Kunal Shah, co-founder, FreeCharge, calls him ‘Mr Dependable’, ‘Mr Reliable’ and ‘Mr Helpful’. “This is exactly what our customers expect from us: dependable to always do recharges and bill payments immediately with a pleasant ‘wow’ experience,” says Kunal.
Korath Paul, a software engineer is the Awesome Startup Employee from FreeCharge. Founded in 2010, FreeCharge was acquired in April this year by Snapdeal. FreeCharge has raised USD 80 million earlier this year, which takes the total funding to USD 120 million.
The company is working independently and as of now and has 200 employees but is looking to increase the employee count.
Awesome Startup Employee Korath, as a child was passionate and excited to learn new technologies. This led him to complete his BTech in Computer Science and start his career with Zynga. At Zynga, he was part of the systems engineering group. “While Zynga gave me an awesome start, FreeCharge helped me learn new technologies.”
On November 18, 2013, Korath joined FreeCharge. It was a turning point for him, especially since he was leaving a huge company to join a startup. Korath joined the web team and has excelled in his role since.
Kunal says, “He helped other teams gain widespread knowledge of the entire product and was quickly promoted to ‘Senior Software Engineer’ working on the core product features”. Kunal explains that payments and recharge have high revenue impact and involve complex real-time interactions and decision making with external dependencies, and that this is Korath’s forte.
Currently, Korath works for the core backend team that handles payments flow. The biggest challenge he faces at FreeCharge is handling real-time productions issues and building an efficient and highly scalable environment. “Many a time, I have got opportunities to debug and fix some of the critical issues live in a production environment. At each of these tasks we get a deep understanding of the systems. I consider each issue an opportunity to learn and improve,” he says.
Korath is appreciative of the work culture at FreeCharge, and the opportunities to make decisions and move forward.
We have a very flexible, transparent and cool environment. We always strive towards improving the system response times and exploring the latest technologies available in market. The best part here is that we get an opportunity to work with different folks having in-depth knowledge in specific areas,
he adds. At present, he is part of a four-member team that discusses the pros and cons of choosing one
technology over the other for optimisation.Ask Korath about a special moment at FreeCharge and he says there are many. The one special moment he shares with us is about the server migration from one cloud service to AWS at FreeCharge. The excitement is evident in his tone as he speaks of it. “We had planned the migration during midnight. This was the first real learning experience for me interacting and modifying live production code. It has really helped me in getting an overall idea of the entire distributed system and its architecture. I will never forget that experience!” he says with a smile.
Kunal says Korath’s best quality is a readiness to take on any challenge.
He does not say no to any request any time and has quietly and humbly contributed to many big projects in understated ways.
Korath roots for working at startups. “I do recommend working at startups because it is the place where things happen. Startups give you an immense opportunity to learn new things each and everyday. You own it and you do it,” he adds.