‘Dhoni failed to adapt when cricket changed’: Econ Central

Amit Verma

Vivek Kaul

MS Dhoni

Economics is a way of thinking, or to put it simply a study of human action. Now cue the trumpets for journalist and veteran podcaster Amit Verma and economic commentator Vivek Kaul as they bring their new podcast ‘Econ Central’, which tries to cut through economic jargons and misinformation to interpret events, including ‘non-economic’, around you in a lucid manner and try to surgically examine them through the lens of an economist. One can find many similarities of the new show with NPR’s Planet Money podcast hosted by Robert Smith.  They have already aired 11 episodes since June 11, including their preview episode. Their latest episode is on former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni, and discuss how he represented a new India empowered by liberalisation. Dhoni according to the two presenters was a disruptor from a small town who led Indian cricket into a new age — but also failed to adapt when cricket changed again. In the last 10 episodes, the show meanders through the ‘deep state of real estate’, ‘the race to the bottom’ of Indian journalism, the UP bandits to petrol-diesel prices and many more. Keep track of this new podcast.


How do you build powerful brands? Ask Malini

In one of the recent podcast episodes of ‘The Inspiring Talk’, host Bijay Gautam talked to Malini Agarwal, founder of ‘MissMalini’ blog --- reporting exclusively on entertainment and fashion. Agarwal talks to Gautam about building powerful brands. She recently wrote a book, ‘To the Moon: How I Blogged My Way to Bollywood’ , in which she shares her story of starting a blog and building it to make one of the most respectful brands. In the 45-minute conversation, Malini shares her journey from the time she came to Mumbai with “two suitcases” and shared an apartment “with six girls and a pigeon” to being one of the most successful bloggers in the country.


Her first big break came through when she worked for Asia Content, a company that wrote scripts for MTV-India. She even met Prahlad Kakkar, who encouraged her to explore her talents as a copywriter. Private radio too was booming at that time and Malini worked for Radio-92.5 and later worked for Channel-V. But as her day job continued, she began a blog which she passionately nurtured since 2008. “At that time, there were very few bloggers then.” She found that most of the stuff on Bollywood and Fashion was riddled with gossip and controversies. “I focussed on reporting the positive, uplifting aspects of the entertainment industry, which clicked” said Malini.


She adds, “I think I was at the right place at the right time,” when she began blogging or when she entered the radio and entertainment industry she tells Gautam. Malini reveals how the idea of the blog appealed to her from the stories she read about Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington. During her job Malini learnt softwares like Dreamweaver, Photoshop, she learnt HTML and would even edit her own videos on iMovies.  “I learnt most of these skills while I was on the job with various media houses.


This helped me later to apply these skills to develop my own blog,” says Malini. She had one big advice for listeners who are yearning to start something new. “Don’t rush into something to make money right away. Whatever you do, it must be authentic and unique. Try lots of different things till you known what you don’t like to do. Initially my blog did not pay me at the same time I had no pressure because of my day job. This helped me.”  She adds, “Enjoy the process. Keep yourself busy, but don’t wish time away . Appreciate where you are at every step of the way. Enjoy the now.”



From talking about hot flashes, depression to racism, former First Lady opens up in her latest podcast show

On July 29 the former First Lady Michelle Obama, got her own Spotify podcast called the The Michelle Obama podcast. It  is still trending on many  search engines. In the five episodes Michele dives deep into conversations with her loved ones—family, friends, and colleagues—on the relationships in our lives that make us who we are. In these episodes Michele tries to sort through questions that we face in our lives, the challenges of being a parent or a spouse , the state of friendships during toughest times and even racism.


As Michele puts it—her motive is to spark conversations and ideas to be discussed among friends and relatives. In past episodes Michele has talked about her relationship with her husband, her family members . Recently, in one of the episodes Michelle Obama spoke of dealing with low grade depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent racial unrest in the US, along with her helplessness in making a difference.  In another episode she talks openly about hot flashes (menstruation).


She describes one incident , where she was climbing out of Marine One ( Helicopter)  when an uncomfortable feeling suddenly swept her entire body.  “I’m dressed, I need to get out, walk into an event, and literally it was like somebody put a furnace in my core, and turned it on high, and then everything started melting .” she says in the podcast episode.  Michelle used one episode to discuss her experiences with racism while in a conversation with longtime friends Kelly Dibble, Denielle Pemberton-Heard and Sharon Malone.


It was timely and aired around another police shooting, of Jacob Blake.  She revealed how once she felt that she was invisible to white people.  Even while Barack Obama was in office, Michelle said her position as First Lady did not shield her from racism. She recalled an incident where she goes out to get ice cream for her and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, after a soccer game.


“When I'm just a Black woman, I notice that white people don't even see me. They're not even looking at me," she said. “So I'm standing there with two little Black girls, another Black female adult, they're in soccer uniforms, and a white woman cuts right in front of us to order. Like, she didn't even see us. The girl behind the counter almost took her order. And I had to stand up 'cause I know Denielle was like 'Well, I'm not gonna cause a scene with Michelle Obama.' So I stepped up and I said, 'Excuse me? You don't see us four people standing right here? You just jumped in line?' She never apologized, she never looked me in my eye. She didn’t know it was me. All she saw was a Black person."



Brit tabloid claims Spotify has approached Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for an exclusive podcast

British tabloid The Daily Mail reported recently that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were set to be offered a seven figure deal to produce podcasts for Spotify.  Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 39, have officially stepped back from royal duties since March.


Spotify, according to the The Daily Mail, are hoping to sign the royal couple for a podcast series following the success of 'The Michelle Obama podcast, which launched last month. Another British tabloid 'The Mirror' claims that Spotify – which has 120 million subscribers worldwide – is close to ­making a seven-figure offer.


The tabloid claims that there are rumours that Harry and Meghan are seeking to gain a foothold in Hollywood , seeking  "financial independence" and " had moved to North America in January."   Talking of the radio or podcast, the couple's second ever engagement as a couple was a visit to Reprezent 107.3 FM in Brixton, a 24-hour underground music station.  Meanwhile in 2017, Prince Harry guest edited BBC Radio 4's Today show, while has a starring role in a new Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix, which was released on Wednesday. And this week Meghan took part in an online chat with Gloria Steinem hosted by Makers Women, to discuss feminism, oppression and the importance of voting in the upcoming US election.