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.
Why Southeast Asia?
Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most interesting startups, companies, founders and governments. It is also home to even more interesting stories about them, most of which are still waiting to be spotted, reported and narrated.
For instance, what motivates the former CEO and co-founder of Gojek to join the government? What bigger challenges might there be? Is there a similarity in his post corporate path with the one taken by India’s Nandan Nilekani, who after co-founding and leading IT Services giant Infosys, joined the government?
What are the economics of durian farming in Malaysia? Can the fruit really offer 10X returns, albeit over a 25 year period?
Or that of artisanal chocolate made with rare and premium varieties of cacao from the Philippines?
What happens when digital wallets crash into digital banks? Unicorns are born. At least, that’s what happened in the Philippines with PayMaya parent Voyager.
China was the world’s undisputed Edtech market. What happens to all its ambitious companies once the government clamped down on them? They set their sights outside China. And beyond Mandarin. The LingoAce example.
And if instant grocery delivery is such a lucrative opportunity, why did TaniHub shut down its entire business-to-consumer operations just weeks after launching same day grocery delivery? And how come its rival Sayurbox is doubling down on it by offering 30-60 minute deliveries?
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 a 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 Edit team 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 organization, 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 organizations 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.
In addition, you are
* Self-driven and ambitious, able to source original stories and insights from your network
* Ability 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
* Well-informed about global trends on e-commerce and investments
* A reporter based in any of the major Southeast Asian economies with at least 2 years of experience covering business or technology in the respective country or across the wider region, we’d love to talk to you. You must be resident in at least one of the Southeast Asian countries you intend to cover and have a valid work visa.
If what we said above resonates with you, we’re pretty sure you’ll find The Ken is a great place for you.
Our staff writers in Southeast Asia report on topics that criss-cross the digitisation of daily life in the region. Our beats cover the region’s largest companies in ride-hailing, e-commerce and beyond, up-and-coming startups, VC investment trends, the digitisation of corporations and more.
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.
Our team in Southeast Asia is fully remote and we hope you will be comfortable slotting into that system. 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.
Our role is open to applicants based anywhere in Southeast Asia, but we may give preference to those located in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, or Vietnam.
This position will report to a role based in Southeast Asia and work closely with our Editorial team in India.
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.
In March 2020 we expanded to Southeast Asia with the launch of an entirely new subscription for the region.
In Southeast Asia, our team of full-time writers reporters is spread across Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. In India, we are headquartered in Bengaluru with offices in Delhi and Mumbai although our team has gone fully remote due to the pandemic. Our reporters and editors are supported by an equally talented set of product experts, engineers, designers and marketers.
If you haven’t read The Ken Southeast Asia 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.