The Ken Is Looking For Chief of Staff

    The Ken Is Looking For Chief of Staff

    Website The Ken

    The Ken is India and Southeast Asia’s leading independent subscriptions-only business platform. Since October 2016, we have been remaking business journalism into subscription products and subscriber experiences worth looking forward to each day. Over 300,000 users and hundreds of corporates, colleges and institutions consume our feature stories, newsletters, infographics, podcasts and learning programs each day. Our writers and staff work out of multiple cities in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam.

    Our single minded obsession is to grow The Ken to become the only business subscription you need. That’s a high bar for success. Which is why we’re seeking sharp and driven professionals to join us.

    Chief of Staff

    We are looking for an ambitious and entrepreneurial professional to play a vital role that spans all our products, leadership, subscription offerings and organizational structure. As Chief of Staff, you will report directly to the CEO and work closely with him, the COO and other senior leaders to drive The Ken’s growth and improve its organizational resilience. You’ll either have a ringside or driver’s seat to virtually all of the significant business, product and organizational initiatives we will work on.

    You will be the first Chief of Staff at The Ken. Thus, a big part of how the role evolves and delivers impact will be based on your skills, drive and smarts. Like how a midfielder in football straddles the field between their team’s forwards and defenders, you’ll straddle the length and breadth of the organization, effortlessly switching between outward-focused growth initiatives and inward-facing organizational projects.

    To do that, you must not only be great at problem solving, strategic thinking, project planning and communication, but also the demeanour and attitude to become better at those by learning from others through newer experiences. The Ken is made up of an incredibly smart, diverse and experienced set of professionals. That diversity is what makes us unique and powers our growth. A great Chief of Staff will plug into that as a catalyst, as a peer, as a colleague and as a leader.

    Given the scope of this role, multiple career paths will open up over time, including both senior functional or business leadership roles. This is an ideal opportunity for someone with entrepreneurial ambitions, who seeks a training ground in an innovative startup to work across diverse functions such as direct revenue monetisation, product development, strategic partnerships, organic growth, investor relations and corporate development.

    Our long term vision is to build The Ken into the only business subscription our subscribers in India and Southeast Asia need. To achieve that, we will need to push ourselves to constantly be the best at our journalism, our products, our business strategy and our organization culture and practices. As our midfielder in this game, the Chief of Staff will be one of the most fun, learning and rewarding career experiences in your life. We will play to win!


    • Assume oversight or responsibility for executing strategic business and organizational initiatives under the guidance of the CEO and COO.
    • Be the CEO’s “alter ego” in all key meetings with the intent to be an efficiency multiplier and enabling liaison. Collect and disseminate relevant and important information from teams on metrics, project progress, new ideas, planning and people management.
    • Work with the rest of the leadership team and functional owners to assist them with goal setting & tracking, program management and strategic focus. Explain to people and teams what is or isn’t important.
    • Be the organization’s go-to person on taking ideas to plans to execution to results to continuous improvement.
    • Observe what’s going on around the organization to spot either problems or opportunities proactively, and then devise interventions to solve or harness those.
    • Perform periodic “First Principles” based reassessment of things we take for granted – like org structures, processes, metrics and business lines – with a view to improve them with fresh perspective.
    • Rapidly assimilate new concepts and ideas to become an internal subject matter expert or sounding board to help teams translate them into plans and rollouts most efficiently.
    • Prepare and review all strategic communication, like corporate blog posts, pitch decks, presentations and investor reports.
      Form meaningful, independent and honest relationships with both peers and leaders.

    Qualifications and attributes

    • 2-3 years’ experience post an MBA from a top tier business school
    • That experience should have been in strong operational roles, driving key projects and working with senior leadership
    • Strong “First Principles” analysis skills – the ability to strip down any problem into its atomic constituents and then rebuild it as a solution by questioning everything and assuming nothing.
    • An ability to often do the opposite of analysis – synthesis. Collate disparate data and viewpoints and then piece them together to form the big picture. This is also a Systems Thinking view.
    • The ability to take ambiguous, conceptual or partly fleshed out ideas and devise structured approaches to refine and build them
    • Comfortable holding conflicting or fast evolving ideas in your head without getting bogged down over the need for immediate resolution or clarity. Often, the best solutions appear after some wrestling with confusion. The ability to hold multiple futures in their discussions – those extrapolated from historical data versus those formulated from strongly formed beliefs.
    • Great project management skills, which include both the ability to visualize initiatives “as an Excel sheet” and the desire to “roll up sleeves” and play an operational role.
    • Innate comfort with data, research, analysis, numbers and concepts. You will be required to use most of this each day in order to arrive at points of view worth adopting.
    • Superb interpersonal skills, originating from a desire to form meaningful connections and relationships with all colleagues sans titles or levels. This is key to working collaboratively, which is central to the role.
    • Able to guide, coach or manage diverse teams often set up and disbanded for short durations
    • A clear ability to tactfully but confidently persuade and convince others on key topics, without getting personal. Able to form strong opinions, weakly held.
    • An awareness and appreciation for the fact that sometimes problems or opportunities are spotted with the aid of empathy, emotions and body language, and not data or metrics
    • Clear headed and sharp focus on goals, outcomes, execution and feedback. Thrives on feedback and iterations.
    • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal. Takes pride in sharp, unambiguous and purposeful documentation and knowledge management.

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