Om Malik is a successful writer, reporter and has been entrepreneurial in many ways. He is also one of the pioneers of the blogging phenomena with GigaOm. Om has been a close friend of mine for many years, and was responsible for getting me into blogging. Today, he is one of first bloggers, along with Michael Arrington of Techcrunch and Rafat Ali of Paidcontent to have monetized blogs in a significant way.
SM: I would like to start by going back to your roots, to review the circumstances you grew up in. What was India like at the time? What was your life like? OM: I grew up with what I would describe as a pretty regular middle class life in Delhi. The education was thanks to my mother who basically would make sure that I studied hard. I think the American equivalent would be growing up in the Midwest, with pretty strict parents. I believe that gave me a solid grounding in what really mattered, and how one needs to go through life and set the tone for what is to come.
SM: Where did you go to school at? OM: I went to school and college in Delhi. Somewhere down the line I got into student writing, becoming a journalist.
SM: What did your parents think about your choosing to become a journalist, as opposed to a doctor or an engineer? OM: They never opposed it, but I am not sure they were exactly excited about it. I did feel that it was my calling. My mother and father both write very well, just not professionally. I never received opposition from them, but deep down I am sure they were worried about how I would make a living. Journalism was not exactly an incredible profession back then in India. However, you have to do what you have to do.
SM: What was your first journalism job in India? OM: I worked for a magazine called the VP Fun, it is sort of like Tiger Beat. I would write about music, college life, inter-school music competitions, and those types of things. It did not seem very difficult, but over the years I evolved. I did whatever I had to in order to climb up the ranks.