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Culture at The Ken

The Ken pioneered subscribers-only online business journalism in India. Born in October 2016, into a world populated with scores of media sources churning out countless pieces of “content” endlessly, hoping for traffic or readership they could monetise, we chose not to play the game.

Instead, we published just one story each day. But a story that was original, analytical, deeply-reported and skillfully-narrated. Accessible exclusively to our subscribers without exception, and delivered through our distinctive applications and formats.

The heart of our business is the subscription model, by which our subscribers fund us so we can report and produce truly independent journalism. Conversely, charging a premium for our journalism makes us accountable to subscribers - for the quality and value they get.

We’re able to do this because we have exacting standards when it comes to our people and our culture.

Working at The Ken means working alongside some of the most talented, experienced and driven writers, editors, programmers, product managers and marketers in India and South-East Asia. All of whom are connected to each other via a strong and unique culture born of the marriage between journalism and software startups. A culture where programmers understand the value of first-hand reportage of facts while journalists appreciate the minimum viable product design approach.

Lastly, to enable us to invest ahead of time in our newsroom and products, we’ve raised close to $2 million in venture funding from an enviable set of angel and venture investors, led by Omidyar Network.

There are four pillars on which we stand

  1. Our Journalism – independent, original, analytical and well-narrated
  2. Our People – talented, ambitious, ethical and empathetic
  3. Our Culture – open, transparent, feedback-driven and collaborative
  4. Our Products – high-quality, distinct, data-driven and fun

Our values

Open

We’re open by default, perhaps because openness is a virtue on both sides of our lineage – journalism and software products. Openness manifests itself in various ways at The Ken.

High bar on success

We’re driven, period. We constantly benchmark ourselves against not just the best examples we can find globally, we also measure ourselves against our own previous benchmarks.

Collectively vested

As a team, we are deeply engaged with each other and collectively vested in self-improvement. And we genuinely celebrate each other’s success.

Fun

We have fun doing what we do. Taking pride in your work rarely happens unless you’re enjoying it too. We take pride in having fun while doing our work.

Continuous learning

We believe all of us—individually and collectively—are only at the cusp of what we can achieve. That translates to an environment where we’re all always learning something new.

First principles thinking

When faced with problems or opportunities, our first instinct is to approach it using simple first principles. This prevents us from falling victim to existing biases, habits or conventional wisdom easily.

Culture of feedback

Because we believe in constant learning and collective improvement, we also believe in having a culture of constant feedback. Feedback is the fuel that sustains our creativity and spark.