Anand Natrajan

Technology Executive

www.anandnatrajan.com

anand@anandnatrajan•com

(434) 825-0903

Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Objective

Senior executive in a mid-to-large technology company, focused on high-performance SaaS product development.

Profile

Ability to formulate product vision and technology philosophy. Demonstrated ability to get geographically-distributed technical teams to perform with high quality and high velocity. Track record of instilling discipline and infusing business understanding into the technology team. Consistently innovative in designing technological solutions to diverse problems in high-performance computing, software development process and business communications. Inspiring deep team loyalty by setting and communicating mission, and creating a culture of empathy and excellence.

Background

Advertising

Deep understanding of display, video, mobile, social and TV advertising business as well as operation of advertising platform.

Search

Experience designing multiple search engines, with innovative features and functions along with high performance.

Cloud

Appreciation of challenges in distributed, heterogenous computing and data access, with experience building practical solutions.


  • Led engineering teams through two successful technology-based acquisitions
  • Built advertising technology acknowledged as leader by Forrester and Gartner
  • Co-founded AdTechCares company initiative to harness technology for social good
  • Cut cloud costs by 40% with combination of discipline and re-architecture
  • Designed the first specification for real-time bidding before the OpenRTB standard
  • Solved challenging customer needs with novel ranking, searching and categorisation implementations
  • Wrote the first graphical user interface and scheduler for running compute job collections on clouds
  • Invented algorithms for fastest substring search, and most stable and even load balancing

Experience

Click on logos and achievements to expand or contract.

Discovery Inc. is a US-based TV network with several popular TV channels in its stable, such as Discovery, Animal Planet, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, EuroSport and others. The company has launched a streaming service called discovery+ with an ad-free and ad-supported subscription model.

Amobee is an advertising technology company that is part of the Singtel group of companies. The company offers a demand-side platform that permits advertisers to run campaigns across multiple devices and channels. In addition, the company offers a broadcaster supply-side platform and an agency media-management platform.

As SVP of Engineering, I lead the product development for the supply-side and media-management platforms. The supply-side platform has been deployed for premium supply partners, such as broadcasters and distributors (ITV, NBC, Fox, Bell Media, etc.) as well as online content owners (Yahoo! Japan). The media-management platform has been deployed for agencies (GroupM UK). The customers for these platforms are enterprise customers with stringent demands on quality, reliability and data protection. My responsibilities include product management, platform architecture and software development methodology. I lead teams that deliver features and functions for these customers on time, and with attention to their demands.

  • Delivered technology acknowledged as leader in Forrester 2019 and Gartner 2020 reports
  • Delivered supply-side platform for enterprise customers
  • Automated most project management tasks, leading to efficient development teams
  • Led technical due-diligence engagements with all prospective enterprise customers
  • Developed a release methodology to assess risk of micro-releases
  • Led automation to permit or detain production releases based on customer risk appetite
  • Co-founded the AdTechCares company initiative to harness the power of our platform for social good, e.g., COVID-19 awareness
  • Recipient of first Amobee Employee Spotlight award

The Videology Group Inc. was a VC-funded company located in Baltimore, MD. The company delivered ads on multiple screens and devices and in multiple formats using one ad decisioning engine.

As Chief Architect and SVP of Engineering, I was responsible for overall product development and strategy for display and video over TV, PC and mobile channels. My responsibilities included product management, platform architecture, software development methodology and technology evangelism. The company owned and operated several systems that comprise one platform for ad serving.

  • Designed several cutting-edge features for ad pod delivery
  • Designed several features to improve user ID generation and synchronisation
  • Designed decisioning algorithms for combining auction with allocation
  • Introduced and refined Kanban-based SDLC
  • Implemented release-ready master branches towards continuous deployment
  • Introduced metrics that matter to focus development efforts
  • Developed a single metric to track operational quality of platform
  • Implemented global, decentralised prioritisation automation
  • Refined communications for platform incidents and releases
  • Implemented pager duty rotation to reduce late-night calls, yet gain 24x7 support
  • Instilled discipline on cloud resource usage and cost tracking
  • Introduced superhero/sidekick release cadence to balance speed with communicability
  • Eliminated most manual QA tasks and positions, gaining higher quality and speed
  • Guided Engineering team through company bankruptcy, retaining most team members
  • Led technical due-diligence engagements with all prospective buyers

LucidMedia Inc. was a VC-funded company located in Reston, VA. The company operated in the online advertising space by providing data services and running online campaigns for Fortune 500 customers.

The company achieved unprecedented efficiency in executing ad campaigns primarily because of its flagship technology, ClickSense. Under my leadership, ClickSense evolved from a contextualisation engine to a full-featured ad server and Demand-Side Platform. One of the key functions of this platform was high performance as measured by low latency, high throughput and near-zero downtime.

I was responsible for overall technology direction, including strategy. My responsibilities included product management, partner relationships, technology evangelism and intellectual property management. I was involved daily in the design of the product. My team was also responsible for the deployment and operation of the product, the knowledge base used by the product as well as system infrastructure. I was able to achieve these multiple functions with a small team by emphasising automation of tasks as much as possible, and anticipating use cases as early as possible.

  • Designed pacing by revenue for online ad campaigns
  • Designed budget allocation broken down into 2-minute intervals per server
  • Designed algorithms for inter-day and intra-day pacing
  • Developed first specification for real-time bidding before OpenRTB existed
  • Introduced concepts like full-stack development and DevOps before it was common to do so
  • Convinced large ad tech companies like Google to permit ID synchs with us before it became common
  • Developed tools to monitor ad decisioning latency breakdowns in production
  • Participated in Forrester study where we were ranked in top quartile of 7 DSPs
  • Led technical due-diligence engagements with all prospective buyers

IntelligenX, previously, i411 Inc. was a self-funded, profitable company located in Herndon, VA. The company designed and deployed Internet Yellow Pages capabilities for its customers. The key benefits of the i411 approach were low cost and very high performance.

As a director in a small company, I played a very hands-on role in the design and development of i411 products and strategies. I researched software components that could cooperate or compete with the company's product. I also participated in grant proposal authorship. I worked closely with the product management team to achieve my goals.

I was responsible for the ground-up design of v5.0 of DiscoveryEngine, the company flagship product. This product was the best-of-breed in the faceted, fielded, fulltext search engine space, and was deployed to power a number of customer sites.

  • Built v5.0 of DiscoveryEngine, the company flagship product
  • Implemented chaining technique for ranking results by major/minor keys
  • Implemented extensible metrics aggregation for document results
  • Improved retrieval results performance by 50%
  • Halved codebase size through extensive redesign without loss of functionality
  • Implemented technique to measure search latency by instrumenting production code

Avaki Inc. was a VC-funded company located in Burlington, MA. The company developed grids which have corporate application in EAI/EII/ETL/BI environments. Grids, today better known as clouds, provide secure, wide-area access to databases, files and computing resources.

I provided technical input to statements of work (SOWs), deployed evaluation and production grids, and provided post-deployment support. I represented the company in technical product evaluations at customer sites, tested and wrote utilities, conducted technical presentations and participated in design discussions with the Engineering team.

During my tenure, our group had an extraordinarily high success rate with deployments, as judged by criteria agreed upon by the customer and Avaki. Post-engagement feedback from customers frequently mentioned my technical competence, my professionalism and my quickness and thoroughness of response often "beyond the call of duty".

  • Designed and developed APIs based on EJBs
  • Designed and developed APIs based on web services used by Axis-based Java clients, SOAP::Lite-based perl clients, .NET-based VB clients (including Excel)
  • Designed dataviews for complex data transformations, flows and large result-set transformations
  • Developed status service to publish status of processes
  • Developed tools to monitor run-time performance
  • Ported entire platform to HP-UX and Itanium
  • Consulted with several Fortune 100 clients for compute-grid and data-grid services

EarthMusic Network was a Hindi film music site located at www.earthmusic.net. The web site provided a unique search engine indispensable to fans of Hindi music. Hindi songs use a Devnagari script (देवनागरी) which is often transliterated into the Roman script for searching and viewing. The transliteration is not canonical — different people transliterate differently. Moreover, information available on Hindi songs is often scant.

I designed and developed a fuzzy search engine, called Mantra, which was incorporated into the general search capability on the site which permitted searching based on singer, film name, year, etc. The web site received 10,000+ hits a day (~ one per 8 seconds), and was one of the most popular web sites for searching for Hindi music.

  • Designed Mantra search engine for querying music database
  • Implemented fuzzy search algorithm and ranking
  • Implemented language-independent search
  • Implemented search that tolerated misspellings and mistransliterations

The department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, VA. In the mid-90s, the highly-ranked Computer Science dept. developed a pioneering technology called metasystems (later called grids, now called clouds) under the direction of Prof. Andrew Grimshaw.

The research team, called Legion, was attuned to the needs of several users and collaborators spread across the globe. The development environment was C++, with some Perl/ksh scripting. My focus was on developing quality software in an academic environment and aggressively publishing the results of using this software.

  • Led the design of schedulers and tools for running large jobs on distributed and fault-prone resources
  • Tested and wrote utilities for running MPI and queuing system jobs
  • Wrote the first web browser for grids
  • Wrote the first graphical user interface for monitoring parameter-space studies on grids
  • Conducted the then-largest run of an application on grids
  • Collaborated and co-published with scientists running applications on grids
  • Published over a dozen papers and book chapters

Larsen & Toubro is the largest engineering company in India. Their Information Systems Division is one of the leaders in software development in India.

I was part of a team in this division that wrote and tested C++ classes for a CAD package developed by a prominent French client, Matra. I also wrote Xlib routines for displaying the elements in the package.

The development environment was SunOS/Solaris, with some exposure to Motif and Xlib. Development code was C++. In addition to my responsibilities, I developed several scripts to help manage the team's productivity.

  • Automated generating test harnesses, cutting test development time by 80%
  • Took over CAD development tasks for customer because of time saved, before outsourcing was popular
  • Wrote tools to help my manager manage team members' productivity
  • Wrote Tetris and another self-invented game in Unix curses library in my free time

Education

The topic of my dissertation was "Consistence Maintenance in Concurrent Representations". When independently-constructed models of a certain phenomenon cooperate, their representation of entity states can diverge very quickly, causing the cooperative effort to become useless or even outright wrong. My thesis presented a framework wherein entity states in each model can be made to share information with other models thus ensuring that all of them have a consistent state of the world. I identified the challenges in maintaining this consistency when different types of interactions can change the state within any model.

My Master's research was a prelude that led to my dissertation work. During my Master's I identified the key problem of inconsistent states within multiple models. The publication of my initial work led to a Best Paper Award. Along with an early successful attempt at the Ph.D. qualifiers, this work encouraged me to pursue doctoral studies.

My work was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Defence. I co-authored several of the grants that made funding my own work possible. During my studies, I also took on research and teaching assistantships and mentoring activities. I actively published papers in my research area.

I graduated with distinction and 1st Class Honours in my Bachelor's degree, placing 8th in the University of Bombay. My project partners and I successfully completed two final year projects, one on building a neural network to recognise handwritten numerals, and the other to provide a graphical user interface for TeX. I actively promoted extra-curricular involvement in Computer Science, then a relatively new discipline, at my college. To that end, I co-established a chapter of CSI, an educational organisation, at my college, and was the founder and editor of the newsletter "*.*".

Consistency Maintenance in Concurrent Representations, A. Natrajan, Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia, Dissertation CS-2000-01, January 2000.

From Legion to Avaki: The Persistence of Vision, A. S. Grimshaw, A. Natrajan, M. A. Humphrey, M. J. Lewis, A. Nguyen-Tuong, J. F. Karpovich, M. M. Morgan, A. J. Ferrari, Grid Computing: Making the Global Infrastructure a Reality, eds. Fran Berman, Anthony J. G. Hey, Geoffrey C. Fox, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 265-298, March 2003, ISBN 0-470-85319-0.

Grid Resource Management in Legion, A. Natrajan, A. S. Grimshaw, M. A. Humphrey, Grid Resource Management: State of the Art and Future Trends, eds. Jennifer Schopf, Jaroslaw Nabrzyski, Jan Weglarz, Kluwer Publications, pp. 145-160, 2003, ISBN 1-4020-7575-8.

Avaki Data Grid - Secure, Transparent Access to Data, A. S. Grimshaw, M. Herrick, A. Natrajan, ed. Ahmar Abbas, Grid Technology Publications, 2003.

Consistency Maintenance in Multi-Resolution Simulations, P. F. Reynolds, Jr., A. Natrajan, S. Srinivasan, ACM Transactions on Modeling and Simulations, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 368-392, July 1997.

The Legion Grid Portal, A. Natrajan, A. Nguyen-Tuong, M. A. Humphrey, M. Herrick, B. P. Clarke, A. S. Grimshaw, Grid Computing Environments 2001, Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, Vol. 14, No. 13-15, pp. 1365-1394.

The Legion Support for Advanced Parameter-Space Studies on a Grid, A. Natrajan, M. A. Humphrey, A. S. Grimshaw, Future Generation Computer Systems, Vol. 18, No. 8, pp. 1033-1052, Elsevier Science, October 2002.

Support for Extensibility and Site Autonomy in the Legion Grid System Object Model, M. J. Lewis, A. J. Ferrari, M. A. Humphrey, J. F. Karpovich, M. M. Morgan, A. Natrajan, A. Nguyen-Tuong, G. S. Wasson, A. S. Grimshaw, Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, Vol. 63, pp. 525-538, 2003.

Studying Protein Folding on the Grid: Experiences using CHARMM on NPACI Resources under Legion, A. Natrajan, M. Crowley, N. Wilkins-Diehr, M. A. Humphrey, A. D. Fox, A. S. Grimshaw, C. L. Brooks III, Grid Computing Environments, Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, Vol. 16, pp. 385-397, 2004. Also published in 10th International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing, August 2001.

A Philosophical and Technical Comparison of Legion and Globus, A. S. Grimshaw, M. A. Humphrey, A. Natrajan, IBM Journal of Research & Development, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 233-254, March 2004.

Legion: Lessons Learned Building a Grid Operating System, A. S. Grimshaw, A. Natrajan, IEEE Trans. on Par. & Dist. Syst., Vol. 93, No. 3, pp. 589-603, March 2005.

Scout Algorithm for Fast Substring Matching, A. Natrajan, M. Anand, Submitted to Communications of the ACM, October 2020.

To disaggregate or not to disaggregate, that is not the question, A. Natrajan, A. Nguyen-Tuong, ELECSIM '95, May-June 1995, (Best Paper). Also published in, University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS-95-18, June 1995.

A Flexible Approach to Multi-Resolution Modeling, A. Natrajan, P. F. Reynolds Jr., S. Srinivasan, Parallel and Distributed Simulations '97, June 1997.

Resolving Concurrent Interactions, A. Natrajan, P. F. Reynolds Jr., 3rd International Workshop on Distributed Interactive Simulation and Real Time Applications, October 1999.

Capacity and Capability Computing in Legion, A. Natrajan, M. A. Humphrey, A. S. Grimshaw, The 2001 International Conference on Computational Science, pp. 273-283, May 2001.

Grids: Harnessing Geographically-Separated Resources in a Multi-Organisational Context, A. Natrajan, M. A. Humphrey, A. S. Grimshaw, High Performance Computing Systems and Applications, pp. 25-32, June 2001, (Keynote Speech).

Studying Protein Folding on the Grid: Experiences using CHARMM on NPACI Resources under Legion, A. Natrajan, M. Crowley, N. Wilkins-Diehr, M. A. Humphrey, A. D. Fox, A. S. Grimshaw, C. L. Brooks III 10th International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing, August 2001. Also published in Grid Computing Environments 2003, Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience.

Consistency Maintenance using UNIFY, A. Natrajan, P. F. Reynolds Jr., S. Srinivasan, Part of Grant Proposal to DMSO, 1995-1996, University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS-95-28, November 1995.

Guidelines for Consistency Maintenance, A. Natrajan, P. F. Reynolds Jr., S. Srinivasan, Part of Grant Proposal to DMSO, 1996-1997.

Using N-grams to Retrieve Hindi Queries with Transliteration Variations, A. Natrajan, A. L. Powell, J. C. French University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS-97-17, July 1997.

Authentication Based on Logical Time, A. Natrajan, University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS-97-23, May 1996.

Consistency Maintenance in Autonomous Agent Representations, G. S. Wasson, A. Natrajan, J. P. Gunderson, G. J. Ferrer, W. N. Martin, P. F. Reynolds Jr., University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS-98-06, February 1998.

Concurrent Representations for Jointly-executing Models, A. Natrajan, P. F. Reynolds Jr., University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS-2001-20, July 2001.

Dispelling Seven Myths About Grid Resource Management, A. Natrajan, A. S. Grimshaw, M. A. Humphrey, A. Nguyen-Tuong, University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, Technical Report CS-2004-33, August 2001.

Monitoring Remote Jobs in a Grid System, A. Natrajan, M. P. Walker, Unpublished.

A Framework for Scheduling Data-Parallel Applications in Grid Systems-Word, M. P. Walker, A. Natrajan, M. A. Humphrey, A. S. Grimshaw, Unpublished.

Scout Algorithm for Fast Substring Matching, A. Natrajan, M. Anand, arXiv Data Structures and Algorithms (cs.DS), November 2020.

Plastic Hashing for Even, Stable, Fast Load Balancing, A. Natrajan, To be submitted.

Scout Algorithm for Fast Substring Matching, A. Natrajan, M. Anand, GitHub (Amobee), February 2021.

Plastic Hashing for Even, Stable, Fast Load Balancing, A. Natrajan, GitHub (Anand), March 2021.

Radar Charts, A. Natrajan, GitHub (Discovery), November 2021.

The Future Of Tracking User Data, A. Natrajan, The Media Bulletin, April 2021. Author's Copy.

Frustometer, Anand Natrajan, Newsgroup rec.music.indian.misc, 20th August 1994.

Time to Plan for the Future, Anand Natrajan, The Writer in You, ESPN CricInfo, Article 29OCT2002, 29th October 2002.

Felix Tigris, Anand Natrajan, Wordpress blog.

Anand Natrajan — anand@anandnatrajan•com — (434) 825-0903