Telum Talks To… T. Shanmugaratnam, Co-Founder, SG:Indian

Telum Talks To… T. Shanmugaratnam, Co-Founder, SG:Indian

Can you tell us more about SG:Indian and what was the intention or inspiration behind the launch?
SG:Indian is focused on the interests and progress of the Singapore Indian community. Our specific objectives include:
  • Encouraging discussions around the issues facing the community.
  • Creating awareness for events organised by the various Indian organisations.
  • Celebrating the successes of Indian enterprises and individuals.
  • Helping to uplift the community through education and skills enhancement.
  • Fostering greater networking among Indians and Indian organisations
How do you pick what to feature on the content portal, and what topics interest you the most?
We select topics based on the relevance and extent of impact, in a range of different areas - health, community issues, education, business, financial literacy, Indian culture, as well as other trending topics of interest to the Singapore Indian community, etc. We also provide post-event coverage for important events. At the end of day, we want to make a difference and create positive change among Indians in Singapore.

If there’s one word you could use to describe your wishes for the Indian community in Singapore through establishing this online publication, what would it be and why?
Progress. In every facet of our lives. The Singapore Indian community has achieved much, but there is still much more we can accomplish. We believe that with the right kind of support, influence and tools at their disposal, SG:Indian can make a difference to not only themselves but to the community and nation. We also need to extend kindness and compassion towards all our fellow Singaporeans. Progress should also be in terms of giving back.

Any editorial plans in the year ahead?
In the coming months we intend to boost our editorial coverage on business and entrepreneurship, sports, health and wellness, beauty and on cultural matters. As Singapore gradually eases up on the current pandemic restrictions, we expect business optimism to improve significantly, and we intend to be in lock step, helping to not only cover topics of interest but to raise awareness on areas where struggling businesses and individuals need help.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge in covering the Indian community in Singapore?
We have a sizeable Indian community that is mainly from India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. We hope our platform will help integrate the locals, permanent residents and non-resident Indians so we can contribute more to Singapore’s progress as a community. The second biggest challenge is to get SG:Indian students to perform better in their studies. Any progress should not be in just one segment but across the board. There is considerable diversity across the Singapore Indian community that can be a challenge to cover, but that’s a good problem – it means we’ll never run out of topics to cover and angles to take!

You have considerable experience in the media business. What do you think constitutes of a good pitch?
The story needs to be particularly relevant to the media organisation’s target audience / readers. The PR practitioner needs to develop a customised pitch that would be particularly appealing to the media in question. While new events and developments may be of interest across the board, we always look for a unique angle to any story. And of course, for us, it has to be relevant to SG:Indian.

If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you want to have seen? (If you could witness any event of the past, present or future, what would it be?)
I would like to watch at least one World Cup in person. And I would like to go with my friends. I would also like to see Singapore win a world championship medal in one team sports one day.

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