Video: In conversation with Dhanya Rajendran of The News Minute
Dhanya Rajendran of The News Minute talks to deputy editor T. Surendar about things she could have done differently at the beginning of her journey as an entrepreneur, and what is it like to be a part of the 40 Under 40 list. Here are edited excerpts:
Q. What does it mean for you to be a part of the Fortune India 40 Under 40 list?
A. It is the validation of the work you do, that you get recognised amongst 40 bright people who have stated something, who have taken risk to pursue their dreams. For me, I am a journalist, I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur, and I have started a journalistic venture. For that to get noticed amongst so many other ventures, it’s an honour.
Q. Do you think your business is disruptive? How do you think it is disruptive for the industry that you are in?
A. Most of the newsrooms in India are either Delhi-based or Bombay-based. I have worked in newsrooms which look at news from elsewhere in India from a very Delhi view. So, what my startup, The News Minute, does is that we bring news from the five southern states, and it’s a view from here. we are telling the news from here. In that way we have been disruptive. We have actually forced the other media in India, the national media, to follow the news that we put out. We have changed how news is covered across all medium in the last two to three years for sure.
That is massive according to me, one big problem that I had working as a journalist with other organisations is that many times stories won’t be given importance. So to put yourself on the map is very important.
Secondly, when a lot websites started, a lot of journalistic ventures started in the online space. They were still very opinion-based, we were one of the first ones who were reporting as an exercise. That model has picked up. So there are more people out there who are reporting, who are doing their original stories. That way we have been disruptive by bringing journalism to the online space.
Q. From when you started your business to now, is there something you would have done differently?
A. The first eight months, I did not know what I was doing. People asked me what’s your business plan, I didn’t have any. People asked me what is the plan for the website, I didn’t have any. It’s totally evolved after 8 months to one year of existence. Now I wish I had that plan when I started. It was just me not wanting to go back to a regular mundane job. I do wish sometimes I had a plan in place right from the beginning.
Read more: Growing by the minute
Find the full 40 Under 40 list here