We started introducing new colleagues through blog posts in 2016 to enable our subscribers and readers to peer through the curtain of journalism and see the real people behind, and not just their work. And it sort of became a tradition.
This is the first time we’re introducing seven new colleagues in a single blog though. October 2021 marked our 5th anniversary and we’re thrilled to have added an incredibly talented, diverse and driven set of colleagues.
In an earlier world, we’d onboard colleagues into specific city offices or bureaus. But the pandemic made us realize that our relationships with cities are more fluid. We could be living and working in one today, but a different one in a few months. This is reflected in the cities where our new colleagues live and work in. For instance, we started interviewing a future colleague while he was in Kerala, made an offer to him by the time he’d moved to Goa, and will see him in Bangalore next week when he drops in for a week.
What the pandemic forced on us as unpredictability has now become flexibility. We love having it, and of course, offering it.
Our newest colleagues come with different experiences, skillsets and educational backgrounds. But they’re all united by their curiosity, smarts and drive.
If you fancy seeing yourself introduced the world in one of our next posts, scroll to the end of this post. We’re still hiring for a number of roles. Join us and remake the world of business journalism and subscriptions.
Nithin Shamsudhin, Podcast Producer (Goa and Bengaluru)
Nithin joins us as our podcasts & audio producer. With him, we will now be able to build upon the solid foundation laid by Anushka and Olina with Unofficial Sources over nearly a year. Nithin will own up all of our audio efforts, including many exciting ones at various stages of the pipeline. A new premium podcast. Audio versions of our stories. Smaller experiments around audio and newsletters.
Audio is something that Nithin is intimately familiar with. When he was 8 years old, his parents enrolled him in studying music with his elder brother, which marked the beginning of learning the violin. After learning the instrument for 3 years, he got selected for the Emirates Symphony Youth Orchestra in Sharjah, Dubai.
Like many others at The Ken, Nithin’s diverse background is his strength. He has a degree in Computer Engineering, and a Masters in Liberal Arts at Ashoka University — where he fell in love with audio while doing a research project in deep listening and its effects. Before joining The Ken, Nithin produced the Habits Matter Podcast for Harappa Education & Khule Aasmaan Mein Kavita for Nayi Dhara.
With his first-hand knowledge and experience with all aspects of audio from ideation, market study, research, landing guests, interviewing, scripting, editing, audio editing, music production, mixing and collaboration, Nithin is the perfect person to helm our big bet in audio.
Jonathan Ananda, Newsletters Editor (Chennai)
In 2013 Jonathan joined The New Indian Express newspaper as a trainee business reporter. That was his very first job. His second job was with The Ken, when he joined us as our Newsletters Editor.
During his 8 years with The New Indian Express, Jonathan gained experience both as a reporter and editor. As a reporter he covered complex and fast-evolving business beats like automobiles, IT, telecom and energy. As an editor he handled the incredibly demanding desk tasks of coordinating reporting, editing copies and planning stories.
Given his skills and experience, he could’ve joined us as a writer too. Instead, he joined us to coordinate, shape and edit our newsletters. We’ve believed in having a strong Desk since our earliest days, but with seven new subscriber newsletters (in addition to The Nutgraf and Strait Up), we needed someone who would exclusively “live and breathe newsletters”. Someone with enough curiosity, passion and smarts to straddle sectors as varied from climate tech to crypto assets to narrative thinking.
With his experience as both a business writer and editor, and his intense curiosity and passion, Jonathan fits our new role like a glove.
Aayush Agarwal, Staff Writer, Tech & Internet (Mohali and Bengaluru)
We nearly said no to Aayush Agarwal.
After all, in the five years of The Ken, we have hired very few non-journalists in the role of a staff writer. But it’s just hard to ignore someone like Aayush.
As a child he studied in 10 different schools since his father served in the Indian Army. Amidst all that change, writing was the one constant refrain in his life, thanks to his mother’s influence who was an English professor. When he was an engineering graduate at Vellore Institute of Technology, studying electronics & communication just did not appeal to him and he says it created a lot of frustration. He responded to that by taking up multiple paid and unpaid writing internships. At IIM Kozhikode where he did his MBA, he again sought courses which enabled him to read, research, analyse and write.
Those interests took him to Goldman Sachs where he worked as an equity analyst for the Chinese internet sector for 15 months. Here, he got to put his research abilities to practice, and learnt to analyse large data sets, weave that research and numbers into a story. Still, it was not the real deal.
With these experiences, Aayush was a natural fit for The Ken. Here, he will be writing on the move-fast-and-break-things league of internet companies. His debut story on Shadowfax and the broader third party logistics space is a great introduction to his new, but already promising journalistic oeuvre.
Aayush currently works out of Mohali, Punjab but will eventually be based out of Bengaluru.
Sheila Chiang, Staff Writer (Singapore)
In Southeast Asia, we welcome Singapore-based Sheila Chiang as the newest reporter on The Ken’s regional team.
Already, Sheila has proven to be a quick learner after converting to the world of technology and business journalism in 2020 having previously been a food, fashion and lifestyle reporter. Indeed, her debut story on how employee share options are breaking out in the region as local IPOs increase, is testament to the kind of insightful stories you’ll be reading under her byline.
A graduate of the Singapore Institute of Management, we were drawn to Sheila after she proved her nose for a story and reporting chops working with the likes of Deal Street Asia, Vulcan Post and Singapore Press Holdings over the last two years. We’re excited to watch her develop at The Ken through our editorial system that combines on-the-ground reporting with a skillful editorial team that sits in the background but plays a key role helping to tweak and refine the final stories that you see published on our pages.
Outside of work, Sheila paints and is a creative writer with a psychological thriller currently in progress. You can reach out to her for plot spoilers, news tips and more via email—her [email protected] —and keep up with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Rajiv CN, Audio Engineer (Bengaluru)
Just as how developers work silently in the background to build quality products, audio engineers do the same with podcasts.
That’s why Rajiv CN joins us as our resident audio engineer.
Unlike many others who enter the field of audio engineering to support their musical careers, Rajiv chose to become one only because of his interest in core audio engineering. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sound Engineering from CMR University, and is deeply skilled in all the unseen technical aspects of audio that elevate it from good to great. Before joining The Ken, he’s worked with Pocket FM and with Kruthi Audios, where he worked on mixing and mastering music for multiple movies.
Rajiv also has the distinction of having the coolest side-gig in his past, when he scratched records as the resident DJ at Gilly’s Restobar, a popular watering hole in Bengaluru.
Mathew Jacob, Editorial Marketer (Kottayam, Bangalore)
We started with publishing one story a day. Today, The Ken’s editorial product portfolio includes stories across India and Southeast Asia, nearly a dozen premium newsletters, rich visual infographics and a top-ranked podcast. And we have many more in the pipeline.
That’s why we decided it’s time to hire Mathew as our first editorial marketer.
Mathew joins us to market and talk about everything that we create by deploying our website, social channels, emails, mobile app and even other places like Reddit, and other private communities. We want more people to know about our stories, and we need someone who can figure out how to do that every day.
Mathew joins us from Publicis Group where he worked as a Management Associate and handled campaigns for Amazon India. He studied Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and did his Post-Graduation in Broadcast Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. While in ACJ, Mathew started a news aggregation page on Twitter called GIF News where he and his friends curated and reproduced snippets of news in the form of GIFs.
Also, Mathew claims to be a one-of-a-kind foodie. In his own words, “Even at age 23, I’m dependent on my parents to light the gas stove for me but that does not hinder me from going all Desi Gordon Ramsay in my kitchen.”
Shruti Sonal, Staff Writer, Cleantech (Bangalore, Delhi)
Journalism was always on the cards for Shruti, but she didn’t want to study it. “I thought I would become too cynical if I did that,” she says. “And I wanted to keep my options open.”
So after her BA in political science from Delhi University, she enrolled for her Master’s in international relations and world history at Christ University, Bengaluru. Though her entry into business journalism was accidental, thanks to an offer from the news agency Reuters, she realised that it was possible to tell business stories at different intersections. That’s exactly how she will cover cleantech for The Ken from the national capital. Increasingly hard to ignore, cleantech cuts across business, science, environment, and politics.
Before joining The Ken, Shruti worked briefly at the magazine Outlook Business.
One of Shruti’s abiding passions has been writing poetry and fiction, and she counts novelists Orhan Pamuk and Milan Kundera and poets Kamala Das and Sylvia Plath among her favourites. She is also a Hindi movie buff even though, by her own admission, she does cringe a lot watching them.
If you’ve reached till here, thanks! We’re as excited about the future of subscriber-funded journalism as you. That’s why we’re currently also hiring for these additional roles, all based in India. If you know someone – perhaps a friend, a colleague or a classmate – who you feel would be a great fit at The Ken, please forward this post to them. Or perhaps that someone is you?
- Staff Writer, Internet, Software & Tech
- Staff Writer, Big Tech
- Staff Writer, Delivery, Hyperlocal & Logistics
- Staff Writer, Fintech
- Staff Writer, SaaS
We began October 2021 with the introduction of our new premium plans, Borderless and Echelon. We then introduced seven new subscriber-only, weekly newsletters covering Fintech and Personal Finance, E-commerce and Retail, Climate Tech, Crypto Assets, EdTech, Narrative Thinking and the Business of Sports.
A week later we took the wraps off on Visual Stories, an infographics-first product. And earlier this week we announced our expansion into in-person workshops with our first offering, Narrative Thinking.
All because we’re clear what we want The Ken to mean to our subscribers: the only business subscription they need.
Come join us to make that happen.