BENGALURU: Did you know that a couple who escaped the Holocaust and untold other miseries in Europe eventually found their way to Bengaluru and set up a popcorn empire in the middle of the 20st century? This is the story of Ingrid Everall’s parents, which she narrates in the first episode of Bangalore in Stories, a podcast channel which documents the many tales of namma ooru. Prateek Jose and Prashanth Shankar run the channel and release a new episode every Wednesday. Since its first podcast was aired in January, the channel’s listeners have grown by around 1,500 every week.
“The podcast is definitely a product of the Covid-19 lockdown because I had to put on hold some projects which did not take off. The podcast focuses on the bygone era of Bengaluru. We sourced (material) through many books written about the city,” says Jose. He and Shankar also wanted to give people a break from distressing news.
Several others too had similar ideas, and with limited production resources such as a basic mic, but armed with research, many podcasters set out on an audio journey. Roshan Cariappa, Ashish Chandolkar and Srivatsan Subbanna, who all have corporate backgrounds, started their journey in March 2020 with the channel Bharatvaarta.
The weekly podcast touches on politics, policy and culture in India, and features people from different fields such as founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation Sridhar Vembu, Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani, author Sanjay Jha and others. “The pandemic amplified our reach with people wanting to consume good content during the lockdown. There have been requests to increase the episode duration by 45 minutes to an hour. So far, we have garnered 25,000 combined views for our podcasts,” says Cariappa.
In April 2020 they established another podcast series called Startup Operator which talks about Bengaluru’s startups. Cariappa says the lockdown made room for the podcast to thrive, and in particular allowed them to manage two podcast series a week. Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru introduced IIMB Podcast Series in July 2020, a joint initiative by the student media cell and communication office of the B school.
It focuses on subjects related to management, entrepreneurship, economic policies and social issues. Students are encouraged to think about the pandemic and its social and economic ramifications with a focus on entrepreneurship, medium and small scale enterprises, etc. According to the institution, the series has had good traction with around 12,500 plays since its inception.