If 2020 was the year of seeing the very fabric of the world change, and if 2021 was the year of feeling the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, then 2022 was the year of listening to the stories of people—the year had its fair share of noise, but we heard what mattered the most.

At The Ken, we wanted to tap into the power of listening and launched the first podcast, Cost to Company, on 9 August. Now, we have three podcasts podcasts The Ken Podcasts from The Ken Read more .

A total of 38 episodes—and 40 hours—later, we are happy to report that thousands of subscribers have also tuned in.

Each episode was informative, insightful, and, most importantly, gave a fresh perspective on current business trends in the country. The process of launching podcasts made us realise how unique the audio medium is: we’ve recorded and re-recorded, only to learn that every breath, intonation, and pause can add a new layer of meaning to words.

Though this is just the beginning of our journey, here are some of our favourite episodes of the year for you.

From First Principles, hosted by Rohin Dharmakumar

Ananth Narayanan, founder and CEO, Mensa Brands ( Episode 5 Episode 5 The Ken Learnability, curiosity, and brand building; Ex-Myntra CEO and Mensa Brands founder Ananth Narayanan gets candid Read more )

What really stands out in this episode is the candidness with which Ananth Narayanan, the founder of one of India’s fastest-growing unicorns, faces Rohin’s questions. For example, when Rohin asks “why being a founder takes a toll emotionally”, Ananth says: “[Because] You’re alone. You can’t share your fears and anxieties, certainly, with The Ken. Just joking. You can’t share it with your investors. You can’t share it with even your top team in many ways.”

Ananth talks about his journey from consulting for McKinsey to founding Mensa Brands, and the highs and the lows. It provides a great insight into what we call the ‘founder’s mentality’.

Vineeta Singh, CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics ( Episode 7 Episode 7 The Ken Vineeta Singh of SUGAR Cosmetics talks about building products, educating consumers, and focusing on the long term Read more )

That Vineeta Singh is a judge on Shark Tank India and one of India’s most exciting entrepreneurs is reason enough to tune into this cracker of an episode. Vineeta gave us a glimpse of why SUGAR Cosmetics went through multiple rounds of renaming, the unique and non-obvious problems of being a woman entrepreneur, and how she navigates her personal and professional life seamlessly.

From Daybreak, hosted by Snigdha Sharma

How Apple is winning India ( Episode 2 Episode 2 The Ken How Apple is winning India Read more )

Our host delves deep into what is turning Apple’s fortunes around in India after a long stretch of sluggish growth. From the availability of easy financing to the disruption the tech giant is facing in China, the episode charts the iPhone maker’s progress in one of the world’s biggest markets.

Why the ban on sale of loose cigarettes is not alarming investors ( Episode 5 Episode 5 The Ken Why the ban on sale of loose cigarettes is not alarming investors Read more )

Over 70% of cigarettes are sold loose in India, and yet it didn’t set alarm bells ringing in the tobacco industry when a standing committee of Parliament recommended a ban on the sale of single cigarettes. In this episode, Snigdha explains why the ban might not deter smokers.

From Cost to Company, hosted by Sneha Vakharia and Shreevar Chhotaria

The product manager is a politician ( Episode 7 Episode 7 The Ken The Product Manager is a Politician Read more )

This episode wasn’t just a story. It was a saga. Sneha took us through the Battle of Saraighat and the brains of the country’s best product managers to understand why the art of product management isn’t really an art. Or even science.

It’s politics.

No wonder they’re called PMs.

Middle management is silently cracking ( Episode 4 Episode 4 The Ken Middle Management Is Silently Cracking Read more )

Tech layoffs during the year had a fascinating yet unfortunate second-order effect on middle managers.

Shreevar decided to investigate it further and had some important conversations about why middle managers exist in the first place; how the role went through a massive internal rebranding exercise; and why the layoffs were terrible, especially for those sandwiched between the bottom and the top rungs of the corporate ladder.

That’s it from us. We’ll be back soon with regular programming and a few new shows.

Thank you for not just reading The Ken but also listening to it.

We’d like to end with a sign-off line from Stephen J Dubner, the host of the hugely popular podcast Freakonomics Radio:“Take care of yourselves, and if you can, someone else too.”

Lede image credit: Thomas Le/Unsplash