INMA Elevate Scholar: Shak Ebrahimjee of FT Strategies

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2022, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their third annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Of everything he has accomplished so far in his career, Shak Ebrahimjee said his biggest achievement has been securing a full-time consulting role at FT Strategies (part of The Financial Times) in the U.K. “I achieved this despite my unconventional background and after a successful internship performance,” he explained. “Consulting is a notoriously gatekept industry, and breaking into it is a source of personal pride.”

Shak Ebrahimjee said his biggest achievement so far has been securing a full-time consulting role at FT Strategies.
Shak Ebrahimjee said his biggest achievement so far has been securing a full-time consulting role at FT Strategies.

He pointed out that he didn’t have a university degree and was coming off a break from his first job, which was publishing textbooks, so “I was not the obvious choice.” Ebrahimjee said he reached a low point during the pandemic but used that time to address mental barriers in his life.

“During this time, I realised that the news industry was where I wanted to build my career. I decided to self-fund an Open University course and was offered an internship at FT Strategies, a company that works to support the news industry through bespoke consulting projects,” he said.    

His work at FT Strategies helps publishers in the global news ecosystem transform their businesses — from conception to execution — and deliver long-term growth to protect their commercial sustainability. This a source of satisfaction that motivates him to continue learning and growing.

“I am fortunate enough to work with publishers around the world, ranging from small, regional newsrooms to larger, national publications. Through this work, I have been able to gain an understanding of industry-wide challenges as well as opportunities unique to each publisher,” Ebrahimjee said.

Having started the internship in a supporting role, Ebrahimjee’s ascent to a full-time position now provides direct exposure to advising clients and delivering and building recommendations that will help them grow their businesses for the future. He recently worked with an African news publication, helping design its product strategy and felt a sense of achievement while helping them bridge the divide between legacy print media and its younger digital business.

“I gain a huge amount of fulfilment from this work and want to continue working to future-proof the news industry,” he said.

His route into the industry has been different from most. In the future, Ebrahimjee plans to build on his early successes at FT Strategies by continuing to refine his consulting skills as he supports more publishers’ transition to digital, as well as taking a more prominent role in shaping the development of young talent:

“I aspire to be a role model for individuals who, like me, may have faced barriers to realising their potential. I believe there are many young people in situations similar to myself who just need the right guidance. I would love to provide them support and act as proof of a turnaround story.”

About Paula Felps

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