Ritu Kapur is a veteran of broadcast journalism who decided to join new media world and co-founded The Quint with Raghav Bahl, a serial entrepreneur and investor. Prior to beginning her journey with The Quint, Ritu headed programming at History channel and worked as feature editor at CNN IBN. Having worked on several news & media projects, she has a knack for content creation.
The initial times of starting The Quint were difficult as she was trying hands at a new medium and working in a completely different environment. But it was exciting too at the same time as digital platform gave her the reason to forget everything learnt at Network 18. She is among the women entrepreneurs who are making India proud with their ability to convert the most unique ideas into realty. Learn more about this young and talented businesswoman in her interview.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
After we moved on from Network 18, we knew that we had to build something by leveraging our core strengths of content, news and videos. When we started The Quint, content consumption on digital showed a lot of potential, especially the video format. That’s when we decided that we must tap this exciting space with a new, innovative approach. We wanted to build a product that would appeal to the huge Indian demographic and especially to the youth.
When I was in television news, we often came across the cliché that the youth aren’t interested in news and that political discourse is the last thing they wish to participate in. With The Quint’s mobile-focussed approach we believe that we have changed that perception to a large extent. We have made them a part of the dialogue by emphasising on formats and media that they most enjoy and that’s been one of the most gratifying aspects of our journey so far!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The most challenging part was to unlearn whatever we had learnt so far in television. While the basics of news and good content remain the same, I had to start thinking young again and look at the most innovative of approaches to meet our goals.
Since digital content in India continues to be ad-driven, we also had to spend a lot of time and efforts in explaining the power of digital to advertisers. In addition, bandwidth and internet connectivity continue to be challenges in India, especially for platforms such as ours which are looking at making deep inroads in tier II and III geographies.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
The Quint is media with intelligence – and among India’s leading and fastest growing digital content platforms. The Quint is media for mobile consumption – quickly, visually and socially. A smooth blend of video, audio, graphics and text, The Quint offers a modern, sharp take on the world, and guides people through topics ranging from politics, policy and entertainment, to sports, business, food and everything else that matters.
What is your life mantra?
“The glass is always half full.”
Share details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are self-funded.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We pride ourselves on how well we have managed to overcome many of our challenges. We have managed to put our product out there by constantly being on our feet and thinking in terms of mobile. We didn’t invest in conventional marketing but focussed more on building relevant and engaging content and placed it on the most innovative and fresh platforms which has really worked for us.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We believe in letting our team lead us. In our office, you’ll never find anyone dictating terms to anybody. We let ideas flourish and give people the space and time to experiment and execute their vision. When one is acting upon one’s own ideas, one is bound to be more motivated to do an excellent job. In addition, we have a fluid work structure and lots of flexibility which makes The Quint a truly happy place to work at.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Honesty: By this I mean commitment to your passion and to what you’ve set out to achieve.
- Positivity: Failure is an integral part of success and it’s imperative to not let it bring you down.
- Flat structures for successful team building
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Definitely Facebook. It’s such a wonderful platform that fuses all forms of content seamlessly… text, video and audio. Since the advent of instant articles, it’s become all the more enjoyable and effective. Since Facebook is the perfect platform to showcase one’s personal experiences, political views, professional interests and leisure activities, its appeal and reach is immense and is the ideal way to connect with our audiences.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I give myself a lot of ‘me’ time in the morning. It’s just a few moments of relaxation and reflection while sipping my morning cup of tea. But this time helps me put things in perspective and be collected all day.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I’d certainly like to be more organised.
Answer in less than 50 words
Stay positive and believe in yourself
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Believing something is forever
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
There’s always sunshine after rain
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We wish to become as diversified a digital content company as tech, ideas and innovation will allow us to be. But no matter how high we scale, I would want us to always retain that quintessential start-up energy and environment.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Ladakh, Coorg and anywhere in Kerala.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I don’t believe I’d like to do anything differently. It’s definitely been a journey of hits and many misses but at the end of the day, it’s the misses that teach you the most and make you who you end up being!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon