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Case Studies

A True Nurturer: Narayan Babu aids Zeta’s Product & Tech

By September 29, 2022December 7th, 2022No Comments
Narayan Babu appointed as Zeta’s VP of Product & Tech

Introduction

Acting as the world’s first Omni Stack for credit cards, Zeta has grown to become a leading developer of the technology stack. Today, it engages with banks and fintech startups, as well as other online consumer platforms. Founded in 2015, Zeta wants to bridge the gap between bank services online and avoid the hassle of going to a bank for multiple services. 

Founded by Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gadapatti, Zeta’s first investor Directi funded the company in consecutive rounds in the initial stages. Sodexo has also invested in two rounds but the major funding round came when SoftBank Vision Fund 2 invested $250 Mn in the Series C stage. 

This round helped Zeta obtain unicorn status with a valuation of $1.5 Bn. Mastercard also invested in the company in a recent round.  As of March 2022, the company has received Series C Funding with a total of $350 Mn.

Problem Statement 

The founders of Zeta had multiple VP of Engineering roles but were looking at hiring more VP of Engineering to head various verticals. The founders were looking for a candidate who had extensive knowledge of product development. They were also interested in a candidate with a blend of founder and technology mindset. 

The ideal candidate would head an entire vertical for Zeta related to product development. The designated engineering leader would be responsible for managing the teams, translating business strategy into engineering requirements, and focusing on the scalability of the products.

Solution and Execution

Purple Quarter found a candidate that would fill in as VP of Engineering, eventually lead a particular vertical of the company, and take up the responsibility of product development. This approach benefitted Zeta as they were looking out for a comparatively less senior role. Following detailed discussions, the management went ahead appointing an engineering Leader in October 2021. 

It was essential to look for a leader who had product experience and a 360-degree grasp of technology, engineering, product, founding, and people. Zeta was also looking for a candidate well versed in the Indian startup ecosystem who can confidently head an entire segment independently. 

Leveraging Purple Quarter IP – Behavioural Metrics Model (BMM), the best-suited profile was found to be a Nurturer leader. After thorough detailing and mapping across the talent pool, Purple Quarter found seasoned product leader – Narayan Babu suitable for the position. 

As a product expert with multiple experiences in product verticals and a thought leader with a keenness toward scaling fintech, Narayan proved to be the best match. He has successfully led and managed multiple teams during his tenure and also had founding experience in the past. 

Previously at Glance, Narayan built deep and cutting-edge mobile teams spanning from AOSP to modern design and automation. He was also responsible for developing highly scalable, cloud-agnostic, and high throughput backend and DevOps teams handling over 100,000 QPS average and daily ETL of over multiple TBs. 

Narayan was identified as the perfect profile fitment of a nurturer with a tech mindset – an ideal find for leading a vertical at Zeta Suite. He comes with the right organizational-cultural-technology fit. With expertise in technology, engineering background, product know-how, programming, and data science, Narayan is also a people-oriented individual and undoubtedly the right person for the job. 

Looking Forward 

Purple Quarter’s precise and dynamic approach helped map Zeta’s tech leader search. Narayan’s extensive expertise has been supporting the neo-banking platform in scaling its tech offerings with an efficient architecture and organizational growth across verticals. 

The appointment has benefitted Zeta highly, with the company announcing that its card processing business has grown to 10 Mn+ Cards and 300 Mn+ Transactions per year in 2021. Zeta was also able to expand to different regions such as Germany and Austria. Purple Quarter is pleased to have evaluated Narayan as the best fit for the tech and product leadership role.