Indi Deol, Community Hero

by Abigail Richardson from Oakham in United Kingdom

From an early age, Indi Deol recognised there was a serious lack of diverse voices in Britain’s media and so, in 2007, he set about redressing the balance and launched, the UK’s leading website championing British Asian lifestyle. Fourteen years on, offers a voice for British Asian communities and attracts an overwhelming 400,000 visitors a month!

At the launch of the second DESIblitz Literature Festival, Abigail Richardson interviews Indi Deol to find out where his inspiration originated and how he achieved his goals.

145464Indi DeolDesiblitz Festival…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

‘I'm a genuine person pursuing my passions and purpose the best way I know how - taking calculated risks and learning new things daily'.

Indi Deol is the Founding Director of the UK’s largest, multi-award-winning online British Asian magazine DESIblitz. He is also the creator of DESIblitz Arts, a digital platform that publishes editorial content related to British Asian lifestyle, and he is the founder of the DESIblitz Literature Festival, which takes place in September.

Indi was educated in the West Midlands, just outside Birmingham, and from an early age saw what hard work could achieve. ‘My parents were my childhood heroes – I am from a working-class background where my parents were always out working in order to put food on the table. Even though I didn’t see them very often, I saw their passion to take care of us four children. They fueled my work ethic and ambition'.

Journalism, however, was not Indi’s first love. ‘English was one of my worst subjects and I turned my back on writing and literature at an early age. The only thing I excelled in and enjoyed was art and the way that path developed was to go on to college to study fashion'. And it was there that Indi’s hunger for creativity was established; he went on to study fashion and textiles at university.  

After finishing university, Indi moved to London to work in the fashion industry, but disillusioned by the London scene, he was soon to return to Birmingham: ‘I had always thought my dream was to become a fashion designer, hopping from one fashion capital to another. It seemed like a good dream since I had completed a Fashion and Textile BA, but the world had other plans for me and working in fashion had not lived up to what I had read in the glossy magazines!’

Determined to pursue his creative interests, but needing a self-funding career, Indi began to research online opportunities: ‘After a few years of going from job to job, I decided to be my own boss and, in 2006, I started the first online social networking website for Asians in the UK.’

‘It was at this time that I came to realize that one of the things that were really lacking, and still is to this day, is Asian and Blacks in the media circuit. (Right now, there’s only 0.2% of Asian and Black people in the newsroom in the UK.) Growing up, the Asian media I had seen on TV wasn’t really on par with other national media. It was fragmented, with smaller organizations working with shoe-string budgets, and I decided I wanted to create something which would stand shoulder to shoulder with the national companies. And so, in2008, I started'.

Looking back, Indi realizes the reason he rejected literature at a young age was because he could not identify with any of the books that were in the school library, and this was one of the reasons he wanted to create a platform for South Asian writers. And did just that. 14 years on, it has become the voice of hundreds of South Asian writers, journalists and video producers, reaching over 400000 readers a month. DESIblitz Arts was subsequently realized as a vehicle primarily to engage and mentor upcoming ethnic creatives and to give them a place to showcase their work, something Indi is passionate about.

Last year saw the very first DESIblitz Literature Festival, a celebration of remarkable writing talent coming out of South Asia – from poets and biographers to children’s authors, which, in 2021, is taking place between September 18 – October 1. The festival features a series of live and online events, all bookable at:

Inheriting his parents' work ethic, Indi also consults on online advertising, niche marketing and digital brand development. He sits on the advisory board of Aston Business School, is a consultant for BFI Film Audience Network and runs Aidem Digital CIC, a Social Enterprise and digital media agency focused on delivering projects that produce a positive social return.

Indi’s life motto is ‘no pain no gain’: ‘This came from the fact that I had no background in media or journalism. I didn’t know how to build a website or develop a business, so I threw myself in at the deep end, learning as I went. Learning then failing and learning then failing. Today we are still learning and growing. It’s all about throwing yourself in and learning to swim, that’s where no pain no gain comes from'. And this is Indi’s advice for young entrepreneurs.

DESIblitz Arts is currently looking for upcoming writers and digital artists: ‘We are open to receiving submissions from all genres of short fiction, be it ‘slice of life,' romance, fantasy or science-fiction; to incredible poetry which depicts South Asian themes; to vertical comic strips which are fun or serious'. To submit your work, log on to:

To attend the festival, where most of the events are free, log on to:

If you would like to connect with Indi and his team or find out more about South Asian media in the UK, log on to:


Page created on 9/23/2021 11:03:27 AM

Last edited 12/30/2021 3:46:31 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Desiblitz Events - Literature Festival - DESIblitz Literature Festival is an exciting and jam-packed program taking place online between September 18 – October 1, 2021.