Inside Audible

A Day in the Life: Audible Employee Jai Zende

Jai and his Audible colleague take a coffee break.

Follow along in the “Day in the Life” of one of our employees to get a glimpse inside Audible.

As Director of Business Affairs, Jai Zende is responsible for Audible’s content in one of the fastest-growing media markets in the world: India. While Indians are avid consumers of visual programming, audio content is not consumed as widely. Jai, who grew up listening to audio storytelling, decided to make it his life’s work to get Indians into spoken-word content after 15 years in banking. He started India’s first audiobook producer, booksTALK, and then moved with his family to Singapore when he joined Audible two years ago.

When he’s not at the office, Jai loves exploring his new home with his wife, their two children, and his father. Their favorite discoveries have been the nature trails at MacRitchie Reservoir, the Telok Blangah district (especially the tree top walk), and all the heritage shophouse buildings.

5:30 am

Assuming the previous night did not involve too many late calls, I try to get in a bit of centering music or meditation before the day actually gets going at 6am. I help my daughter Tara, who’s 10, get ready for school while I catch up on urgent emails. On good days, I can also sneak in an hour in the gym, a run outside or some yoga before it’s time for Noor, who is four years old, to get up and ready. My wife Archana and I often walk her to school before heading off to our respective workplaces. This is my favorite part of the day.

Jai sits on a couch with his wife and two daughters.
Jai and his family.
9:30am

I’m usually one of the first to arrive at the office, and I like the spot of alone time to write up any strategy updates, review reports and generally prepare for the work day. I love Singapore’s warm humid weather and hate air conditioning, so I typically cap off the late morning with a coffee run with a teammate for a Kopi-O (local black coffee which is brewed using a sock-like cotton strainer–as one shop says, ‘Who needs the French press when you have the sock?’) and red bean bao bun.

11:30am

This is when my day really starts to get busy. I usually have a series of meetings with content partners and team members in five different cities–Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Mumbai and Bangalore–to review projects or discuss new content ideas. On Women’s Day, this group produced a multicast narration of Like a Girl featuring a diverse set of amazing women, and we are readying another incredible catalog of original content, but I can’t reveal anything more about that just yet.

For lunch, I often eat a home-cooked meal at my desk of the day. I don’t like to be confined to one desk, and often work in different parts of the office or pantry in open desks or in the kitchen.

The skyline of Singapore as viewed from Jai's office
Jai's view from his “desk” in the office pantry.
4:00pm

This is usually when I get out of the office for another short walk with a teammate for a spot of sun. I like to walk by the river, past Singapore’s much Instagrammed Hotel Park Royal, which is across the road from us. On my walk, I like to catch up on what’s new in India’s exploding content market, and what interesting new shows have been released all over the world, at Audible or otherwise.

I also use this time to sort out what work I’ve got to do before I leave for home, and to draft notes to colleagues in other offices. We seek input on Audible Original show ideas from team members in the UK and Berlin and participate in greenlight discussions and conduct detailed production planning with the Audible Studios and Content Processing teams in Newark.

7:00pm

It’s time to head home. On my 25-minute walk, I’ll either take a call or, preferably, listen to my book du mois–right now, that’s Haruki Murakami’s Hardboiled Wonderland. On the occasional Friday, I’ll head to a riverside pub with colleagues or friends for a round of Guinness.

After getting home, it’s time to dote upon and be doted upon by the girls–the best source of energy for the rest of the evening. After they go to sleep at 8:30pm, I usually hop on a few calls with European and American colleagues and finish up some emails and outstanding items on my to-do list.

10:30pm

Bedtime. I often fall asleep to a lecture by philosopher, speaker and writer J. Krishnamurti—which I listen to on Audible, of course.

Related

Inside AudibleMarch 8, 2019
Audible Celebrates Women’s History Month

From barrier-breaking events to exciting new releases to embracing International Women’s Day’s “Balance for Better” theme, Audible is elevating women’s voices around the world.

March 8, 2019