Riddhi Kanetkar, Startups/VC Reporter, Business Insider

In today's Money Talks, Headlinemoney Awards nominee Riddhi Kanetkar describes finding inspiration for stories in everyday conversations, discusses using financial journalism as a means to pursue corporate accountability and reveals her love of Indian street food.
Riddhi Kanetkar, Startups/VC Reporter, Business Insider

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What are the main beats you cover? 

I cover startups, technology and venture capital. Within this, I’ve been covering AI startups, company culture, and labour issues. 

What was your reaction to making the shortlist?

It was really rewarding because I had worked so hard to write stories I was truly proud of. I was also chuffed to be in such great company, among the other amazing journalists on the shortlist! 

What made you become a financial journalist?

I went to a Bloomberg News Insight Day when I was at university, and I was fascinated by how the editor described financial journalism: it’s a look into our everyday lives through the prism of capitalism. Corporate accountability is a theme I’ve always been really interested in pursuing, and becoming a financial journalist was a great way to fulfill that aim.

What is the story you are most proud of and why?

My colleague Tasmin Lockwood and I published a long-form investigation on GoStudent, a $3 billion edtech startup that was facing a myriad of controversies for failing to vet its tutors and enabling a lavish party culture just before it laid off hundreds of staffers. Previous employees at the company said the story brought them “closure”, and amplifying their experience was such a gratifying takeaway.

Which financial interview would you most like to arrange?

I would love to speak to Shein’s founder and CEO, Chris Xu. He’s a very secretive, low-key figure, but I have many questions about Shein’s operations and climate credentials. 

Tell us about the most surprising/interesting money story you have read recently:

I really liked Rest of World’s story on the rise and fall of Koo, which tried to become India’s alternative to X. It was interesting to gauge how difficult it is for social media startups like Koo to overtake the existing juggernauts (however dysfunctional they may be), especially in the context of India’s political climate. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out in financial journalism?

Aside from the fact that any story can be a business story, I think inspiration for stories can come from anywhere! In conversations with friends and family, note any interesting themes or anecdotes about particular companies and use them as a starting point. Also, try to gain as much mentorship from experienced professionals as possible; I am indebted to my wonderful editors, who have taken the time to coach me and help me build my confidence. 

What topics do you expect to dominate the news in the second half of 2024:

AI has been an evergreen theme since 2023, but I expect there will be a lot of discourse on AI misinformation with so many huge elections coming up this year. I also think that the war in Gaza will, and should continue to, dominate headlines. 

If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to sing, or run (the latter is probably more useful).

Describe your dream holiday:

Right now, a cabin in the mountains sounds very dreamy.

Finally, if you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chaat, which is more an umbrella term for Indian street food (I can’t pick just one).

View the full Headlinemoney Awards shortlist.

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