The Coding Power behind SMS Gyan- Shyam Anand, the Awesome Employee from Innoz

7th Aug 2012
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As a part of our ‘Awesome Startup Employee Series‘, we bring to you, Shyam Anand, the software architect at Innoz. A passionate programmer, Shyam has an interesting story to tell... 

Innoz is one of those wonder stories where an idea takes birth in a hostel room and blooms to be a global proposition. Founded by 4 college friends, Deepak, Abhinav, Ashwin and Hisam at their college in Kerala, Innoz was one of the first companies to get incubated at CIIE’s iAccelerator at IIM-A. A very young group back then, looking to expand, Abhinav gave Shyam a call and asked if he’d like to join. Excited by the challenge, Shyam took the opportunity with Innoz as he believed in the concept. He went down to the Accelerator and stayed in Ahmedabad with the team.

The company was founded in 2008 and Shyam joined in 2009. A very integral part of the company, Shyam is a passionate coder.

I started to code when I was in standard 7 and it is what keeps me up nights together.

A computer science graduate from LBS College of Engg, Kasaragode/Kannur University, Shyam had a few questioning relatives when he was about to join a company who no one had heard of and was started by 4 kids in college! Taking a leap of faith, Shyam made the move and “it has been the best move I’ve ever made,” he says.

 

Shyam is the fire power behind the SMS Gyan Project (a search & answering engine that works over the internet. Anyone can send his query as SMS to the short code 55444, and SMS Gyan will deliver the answer immediately) at Innoz which currently handles about 40 million queries per month! Shyam has a team of 9 programmers which he directs. There have been challenging moments throughout the journey but there is one Shyam clearly remembers:

Following the first operator launch, there was huge increase in subscriber base and usage. It turned out that the setup we had then wouldn't handle the load. We didn't have a de facto db admin and it was all up to me on scaling the database. We modified our data storage methods and also used MySQL replication, clustering, etc for scaling user database, and at the answering engine end implemented NoSQL technologies like HDFS, Solr for searching and indexing the knowledge base. It was a very tough situation indeed but taking timely measures helped and the situation was salvaged.

An ardent supporter of what has been started by the founding team, Shyam pledges allegiance and has strong plans to make Innoz a global powerhouse. "The best part of working at Innoz is the freedom I have. I am free to make my decisions when it comes to technology. Also, being a product based company there is no pressure of deadlines from clients and there is freedom of being creative at work," says Shyam.

Advice to people planning to join a startup:

“A startup job is not for the faint hearted. One needs to have the guts to join a startup and work in the highly competitive environment. Gather all the determination you have and take the plunge, you won’t be dissatisfied”

We congratulate Deepak Ravindran and the founding team for bringing Innoz to a stage it is now and wish them more success in the future. Found Shyam's journey to be an intriguing one? Join a startup today!

- Jubin Mehta

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