncomfortable and new situations where we may not have all the answers or feel we are lacking in experience but pushing through that feeling of discomfort is when we grow.

What advice do you have for other womxn that want to break into the PR space?

If you're able to explore interning, look into internships at PR agencies and think about where your interests lie. One of the great things about PR is that it's a flexible career path that transcends industries, so whatever your passion, be it entertainment, fashion, consumer electronics, finance, cars, or something else, there's likely a PR opportunity in the field that you can explore. If you're looking to make a leap into the space from another industry there are a few key components of PR that you can build knowledge around without being in a traditional role including understanding the media landscape and writing. Brush up on these skills as a start. Understanding the media landscape includes reading the industry news in a given field to get a sense of the prevalent themes, stories and writers who are covering the space. And, lastly writing! Start to write, if you're not already a writer, and brush up on storytelling.

As you know, community is everything for us. How has your community helped you, personally or professionally?

Community has helped me in some of my lowest points. There were times when I would have a terrible day at work, I was tired leaving the office at 7pm to get to a two-hour class at 8pm that I had to teach, and I was exhausted thinking about it. I remember walking into the studio and meeting the students and always felt the stress melt away. There were numerous moments like these. More recently, when I doubted my career after a position that truly tested my resilience, my community of friends and family and women lifted my spirits and helped me realize my potential to push through to get to where I am today. For that I am thankful!

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