Sudha Jamthe’s BIO
Sudha Jamthe is a leader in the Internet industry with 20+ experience building Consumer Web, Mobile and eCommerce Products for Business Growth. She specializes in operationalizing business for growth and building and mentoring amazing global teams.
She is a Mobile Leader for Mobile Core Products Data and Business Operations at eBay. She has built social commerce products, teams, organizations and partnerships for eBay, PayPal, AOL/Bebo, Intuit and Network World. She co-founded Mobile Startup Coola Inc. She has built Internet Solutions Division at Harcourt Inc and guided the adoption and change to drive growth from Internet or Mobile Technologies at Cabletron, Time Warner and StarWoods Hotels.
She is a thought leader for Technology innovation at the junction of social, mobile and digital media. She has been a venture mentor at MIT and Director at Bay Area Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ Meetups and currently focuses on her passion to inspire Girls to code.
She has an MBA (Marketing & Strategy) from Boston University and a BS (Computer Science) from Madras University. She blogs at coolastory.com and tweets @sujamthe.
In the Spotlight Interview
1. Since we were classmates in Boston University’s MBA Program, please share with us the origin of your LinkedIn profile title “business leader at the intersection of mobile, social and data’ and how this relates to your work at eBay.
Sudha: After my MBA in 1999, I helped $2Bil education publisher Harcourt.com extend from offline to online business, co-founded Coola, a mobile middleware with an Apps store- like technology ahead of its time. I started blogging my startup experience at coolastroy.com.
In 2007, I moved to Silicon Valley and took up the lead of the first Silicon Valley Facebook Meetup and subsequently started the Twitter meetup, Google+ meetup and Pinterest meetup as knowledge sharing gathering of tech innovations. I did social strategy consulting for AOL, Intuit and PayPal.
I realized my strength lies in spotting technology trends and being able to operationalize it with teams to build products for business growth. For the past 5 years at eBay, I have been building organizations to tap into new technology trends, drive change, build teams and leaders to operationalize product strategy for growth focused on social commerce, data, and mobile commerce. Today, eBay makes $20Bil from mobile and I am a mobile leader focused on mobile growth by operationalizing eBay’s product as a portfolio across multiple platforms on IPhone, Android, Tablets and evolving Wearables across global markets.
2. Take us through a typical day, start to finish.
Sudha: My typical day starts with a tweet saying “Good morning peeps” to the world. My activities balance being a mobile global leader at eBay, parent of a 11 yr old and a mentor and coach to inspire girls to stay in technology. I do not manage my calendar by time but I manage my energy so I spend my time on work that I am passionate about and gives me energy and purpose.
3. What was the best advice you received as you began your career?
Sudha: People matter the most.
Build strong teams and you don’t have to worry about anything else. I have built my identity as a strong people manager and take pride in spotting talent and growing leaders. It continues to help me in all my job roles and is fulfilling to me as a professional. We need a diversity of personalities and strengths to make each team but what is important is to scale teams building upon each other’s skill gaps and always hire and guide people to strive for excellence and amazing things happen as the teams innovate, adapt, learn and get amazing results. Always.
4. What are your strategies for building awareness of the mobile platform of eBay for the short term and the long term?
Sudha: eBay has a solid brand in Mobile Commerce as we started out with the iPhone launch as Apple’s partner and scaled to IPad and Android eBay Apps. We do not worry about creating awareness but focus fanatically on creative an amazing customer experience – one that gets better with each release and making it easy for our users to buy or sell using their mobile devices. We listen to the customers from their reviews on app stores, social media, in our forums and from the data we see their behavior of what they want and need and adapt constantly.
5. What is your proudest achievement?
Sudha: I am proud of several people I have mentored from being my interns or early hires to grow to become strong leaders. I have yet to achieve what I can call as my proudest achievement.
6. What are Your Top 3 book recommendations?
Sudha: “Only the paranoid survive” by Andy Grove, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai.
7. What other charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?
Sudha: I support Girls Who Code and IOSDevcamp, which focus on technology innovation and education. I support my local firefighters association and retired police and veteran groups.
8. Who has been most influential towards your career success?
Sudha: Steve Jobs always inspired me not just on being a tech visionary but in how he operated in a world without limits. I have been fortunate to have many mentors who have coached me along the way and many more who have inspired me to become a better person.
Paul English, Ashish Gupta, Piyush Patel mentored me to focus on teams during my startup.
Scott Kirsner inspires me to date on his love for Boston and being able to change the world because of passion for his community.
Brian Solis inspires me on the evolution of technology and how to transform businesses.
Shel Israel got me to Twitter in its early days.
Jememiah Owyang, Ben Parr, Marsha Collier, Chris Brogan, Dave McClure, Robert Scoble, Chris Shipley, Kara Swisher inspire me to follow my heart and passion for Technology and helped me make California home.
David Weekly, Robert Schwentker, Van Riper, Myles Mylessleder, Perrine Crampton, Dom Sagella, Chris Heuer, Kristie Wells, Brian Zisk have inspired me about the power of tech grassroots groups.
Rashmi Saujani, Richelle Parham, Adriana Gascoigne of Girls in Tech, Shahrose Charania of Women 2.0, Tenaya Hurst the Audrino Woman inspire me to help with education of girls to code and stay in tech.
Sheryl Sandberg (I have not met her) with her Lean In book and foundation inspires me to want to do more for Women in Technology to lean in and break any ceiling.
9. What is your advice for entrepreneurs who are 1-3 months away from launching their business?
1. Build and launch early and get real customer feedback quickly
2. Be ready to iterate and adapt openly.
3. Focus on building a rounded team that complements you that will be the best asset you can build to succeed.