The Ken is a pan-Asian, digital publication headquartered out of Bengaluru, India. Founded in October 2016 by a team of experienced journalists and entrepreneurs, The Ken pioneered subscribers-only online business journalism.
In India and Southeast Asia, we offer our subscribers one original, deeply reported, analytical and well-narrated story every day.
Our subscriber community comprises innovative and successful entrepreneurs and senior executives; venture investors; policy makers; college students; and some of the best known and most innovative companies. We are also funded by a set of stellar investors, including Omidyar Network.
In India, we are headquartered in Bengaluru and have virtual offices in Delhi and Mumbai. In Southeast Asia, our full-time writers report from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.
About the role
4 years after starting out, The Ken finds itself in a unique situation. One that is an immense opportunity for an ambitious, smart and driven candidate interested in building a career in Product Management or Data Analytics by building and optimising subscription-based products to get outcomes.
Because in the last 4 years we have crossed many milestones that are invaluable for any ambitious journalism and subscription startup.
- From zero to 25,000+ paid subscribers, which is one of the largest globally for any subscriptions-based business journalism website excluding established ones like WSJ, FT, Economist etc.
- From a single product (our daily India stories) to multiple ones, including newsletters, India and Southeast Asia subscriptions and soon, a podcast
- From just retail subscribers to over a hundred institutional subscribers and over a dozen campuses
- From just an annual plan to 3-year plans, couple plans etc.
- From reporters in just India to 5 new countries in Southeast Asia
- From just a WordPress website to native apps for iOS, Android and iPad and a world-class website with its own design language
- From an unknown brand and concept, to India’s most trusted journalism brand in the business journalism space
- Subscribers all over India and the world paying a premium for our journalism without us ever having to discount
- And we’ve achieved all of this without spending a single dollar on paid acquisitions or marketing. We did that through three key pillars of our foundation: impeccable and original journalism that cannot be found elsewhere; passionate and engaged subscribers; and world-class products with highly customized flows.
While these three have brought us to 25,000+ subscribers till now, our ambition is much larger and over a much longer period. Over a 10-year period we see ourselves becoming the equivalent in India and Southeast Asia what the WSJ was to the US and FT to UK.
A key milestone for that would be getting to 100,000 paid subscribers.
Until now, The Ken has expanded its subscriber base largely through word-of-mouth driven by our editorial stories as the core value proposition, and our technology products to boost their discovery — driving sign ups, subscriptions and renewals. Our technology products all work together in an orchestrated manner to meet these goals.
The Product Manager is a key role tasked with the responsibility of creating, leveraging and executing using multiple levers to drive growth and subscriptions for the business. The role reports to the COO, The Ken.
Primarily, the Product Manager will work with engineering, design and the marketing teams. The role has two parts, both demanding their own set of skills.
In this role, this individual will be expected to do the following:
- Design, build, iterate products that drive growth in subscriptions for The Ken
- Prioritize, iterate and productize features and initiatives which lead to higher growth, engagement and retention. The marketing, engineering and UX teams are the stakeholders here.
- Take complete ownership of the web and the app to deliver a superior experience to our readers.
- Ideate and figure out long-term bets/investments and initiatives which will help us hit our business goals.
The ideal candidate must have the following skills :
- 3 years of equivalent training or work experience.
- Advanced proficiency in analytics and its interpretation
- Ground-up thinking on how to do the following : Formulate hypothesis -> A/B testing -> measurement of results -> insights and actions that informs product features.
- Expertise in working with developers to implement behavior tracking/analytics on front-end consumer products.
- Familiarity with data science, statistical models and machine learning will be a plus.
3 years of PM experience.
One of our tenets is to offer the most competitive salaries and meaningful benefits we can to our colleagues. While we do keep an eye on what our peers or larger media incumbents pay, we are neither limited or guided by them. What this means is that promising candidates can almost always assume they will be compensated well.
- Self-driven and ambitious — the success of this role is driven by what the owner makes of it. The charter is limitless and there are few obstacles (except time and bandwidth).
- Bottom-up, first principles thinking — There are no replicable templates or strategies to drive growth in our business. The path to build a sustainable subscription media business is long and hard and we require someone who understands our core strengths and levers, operates within our constraints and delivers on goals. This requires deep, foundational thinking and understanding of product principles and the judgement to what is applicable and what isn’t.
- Communication and Storytelling — Fundamentally we are a product that tells stories. The job of product analysis is to tell us clearly what’s working and what isn’t as effectively as possible. This is why we seek candidates with strong communication and storytelling skills.
- Influencing — It’s important to have ideas and to be able to influence folks to see it in your way.
- Execution-focused — It’s important to think and strategize. It’s even more important to do things, even when we don’t have enough time to analyse everything. We prioritise doing and work in short, quick turnaround cycles.
- Tenacity / Perseverance – Consistent reward of passionately striving to achieve results. Conveys strong need to win. Reputation for not giving up.
- Resourcefulness / Initiative – Passionately finds ways over, around, or through barriers to success. Achieves results despite lack of resources. Goes beyond call of duty. Shows bias for action. A results-oriented “doer”.
- Excellence / Ownership – Sets high stretch standards of performance for self and others. Low tolerance for mediocrity. High sense of responsibility.
- Team Player – Reaches out to peers. Overcomes we-they. Approachable. Leads peers to do what is best for the company.