Cost to Company is a brand new podcast by The Ken. We tell you how your workplace is changing before you hear it on slack. Hosted by Sneha Vakharia and Shreevar Chotaria, each week Cost to Company brings to you a fresh narrative, told from multiple perspectives, around significant but underreported aspects of our work lives. Hit the follow button to listen to it first!
Every product manager has their own voice, their own style. In the beginning, it’s all about gut instinct, intuition and understanding why humans do the things they do. From that point on, the paths digress. Some communicate as little as they need, some bring all stakeholders on the table with fullest transparency, some bring them on the table for the What and Why but not the How. Some play good cops and bad cops, some dispense information very sparingly, some play with the information they have to dispense. Like Sardar Patel, and like Narendra Modi, every product manager has a voice, a method of rallying people, of building a narrative, and of finding what makes them tick. Just like every politician.
19 September 2022 • 39m and 29s
“It’s a chicken and egg problem, honestly.” - Abhishek, a management consultant who recently shifted to Bengaluru. As the pandemic slowly begins to recede, many offices are opening up. Employees are (voluntarily and involuntarily) shifting back to cities which house their office spaces. But they’re not coming back to work just yet...because their colleagues aren’t either. There is intent, but little incentive. When work can happen from anywhere, what does Gen Z actually want from the physical office space? Collaboration? Peace of mind? Increased productivity? Beer? The answers might surprise you. Hosted, Written, and Produced by Shreevar Chhotaria
12 September 2022 • 22m and 53s
Bruce Lee says this utterly enjoyable thing. “Showing off, is the fools idea of glory”. But there’s also the core human need to be seen, understood, recognised and thought worthy by those around us. And when it comes to work, there's material benefit, money, promotions and growth, that can be gotten with just the right amount of showing off. So what is the right amount of showing off at work? What is worthy of recognition and what isn’t? And what are some of the best ways to have our achievements, seen, understood, recognised and rewarded? This is an episode about the brag document.
5 September 2022 • 28m and 41s
“As middle management, we know for a fact that there's really nothing much in our control.” - Ishaan*, former manager at a prominent e-learning startup. In the 4th episode of Cost to Company, we’ll speak to four middle managers who’ll tell us, no holds barred, about what it feels like to be stretched from both ends in an organisation, during an unforgiving year that has inflicted mass layoffs due to the slowdown. They’ll talk to us about their struggles, their strife, their confusion. And hopefully, some solutions too. How did we get here? Why is the role of a middle manager particularly difficult during a downturn? Do we even need them in the first place? Listen to the episode as we try to navigate these difficult questions with interesting answers. *Name changed on request to protect identity If you like our podcast, or have thoughts, feelings or story ideas, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or share, retweet, and follow @thekenweb Hosted, Written, and Produced by Shreevar Chhotaria
29 August 2022 • 20m and 20s
Google docs has satisfied customers. Evernote has happy users. Jira has grateful managers. But Notion has Notion Nation. It has evangelists, Notion certified Ambassadors, Notion certified badges and Notion certified Champions. It has a subreddit with 220 thousand subscribers, groups in 32 different counties, on Telegram, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Discord. The India chapter of notion has its own logo. Which is the N of Notion with the Ashoka Chakra behind it. We welcome you to the Cult of Notion. You can find Ibrahim’s Notion document about the Cult of Notion here. You can check out Notion India’s Telegram page here. You can see minutes of India’s first Notion meetup in Hyderabad here. You can see Neerja’s Notion page here and Shashwat’s Notion page here. If you like our podcast, or have thoughts, feelings or story ideas, write to us at email@example.com. Or share, retweet, and follow @thekenweb.
22 August 2022 • 25m and 13s
It was the day of Wasim’s engagement. He was wearing his favourite kurta for the big occasion. It was the first time, in many days, that he was genuinely happy. Just then, he gets a call from Byju’s HR team: “We regret to inform you that your employment with Byju’s has been terminated.” If 2021 saw the high of the VC influx, Bored Ape NFT projects, and salary hikes; 2022 is going through a slowdown, a crypto winter, and thousands of job losses. Who bears the brunt of a global meltdown? Who will survive this winter that’s been around for far too long now? Why do layoffs even happen in the first place? Which companies have to let their valuations slip and let their employees go? And within these companies, who gets laid off first? In episode 2 of Cost to Company, we explore these questions as we speak to founders, HR mavericks, career counsellors, and most importantly: people who’ve been laid off. The answers aren’t easy, but the perspectives are worth listening to. If you like our podcast, or have thoughts, feelings or story ideas, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or share, retweet, and follow @thekenweb.
15 August 2022 • 20m and 50s
On Feb 11th of this year Subhash Chaudhury, CTO and founder of Dukaan, posted the salaries of nine new hires. That tweet went viral. The very next day, the CTO of Chingari, also posted salaries of six new hires. This tweet also went viral. Salaries are the one part of our jobs shrouded in secrecy. We know, without anyone specifically ever telling us, that they are not to be ordinarily shared with our colleagues. We don’t want to be impolite. And businesses like paying as little as they need to. And here you have two businessmen, breaking that cardinal rule. In this, our pilot episode of Cost to Company, we will explore why these tweets were posted, and what happens when you break this cardinal rule of business. We will see what this experiment - the publishing of a salary - does to a business. Does it make salaries more fair and equitable? And is the relationship between employee and employer — bound by goodwill and a confidential fiduciary contract — changed for good? If you like our podcast, or have thoughts, feelings or story ideas, write to us at email@example.com. Or share, retweet, and follow @thekenweb.
8 August 2022 • 39m and 53s