Why this role
The Bizops Manager creates, manages and runs the operating system at The Ken.
Our operating principles are derived from the best of two worlds. Our editorial side comprises experienced and talented journalists and editors, while our business side comprises equally talented product, engineering, marketing and design professionals. It’s the combination of these two halves that makes us truly unique. This is your challenge and your opportunity — how should such an organisation execute projects, track progress, identify key northstar metrics and make decisions?
For the last six years, we have built a subscription-first media company out of Asia — producing business journalism with paying for. Our journalism and our products are consumed by nearly half a million registered subscribers across India and Southeast Asia. Starting from just one longform story a day, we’re rapidly transitioning to a full-stack media company — we’ve expanded to Southeast Asia, created widely-read specialized newsletters on topics like FinTech, Retail, Green Energy etc. and developed a collection of acclaimed, original podcasts.
One consequence of our growth and expansion is that we’ve created multiple teams, some working horizontally and others working as self-contained units. Thus, it’s vital for us to align all these teams to maximise speed, productivity, efficiency and visibility. In addition, we’ll have to cascade the company’s business goals to these teams, and to track their progress and achievements. All of this is imperative as we intend to operate with a higher degree of clarity and intention. The Bizops Manager is central to making this happen for The Ken.
This is a hard problem and we’re looking for someone with a desire to build an operating system from scratch at one of India’s fast-growing media companies. You’ll get the autonomy and the responsibility to work across the board to do this by working closely across all levels and functions at The Ken. We believe this is an opportunity for the right person to leave a lasting legacy by creating something that’s world-class and pioneering, now and beyond.
Who you are
You have either been responsible for creating or running business operations at a fast-paced, growing startup. This is important because our organisation is complex, largely cross-functional and dynamic. To be able to collaborate and to solve operations for business teams as talented and diverse as Product, Marketing, Engineering, Narrative Workshops and Sales requires experience, creativity and passion.
You have the ability to establish “causality” i.e you know how to connect activities to metrics to goals to recommendations. This is a rare skill. You’ll need to establish what matters to whom to help them understand the state of the business. Some teams will need processes to improve speed and efficiency. Others will want to track how these activities are influencing key business metrics.
You’re comfortable with dealing with lots of unstructured data and with creating actionable dashboards. We’ve grown rapidly over the last few years, and our metrics are distributed across multiple systems, and may need some consolidation and automation initially. You’ll not be expected to write complex code, but a basic understanding of databases and SQL will help you tremendously.
Lastly, you’ll need to have an interest and appreciation of the creative process. We recognise that not everything can be measured or optimised, particularly in an organisation like ours. You’ll need to know where to draw the line, and to know when to choose quality over efficiency.
Who you’ll work with
Although you’ll be an individual contributor, this role requires you to work cross functionally with multiple teams across functions and levels at The Ken. Mostly, you’ll be working closely with the business side i.e Product, Marketing, Engineering, Design, Corporate Sales and the leadership team. You’ll be expected to establish a strong rapport to get all the support you need to meet your goals. Over time, you may take on and own the execution of projects independently.
The Ken is fundamentally a creative and collaborative organization. We encourage cross-functional, leaderless teams driven by shared purposes.
You’ll report directly to the Chief Operating Officer, The Ken.
What your typical week will look like
Since you’ll be responsible for the operating system of The Ken, you’ll need to establish processes that enable both synchronous and asynchronous execution. We work fast. Our time is limited. Our work demands significant creativity. Thus it’s important to choose and decide processes whose methods and frequency do not add much overhead.
Your week may begin with a business review with the leadership team — where you’ll share northstar metrics for the organisation, progress of key projects and what we have planned ahead. You’ll be expected to have a point of view, and make recommendations on what needs to be done to solve problems.
Over the week, you’ll be expected to attend daily stand-ups and weekly and monthly business reviews with teams, where your input and feedback will be vital.
In addition, you may also be involved in investor meetings and maintaining our MIS. Often, leaders may seek your expertise to gather data and patterns that’ll inform our strategy and decisions. You may spend time talking to other team members trying to understand why certain processes aren’t being adopted, and make recommendations and changes.
At the end of the week, you may present our state of the union at the company’s All-Hands, and share progress on key projects and launches to the organisation, and collect their feedback and answer questions.
In the process, you’ll create rituals, systems and processes through automation and habits which will form the operating system of the organisation for years to come.
What you are responsible for
The Bizops Manager’s primary responsibility is to work across the board to help The Ken unlock value across three axes:
- Productivity : ensuring that all teams understand how much impact and outcomes their activities are delivering.
- Efficiency : managing to create processes that are adopted by cross-functional teams so that they can move faster with reduced coordination costs.
- Visibility : connecting activities to metrics to goals and across levels based on what’s most relevant for them, either through dashboards, status reports or on-demand.
By working with other colleagues, this role will also be expected to influence and set priority areas for The Ken.
Who you are
- You have 3+ years experience in a business operations role at a fast-paced, startup at the growth stage.
- You have a track record of taking programs from zero to the next level, and you’re not satisfied with mediocrity.
- You’re analytical and you have a strong appreciation for data. You know how to break down a problem to figure out the root cause. You’ve managed complex, rapidly changing operations in a fast-paced environment.
- You’re super organized, and know how to prioritize and be focused on the most important and impact work at all times.
- You’re a storyteller. You know how to get your message across clearly and powerfully to a range of audiences — to colleagues, executives and partners.
- You are a constant communicator. No one has to ask you what’s going on because you always share updates on your progress as you go. You’re always transparent, even when it means surfacing bad news.
- You’re a natural collaborator, and you have demonstrated experience working across lots of stakeholders in your organisation.
- You’re passionate about and – want to promote – The Ken’s brand.
What you’ll get
One of our tenets is to offer the most competitive salaries and meaningful benefits we can to our colleagues.
- Great salaries
- The latest Apple MacBooks
- A flat, non-hierarchical and open culture
- A universal ESOP plan
- Health insurance for you and your family
- Cutting-edge learning opportunities, whether it be on journalism or subscriptions products
- Unlimited leaves
- Company-sponsored therapy