Many digital media platforms rise and fall with the rapidly growing startup culture, but one in particular caught the attention of college students – The Indian Economist. It is a digital media platform available as a phone app and web portal to provide unique content. DU Beat got in conversation with Mr. Manan Vyas, the founder of The Indian Economist, and a Delhi University graduate:
DUB: Could you tell us a little about what separates The Indian Economist from other similar platforms?
Two primary aspects – we are a pure-play opinion & commentary publication. We do not publish news, and we rarely follow the news cycle. We specialise in articles that either introduce a new subject, or introduce a completely fresh perspective on an existing subject.
The second aspect is the sheer quality of our writers.
The quality of our writers is hard to match, arguably even for mainstream publications. With more than 200 writers from over 25 countries across 4 continents, The Indian Economist brings together global experts that can speak about issues that matter with credibility and authority.
We host individuals from global financial institutions, think tanks, authors, artists, activists, entrepreneurs, professors and more from the best companies, universities and institutions in the world.
DUB:What was the inspiration behind setting up TIE?
We wanted to provide access to a diverse pool of opinions and voices. We noticed that India’s English language print publications were publishing less than 300 articles a week in a country of a billion plus people with diverse tastes and interests. Moreover, Indian print publications rarely hosted foreign columnists, due to which a global perspective was missing.
We realised that Indian readers want to read more opinion and commentary, written by credible experts who know what they are talking about. We want to be the platform that could solve that problem.
Indian readers want to read more opinion and commentary, written by credible experts who know what they are talking about
DUB: Being a DU graduate, what influences from your college days went towards forming the startup?
DU has some of the smartest people in the country, and I am happy to have met and spoken to a few of them. Watching DU graduates do well is inspiring, and makes you feel proud to be a part of a cohort of driven, successful individuals. I met TIE’s co-founder, Abhisek Ghosh (St. Stephens, Eco Hons) at DU while at a competition in St. Stephens. ?We became friends, and eventually discussed the idea of TIE together. It took off from there.
DUB: What’d be your perspective on the directly involving students in curating content?
Students can do a great job with content. They are well read and intelligent and also form a readership group for magazines such as ours. If you pick the right kind of students (we pick the best, our selection ratio is less than 1%), we believe they can do a fantastic job with the content.
DUB: What advice would you give to college going students who would like to make a difference?
1. Figure out an area where they want to make an impact.? Ideally, pick an area that is under-served and does not have a lot of companies already fighting it out.
2. Scalable – whatever idea you pick, make sure it is scalable. If an idea involves you going door to door to speak to people, that is not scalable. If an idea restricts your area of impact in terms of distance or number of people it touches, it may not be scalable. Pick something that can scale.
3. Sustainable – this is linked to the scalable idea. If your idea requires massive investment in terms of time and money to succeed, it may never get off the ground. You will either (a) not be able to start (b) not be able to sustain. Pick an idea, just begin, get user feedback, adapt, and go back out there to get more users. Repeat.
Interview by Shaina Ahluwalia for DU Beat