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Jul 05, 2024
Ecosystem Spotlight
Meet Arjun Arora, COO of Orderly: Driving Orderly's Omnichain Charge
by Orderly Network
Meet Arjun Arora, COO of Orderly: Driving Orderly's Omnichain Charge

Our brokers and partners know him, but you may not.

“Soon everyone will be on Orderly”? That very phrase that has gained popularity in our community? Yea, we want to introduce you to the guy leading the path to bring your favourite brokers on Orderly.

Meet Arjun, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and “pathfinder” behind Orderly Network’s charge to bring everyone onchain.

Arjun's a top-tier exec with extensive skills in business development and leadership all over EMEA. He knows tech and crypto inside out, having consulted for a bunch of blockchain startups. Before he joined Orderly Network, he killed it at Google for 9 years, leveling up teams and running New Biz Sales for the UK & Ireland.

In this installment of our ecosystem spotlight series, we sat with Arjun to get some insights into his person and his journey with Orderly so far. And yes, we also tried to steal some TGE alpha

-Can you share a bit about your background? Specifically, what initially drew you into the blockchain world?

I accidentally fell in love with crypto and was “in it for the tech” after buying the top of Ethereum back in mid 2017. At that point I had to quickly figure out what I had invested in and why - from that point onwards, I spent night and day learning about all things Ethereum and its ecosystem then spreading out from there learning about its potential competitors, other use cases for blockchain and why everyone was saying it was going to change the world. I felt very compelled to spend a lot of time and energy on research. To me everything was extremely tech heavy with no clear go to market or path to mainstream adoption on the business side - this intrigued me and was an intersection of the space I wanted to spend most of my time on. Specifically in 2018, I started working with a few blockchain startups, helping them with fundraising, their go to market strategies and execution of the business side of things for them.

- When you aren’t doing Orderly stuff (if that ever happens), who’s Arjun – the guy, not the orchestrator?

Honestly - 99% of my time is Orderly and/or doing something in the crypto space. It’s what I love and the space evolves in a blink of an eye. I can go to sleep and wake up, and a buzzing headline is out or a new innovative project has launched, or a major event has happened and I feel the need to instantly play catch up.

You can find me at the gym, in the sauna, at a restaurant with friends & family and I’ll still be on telegram, discord or crypto twitter trying to keep on top of things. I take great pride in what we are doing at Orderly and I love everyday of what we do - so it's rare I’ll be doing anything else! I’m pretty good at finding balance albeit it doesn’t sound like it, but as I said, I love this space!

- What was the biggest hurdle you faced transitioning from a tech giant like Google to a blockchain startup?

I was thankful enough to have a very easy transition. I had spent many years advising blockchain startups whilst I was still at Google and actually, I felt that most of these projects wanted to become a bit more like Google and learn from my experience. When we decided to push the idea of Orderly forward, it was a very natural transition. Back in late 2021 when we started the Orderly fundraise, there were only a few of us, all wearing many hats. It became important to have structure and clear priority management, very akin to what I was focused on in the web2 world so that part was easy. I am thankful for the rest of the founding team who could support me and guide me into understanding what was important on the day-to-day that moves the needle in the crypto world and where I could focus my attention to truly support the initial growth of Orderly. When you surround yourself with the right team, the right experience and the right goal - things can become very easy and ofcourse, those things make transitions a lot easier.

- Can you walk us through a typical day in your life as the COO of Orderly Network?

Ah! Well, no day is the same, that's for sure! I handle Business Development, Ecosystem, Legal, and Finance areas within the company, so it's important to keep an eye on everything going on. I'm thankful we have a stellar team in all these functions, which means I can focus on the areas I enjoy the most and that will make the biggest impact on Orderly. For me, that's business development and ecosystem – it's what I love.

- Can you share a memorable moment or milestone in your journey with Orderly Network so far?

It’s funny because there are actually quite a few memorable moments. From trading volume milestones, launching our own Orderly Chain, seeing well respected industry thought-leaders talk about us – it’s amazing. Just recently, a team member shared that we currently have the best top-of-orderbook liquidity for perps trading in DeFi compared to other top DEXs. So even internal team moments like this where we see the progress we’re making are incredible. It feels like a reward for the many hours we work together, finding solutions, and bringing the Orderly vision to life.

One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that while I appreciate these milestones, my mindset quickly shifts to “what’s next” or “how can we improve this”. I look quite far ahead because we are here to build something for the future, something that spans decades. So whilst I appreciate and take pride in the milestones at the moment, I also have a firm eye on the fact that we are at the very very early stage of what we truly want to deliver to the world.

-So Arjun, we are going to ask you the most popular question in our community. “Wen TGE?”

It's a hot topic right?!

I think it's important to note that everything we do at Orderly is for the long term future of the protocol, the product and the overall vision for what Orderly wants to deliver to the world. We want to do everything we can to deliver the best that feeds into the vision of that product. Delays can be inevitable and albeit upsetting to some users who are eagerly anticipating the launch, but doing things right can often lead to delays. We’ve taken the best steps possible to showcase as much visibility to the community as possible, whether it's the merits leaderboard, allowing users to see their pre-EVM and NEAR-based allocations, and of course increasing our total airdrop allocation from 10% to 13%+.

TGE is happening in Q3, that's for sure! Everything is in place and we want to ensure the best TGE possible that can align to our long term goals!

-Despite the postponement, it's still TGE season at Orderly! 2 years in, $60B+ in trading volume, growing exponentially. What can the community expect from the upcoming token launch?

This is something that truly excites me - I feel the tokenomics of the ORDER token are innovative, exciting and truly unique to Orderly. What's important to me is the token has true use case, utility and maximum value accrual to the holders. Post-TGE, users will be able to stake their tokens and have a suite of utility and value for doing so - as an example, Orderly will give 70% of all net trading fees back to stakers. True protocol-derived revenue in the hands of stakers.

It’s easy to go to our Dune Dashboard, see our daily net fees and understand that so much of that value goes directly into the hands of ORDER token holders!

- In your opinion, what key trends/developments do you see shaping the future of DeFi in the next few years?

Chain abstraction for sure! Everyday there's a new layer1 and 2’s cropping up, new wrapped stablecoins, new bridges! It’s confusing for users and there are exceptional levels of risk associated with tech that may not be as secure or battle tested as the more long standing ones. This concerns me from both a user safety perspective but also a user experience perspective. Creating an ecosystem where the user can come from the chain of their choice, deposit the asset of their choice and trade on the venue of their choice is a giant leap in the direction of abstracting these complexities away from the user, giving them the freedom to play where they are comfortable and feel more secure - something we think about everyday at Orderly and excited to see other protocols move in this direction in the future. An all-inclusive DeFi landscape is the only way we can truly onboard users - something we will pioneer and champion for years to come!

- How does your personal experiences and career journey influence your approach to leadership at Orderly?

Lead from the front and be the example you want to see in your teams. As simple as that! We are practically working 24/7 over at Orderly - work as a family, ensure everyone is supported, ensure everyone's voices are heard and we are always making joint decisions that are aligned with the Orderly vision. When teams are happy, feel included and empowered, that’s when we really create an environment where innovation can happen.

- Finally, with such experience, we’ve gotta ask what advice you give to someone who is new to the space and looking to make that leap like you did?

Be curious, read, listen, ask questions to anyone and everyone around you. Find multiple circles of people/groups in the space and add as much value to them whilst growing your own knowledge and skill set at the same time.

Don’t be afraid to be curious. When you’re curious, you learn. When you learn, you become better. And that will drive value for others in the space. Remove any sense of ego about how good you think you are and how much value you offer. When you are learning from others and contributing to their knowledge base, there will always be opportunities in the space. You don’t have to “make the leap”, you can meaningfully contribute to the space whilst still working in the web2 world. When the time is right, when the team is right, when the protocol and mission you are passionate about comes along, then that's the right time.

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