The career ambitions of an 11-year-old are raw and fanciful. Few pursue those dreams with dogged determination all the way into adulthood and make a meaningful career out of it.
For Munsif Vengattil, the goal of being a journalist was steeped into him thanks to Kerala’s culture of reading newspapers. Nearly 60% of the state reads the newspaper. For context, the national average is closer to 16%. With that kind of influence, he had his eyes set on the top job. So much so that as a child, he asked his mother when the editor of his local newspaper would die, so that he could get his job when he grew older.
If that isn’t raw ambition, what is?
Luckily, no one was harmed when we hired Munsif to be our tech, e-commerce, and internet writer.
Much like the newspapers he grew up on, big tech and internet companies have become a perpetual presence in our lives. Some would even call them a shadow. Globally, there is increased scrutiny on how tech and the internet are upending the way we consume news, ad, content or even vote.
But most of the agenda-setting coverage of these companies is led by US-based media, even though India is among the biggest markets for these firms.
Munsif will look to tell stories about these multinational tech companies that are relevant to the Indian reader. He is taking on this beat at a time when these companies are beefing up lobbying efforts and are leading the charge to influence tech policy in India.
Prior to joining The Ken, Munsif spent nearly four years with Reuters, where he co-led a team of seven journalists covering breaking news from the US tech industry. He has also spent time reporting on Silicon Valley firms’ presence in India, which included investigative pieces on Facebook’s content moderation operations and WhatsApp’s troubles in the run-up to India’s national elections.
He has also reported extensively on the emergence of autonomous tech and the evolution of the OTT industry. Prior to Reuters, he worked for nearly a year with The New Indian Express, reporting stories from Kerala’s coastal city, Kozhikode.
As for the job Munsif had his eyes on as a child, the same editor continues to hold on to his post.
Lead image credit: Markus Winkler/ Unsplash