New Jersey speller wins 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee

Jaideep Janakiram, Head of North America, Sony Entertainment Television-Asia, Navneeth Murali (National Champion), and Rahul Walia, Founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee
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EDISON, NJ – Navneeth Murali, 13 of Edison, New Jersey correctly spelled the word “flipe” meaning, to strip off by or as if by peeling,” during the 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee finals to clinch the title of national champion and took home a cash prize of $3,000.

Hephzibah Sujoe, 13 of Fort Worth Texas along with Pranav Nandakumar, 13 of Austin Texas, and Vayun Krishna, 12 of Sunnyvale, California tied for National Runner-Up position.

The initiative was organized by leading multicultural advertising firm, Touchdown Media Inc. Sony Entertainment Television Asia will broadcast the initiative across the globe in over 120 countries, Kawan Foods returned as the powered by sponsor for the initiative which is now in its 12th year.

Vayun Krishna, Hephzibah Sujoe & Pranav Nandakumar (National First Runners-Up)

“It fills my heart to see such talented young spellers from across the country who make us proud as a community. The initiative is unique in its reach and engagement and with the help of the SAS-Bee program, we were able to give even more spellers the opportunity to win it all and raise the bar even higher. My heartiest congratulations to the winner,” said Rahul Walia, Founder.

The initiative was open to children up to 14 years of age and was held in 5 regional centers across the United States. These areas included, New Jersey, DC Metro area, Dallas, Bay Area, and Charlotte.

Over 600 spellers from these centers participated from which 15 finalists took the stage at the Finals.
“We are extremely happy with Naveneeth’s win at the Bee as it goes to show that todays South Asian kids are all well-rounded and highly dedicated to their craft. We produced a special section called “Meet the Spellers where the viewers will have an opportunity to get to know some of the spellers better,” said Tim Tan, Managing Director, Kawan Food, makers of the world’s most popular Roti Paratha Brand in the world – Kawan Paratha.

“It’s amazing to see the pool of talent from our community and am happy for Navneeth Murali’s win and excited to get to know him and some of the other spellers better in the “Meet the Speller” series airing shortly on Sony,” said Jaideep Janakiram, Head of North America, Sony Entertainment Television-Asia.

Registration for 2020 will open in October this year and for more information and to register your child, please visit


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