In Focus: Dushi Thangarajah, Deluxe

Dushi Thangarajah is Vice President of Home Entertainment Operations for EMEA at Deluxe. We caught up with her for our In Focus series, which highlights the work of inspirational women from across the sector.

Hi Dushi, great to catch up! Could you tell us more about your role

As Vice President of Home Entertainment Operations for EMEA at Deluxe, I am responsible for all operations and client services teams and revenue associated with preparing, packaging and delivering content to broadcasters, studios, platforms and any licensor end point buying content from our clients. 

Typically we get titles from various sources and complete some or all of the following: Master QC, component asset creation, audio and language conforms, and packaging and delivery with metadata, artwork and technical specs to specified end points. We service content delivery to 400+ end points globally.

What does a day in your working life look like and has this changed dramatically as a result of Covid-19?

Oh yes! This has changed dramatically. I am a mother of 3 children aged 4-10 years old, all having been at home quite a lot and requiring home-schooling while my husband and I work. So it has been lots of juggling, moving forward, then back, and a lack of head space. I think this has been the case for so many of us. I can say that we have fortunately all been healthy and well, for which I am very thankful.

A typical day is getting up early, trying to do some exercise, preparing breakfasts, getting children dressed and ready, getting children set up with their morning work and then getting myself set up. After a few hours of working/overseeing schoolwork, there comes a mad rush at lunchtime to fit in lunches and children’s zoom meetings (which all often unhelpfully fall between 1.30 and 2.30pm) before settling in for more meetings in the afternoon.

We began working remotely in early March last year, which was also a big change but one that our teams adapted to quickly and effectively. My team is fantastic. We have been lucky to be very busy supporting platform launches which has tested us all, but everyone involved has done a great job. Through it all, we have managed to enjoy ourselves a bit and looked to support each other in some of the more difficult moments.

How did you begin your career and what inspired you to look at jobs within the broadcast technology sector?

I started my career in engineering. I am an aeronautical/aerospace engineer and began my career at GKN Aerospace, which enabled me to work at many GKN sites around the world.There I was able to see and experience engineering at its best, while delivering business improvement projects. 

I next worked for a business consultancy before joining BBC Broadcast on the cusp of it becoming Red Bee Media. I most enjoyed helping businesses navigate through change, and the opportunity at BBC Broadcast was perfectly aligned to what I loved doing. It was a new industry to me, and one in which I had never thought I could work. 

One much appreciated manager told me that it is great working in roles where you can get excited about the product. As a broadcast technology professional, that excitement has never dwindled. In the last 15 years the broadcast media and entertainment distribution industry has changed in every possible way, and I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting and driving the transformations within the companies I have worked, and with the amazing clients we have served.

How do you think the industry will change as a result of Covid-19?

I am sure that the way we view and work with our teams has changed for good.  The pandemic and the quick move to remote working and collaboration has proven that we can do this very effectively, but it does not replace the stimulation, relationship-building and fun working with our teams in person. The post-Covid era will undoubtedly see changes in who we hire, how we engage, and what the new “workplace” means – something I am working through right now with my teams and our business. 

The closure of cinemas and increased move to streaming platforms has created major shifts in the content supply chain. While I believe cinema and theatrical will continue to be important, the changes and close coupling to platform releases will have an impact to many businesses and services in the M+E sector. With an expansive footprint in the marketplace and its diverse portfolio servicing content across all distribution models, Deluxe is well positioned to remain an industry leader.

What are you main challenges over the coming year?

We are, as a business, educating ourselves in diversity and inclusivity across our service lines and it is something I would like to learn more about. I believe that creating and embedding a culture and team with diverse experiences, perspectives and people from difference races, gender and socioeconomic backgrounds is a crucial part of a healthy company culture. By embracing diversity and inclusion we benefit from greater innovation and creativity, broader ranges of skills, teams who feel represented and happier, and a better understanding of our customers. 

Other challenges include supporting our teams as we transition out of the pandemic, (we hope), with a focus on wellbeing, and managing continued growth in the platform sector. All of this and the daily focus on the performance of our business means it will be a very busy year!

Thanks to Dushi for sharing more about her experiences. Don’t forget to visit our news section to read more inspirational stories from women working in broadcasting.