This role is responsible for producing 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.

Producing great narrative-driven shows at the intersection of journalism and business requires deep and enduring talent. It requires teams that are equally at ease with storytelling, journalism and the unique demands of audio.

The podcast producer is the linchpin for such teams.

Working together with the podcast host(s), the producer takes charge of the various critical duties that take place in the background, away from listeners’ ears and eyes. From researching and writing episode scripts, to acting as a sounding board for the host(s), ensuring the best sources and guests are on the show, helping plan recording sessions, and monitoring success metrics, the podcast producer is like an all-rounder who is equally adept at various things.

Their job – your job – is to help the host(s) and The Ken make the best podcast possible with each and every episode.

Who you are

You are an ambitious, thoughtful and constantly learning professional who has worked as a podcast producer or host. We say this because this role requires prior experience around various aspects like scripting, sourcing, audio production and audio storytelling.

You are either interested or at least, genuinely curious about business and how it operates. From a failed UPI transaction at a local vendor to the reason why Apple’s iPhones didn’t support 5G in India till late, you realize there are always great business stories waiting to be unearthed, pitched, reported and narrated.

You are a team player even while setting and demanding high standards for work. This includes being very well organized in your daily and weekly tasks.

Your team

You will be part of The Ken’s podcast team which currently comprises multiple podcast hosts and an audio engineer. Depending on your role assignment, you might work with one or more hosts helping them produce their shows.

The most important relationship for you within this team will be with the host(s). 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 host(s) to make sure that the ideas are compelling. 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 host(s) to bounce off some of the new ideas each of you had. You then dive into your scheduling calendar to assess the status of invites you’d sent out last week. A few people might need following up over the phone. You ask a writer colleague for some contacts in the fintech space to reach out to as potential sources.

Through the week you work with the host(s) to set up recording sessions. Some are in the field, some over the internet, while a few are in the studio. You ensure that the recordings are properly tagged and uploaded for post production.

Once the episode production is done, you focus on uploading and scheduling the audio on podcast platforms. You also check the analytics and metrics for each of your shows (and often, for your colleagues too) to spot interesting trends that need to be discussed as a team. You also work with the marketing and social media teams to ensure that all new episodes are promoted well.

As the week draws to a close, you spend some time reviewing and presenting your notes from sampling leading podcasts globally. Perhaps it’s an interesting narrative technique or a cross-promotional tactic that you liked. You also review the week gone by and analyze the deadlines and a few slippages. You decide to suggest a small tweak to the production process to make it smoother.

What this role will be directly responsible for

You will be responsible across four broad heads:

  1. Value proposition: helping define, refine and deliver a sharp value proposition for the show(s) you produce, from the point of view of subscribers and listeners
  2. Storytelling: teaming with the host(s) to ensure that the narrative techniques, structure and scripting in each episode delivers great stories worth listening to
  3. Production: working behind the scenes to research, find sources, book guests, organize recordings and manage schedules in an efficient and dependable manner
  4. Promotion: you ensure that your podcasts are constantly climbing the charts by finding newer listeners and discovering newer distribution avenues

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. Value proposition: internal feedback, subscriber/listener feedback
  2. Storytelling: internal feedback, episode downloads, episode completion rates, organic shares, podcast ratings
  3. Production: adherence to deadlines, definition of production process, production quality benchmarks
  4. Promotion: chart rankings, downloads, distribution

Experience

You have 2-4 years of experience as either a podcast/audio host or producer. You are therefore well versed with production schedules as well as the software used to record and edit audio.

Skills

Highly valued

  1. Disciplined organization and planning, in a way that makes production of shows predictable, satisfying and efficient
  2. Team play – working with multiple team members to create podcasts and related products that add to The Ken’s brand
  3. Impeccable written and spoken communications that is both clear and powerful, in both one-on-one and group settings
  4. Documentation and knowledge management, leading to well-organized processes and documents that help the entire team perform better
  5. Resourcefulness, meaning a bias for action and finding ways to achieve goals in spite of frequent barriers or obstacles that might be hard to predict.
  6. Creativity, leading to newer and imaginative approaches to pitching, storytelling and production
    Adaptability and resilience, meaning the ability to both stick with the goals even while changing course as required

Important

  1. Energy, enthusiasm, and passion in the things you do
  2. A feedback mentality, backed by the belief and practice of faster and better feedback loops in ideas, processes, and relationships

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