This role hosts one or more podcasts at The Ken

Why this role exists at The Ken

Narrative journalism is The Ken’s raison d’être, our reason for being. Since 2016 we’ve been known for our path breaking longform business stories and topical newsletters. We’re equally ambitious about narrative-driven audio storytelling too.

We produce multiple original podcasts that straddle unique spaces in the Indian business, technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems today. These include Cost to Company, a weekly show that brings to life the most pressing topics affecting workplaces and careers; Daybreak, a thrice-weekly news show that narrates the biggest business stories worth understanding; and First Principles, a fortnightly leadership show that features deep and candid conversations with India’s best known founders and executives. We have more shows on our 2023 slate.

Podcast hosts are the souls of our shows. They are the storytellers. It is their voice and personality that subscribers and listeners get attached to. They are the voice of the listener in conversations and interviews.

And finally, it is the hosts who are the first and last true believers in their shows. Working together with the rest of the podcast team, the host ensures that their shows are always interesting, well-produced and habit-forming. They obsess over its every detail, its every promise, and its every feedback till they are satisfied.

Who you are

You are a curious, driven, and constantly evolving professional who has worked as a podcast or radio host. You have a clear, friendly and well-trained voice. You are able to hold conversations on a range of topics with people, regardless of their age, experience or knowledge, because curiosity and interest constantly drive you.

You have most likely been a journalist, or have worked in a newsroom or journalistic setting. This has helped you develop the very vital skill of telling true stories – stories that are based on facts, sources, research and reporting, while still retaining the essence of being stories.

You work best in teams, drawing on the complementary skills of your colleagues to take simple ideas to tightly produced narratives. Because, you realize, podcasting (and journalism) is a team sport.

Your team

You will be part of The Ken’s podcast team which currently comprises multiple podcast hosts, podcast producers and an audio engineer. You will host (or co-host) one of our existing or upcoming shows.

The most important relationship for you within this team will be with the producer and co-host (if applicable). You will closely partner them to own up all aspects of a show, from ideation and scripting to scheduling and production.

The Ken is fundamentally a teams-first organization, so your success will depend on your ability to form deep and meaningful workplace relationships with your team.

Other teams you will work with

In addition to the Podcasts team, you will work closely with colleagues in Editorial, Marketing and Products to continually elevate the value of podcasts to subscribers and listeners alike.

The Ken is a creative and collaborative organisation. We encourage cross-functional, leaderless teams driven by shared purposes.

Who you will report to

This is currently open, but we prefer candidates who are capable of independent operation without active oversight

What a typical week might look like

Your week might start with a standup meeting where the entire team gets together and lays out the work for the week. In addition, if new stories are being pitched, then you’re working with your producer and co-host to make sure that the ideas are compelling. Together, you’re already halfway through the research and script for one of the ideas discussed last week, so you take the team through it. A few colleagues offer tips to help you sharpen it.

After the team meeting, you do a huddle with your producer and co-host to bounce off some of the new ideas each of you had. You call up the sources you had lined up to meet and interview this week. You consider whether it’s best to record over the internet or at the office in person. You ask a reporter colleague for some contacts in the electric vehicle space to reach out to as potential sources.

You do secondary research for your current story by reading up online articles on the topic. You also sneak in a discussion over coffee with a colleague who writes on the space, to learn a bit more. You use it to tweak your current script.

You conduct multiple interviews with sources and guests for the next episode. You wonder whether a field recording at a buzzing cafe will add to the overall storytelling or distract from it.

As the week draws to a close, you ask for feedback from colleagues and subscribers on last week’s episode. Most of them are positive, but a few critical ones force you to rethink the line of your next episode.

What this role will be directly responsible for

You will be responsible across four broad heads:

  1. Story pipeline: the quality of ideas and pitches that make it as episodes
  2. Storytelling: the way each episode is told as a compelling story from a listener’s point of view
  3. Sourcing: the quality of reporting, including the sources and guests
  4. Production: working behind the scenes with the producer to ensure that final episodes are of world-class quality

What might be the success metrics for this role

The Ken is more of a journey-driven organisation than a goal-driven one. Yet, it helps to understand what the metrics (subjective or objective) are that we can all agree upon as markers of our progress.

  1. Story pipeline: depth of pipeline, feedback (internal and external) on episodes
  2. Storytelling: internal feedback, episode downloads, episode completion rates, organic shares, podcast ratings
  3. Sourcing: accuracy of storytelling, quality of sources/guests, variety of voices
  4. Production: adherence to deadlines, definition of production process, production quality benchmarks

Experience

You have 2-4 years of experience as either a radio or podcast host. You have been voice trained and are comfortable with in-studio, internet and on-field recording. You are also well versed with production schedules as well as the software used to record and edit audio.

Skills

Highly Valued

  1. Affability and likability that puts sources and guests at ease, and gets them to hold meaningful and candid conversations on critical topics with you
  2. Active listening, which means being able to hold a conversation while also truly listening to points being made with curiosity and empathy
  3. High energy and drive, because the host embodies the spirit and personality of the show
  4. High integrity and ethics in everything you do, thus earning the unqualified trust of your colleagues.

Important

  1. A feedback mentality, backed by the belief and practice of faster and better feedback loops in ideas, processes, and relationships
  2. Adaptability in the face of evolving goals and changing subscriber patterns. And tenacity and perseverance with respect to goals, metrics and plans.
  3. High standards of excellence, both at a personal and team level. Blended with leading-edge thinking, this creates a virtuous cycle of innovation and improvement for others too.
  4. Strong personal ambition translating into clear career goals

What you’ll get 

One of our tenets is to offer the most competitive salaries and meaningful benefits we can to our colleagues.

  1. Great salaries
  2. The latest Apple MacBooks
  3. A flat, non-hierarchical and open culture
  4. A universal ESOP plan
  5. Health insurance for you and your family
  6. Cutting-edge learning opportunities, whether it be on journalism or subscriptions products
  7. Unlimited leave
  8. Company-sponsored therapy