Since 2016, The Ken has been on a mission to make business journalism more meaningful, rewarding, and original. Not just for our subscribers in Southeast Asia and India, but for our journalists too. If you’d like to work and learn alongside the smartest set of colleagues working together around business journalism, subscriptions, and digital products, apply to us.
E-commerce is much more than Flipkart and Amazon
Gone are the days when e-commerce in India largely meant these two giants for most people. Sure, they still lord it over the sector, and we track their every move closely. But there are several other influential companies with a far-reaching impact, shaped in no small measure by the pandemic.
There is, for instance, B2B pioneer Udaan, whose recovery from a near-death experience in 2020 we chronicled in great detail.
Then you have the SoftBank-backed social-commerce startup Meesho. Its meteoric rise forced Flipkart to become its competitor, even as Meesho encroached on Flipkart’s territory. We were there to tell this story too.
If these companies got to where they are by hawking third-party brands, direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies such as Mamaearth have shown it’s possible to create billion-dollar startups by leveraging their own brands and the reach of e-commerce.
The reporter tracking these companies will help our readers how these companies are taking the fight to their offline rivals, or are themsleves being disrupted by plucky upstarts. The reporter will do this by forming deep connections in leading e-commerce companies, venture-capital firms, and wider ecosystems to source and tell powerful stories about where things are headed, and why. The reporter should have the ability to spot the fundamental similarities that define large platforms while being keen enough to know how each vertical has different customer-behaviour dynamics.
But, why stories?
Because it’s not enough to merely report news events. Or to just collate events and facts into an article, and hope for readers to do the work of understanding their relevance.
At The Ken we believe in writing original and deeply reported business stories with a strong narrative element. Whether a long-form feature or a sharp newsletter or data-driven analysis, we pay a lot of attention to getting our storytelling right. That means giving our writers enough time to report, write, and edit their stories – on average around 10-12 days for just one story.
They are also given enough creative space to tell their stories using words and visuals. A dedicated desk works behind the scenes to provide valuable feedback all across the idea or pitch right till the published final draft. And being a subscriber-driven organisation, the feedback doesn’t stop after publishing. Our global community of subscribers is a rich daily source of feedback and learning around every story.
And why you?
Not many organisations these days ask what journalists want. Instead, roles are often structured around what they’re expected to deliver. We like to think of it in reverse. Great journalism comes from newsrooms that place journalists and their interests, ambitions, and preferences at the centre of their storytelling.
We started The Ken in 2016 with the desire to create a place where talented, ethical, and ambitious journalists could build and sustain a newsroom to tell important stories without being pressured to file “exclusives”, churn out copycat pieces, or meet impossible story “targets”.
Today, a Staff Writer writes about 2-3 stories a month. Some also write their own weekly newsletters to build a stronger and more personal connect with their subscribers.
Our journalists are supported to formulate their own point of view. The stories they do aren’t thrust upon them, but come from their own innate desire to tell them. This means we’re looking for reporters who want to learn and improve; tell their own original stories; and develop and hone their own points of view.
Writing on internet and e-commerce for The Ken means adding to its body of work. Over the years we have acquired the reputation of being the destination for reading the most important stories on this space. The stories catch the attention of a wide range of stakeholders from concerned users to decision makers and policy makers who are empowered to act based on the insights from the stories.
An ideal candidate should have at least 2-3 years of experience, as a reporter covering e-commerce and internet startups; as an analyst or researcher covering the space; or as a hands-on professional within the sector. Though we operate in a distributed and hybrid environment, we may give preference to candidates based in Delhi or Bengaluru.
In addition, you are:
* Self-driven and ambitious, able to source original stories and insights from your network
* Able to synthesise multiple reporting perspectives into a compelling, explanatory narrative
* Able to see ahead of news cycles, and see what is likely to happen over a 6-12 month horizon
* Able to stick your neck out with informed opinions when required
* Build source networks with employees, leaders, founders and investors in the companies
If what we said above resonates with you, we’re pretty sure you’ll find The Ken is a great place for you.
While The Ken does not chase scoops, we do place an emphasis on original insight and impactful breaking news. That is especially true of this role.
We work across numerous time zones. You will collaborate via tools like Slack, Zoom, Coda, and Google Suite with a distributed newsroom comprising award-winning journalists across multiple countries, editors, visual designers, podcasters, product managers, and developers.
What we offer
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
About The Ken
The Ken is a pan-Asian, online business publication founded in India in October 2016. We pioneered and built the category of subscribers-only business journalism and are known for our consistently deep and analytical coverage of business, technology, and policy. We are backed by venture funding from Omidyar Network and highly respected angel investors.
If you haven’t read The Ken yet, you can get a sense of our work from our free reads section.
Our diverse community of more than 40,000 subscribers comprises innovative and successful entrepreneurs and senior executives, venture investors, knowledge professionals, policy makers, college students, and dozens of the world’s best-known companies.