Humanise is One

Sometimes life gives you only one opportunity to do something you love, that can make an impact and can also bring you meaningfully close to strangers on the internet. 

To me, Humanise is that single opportunity. We wanted to have honest and transparent conversations about humans at work and to some extent, we have been able to achieve that. Today, as it completes a year, I am not only filled with gratitude, but bucketloads of learnings that one can only dream of. I am no longer the same person and neither is Humanise. We have changed and before I tell you how, let me tell you what went into building Humanise (afterall we love BTS!). 

Humanise, by Plum - the genesis. 

We see it this way, if Plum is a person in the room, what/ who would it be? We arrived at a simple answer - someone who ‘cares’ - since care is like love or appreciation that has to be demonstrated and not only spoken about in words, it was our way to walk the talk. 

So, why did we take the path less travelled (building a media house within a startup)?

  • Simply because it is less travelled. Content can be SEO-led too (no harm with that at all) however, building it from scratch with a research and people first approach gives us an edge. 
  • We felt by being editorial, we are not diluting our brand, but giving it a personality. Plum, to us, is a person who cares.
  • We are now led by principles. All content has to be well researched, thorough and in many cases data-led. We will never compromise here. It comes from the house of Plum, but never will you see us tooting the horn. 

Fun fact: it took nine months of preparation before Humanise was officially launched. 

Did it pay off? 


We have 44 stories, with 30+ writers, all of whom we met on the internet. 

We now have to refuse more pitches than we accept (we know we are in a responsible position and we take that seriously). We receive love from people and we have initiated really really hard conversations about workplaces in India. 

(In response to this piece)

What have we learned?

Lessons with Humanise have been three fold. One about Indian workplaces, two about the process of writing and running an editorial and three about humans who are writers/ thinkers. 

Let me share it all. 

Lessons about workplaces in India:

  1. We are far from being employee-first (there is no single place for an Indian employee to feel heard and validated). 
  2. Employees want a voice (that is beyond workplace surveys). They have very personal stories and they want avenues to share those. 
  3. Numbers matter, but people matter more. Not every conversation is going to lead to profit, sometimes it is a hard conversation to make someone feel involved and invested in the workplace - much more than they ever would (if that conversation was not had).
  4. Workplaces perhaps do not have that appetite and muscle to have hard conversations with employees. That little change can go aeons in making a difference. Try it out!
  5. Finally,  it does not harm in being kind. Not kindness that reflects in public actions only, but kindness that walks the talk. It is imperative we treat humans as humans and not resources. Maybe that is a hill we will die on, but we are taking that chance. 

Lessons about running an editorial in a startup:

  1. Always pay writers for their writing. Never take writing gratis. 
  2. Every piece of writing means a lot to someone - therefore, feedback has to be constructive. We spend a lot of time reviewing articles and sharing constructive feedback which can only enhance the story, no egos attached!
  3. It is OK to kill stories - we have killed about 5 - only because we care about our writers and readers.
  4. Numbers matter - yes we track data - how well does an article perform, what are its page views etc - but you know what, impact matters more (unfortunately, that will take time and we might not be able to present that in numbers - but you can feel impact and when you hear about it from people you have never heard of before, you know you are headed somewhere)
  5. Finally, we will refuse more than we accept. That has been a trend with us for the past six months. It is not something we regret. Only because we really really care about what Humanise stands for. 

Lessons about humans who are writers:

  1. All of us have a relationship with work. That is irrespective of the workplace. Writers who have contributed to Humanise think deeply about that. 
  2. Many of the writers we have come across have also written based on lived experiences. They have lived their stories. 
  3. Writers are also fragile individuals - and I don’t mean they have fragile egos. Many of them are people who care about their craft. Therefore, engaging with them requires a special level of empathy. That is a continuous lesson for me. 
  4. I have spoken about refusals several times. Refusals take more confidence and self respect than acceptance. Important to keep that in mind and my hat tip to writers who have accepted refusals with grace. 
  5. Finally, writers from across the world are similar. There is no difference between a writer from India or the US or South Africa (barring their life experiences). Maybe the concept of work unites us all. Many of our international writers have been accommodative of budgets only because they have been appreciative of what we do. We do count our blessings there. 

With all of this, you can imagine why I am no longer the same or so is Humanise. 

In addition to looking different (read the BTS of our third rebrand in the next section), it has taken on a deeper meaning (also described in the final section). 

We originally started off by being called The 6:00 P.M Post. Why? We write at the intersection of life and work and all of us working professionals start unwinding at 6:00pm (mostly). We thought then, that releasing our stories at 6:00 P.M would make the most impact.  Early feedback led us to launch as Humanise - where the spotlight is on the human and not the resource.  This is how you know us so far. We realised that not many will make the connection between 6:00 P.M and our stories, but the name Humanise will click instantly. 

A year in, we know that Humanise has found its place in many hearts and therefore we were clear that there was only one place to go from here. That is simply, to reach ‘u’.  Our focus is very clearly around all aspects of work viewed from the lens of the employee and will continue to be. 

That brings us to, ‘what next?’

Humanise’s progression. 

Deeper and more meaningful (positive conversations) about humans at work. As we move into an uncharted territory, we want to have more unchartered conversations, maybe introspective ones too - we want to be the single repository of work and life conversations that are honest, reflective and come from every corner of the internet - voices that have not, perhaps, been given the mike.  

That might lead us onto several paths, 

Maybe a short form series. 
Maybe a longer form series. 

We are still deliberating, honestly. Many of our readers have also requested for meetups, so you never know.  You might see us at your office someday!

While all of this is in the works, we will always be that safe space for hard conversations that can make humans at work seen and heard. We will continue to respond to every pitch (although we might be a bit delayed) and we will always share constructive feedback towards the article and the pitch.

If we are flag bearers of humans at work, we will stay committed to our readers and audience first. Always employees first. 

For feedback, love and appreciation - tag us on X, LinkedIn or you can mail me on


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