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From Hyderabad to Hollywood

Nov/03/2023 / by Abhijit Masih
Ash Gupta

Sruthi Dhulipala’s Journey in Entertainment and Public Relations

In her work as a publicist, Sruthi Dhulipala has promoted some of the biggest Hollywood titles – Top Gun: Maverick, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, and House of the Dragon. But the journey to get there hasn’t always been easy. 

Dhulipala’s career in entertainment began with her fervent desire to delve into PR and Communications and to carve her niche in the Western entertainment industry. In pursuit of her passion and the American dream, she moved to Boston and earned her Master’s in Public Relations from Boston University.  

Combining her two loves, PR and music, she has been learning the ins and outs of the industry from scratch, without any guidance or mentors to push her case. She has worked her way up to the top through perseverance and hard work. “Being a South Asian in the American entertainment industry felt like a lonely voyage,” recalls Dhulipala. Undaunted, she pursued her Hollywood dream, while her peers were pursuing tech-friendly careers, which offered a safety net and a secure job. 

Dhulipala began her PR journey in the United States as a Publicity Assistant at CBS Television Studios in Los Angeles. “You would think working for a globally popular show like The Big Bang Theory will give you the break that you needed in this industry, but not really,” adds Dhulipala. She had to endure the hardships of an outsider, her different culture and background coupled with the fact that she was an immigrant with visa requirements. 

Though it was tough, Dhulipala didn’t let these challenges come in the way and persevered to build a lucrative career in publicity, launching and delivering multifaceted branding support to musicians, entertainment shows and studios. Her impressive resume boasts of promoting global brands such as Disney, Freeform, ABC, Autodesk, CBS, Dairy Queen and more. While spearheading communications for the Academy Award-Winning studio MPC, Dhulipala promoted titles such as Jordan Peele’s Nope, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Bhediya and more.  

She’s proven time and time again that she has what it takes to make it in this industry. Dhulipala calls her journey in the United States a “primrose path.” While traversing her professional growth, she has consistently persisted with her journey as a musician. Born in a musical family and as daughter of Mridanga Vidwan D.S.R. Murthy, Sruthi got the opportunity at an early age to accompany him to concerts and learn by observing stalwarts such as Dr. L. Subramaniam and Balamurali Krishna Garu. She describes herself as someone rowing “two boats” simultaneously and balancing them together with much care and adoration.

“While it’s challenging to be on the path that I am on right now, I am an ardent believer in the value of giving back to society,” says Dhulipala. “My aim is to empower South Asians in the creative arena within the United States and facilitate their triumph. By offering personalized consultations to aspiring artists and creators seeking to establish themselves in the mainstream media, I strive to extend my assistance in any possible way.”

She only hopes to grow her influence in the future. “I aspire to motivate a larger audience to follow their passions fearlessly,” she says. “Utilizing my experience as a publicist, I endeavor to elevate South Asians onto the global stage while also creating music that conveys my personal narrative under my identity as a musician.”

Major Step Toward Gender Parity

India’s landmark legislation will boost women’s representation

The Indian Parliament made history this September by approving a law to reserve one-third of seats for women in the lower legislative house and state assemblies. The bill passed both houses of Parliament and now requires approval from state legislatures before taking effect.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the move as a ‘golden moment” for empowering women in politics. But the law won’t apply to next year’s national elections, disappointing some advocates. Despite being half the electorate, women make up only about 15% of India’s Parliament and 10% of state legislatures. The new quotas aim to change that, and reserves some marginalized community seats for women in groups who have been historically left out of politics due to gender and caste barriers.

After decades of stalled efforts, the overwhelming bipartisan support for quotas signals a major shift. But resistance remains among some male politicians who fear losing seats, while others argue women aren’t ready to govern. 

While quotas alone don’t guarantee women’s empowerment, advocates hope they will open doors for future leaders. As more women enter Indian politics, representation can also encourage more and more women to get involved. “This law will break the glass ceiling,” said Kashmiri politician Safina Baig, adding that someday perhaps a quota won’t even be needed in the first place. 

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475 million registered voters in India are women (half the electorate), but they make up only about 15 percent of lawmakers in Parliament. 

Growing Asian Population

18 more distinct Asian groups were added to the 2020 census, up from 2010

The U.S. Census Bureau is releasing more data from its latest 2020 Census, which is finally offering a glimpse into more detailed demographic numbers, taking into account how groups self-identify. For instance, this was the first year that Sikh were included in the census. 

The data is showing a rapidly growing Asian Indian population, growing to 4.4 million people from 2010 to 2020, a 54.7% increase—making it the largest Asian alone group in the US for the first time (“Asian alone” refers to people who identify with only one group, as opposed to two or more). 

The data is already proving valuable toward policy recommendations, and determining where resources should be allocated among these unique populations. “Detailed data are particularly critical for Asian Americans, who continue to be among our nation’s fastest growing and most diverse racial groups,” said Terry Ao Minnis, vice president for census and voting programs at Asian Americans Advancing Justice. “Often viewed as homogenous, these communities include more than 30 detailed subgroups that can differ dramatically across key social and economic indicators.”

By separating detailed subgroups, it spotlights disparities often obscured when lumping all together. For example, while Nepalese and Bhutanese Americans saw rapid 250%+ growth, Japanese and Laotian populations fell. Educational attainment, poverty levels and health outcomes vary greatly depending on heritage, but accurate representation can drive resources to support different groups’ unique needs.

California remains home to the largest proportions of major Asian populations. But other states like Texas, Hawaii and Washington saw growth as well (see the “State-by-State” sidebar). Advocates say further improvements are still required for the Census to fully capture Asian American diversity, but this new data is a step in the right direction for increasing representation and the unique identities of those living in the United States. 

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4.4 Million

The number of people living in America claiming to be Asian Indian alone, growing by over 50% between 2010 and 2020.

Box [could include a graphic of each state with the percentage within?]: State-By-State Numbers

18.9% California

10.6% Texas

9.1% New Jersey

9.0% New York

5.8% Illinois 

The states with the largest representation of Asian Indians, according to the 2020 US Census.