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Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Meet Sid, Sr. Director of Innovation and Business Development

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, our Asian American Business Resource Group (BRG) is excited to highlight several of our Team Members all month long. This month is a time to connect with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific American Team Members and neighbors in celebration of the incredible diversity from South Asian and Southeast Asian to East Asian, West Asian, and Pacific Island cultures and beyond. 

This week's #TeamMemberTuesday is featuring Sid, Sr. Director of Innovation and Business Development on our Retail Innovation team!

What is your job title? And what do you love most about your job?

I am the Senior Director of Innovation and Business Development, which means that I am responsible for finding, testing, and recommending new technologies and new business opportunities for Giant Eagle. I love my job, because I am constantly learning about cutting edge ideas, connecting with experts inside and outside our company, and experimenting with cool technologies.

What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you? Is there anything special that you do to commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month?

While my parents are both Indian and I was born there, I only spent a little bit of time in India. My family moved frequently to different countries as I grew up, so being Indian is just one facet of my identity. AAPI Heritage Month is an opportunity for me to really reflect on what being Indian means to me and how it has shaped me, something that I don’t always pause to consider and celebrate.

How has your heritage and the experience of being Asian in the U.S. shaped the person you are today?

My grandparents instilled in my parents the importance of working hard, constantly learning, and making sacrifices for your family, and these are the same values that my parents have passed down to me and my sister. These aren’t uniquely Indian or Asian values, but they are the ones that I associate with our culture. I try to live them out in my work, at home, and at school (I’m in a part-time MBA program at CMU).

Does your family have any traditions that are especially important to you?

My family isn’t particularly religious, so we don’t celebrate most of the Hindu holidays, but we do celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. This holiday celebrates the victory of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. But most importantly, it’s a time for my family to get together, which we don't get to do very often. 

Out of the newly refreshed Core Values (Respect All, Think Team, See It Own It, Work Smart, Live Well and Do Right), which Core Value resonates with you the most? Why?

“See It, Own It” is the one that resonates most. There are many moments each day where it is easy to pass off a problem to the next person, but if everyone thinks this way, then change never occurs. From something small like litter or something enormous like systemic racism, I feel that it’s important to own it and act immediately. One of my favorite quotes is from John Lewis, in which he asked, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

What are some interesting hobbies or talents that most people may not know about you?

I am an avid homebrewer – I like brewing and tasting different styles of beer, and they’re pretty good… most of the time. I am also a bit of a “space nerd,” and I’m learning backyard astrophotography (taking pictures of stars, galaxies, and nebulae through a telescope).

“My grandparents instilled in my parents the importance of working hard, constantly learning, and making sacrifices for your family, and these are the same values that my parents have passed down to me and my sister. These aren’t uniquely Indian or Asian values, but they are the ones that I associate with our culture.”
- Sid, Sr. Director of Innovation and Business Development

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