In the seminal report prepared by YSPN for Elevate 2019, an analysis of the last three census’ revealed that Sikhs are the fastest growing ethnic minority in Australia. Between 2006 and 2016, the Sikh community experienced 404% growth, with a population now of 125,000 people. The report also surfaced that Sikhs contribute $8.1bn to the Australian community.

Through analysis of the demographic and economic factors, it was identified that there remains a dormant economic potential within the Sikh migrant community through factors such as underemployment, and a disproportionately high representation in structurally declining industries.

It is probable that other communities in Australia are encountering similar issues – this leads us to believe that there exists a dormant economic potential within the migrant population as a whole in Australia.  It is likely that these risks, if not managed will continue to increase and cause the economic growth of the broader community to stagnate.

This panel will focus on exploring your experiences in Australia, and how you successfully navigated through the challenges faced by migrants in order to become successful. We will explore, what kinds of things migrants ought to do in order to position themselves for success, and the lessons the community needs to take away in order to better support migrants and raise our development as a whole.


Amit Singh

Senior Advisor, AlphaBeta

Amit is a Melbourne based Senior Advisor for AlphaBeta, a strategy and economic advisory firm. Prior to this, he was Head of Global Policy at Uber, leading on economics, marketplaces and future of work. He also has experience serving as Senior Economic Advisor to two Australian Prime Ministers, and as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy to the Leader of the Opposition.

Earlier in his career, Amit co-founded a consumer startup, and worked as a capital markets solicitor and an advisor for corporate mergers & acquisitions. He is also director of the Chifley Research Centre for civil rights and social action.

He has attended many leading think tanks and conferences, delivering papers and presentations on technology and the new economy around the world. Notable events include OECD, Concordia, Bruegel, Canada2020 and the New Democrats Coalition. Amit has also served as strategic advisor to early-stage startups in the US.

Mandeep Sodhi

Ex-CEO, HashChing

Mandeep is the founder and former CEO of HashChing, an online marketplace for home loans in Australia. His entrepreneurial experience earned him a spot in the top 100 coolest people of 2016 in Australian tech by Business Insider. In 2017, he was awarded Young Business Leader by IABCA, and nominated as a finalist for the 2017 Young Business Leader of the Year award by Optus.

For his contributions to Australia as a successful migrnt, Mandeep's name was added to the 79th Bronze Panel of the Welcome Wall at the Australian National Maritime Museum in 2018.

Prior to his journey in startups, he worked in the financial services industry for over a decade, and achieved an Executive MBA with Distinction average from Sydney Business School in 2014.

Mandeep mentors budding entrepreneurs at Sydney Business School and The Founder Institute in his spare time.


Shamila Gopalan

Founder, HerWit

Shamila is a corporate leader and experienced entrepreneur, having lead the building of business independently and in Fortune 500 firms globally for almost 22 years.

Prior to moving to Melbourne, she founded and served as CEO for BlinkAsia, an independent media and content firm. She has a history of advocating strongly for equality, diversity and inclusion for women across all generations. She found purpose for this in HerWit, a profit-for-purpose venture empowering women entrepreneurs and senior executives across the global.

Over her corporate career, Shamila has brought her extensive knowledge and leadership to firms such as CNN, Fox International Channels, National Geographic and Fairfax Business Media.

Recognised as an influential thought leader, she has been awarded one of Asia's 50 Women Leaders, appointed to the board of Asia Content Marketing Association (ACMA), a non-executive board member of Brilliant Women Global (BWG) and a featured international speaker and judge for various industry events.