Why Zerodha never hired IIT, IIM graduates. Here’s what CEO Nithin Kamath said

Zerodha’s founder Nithin Kamath, in a recent podcast, said they do not hire people who have passed out from colleges, including the IITs and IIMs, as he feels it is very tough to fit such people in its organisation.

While many companies look forward to recruiting top talent from the country’s leading education institutes, like the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management, many others prefer hiring graduates with real passion more than just the degree. One such company is Zerodha, which does not prefer hiring IIT or IIM graduates. 

Zerodha’s founder Nithin Kamath, in a recent podcast, said they do not hire people who have passed out from colleges, including the IITs and IIMs, as he feels it is very tough to fit such people in its organisation. “We’ve never hired a single person from IIT and IIM till now because we’ve found it very tough to fit such people within the organisation,” he said during the podcast. 

He said the graduates from these organizations are “more focused on developing their careers instead of thinking about the growth of the company”. “The thing about IITs and IIMs is that when you’re in that kind of environment, you’re wired to think about how quickly you can grow in life. This culturally doesn’t fit well (at Zerodha) because we can’t tell people how quickly they can grow,” Kamath said.

He added that for him a candidate’s passion matters more than just education. “At least for the core team, the people who do important stuff at Zerodha, we see if they’re passionate about the cause. Education doesn’t matter,” Kamath noted.

Talking more about the startup culture in India, Kamath said that people in such places (like IIT and IIM) want to jump from point A to point B rather quickly, but don’t want to grow. 

But he categorically added that he doesn’t oppose the idea of hiring IITians and IIM graduates if they “Zerodha’s criteria”. “If you’re okay getting up every day, doing something different, and looking to keep getting better as a business — if you’re okay with taking that chance, we can hire you,” he added.  

Nikhil and Nithin Kamath founded Zerodha in 2009. Its net profit doubled to Rs 2,094 crore in FY22. This was 82 per cent up compared to Rs 1,112 crore in FY21. According to the company’s regulatory filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the company also saw its operating revenue surging 82 per cent to Rs 4,963 crore in FY22 compared to the year-ago figures.However, rise in revenues and profit apart, the company also saw its operating expenses jump 71 per cent in FY22 to Rs 2,164 crore. The Bengaluru-based brokerage company’s employee benefit expenses (EBE) grew by 45 per cent. It reported the EBEs to be Rs 459 crore in FY22. The tech company’s information technology expenses also saw a surge of 78.2 per cent standing at Rs 303 crore in the last fiscal year.

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