Saturday, 25 July 2020

Life at Reliance Jio : A talk with an Insider

We often come across the term “dream companies” but, what are these dream companies? Dream companies are those organisations that one dreams to join after completing college or any time in his or her life. When we talk about such companies the most common names that pop into our head are Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, etc. The list would hardly consist of any Indian company. But, recently an Indian company, Reliance Jio has been observed growing exponentially unlike any other company in the country. It is growing so rapidly that it now holds the potential to become one of the top desired companies in the world for the millions of people joining the work force every year.

Recently the company has received funding from top investors like Google, Facebook, Qualcomm, Silver Lake, Vista and many more. The total investments from these companies summed up to provide investments of billions of dollars to Reliance Jio. This provides us with a clear picture about how much Reliance Jio is going to expand in the coming years. It is nothing new that expansion of a company is directly related to the expansion of its workforce. The dream to become a part of any giant organization for many is inevitable.

So, recently I had a small talk with my friend Mr. Uddipaan Hazarika who holds the position of a Deputy Manager and is largely involved in ‘web app development’ at Reliance Jio, Mumbai, India. The main motive of the conversation was to gain some insight about the life at Reliance Jio, Mumbai, India and also to throw some light to the path that leads to Reliance Jio. Mr. Hazarika is a computer science engineering graduate from the Global Royal University, Guwahati, Assam, India and had joined Jio long before this “gold rush” to Jio had even begun.


1. Let us start from the very obvious question that is, when did you join Reliance Jio?

I did join this organization on 2017, July to be precise. Since then I have been a part of this company till date.


2. Like any other college student, which companies were you aiming to join after graduation?

Haha, every college student dreams of joining these “dream companies” as you have stated, but we can’t really ignore the fact that it’s not really rainbows and butterflies in real world.
Well, according to me the real drive should not really be about getting employed by certain company or organization; it should really be about what you would want to do or see yourself doing in near future. In my case, I was always into problem solving. So mainly, I wanted to get employed in an organization where I could use my creativity and skills honed in my undergrad level to address certain tasks.



3. Was it tough to get into a company as big as Reliance Jio? And what can one expect to face during an interview for a job at Jio?

Well up to some extent it was a bit tricky as these organizations not only challenge you on technical level but also, they try to figure out how good you can face challenges and your decision making. When I was interviewing for Reliance, I had around 4-5 rounds where they challenged me on logical reasoning and technical knowledge as well with a little bit of general knowledge.


4. As someone involved in web app development how challenging or interesting is your job role?

For the most part, I find it interesting as you get to know a lot of things about how different systems work and service people all across a certain defined demography. I mean, it is really fascinating to see organizations such as Netflix or Google services, that can scale to a worldwide level without a major downtime in their services. Now of course, these systems didn’t just get created or spawned overnight. All the amazing and talented engineers in these organization has spent countless sleepless nights while making these systems what they are today; which brings me to the second aspect, challenges…. Let me tell you it’s really not that easy. There are a lot at stakes, as these systems that we build serves a business that drives the organization. Now the business is ruthless, this is more so in case of huge technological giants and the “dream companies” as they need to keep up with the cutthroat competition and stand on the expectations of the users. Can you imagine a single day with downtime in WhatsApp messenger? It really comes down to all the teams; from development to business to site reliability and everyone involved to drive their organization to fulfil the needs of our end users.


5. While working in a particular project, do individual members involved in the project get to explore his or her creative side or are all the perimeters to attain a result are predefined by the company?

Yes, this is really an interesting and a good question. Prior to me getting involved in core development, I was really into the impression that we have to adhere to business logics and what our lead or/and manager wants us to build. Even though we are working towards a certain goal, there is always a possibility to apply your creative side here and there. In my opinion, we must pay emphasis not on just building and making the application work but our focus is mainly into building it better and making it sustainable.


6. Since Jio is a tech company, students mostly from engineering background might want to join it. So, what are the subjects they need to be good at if they would want to join a tech company like Jio?

Jio when it started was just a company which dealt with telecommunication services as we all know. But now as we can see it has evolved a lot and became one of the leading tech organization in India. There are a lot of skillsets that any organization needs and Jio is not any different. There are scopes ranging from developers to designers to sales and marketing people etc. For web developers, I would say, basic knowledge of any widely used languages such as Java, Python, Rust, GoLang etc. Also, frameworks such as Spring MVC, Liferay, Laravel, Django, Flask. Additionally, knowledge of basic concepts of data structures, computer networking and web technologies are important. I really can go on and on and that too this is only in case of web development. There are more fun areas such as AIML, Data Science and Dev Ops.



7. Here is a funny question for you. To any layman, Jio is just a telecommunication network provider. So, do people you know ask you for help regarding issues related to Jio network?

Haha, really a good question… Yes, I do get asked a lot about grievances and challenges people face on the network. But my answer remains the same, no, I really cannot help with the network issues because that’s entirely a different domain than the one, I am concerned with. I am the guy who makes applications for proper functioning of the business processes. But yes, maybe a backhaul engineer or a network infra lead employed by the organization may help you. Also, people can raise their concern in the service desk in jio.com or myjio application.


8. You have joined Jio long before all these big investors like Google, Facebook, etc across the world started investing in Jio. How these investments have opened up new opportunities for Jio?

As we all know about the investments pouring in for the organization and all the partnerships be done; it is really an exciting stage for all of us being the end user because we all are aware of surprises Jio has given us from time to time.
Even for the organization, all these tie ups have opened doors to exciting new opportunities that needs to be explored.



9. I know it is not possible to disclose discreet information but, here is a question that you can answer without disclosing any vital information. Since Reliance Jio is rapidly bringing new technology into the Indian market, what new can we expect in nearest future that would revolutionize the Indian tech scenario?


Hahaha, unfortunately I really can’t disclose any information. Well for the most part, the organization really does a good job keeping sensitive information from leaking. Information that might disrupt an opportunity. Even it is concealed from us if we are not directly associated with it. And if we are working on some such “secret project” we do have a strict non-disclosure policy.


10. How is the work culture or the work environment at Jio?

In a single word, its well balanced. I mean you need to work hard and complete the tasks assigned to you and its same for any company you would work for. But other than that, there are fun activities from sports events to family day. Also, the work place is beautiful. But then this is really my opinion and I understand people other people may not share the same experience.



11. How much has lockdown and COVID-19 affected the efficiency of work for an IT company like Jio?

During the recent times of pandemic, we are allotted tasks and need to join meetings from home, basically work from home. The efficiency is really not that affected in my case. But I can’t really say much about other people. In my team, or specifically in my projects, I ensure that all my tasks meet the predefined deadlines but then again there are certain ups and downs sometimes that takes the prior planning to a detour, haha.


12. Here is one more “chilled” question for you which many people also might be wondering about at this point of time. Have you ever met Mr. Mukesh Ambani yet?

Haha, Yes, I have met the chairman/managing director a few times. I was infact, physically present in the 40th Annual General meeting of reliance where the jio phone was launched for the first time. Prior to the launch I was involved in some work related to that.


13. Apart from the people from technical background, what are the other major areas does Reliance Jio recruit people from?

There are a plethora of professionals and candidates being recruited into Reliance from various domains just like any other organization of this scale. Speaking in terms of areas, from engineering sciences to business facing domains such as sales and marketing, the organization is always in need of good candidates to drive towards the organization goals and be a major player in digital revolution of the country.


14. Before ending this conversation, we would like to know how has been your journey so far at Reliance Jio? And how much Jio has helped you to grow as an individual?

My journey until now has really been fruitful. I mean, every day has been a new challenge which ends with something really valuable for me to take away. I have also faced hard times and difficult scenarios and people having high expectations from me to deliver a sustainable solution to really difficult problems. I have failed quite a few times but those were just stepping stones in life and in my opinion, those are just lessons that are necessary for me to grow as an individual.


15. Here is the last and an easy question. How can one apply to be a part of Reliance Jio?

Referrals and personal portfolios. I mean mostly people would be chosen based on their capabilities and individual skills. In terms of channels, there are always job portals such as Linkedin and also some competitions such as Jio TechGig Code Gladiators and hackathons.

Last but, not the least, Mr. Uddipaan Hazarika apart from being a tech expert, is also an amazing guitarist. You can check out his videos by visiting his instagram page, _uddipaan_ (https://www.instagram.com/_uddipaan_) or if you want to more about him visit his website, www.uddipaanhazarika.cf

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