Everytime someone new joins The Ken, we publish a blog post announcing it. Usually, this happens on the day the person joins, or within the first week.

This time around, we are publishing a joining announcement nearly a month later.

Harsha Vardhan joined us a few days before our fourth anniversary—at a time when all of us at The Ken were scrambling and working hard to launch our biggest and most ambitious campaign yet. Our reporters were sending in pitches, making calls, and arguing about narratives and story structure. The desk was deluged, straightening out copies from India and Southeast Asia. Marketing was sleep-deprived and finalising Go-To-Market plans across massive spreadsheets. Engineering was deploying, testing, and fixing. And as always, Product was calm (mostly), collected (mostly), and convinced that the plan would work (all the time).

In the midst of all this chaos, in walked Harsha. He joined us as a front-end developer. We figured we needed one because our website and app weren’t the same anymore. When we started off, we published just one story a day. Now we have two editions — India and Southeast Asia, three paid newsletters, and a range of complex flows and interactions to handle first-time users, renewing users, upgrades and multiple types of products. Plus, we have plans to launch some amazing interactive products over the next few weeks.

Harsha probably thought that the first few days at The Ken would be quiet and peaceful.

In two days, he’d already done his first all-nighter, when we faced a problem with our email template for the 30-day challenge users.

Then, he jumped in to the front-end, to help us build the Burst The Bubble referral flow.

Immediately after, he leapt to finish the iPad app, which is expected to go live in a week or two.

And he did all this remotely—from his hometown of Tuni in rural Andhra Pradesh, without having met any of us in person.

Everyone has a story about their first trial-by-fire moment after they joined The Ken, but Harsha’s is probably going to be one of the more memorable ones.

Before joining us, Harsha worked at Nissan Digital, a software company, part of Nissan Motor Corporation, started in India in 2018. He worked there as a UI Developer for two years. He graduated from Sastra University, Thanjavur, in 2018.

He loves thriller novels, playing chess, and table tennis. Oh, he also enjoys eating pizzas—especially woodfire ones, which is good because he’s familiar with the idea that throwing something in a fire only makes it better.

You can say hello to him at harsha at the rate of the-ken dot com.

AUTHOR

Praveen Krishnan

Praveen has over 9 years of experience in product management. Prior to The Ken, he was the Director of Product at InMobi. He holds an MBA from IIM, Bengaluru and an engineering degree in Electronics & Communications from NIT, Tiruchirappalli.

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