Rahul Yadav: An Inspiring Story of the Housing.com CEO

Topics: Indian Institutes of Technology, Termination of employment, Sequoia Capital Pages: 6 (2017 words) Published: March 20, 2016
Rahul Yadav‟s : an unusual story
Rahul Yadav a 26-year-old from Alwar, Rajasthan, wasn‟t the brightest in class. He ranked 20th among 30 students in his Class 10 exams. A sarcastic comment by his uncle about his grades made him work hard and become a topper in Rajasthan in physics-chemistry-maths, based on which he got a 75 per cent scholarship to prepare for IIT-JEE. He became class representative in his second year at IIT Bombay and, later, secretary of its student association. As part of his election manifesto, he had to create a question bank from old exam papers. This sparked his technopreneurial bug and he built the popular exambaba.com which the institute made an official IIT-B archive. After a brief internship in Israel, Yadav returned to build apps for Google Chrome. And then, in his final year, dropped out of IIT. Later, he joined his friends to co-found Housing.com.

Rahul Yadav, a college drop-out in the final year of IIT-BOMBAY (unbelievable isn't it but quoting his own lines here,“If things aren‟t working, I can write them off,” he says disparagingly in an interview to Forbes magazine. “The problem with Indian start-ups is that people spend years on the same ideas that just don‟t work!” He says his parents still don‟t know he has dropped out. ( And “thank god they don‟t read Forbes!”) Co-founder Advitiya Sharma, 24, another self-professed small-town boy (from Jammu) and Housing‟s chief marketing officer, had been warned about the difficulty of finding a house after graduating. When he and Yadav started contacting brokers they realized how limited the information on online listed properties was; they also realized how good the money in Mumbai‟s real estate brokerage business brokerage was. They eventually took a house in Powai, close to the IIT-B campus. Many people from IIT-B were taking houses there and that‟s also when they

figured out that since they had a good network of prospective clients among their IIT friends and batchmates, they might as well become brokers. The money was good and they started making Rs 1-2 lakh a month. But to go national as brokers for residential properties would require extensive local knowledge, which they did not have. So they shifted business models: From broking

Housing.com is a Mumbai-based real estate search portal which allows customers to search for housing based on geography, number of rooms, and various other filters. The company has 6,000 brokers and serves 40 cities in India including Mumbai, Bangalore,Kolkata and Delhi. Housing.com was founded in 2012 by 12 alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. It raised $90 million (INR540 crores) in a round of funding from investors led by Softbank in December 2014, when the company was valued at Rs 1,500 crore. In early March 2015, the company had a nation-wide brand launch, and revealed its new brand logo, colours and brand philosophy; with the tagline 'Look Up'. The brand launch was advertised in national newspapers and hoardings in several cities across the country; and notably, on the company's social media pages. Rahul Yadav, as a CEO played an instrumental role in launch and expansion of Housing.com

The charismatic 26-year-old, who was behind India‟s most exciting and successful start-ups, however, has never been too far from controversy. Not too long ago, Yadav had accused Sequoia Capital‟s Managing Director Shailendra Singh of executing „wrong and unethical‟ business practices.

In March 2015, Yadav sent an unabashed email to Sequoia Capital‟s MD Shailendra Singh after he poached one of Housing.com‟s employees to join Sequoia as an analyst. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------From: Rahul Yadav Date: Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 7:39 PM

Subject: Last straw
To: Shailendra Singh (Sequoia Capital India)
I‟ve been humble to you guys even after inhuman and unethical...
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