How Priyanka provides a platform for Asian voices via her podcast

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Asian Podcaster Priyanka

As an Asian podcaster, she felt a vacuum to spotlight Asian leaders in the media. This feeling resulted in an idea for a podcast almost 20 months ago. She wanted to create a space for Asian leaders and innovators to share their authentic struggles and wisdom on navigating life. Especially during the pandemic, she believes it’s essential to give them a platform to make their voices heard. With 100 episodes and counting, Priyanka Komala welcomes guests from diverse walks of the Asian Diaspora. This is her story.

‘’Of course, the struggle was real at first. When you operate in such a micro-niche like me, it’s hard to reach your target audience. When I was in episode 17 of the podcast, I literally gave up. Luckily, there was my mother. She was the impetus for me to restart my podcast and focus on consistency. With a new episode out every week, I’m building an audience. What also really helped was engaging with listeners on Social Media. Just reach out to them and respond to their comments. I mainly use LinkedIn, Youtube and Instagram to promote. That’s also where I Livestream my podcast every Sunday 1 pm ET. So if you feel like giving up, the only thing I can say about this is: keep going.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say the entire year of 2020 has been a challenge. Sometimes that makes it hard to define when your podcast is a success or not. Do you only watch the numbers, or is there a bigger goal? That’s something I learned during the pandemic. When I receive feedback from my listeners on how my podcast has helped them navigate life or derive inspiration, I think that’s the only thing that counts.

It’s impressive to notice that around 50% of my guests never experienced being on a talk show. It shows how valuable my format is. From CIOs, Economists, Children book authors, Thought Leaders, and mindset coaches, we have diverse guests. I feel like I can give them a voice. I meet my guest for the first time, around 15 minutes before the show in almost all cases. It’s essential to know how to break the ice and make them feel comfortable enough to bring their best stories out, especially when you’re doing a live show. Our podcast team does extensive research on the guests, their blog posts, previous media appearances so we don’t ask the routine questions and bring out the unique dimension of their personality.

In the 15 mins before going live, I ask them about three things to serve as leads when we start the show.
1) their childhood,
2) nostalgic memories of growing up and
3) what is one thing no one has ever asked them.

As for the future: my Podcast name Curryup Leadership reflects the Asian flavor in every guest and live episode we curate. I would like to see ourselves as the No #1 voice of Asian American Business community and continue to provide candid wisdom for top leaders to inspire our global listeners as an Asian podcaster.’’

As a last caveat: Which podcasting advice would you give your younger self?

  1. Focus on why you started the podcast
  2. Pick up yourself when you face failure and keep moving.
  3. Let go and don’t take things personally.


About Priyanka Komala
Priyanka is a Chief Storytelling Officer at Curryup Leadership. At age five, Priyanka gave an impromptu speech about an airplane which catapulted her into becoming the distinguished speaker and writer she is today. Although she had followed the cultural expectation of getting a Master’s to become an engineer and technologist, Priyanka knew she wanted to make a more significant impact. She wanted a seat at the table to help others, so she got her MBA. At the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, she serves as a Technology leader in digital transformation projects. Asian podcaster Priyanka hosts Curryup Leadership video Podcast to spotlight purpose-driven Asian leaders making an impact and has sparked 100+ conversations. She is on a mission to embrace Levity in life.

More success stories? Read Hala Tala’s story

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