How An Independent Dubai Based Podcast Network Got Started And Runs Today

Chirag Desai
March 11, 2018 - "We tend to get stuck sometimes trying to perfect the plan or the outline or the guest, and sometimes it’s good to get started."
Since 2017

►Tell us about you and your podcast

The Coffee & Iced Tea Network I founded runs 3 podcasts today: 

I’m a tech specialist & certified auditor by profession. As a recent vegan, I started ‘The Two Vegans’ with my co-host to try and reset some of the conversations that were happening and also share our journey that might help inspire others who were interested.

T3chtree is a show I do with 2 co-hosts where we focus on enterprise & consumer tech but with a regional focus as often products & features are not available outside the US and no one really talks about that (even publications that are written outside but talk from a US-perspective).

Drishti Talk discusses Indian Policy & Society in a way where we remove sensationalism and focus on the source of the information. Drishti Talk is focused on the Indian voter, with the goal to better inform the electorate.

The Coffee & Iced Tea Network shows are focused on our region so that’s where our listens come from, although they have relevance worldwide.


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

I do listen to a lot of podcasts, mostly tech but some general interest & entrepreneur-focused podcasts. As I mentioned, the motivation behind Drishti Talk was being tired of the kind of uninformed sensationalist discussion that happens in the Indian media, and my friends who would look to me to break it down; this made me realize there was potential to actually share that with a wider audience.

I enjoyed the format a lot, and wanted to break away into doing fun things with podcasting as well, this led to both the vegan podcast and the tech one, which are more consumer interest but also fun to do since I’m passionate about both these topics.

Drishti Talk started in April 2017; the Coffee & Iced Tea network started in Oct-Nov 2017.

It took more than 3 months to get the first episode going, as the intention was to do an interview show and it took me quite some time to get my first guest on, which required me to research & build multiple topics to address different experts’ subject matter.


►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?

Most shows I’m running have a 2 episode a month schedule as of now. Recording takes between 1-1.5 hours on average, followed by 3-5 hours in post (mostly editing, also show notes etc). This is of course scattered over a few days. Scheduling isn’t the easiest but it helps with co-hosts as we can maintain a good schedule so it doesn’t go off the expected frequency like it does for shows where it’s just me and a guest.

I do fund the shows myself right now as I’m working towards building a larger network with multiple shows that will span 2-3 different verticals.


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

The goal for the network is to grow a sponsorship layer that will help fund both the hosts and the platform/company that will help expand its reach. I’m currently speaking to a couple of sponsors to work out how they might be interested in sponsorship. I believe one of the advantages of having the larger vision is that a sponsor would be able to reach different kinds of audience from 1 place.

For me, podcasting was meant to be a channel to express, share, talk about and discuss topics I’m passionate about. So I take it as an opportunity to learn & explore these topics further, and share them with an audience and grow from there.


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

I currently record most shows via Zoom, after which I edit them on my iPad (Ferrite is my choice of editor). All shows and the podcast platform are hosted on Podiant (code COFFEE can get you a discount on hosted for 3 months :), which is a sturdy and full featured podcast host that works great. I use an AT2020USBi microphone, and have a iRig lav mic for interviews I’ve done in person.

For the vegan show, we are speaking to the larger vegan community in the UAE/outside to get guests on (and are also invited to speak on other vegan shows).

For Drishti talk, most of it has been via social media; I’ve been active in the Indian twitter scene for a few years and have reached out to the larger social circle to connect with subject matter experts to expand the podcast. Preparing for Drishti talk requires a lot of research into the law and policies we will be discussing, as well as a delve where possible into relevant statistics that help understand the implications of the policies.

For t3chtree, it is an extension of what we do already know in tech, combined with some added research when it comes to fresh tech news that happens week to week.


►How do you market your show?

We are listed with iTunes as well as multiple podcast directories (Stitcher, Overcast, TuneIn etc) so people can easily find us in a podcast player they prefer. We find Twitter to be the most useful, but Facebook helps as well in terms of some engagement, especially among facebook groups.


►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?

I’d say to anyone that they should just get started. We tend to get stuck sometimes trying to perfect the plan or the outline or the guest, and sometimes it’s good to get started. Sort out commitments and plans with co-hosts so you can keep a schedule that is regular. Connect with podcasters (there are numerous FB groups), which is great for sharing advice, connecting with others and even asking questions.


►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?

Updated: a year ago