SAPNA Toronto is proud to feature some exciting professionals in the South Asian community. This is one individual who will truly make you excited when being around them. Meet Randy Persaud. He’s a highly recognized media personality in the Peel Region. Randy is a lovable TV broadcaster, talkshow host, public speaker, community ambassador and ketchup lover. When on social media, you can always find him under the hashtags #Hypemachine and #Randcity. Let’s find out more about Randy!
Graduate of Mohawk College in Television Broadcasting, from there, I went on to York University to go for my bachelor’s degree; evenings and weekends while working my full time job. I finally received my B.A. in a record breaking 9 yrs. From there, I headed to Second City where I was trained in improve comedy. ..That was intense!
During my academic fueling, I have been working with CBC Television. I have been with them for 17 years and still going strong. I have been working behind the scenes on Canada’s most prominent TV shows such as The Hour with George Strombo, Dragons Den, Rick Mercer, Hockey Night in Canada, Summer / Winter Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. Just to name a few. I had started in 2001. By 2009 I wanted to pursue my on-air career, so I head to Rogers Media Television and started to learn the ropes from the good staff there. By 2010 I was reporting and then by 20115 I had started being booked as one of the main talk show host for such shows as Cable 10 live, Talk Local, Carassauga, The Marty Awards, Local Notes and many more.
If that wasn’t enough, I had always had a soft spot for boxing so I had also started working with a great organization called Boxing Ontario who promoted me up to be one of their main Ring Announcers…to stand in the middle of the ring in front of two fighters ready to go in front of a hot crowd is quite the surreal experience.
WHAT ARE YOUR PROFESSIONAL TRIUMPHS?
I enjoy doing a lot of community work. It’s really empowering to give back to the community that helped give you the opportunities to be a better person. It’s not as much to me about volunteering as it is more so about passing “the torch” on to others so they can learn from you.
I have been blessed to have had the chance to work with many great community groups including Carassauga and the Mississauga Arts Council. I had been involved with the Mississauga Arts Council as one of their co-chairs and ambassadors for a few years. Well at the 22nd Annual Marty Awards, this past May, I was honoured and humbled to receive the Creative Community award for my efforts in contributing to the community I love, Mississauga. To add to this humbling experience, my recognition was also presented in the House of Commons by the honourable MP Iqra Khalid. I was just floored; I mean…who gets their named mentioned, in the house? I was so thrilled and grateful.
WHAT FUTURE PROJECTS CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU?
It’s exciting to get out there and be involved because it’s never a dull moment. Right now, I am on the board of directors as one of the co-vice chairs for Marketing alongside my TV co-host and good friend Radha Tailor. After a successful rebranding initiative that we created for Carassauga, our next venture is to capitalize by making Carassauga.com and their social media channels content driven 365 days a year. Carassauga will expand to be a resource based site.
Alongside my good friend and fashion expert Rashi Bindra, we are the creative and producers behind the marketing concepts for Mississauga Fashion Week which is July 28-Aug 6. We are working intensely to ensure the brand, promotion and the feel of fashion is best reflected with this brand; Mississauga Fashion Week.
Marketing and promotion has been a business that has evolved with my brand organically as I emceed alongside my broadcast duties. It has become so important that I am launching a promotions company this summer to serve my new found clients and partners with their marketing initiatives… This is super exciting…especially since I have clients already being signed up.
In the short term, I will be emceeing this weekend July 16 and 17 for the annual south Asian street party spectacular, Festival Of South Asia. We have some outstanding talent that will be rocking the streets of Gerrard Street all weekend long…so come check it out.
I am involved in promoting one of the biggest Bollywood mashups at Celebration Square July 22 and 23 as we host the Bollywood Monster Mashup. Last year, I had emceed this spectacle and I was amazed to see a capacity crowd on hand of over 60,000 jammed packed at Mississauga’s most infamous field. It was tremendous.
We are also in the works of building an awards showcase for artists in Toronto and abroad called the INFAME awards that will be held right after TIFF.
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?
Wow there are just so many…I’m the kind of person that takes a bit from everyone that I can and I try to incorporate something about them in my life.
Sammy Davis Jr. comes to mind because he was a true singer, dancer and actor who had to put on a smile and perform in a time of racial unrest. Yes we have racism today, but its masked so well over the term of “political correctness”. However , let’s look at the 1940’s, a time when they had separate bathrooms for whites and coloureds, and Sammy still went out to put smiles on everyone’s faces…that’s a man of character.
Mohammad Ali comes to mind not because he was one of the greatest boxer of all time but he was a political figure and champion of the people. While Elvis accepted to go to war in Vietnam, Mohammed Ali said no…He said, (paraphrasing)” that the Vietnamese were not my oppressors, my country is my oppressor…why would I want to go to Vietnam to fight people who did nothing to me.”
He lost his boxing license for his bravery. … that’s what I think about.
Also, I think about Rodney Dangerfield, a comic genius who made a name for himself at the age of 45. So you are never too old to chase your dream.
I think about Robin Williams…and that so much of his “funny” comes from such a dark place. I think about the burden of depression and anxiety that he carried all the while putting smiles on for millions of people. I hope one day mental health is treated with the same immediacy as a 911 call. But that’s for another debate.
Not lastly but, I think of Robert Downey Jr…because he is just cool. It also doesn’t hurt that many refer to me as his chocolate twin…”Chocolate Downey Jr” Im good with that!
WHAT ARE SOME KEY LEADERSHIP QUALITIES?
I am a bit old school. You have to earn your stripes to be a leader. Just because you graduated from college or university doesn’t make you ready to run a department or manage staff etc. You need to start from the bottom and work your way up. You need to keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. Learn by observing from those who walked ahead of you.
Today we have a new generation of people who feel entitled for things…everyone has rights and everyone deserves something and we are all winners. This idea is killing the very conscious fabric of our community…You need to work hard, do our best and do not give up….All of what you have is what you are in control of…and that’s you.
Drop the ego. Whether you like it or not, you have a shelf life. You are a carton of milk. One day, you are gonna get spoiled and no cereal will want you. Once you realize this, you will know you have a short time on this planet. So while you are here, do everything you can to empower those around you and leave this society in a better place than before. Leadership is not about telling people what to do, it’s about finding the strengths of others and letting them see their full potentialand let them blossom.
You are here to serve…and that’s a good thing. Because you will soon realize your possessions will come and go, your money will come and go, girlfriend’s will come and go…and come again…but what stays is your “life’s work”…what you do for a living…and I don’t mean your 9-5 job…I mean what you really want to do…figure it out…and start doing it gradually…you will realize down the line, that your productivity will give you the most joy ever…happiness is a state of productivity. So get off the couch and get busy. You will be happier for it.
Lastly, be humble and thankful….if I have to explain why then we have bigger problems.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR ULTIMATE GOALS?
Goals are for soccer or hockey. I don’t have goals. Sounds odd? Yeah will hear is my take on it. I am just a collector. Some people collect stamps, bottle caps, shot glasses, bacteria….I collect experiences. That’s all I know. Is it the right philosophy? Well it’s working for me. It’s the premise around creating your luck. I don’t know exactly where it will take me…but the key thing here is that I am not afraid.
So that’s your goal: Be fearless.
I want to collect as many experiences that I can fill my mental capacity with. Experiences are the best form of education…it will unlock your doors of opportunity.
The sad reality is that the day you hand in a resume you are defeated…not to say that resume dropping is bad but my bigger point is that we live in a world of individual brands. It’s like that annoying term “it’s all about who you know” well for me it’s more so about “who knows you”…we need to be brands. That’s the new work economy that we live in. So figure out your brand, get creative about it, love the process and eventually you may get some $$$ from it.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Think less and do more…because more people think of reasons why not to do things than to do them.
So be like Nike and just do it!