Following her passion to connect
Keerthana Nagarajan, a media professional with over a decade of experience backing her, has stepped into the virtual world with her website ‘Continnect’.
From 2005 to 2009, Keerthana Nagarajan worked as a news producer for CNN-IBN (now News 18). Later, in 2008, she got married and moved to Europe with her husband, Balajee, a IT professional. Their first residence was in the Netherlands, where she landed a job with Radio Netherlands Worldwide for the South-Asia news beat. In April 2012, Keerthana moved to Switzerland.
Over the years, she gained 10 years of experience in print, radio, television and the worldwide web. Today, Keerthana harnesses her experiences to develop her entrepreneurial side with the establishment of ‘continnect’; while balancing her roles as a full-time mom, part-time writer, taking up freelance and volunteer writing assignments in Switzerland.
As ‘continnect’ turns one on Women’s Day this year (March 8, 2017), in an interview with Namaste Switzerland, Keerthana talks of the beginnings of ‘continnect’ and the route she has taken towards entrepreneurship.
How it all began…
“One night, in the first week of January 2016, I sat up in bed and wondered what it would mean to work on stories from different continents. The idea kept me awake and I ended up drafting a plan on how I could connect with journalists and work on stories from around the world. The next day, I discussed the plan over breakfast with my husband. At that point, I did not have a theme for ‘continnect’. All I knew was that I would work on stories from around the world. The theme and the name of the website came along as my husband and I reworked and planned this venture through the following month.
I realised there are so many stories about women from around the world that sometimes aren’t covered/ go unnoticed because they aren’t “newsy” enough. I wanted a forum which would bring all women-related stories under one roof. That’s how ‘continnect’ was born. It connects continents … it connects women.”
That was the idea behind ‘continnect’. And today, a year down the line, it is a global forum on all topics that inform, inspire and involve women.
Keerthana continues, “While I take care of the content for the website, my husband takes care of all the technical aspects of the website.”
What ‘continnect’ encompasses
As Keerthana pondered more over the web content with her focus firmly in place, she developed a plan that included
- Stories that inspire, inform and involve women from around the world.
- Wide Angle: ‘continnect’s’ segment on films and books that intends to encourage readers to look them up as well. The films and books ‘continnect’ chooses to preview or review pertain to daily battles, small wins, big losses and the immense courage of women from across the world. Keerthana’s friend and journalist, US-based Prajwal Shali produces this segment.
- Femme Smart deals with apps created for or by women. “We talk about newly created apps that help with social gains and empowerment, lifestyle apps and apps that are used particularly by women every day and apps that are popular with women across the globe,” explains Keerthana.
The illustrations area created by Sharanya Mageshwaran who loves painting and sketching with fauvist, expressionist and abstract themes.
Her friend and freelance writer Maria de Conceicao Wittwer who is also based in Switzerland is part of the team as Editor and writer at ‘continnect’.
‘continnect’ works with freelance journalists and writers from around the world.
The highs and lows of work entailed
An enthusiastic young woman, Keerthana, says, “I enjoy researching stories and connecting with journalists from different continents. Each month, I work with a few journalists, NGOs that work with women or simply women with interesting stories. The challenge is to do all this connecting over emails/phone calls and sometimes just to find the right contact to reach that someone who is not accessible despite all the technology.
‘continnect’ is just a year old and I am still building my network. That is the biggest task at hand: to build my team of journalists from around the world.”
A fairly decent number of readers visit the site every day. Since its launch, Keerthana and her team has been promoting the site on social media. “I used to get mails and messages from friends that they liked the story they read and they felt positive about it. As time went by, I realised that people I didn’t even know, people across different continents and countries started to visit the site and ‘like’ our facebook page. That immensely boosted my confidence and encouraged me to hunt for more women stories.”
“I am happy with the way ‘continnect’ is progressing. At some point, I want to make it a monthly magazine and reach out to more women and tell their stories to the world,” concludes Keerthana Nagarajan with a smile.
For more information, tune into: www.continnect.com.
Photo by Maria de Conceicao