Vineeta Malhotra: Elevating Voices of South Asian Creators

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Give us a quick spiel about your life and why you love what you do.
By day, my work as an Operations Manager at Spotify lives at the intersection of creativity and analytics, and allows me to immerse myself in a world in which I can flex both sides of my brain while building a strong community. By night, my passions are fueled by travel, dance, culture, and quality time with my family and friends!

How has your culture or upbringing shaped the way you see and approach the world?
As a first-generation Indian American, I’ve been so lucky to have grown up living in a unique intersection of both cultures. The duality of my upbringing has manifested in so many ways to contribute to who I am today - the languages I speak, the food I eat, my love for Indian music and dance (Bollywood kween 👸), my Asian values and traditions I’ve carried with me into adulthood.

Growing up, I went to India quite often, and got to spend ample time being immersed in my culture, which has really fueled my passion for travel as an adult. I’m always planning my next big trip! I’ve always maintained a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, courtesy of my immigrant parents living the constant hustle to provide the best world for their children. My culture is extremely important to me, and has really shaped who I am today.

What’s one thing you’ve done recently that you’re proud of?
May signified Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) and we made a splash at Spotify! I lead the South Asian Employee Resource Group (ERG) for Spotify, and this year to celebrate APAHM we partnered with our East Asian ERG to put on a month of programming (5 events!) that catered to our Asian community & allies. We were also able to help elevate the voices of some of our Asian creators on our platform for the first time, so truly exciting work happening in the Diversity & Inclusion space for our community! I’m proud to be a continuous champion for the South Asian community to have a seat at the table.

What topics are you most obsessed with speaking about?
I work in strategy & operations in a very creative environment, so I love speaking about structure in a creative world, in addition to the importance of community and relationship-building. Additionally, I’m passionate about diversity & inclusion efforts and mental health. I’m keen to raise awareness and belonging within our communities and break stigmas surrounding mental health.

What’s your “backstage” routine before you go up for a speaking gig?
I like to talk it out with friends, peers, and the audience! I get energy from others, so I like to mingle, chat, and get my creative juices flowing before I get up on stage.

What’s something that you’re scared to admit?
Getting real here...that’s a hard one! I think I’m nervous that I’m not making enough of an impact, and should be doing more. Imposter syndrome affects so many of us, and although I constantly remind myself of my strengths, it’s tough to push it out of the back of my mind.

If you had one more hour in the day, how would you spend it?
Self care! I’d love to dedicate an hour of my day to unwind, meditate, read, and reflect on my thoughts. Often times, these activities get pushed to the wayside when life gets hectic, yet are such essential parts of our mental health.

What’s your recipe for Badassery?

  • a base of humility

  • 5 cups optimism

  • 4 cups genuineness

  • 3 cups curiosity

  • 2 cups adventure

  • 1 cup playfulness

  • a sprinkle of intuition

  • a layer of chocolate icing!

What’s your life motto?
Everything happens for the best.

Check out more about Vineeta on her Badassery speaker page.

Danielle Letayf