Asia Buzz: The New Voices


Friday, February 22nd, 6.30 - 7.30 pm

Asia Buzz New Voices

(L-R) Lauren Frayer, Ajay Chacko, Samira Kanwar

Blunt political reporting? Check.

Sharp-witted social commentary? Check.

Sneak peaks into little-known sub-cultures? Check. 

After a weary day at work, nobody wants to know the exact details of how a once celebrated businessman cheated the nation and fled to safe havens abroad, especially if you’re getting sandwiched between equally tired and petulant people on the Mumbai local trains. Readers are looking beyond newspaper reportage – for opinionated articles that give information with a generous side serving of sass and acute honesty. For a generation that values freedom of expression, even more, today, and feels the need to stay abreast with most occurrences despite hectic schedules, digital news platforms are increasingly offering unrestricted, creative and fresh content. The idea is to stay connected with what is happening in the country and give young people an outlet to voice their opinions and be comfortable with their ideas and identities. The content is carefully curated to cover socially relevant topics like gender, sexual assaults, mental health, politics, music and comedy. This discussion will talk about how the space for such media came into existence, how it's flourishing and what lies ahead. How do they plan to increase their viewership and extend their conversations to wider demographics? How do they tread the path with caution and vociferousness in India? How do they plan on growth when their audiences are less likely to pay for news content?

Join us as we discuss the rise of alternative media houses in India and their plans for the future, with the leading voices from the industry - Samira Kanwar, Head of Content at Vice India and Ajay Chacko, Co-founder and CEO at The discussion will be moderated by Lauren Frayer, who covers India for National Public Radio

AsiaBuzz is a networking series designed to showcase experts from diverse backgrounds in an evening of discussions and exchanges.

Ajay Chacko

Ajay Chacko is the Co-founder & CEO of Arre, one of the country’s foremost original digital content brands. It offers multimedia content across genres & formats and has won many international & domestic awards & accolades for its work in digital fiction & non-fiction. Ajay has over 2 decades of experience in media & financial services. He spent over a decade with Network18 and was Group COO and also President A+E – TV18 JV in his last held roles with the Group. He has also worked with IL&FS, Sharekhan and the Indian Express Group prior to his stint with Network18. 

Samira Kanwar

Samira Kanwar is the Head of Content at VICE India. After her stint in advertising and music television across 6 years, Samira Kanwar joined OML & started their video division (then called Babble Fish Productions) back in 2008. Since then she has been instrumental to the digital revolution content has gone through across original, brands & studio productions in India. As the Head of Content, she is currently leading a team of over 30 people across both video and editorial plus over-seeing branded and off-platform content as well.

Lauren Frayer

Lauren Frayer covers India for National Public Radio, with an audience of 36 million on US radio, and 120 million online. Since opening a new NPR Mumbai bureau in 2018, Lauren has showcased the voices of India's #MeToo victims, from nuns to film stars. She has investigated the use of palm oil in India and chronicled the underdog story of Real Kashmir FC. She's working on a podcast about an interfaith couple in Gujarat. Lauren was previously based in Madrid, Cairo, Jerusalem, Baghdad and Washington. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while embedded with US combat troops in Iraq.

Please note -

Free for Members
Rs. 500 for Non-Members


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Event Details

Fri 22 Feb 2019
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

4th Floor,
WeWork at Enam Sambhav,
Bandra Kurla Complex, 
Bandra East, Mumbai.

Add to Calendar 20190222T130000 20190222T140000 UTC Asia Society: Asia Buzz: The New Voices 4th Floor, WeWork at Enam Sambhav, Bandra Kurla Complex,  Bandra East, Mumbai.