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Meet the… senior vice president, enterprise solutions architecture

Zeenal Thakare, senior vice president, enterprise solutions architecture at Ateliere Creative Technologies, explains why she's enjoying a front row seat to the ongoing changes of the media and entertainment industry

Talk us through an average day in your role

Oh, how I wish there was one. The media and content business is at a point of such an influx of changes and evolving commercial models that there is nothing average about this space right now. I am fortunate to have a front row seat in enabling our customers to monetise and derive value out of their content in these evolving times. Having said that, my focus in this role is to dive into customers’ challenges, understand the opportunities that lie in those challenges and identify areas to partner to enable their business outcomes, while leveraging Ateliere’s platform and capabilities.

Zeenal Thakare, senior vice president, enterprise solutions architecture, Ateliere Creative Technologies

What makes the dynamic nature of my work exciting is the team and the culture we collectively cultivate at Ateliere. Our day spans anywhere from understanding a new opportunity or providing an integrated solution for a business problem to finding partnerships and opportunities to further accelerate our capabilities – all while being geographically spread out and intellectually connected.

How did you get started in the media industry?

My journey in the media industry started in the early 2000s back in India, when content consumption through the digital medium was taking the main stage. After graduating from the School of Journalism, I worked briefly for Star News in India where I was completely drawn towards their digital platform expansion initiative to increase audience engagement. From there onwards, my quest for knowledge and relentless curiosity has helped me evolve within this industry across domains. I continue to abide by the philosophy of being a lifelong learner.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

One of the key traits I have learned and continue to refine is the ability to listen, to understand and not to respond. As a technologist or a stakeholder evangelist, being an empathetic listener is the key to building meaningful and purpose-driven/intentional relationships. We work and live in an interactive ecosystem, and the exchange of ideas and concepts is the only way we can evolve and grow as a business.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

The immersive nature of content has always been the reason why I am drawn to the media industry. However, with the digital-first era, technology plays a pivotal role in shaping the industry. It makes it even more exciting that companies such as Ateliere are driving innovation to help media companies achieve efficiencies and provide intelligence around their content that helps uncover revenue opportunities and enable growth.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

I follow these pillars in shaping my professional journey, and they have helped me stay focused, especially when I have needed a nudge:

  • A big vision is great but clarity in the vision is even better
  • Execution is key to the success of the vision
  • Culture is crucial in fostering creativity and diversity in all aspects
  • Collaboration helps build trust and brings together unique perspectives