Getting to Know Jai Prakash Sharma

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Jai Prakash Sharma looks after the Technical Operations business unit of InfoEdge (India) Ltd and works in the capacity of a Senior Vice President. Having worked with AOL, First Advantage, Adobe, McAfee and Microsoft, he is a technology and business visionary with 18+ years of executive & hands-on experience in corporate and start-up environments. His myriad experience includes IT Infrastructure Management, Systems Administration, Server Consolidation, Virtualization and variant of Cloud, Systems Security (Including VA & PT), Project Management, Web Hosting, Systems, Database & Security Administration under multi-platform environments, Datacenter and Network Operations Support. Furthermore, planning and implementation of leading-edge technologies for IT support of businesses, planning, design, installation and configuration and maintenance of IT networks governed by communication protocols are also some of his strengths.

Jai

Sharma is a certified expert from Microsoft Corporation i.e., MCSE 2000 / 2003, MCDBA, Security, MySQL 5 DBA, Red Hat Certified Engineer, CompTIA Security +, CEH, ITIL – Exin and Cisco Systems – CCNA. The feathers on his cap not ending there, he holds certifications in Enterprise Project Management, ITIL v3 Foundation and Six Sigma Green Belt.

What is your role at InfoEdge and what does your team do?

I am leading the Technology Operations team for Info Edge group (India’s internet classifieds company), with an aim to enhance highly scalable web applications built on Open Source Platform. My role involves managing and leading the strategy for the Technology Operations department. Our online businesses being www.naukri.com www.99acres.com www.jeevansaathi.com www.shiksha.com www.firstnaukri.com www.naukrigulf.com, my team designs, builds, installs, configures, tests, implements, maintains, supports and secures Operating Systems, hardware, software and network for production services. We look after web hosting, mailing, load-balancing, name servers and are involved in monitoring hardware and production environments. We work closely with the Development and Quality Assurance teams to implement Technology Operations roadmaps, aligned with business plans. Setting up and maintaining BCP/DR, forecasting and assessing IT operational budgets, managing remote datacenters, cloud environments running on various datacenters are some of our other roles in the organization.

What is something about you not found on your current profile?

I’m passionate about long drives and playing sports, be it cricket, badminton or volleyball. I am also a history buff who often explores sites of archaeological importance.

Compared to other places you’ve worked, how do you like Naukri?

What I admire about Info Edge the most is its work culture.

I have worked with various teams here and I realized that there is an underlying culture that is common across teams. The company, as a whole, believes that a team is larger than the sum of its parts. In other words, there is a prevailing culture of ‘we’ instead of ‘I.’ Culture of accepting responsibility, taking on ownership, learning from failures, thinking bigger than oneself and thinking about teams members first.

There is an unspoken emphasis on the idea of ‘responding and giving back to the community’, which is commendable.

Furthermore, the organization thrives on the idea of ‘becoming the best version of yourself’. At InfoEdge, the competition is with your own self, rather than with others. The focus is on building one’s strengths, and working upon one’s ‘areas of improvement’.

In business, it’s important to find people you can count on, my team members are one of my greatest strengths. It’s their careful attention to detail that makes me feel so special.

What do you love most about engineering at Naukri?

Engineering is a tool to simplify the complexities of life. As an engineer or mentor to a group of engineers, one is empowered to come up with solutions that make the intangible, tangible.

Our motto is – “We may be strong as individuals but together we are INVINCIBLE”.

To this end, we identify our problems and gear our time and energy towards designing a solution. Info Edge, as a business of virtuosity, enables greater investment in:

  • Product innovation
  • Engineering
  • rand support
  • Sales network
  • Servicing back office
  • Superior talent

What are some of the coolest projects that you and your team have been working on?

The biggest one was “An Untold Success Story … Complete Datacenter Migration”. Certainly, it wasn’t ‘cool’ but extensive planning, collaboration of different teams and smooth execution definitely made it one of the best experiences of my corporate life and an untold success story. Immense inter-dependencies between application and misty documentation made this project very challenging. However, through the migration of the datacenter on new hardware and by building layered redundancy, we witnessed around 150 percent improvement across the portals. This also supported intake of additional traffic, without impacting performance. We send around 90 Crore (900 Million) emails monthly across Info Edge. We implemented all the processes meticulously, starting from Network flow, OS, Application, DB configuration and monitoring setup (which maintaining each layer redundancy – Complete Network, to Physical Port, to Rack, to NIC, to Servers redundancy). Thorough technological planning, application setup and scrupulous testing on flow and performance by the Quality Assurance team, has brought helped in bringing about this success. This was a perfect example of end-to-end migration.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

My role is quite challenging in terms of running production, since a single second downtime is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It involves ensuring efficient and high quality production environment to safeguard organization status, cost and service levels, uptime, etc. I think the most challenging aspect of the job role is probably to do with collaboration (teams, skills, resources, etc.) and time management. I have to innovate on a regular basis, be proactive and competent in order to meet deadlines.

How would you describe the engineering culture at Naukri?

We encourage startup culture, openness, R&D and innovation. In addition to this, we create space for people to step into leadership roles, and hone their craftsmanship and execution skills.

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not at the office?

I usually spend time on the Internet, exploring the latest gadgets and apps, flipping through online gazettes and learning new domain-related skills. Sometimes I like sitting back and daydreaming, letting my mind wander through the various possibilities in life, perceiving myself in my current realties and then imagining a brighter and more beautiful future. And at other times, I go out on and simply enjoy a long drive.

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