Anuja Vagh, head of global integrations, Bitmovin
Talk us through an average day in your role.
As head of global integrations, I predominantly work with customers who need our expertise in the video streaming space to help deploy our products within their environments. Often Bitmovin’s product is only a small but crucial part of the whole OTT architecture. I help understand what the customer wants to achieve within what timelines help deliver that.
I have a team of super talented people who do the deep technical work, and we work across a broad sector of the company, support sales teams with pitches, work with the product team to identify new features, collaborate with our engineers to troubleshoot some complex issues, and really then guide the customer through this complex ecosystem to help them be successful.
How did you get started in the media industry?
I started as a runner many years ago, and they are probably scarce in the industry now! I always knew after university, I wanted to work in the media and entertainment sector with a vague idea of being a video editor. As a runner, I learnt about all the different parts of the industry, and what is involved in getting content to the viewer’s screen, and it helped me map out a career path.
To be honest, the money was terrible, and you could only survive if you had family support which I was lucky enough to have. I am glad to see today that entry-level roles in the industry, particularly internships, have become better paid, which is essential if we want the industry to become more representative of the wider world. One thing I remember is that if you were a runner, you never had to pay for drinks; that was the unwritten rule. As a runner, I quite literally spent my time running around delivering tapes to all the different post houses around Soho, depending on who was mixing the audio for a series, or doing the graphics, or the VFX and because of that, no matter how much Soho changes, I always know my way around
I never did become a video editor, as I realised I didn’t really want to be stuck in a darkened room for most of the day, but I did find that I was quite good at explaining technical concepts and solving problems
What training did you have before entering the industry?
My degree was in Film, Media and Culture, so it was mostly theory. Most of my practical experience I learnt on the job. I had some great mentors along the way, and I asked a lot of questions. I still remember learning how encoding works, and the difference between I,B,P frames drawn out on whatever we could find.
I’m still learning today. The industry has changed technology has changed, but clients still need the interaction in helping them deploy something complex, or understand something they may have little experience implementing
Why do you enjoy working in the industry?
This industry is constantly evolving, it is not just the big studios, and sports giants who are making content. Now, we have fitness companies, publishing, e-learning, and all have a need for video streaming solutions but with different requirements and knowledge of video streaming.
It is always exciting working on big complex projects with a number of stakeholders all with different expectations, but also bringing our products to a new market with a different set of use cases
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to explore a similar role to yours?
Your career is often a journey it’s not always all clearly mapped out, you may not know what you will be doing in 5 years time, or what opportunities you may come across or find interesting. Find your niche, what you are good at, and what you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s how we learn, and never stop learning. Always find something that you want to achieve or aspire to.