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Kailash Nadh - On being an absurdist and building the tech team at Zerodha, India's largest stock broker - #18
Kailash Nadh is the co-founder and CTO at Zerodha
Kailash Nadh founded the tech team at Zerodha - India’s largest stock broker - in 2013 and has been the CTO since. He has been a hobbyist programmer since 2000 with many published projects. Prior to Zerodha, he got his PhD in Artificial Intelligence & Computational Linguistics from the Middlesex University, London.
Zerodha is the largest stock broker in India processing 15-20% of all trades. At peak, they process 15M+ transactions daily & support about 9M active users. When it comes to total volume of transactions, Zerodha is if not the largest, then one of the largest stock brokers in the world. Additionally, Zerodha is completely self-bootstrapped, has not raised any external capital and has been profitable for years. They also haven’t done any marketing and their user base organically grew from 2 to 8 million in a span of 18 months during the Covid Pandemic. What’s further impressive is that their tech team is only 33 engineers!
We’re very glad we got a chance to spend some time with Kailash. In this episode, we talk to him about absurdism - a philosophy that guides his personal and professional his worldview. We discuss how he built Zerodha’s tech team, their team culture and how the team operates so efficiently while being so lean. We discuss why Zerodha self-hosts all of their tech stack, what they look for when hiring engineers, how their systems scaled when the user base grew from 2 to 8 million in 18 months and of course, the misadventures along the way.
Kailash’s blogs on Zerodha’s tech blog (highly recommended!):
Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind - a book that influenced Kailash’s views on absurdism
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