Radhika Shukla is the Country Director, India of News Republic, a digital service, basically a news app known to offer quality posts. After completing graduation in chemical engineering from IIT Varanasi and doing MBA from University of Delhi, she amassed experience in various industries including telemedia and news. Radhika specializes in business development, user engagement, research and app analytics.
With the zeal of learning more, she kept growing and earned the position of Head, Digital Products at The Hindu, Kasturi & Sons Limited (prior to News Republic). Being a firm believer of hard work and knowledge, she makes knows what can make news based products successful and her contribution to News Republic (India) exhibits the same. Read more about this young and intelligent media person of India in her own words.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Our mission is to provide information with purpose for engaged citizenship. We believe that those who read better know better. News Republic a disruptive global news syndicator that provides users with international and local news stories, photographs, and videos from more than 1,500 trusted global media sources in 37 global languages including 8 Indian languages. Over 12.5 million people around the globe read their news on News Republic.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
News is the connective tissue of humanity, the consumption of news however has evolved over a period of time. You no longer look for the news, it reaches you. At News Republic, we believe nano casting instead of broadcasting is the future of news. This is reason why News Republic was created – to help users sift through the massive amount of content generated on internet and select what they value as newsworthy.
What is your life mantra?
Keep learning and growing. Don’t be afraid of restarting.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
I started the journey of establishing News Republic in India 10 months back. Growing the brand and user base in India has some unique challenges.
- Internet Connectivity – Though we have 4G and 3G in India but connectivity is always an issue, more so while you are commuting. There are many patches of bad network. For Indian users, specifically we created an offline usage mode where they can download news to be read later . We also enabled downgrading the quality of images for easy download
- Mobile Handsets – We kept the size of our app very low keeping the low end handsets in India in mind.
- Multiple Languages- While we started only with our English Edition for India, we quickly realised that the new users who are experiencing internet love to read news in their native languages, while they may be familiar with English. This is reason we tied up with many regional news media companies to get the best content online.
How did you overcome those challenges?
As mentioned above, we kept on optimizing the size , content and features in the app keeping Indian audience in mind.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
12 mn USD till date.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We believe in providing an environment where people do not hesitate to take risks and challenges, they can try out new things and get the credit for it. We are a small company with people from 11 nationalities. We do get to learn a lot from each other both professionally and personally. These are the hooks we provide for people to stay on..and of course we always welcome new talent :-).
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
I think there is only one -Knowing one’s weaknesses and the ability to work on them.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I am a working mom who cannot drive and has a husband who is a management consultant. Most important apps for me are – Grocery apps, YouTube kids, Taxi booking apps and of course News Republic app :-).
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Taking short breaks during the work .
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
This is a very long list but I wish I could be better at improvising.
Answer in less than 50 words
Know your weaknesses
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
No matter how much you know its not enough, keep learning.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Build the brand “News Republic” in India.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
If I am born and brought up in the same conditions -may be a little more focused on what I want to do at an early stage in life. If not, who knows..may be a professional diver or surfer.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
I love heights and depths, would love to trek and dive at different places in the world
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“I love many of them , but nothing that constantly inspires me.”