November 11, 2019

Naina Grewal

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By Rachael Eedy

Communication and Business student Naina Grewal started hosting a weekly radio show when she was 12 years old. At first, she relied heavily on others for support, rehearsing scripts with her parents, and asking friends to call in to the show.

In the eight years since, Naina’s confidence as a host has skyrocketed. Now she works unscripted, and gets calls from as far away as Africa.

Every Sunday at 7:30 pm, audiences can hear Naina interviewing guests, and speaking with callers, on her show “Sade Bache Sada Virsa" (Our Youth; Our Future). The show airs on 93.1REDFM, “Vancouver’s #1 South Asian Radio station.” There, Naina covers topics ranging from Indian sweets to Canadian trivia in a mix of Punjabi and English.

“What we want to convey is that Canada is a multicultural country, and kids can experience that while keeping their own roots,” explains Naina. “If you hang on to your first language, then you can pass it to future generations.”

Naina is conscious of the influence she holds on air. “As a radio host, I have the power to make people laugh or smile, but also influence their thinking. I’m always really careful about what I say, and how I say it. I encourage kids to find their own opinion.”

It was Naina’s experience with radio, and her interest in marketing, that led her to a joint major in Communication and Business at SFU. Naina finds her joint major gives her different, but equally valuable, perspectives on the media industry. She’s learning how to market products effectively, but also how to examine advertising from a more critical perspective.

Naina has worked and volunteered extensively while in university. She is a tutor with the Friends of Simon program, and volunteers on community projects with SFU’s Student Ambassador Program. She also writes for DARPAN, a South Asian lifestyle magazine, on topics such as parent-child communication.

As a student, Naina has won numerous awards and scholarships. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), recently presented Naina with a SAIL award for student excellence. Only weeks before, she won the national Robert E. Oliver award for outstanding students interested in marketing from Advertising Standards Canada. In 2015, Naina was recognized by the Surrey Board of Trade as a community role model and one of Surrey’s “Top 25 under 25”.  

When asked if she has advice for new students, Naina says it’s important to pursue opportunities that arise, even if they seem out of reach. Or, as Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Naina emphasizes, however, that there’s more to life than achievement. Since coming to university, she has learned to be more reflective. She takes time to be still in her own mind, and feels grateful for the opportunities she’s had, and the many more her future holds.