You see him nodding in approval as grey-haired business and finance experts reel out statistics and strategies that have helped businesses grow and balance sheets ring. And you wonder, at the age of 17, whether this teenage podcaster does comprehend the veracity of each conversation.
But, after a few minutes of a non-stop monologue from the person beaming from his laptop screen, via Zoom, when he offers a poser that often sends the expert in a tizzy or make him/her do a rethink, you realise he’s on track.
Aditya Bhardwaj, a spirited student of the ABA Oman International School, with a voracious appetite for understanding how money makes the mare go, has embarked on something which only some people would dare take up after graduating in business studies and spending decades amassing knowledge and know-how in the field.
Describing himself as ‘a student passionate about Finance, Investment Banking and Economics’, Aditya, who started the ‘Money on My Mind’ podcast chain in October 2020 to learn about the world of economics and finance from experienced professionals, is now confident about continuing seriously what he had taken up as a fad.
“I wanted to make it a guest based podcast, every week, to interview a new guest on a topic concerning money. Whether it’s a business owner, an accountant or an investment banker, I wanted to interview them,” the teenage podcaster disclosed, adding that, till date, he has interviewed over 30 guests on varied subjects revolving around finance and learnt some wonderful lessons for himself. He hopes to take up university studies in business and finance in the months ahead.
As an absolute greenhorn, with his age as a major deterrent on the path he has chosen, Aditya did find it really challenging to get people to sit down for his podcast and answer serious queries about finance. But, he remained determined to get this dream rolling, and finally succeeded.
“I tried searching Linkedin and personally messaging anybody and everybody to have them on my show. After two weeks of constant rejections, I found a few platform that specifically deals with podcast guests. I signed up and found my first guest – Brenden Kumarasamy (founder of Mastertalk) – whom I interviewed at 11 pm on a Sunday (school night), just because I wanted to get this podcast going…” says Aditya asserting that this interview got the ball rolling, by and by.
As guests, who could be thrice or more times his age, were difficult to agree to be interviewed by him initially, he had to grow this podcast organically, focus on publishing more episodes, enhance the number of listeners and put in more effort to popularise it. He does mention that, in the face of pressure from his intense IB curriculum, he never failed to upload an episode every week.
The ‘Money on My Mind Podcast’ has grown to over 400 listeners per month, 3000+ total downloads, and already has 32 episodes comprising business owners, career coaches, and real estate agents, all of whom shared, not just their secrets of success but also how they got ahead in the race, without actually having money on their mind. Aditya claims that his podcast currently stands at number 10 among podcasts in Oman.
Disclosing the hard work and dedication that went into making his podcasts a reality, this teenage poidcaster disclosed that he often had to work extra, by recording more than one episode in a week to take care of those weeks when he had to concentrate on his IB assessments and assignments.
“On an average, a podcast episode takes me 3 hours (recording, editing, promoting, publishing). Being able to spend time on this project and exceed in school called for much perseverance. But this journey has taught me so many beautiful life lessons,” the teenage podcaster asserts.
“I named my podcast the ‘Money on My Mind Podcast’ because, as a teenager, I felt, that money was very important to get ahead in life. And I did have money on my mind. However, over the course of my podcasts, I realised that even some of the most successful people didn’t have money on their minds.
“For example, I interviewed Brian Bogert, a former business owner, who has eight figure revenues annually but resigned from two jobs to pursue ‘career-coaching, helping other people become successful. Almost all of my guests have dedicated their time towards helping others become ‘financially free,’ and now, that is the aim of my podcast – helping others (as well as myself) with the knowledge of my guests,” he says.
Though he has been reading up on the subjects of his choice and has researched about the background and expertise of each guest, the teenage podcaster admits that he did lack in-depth knowledge on many topics when interviewing some guests. Nevertheless, it never took a toll on his confidence or ease when conducting an interview.
“Whenever I interview any expert, though I am much younger and may not have similar knowledge as the guest, once I see them, I feel that we are all pretty much on the same level and I can have a conversation with them, says Aditya, confidently adding, “Today, I know, there isn’t anyone in the world whom I cannot interview.”