Rahul Yadav, CEO, Housing.com answers questions about dropping out of IIT, founding Housing, the Look Up campaign, controversy with Sequoia, and much more.
Check out 12 things he talks about in his recent reddit Ask Me Anything(AMA) session!
1. Can you create even 1% of Housing.com without funding from VC ?
I can create 100% of Housing.com [without VC funding], but then it will be a different type of Housing. You can always create business without money, sometimes it can be slow, sometimes it can be really hard but its never impossible.
2. What are the 3 most important things that contribute towards a startups’ success in the Indian start-up ecosystem?
I think currently it is:
- Validated and copied idea from another market.
What I think it should actually be:
- Solving Indian people’s problem.
- Great product and innovation.
- Great teams and culture.
3. You’ve mentioned that there are very few Indian start-ups that have your respect. Which are a few of these?
Flipkart; for maintaining relative quality (in product, service and culture). They have earned respect in terms of implementation and execution.
4. Do you still code? Which is your favorite programming language and why?
No, Left almost three years back. I was just a front end coder and loved JS.
5. Do you think start-ups in India are currently overvalued? Do you think it is indicative of a bubble? How long do you see these valuations lasting?
Indian market is an elephant. It’s gonna run/grow slowly. People/companies with patience over a period of 5-10 years will be able to leverage the opportunity. Companies which will survive in this period, for them the current valuations are nothing, given the opportunity size.
6. What you would be doing, if you have left Housing.com?
Never thought about it. But I love animation and visual effects and wanted to pursue it from Vancouver Film School but couldn’t afford their high fees at the time.
7. What was the deal with Sequoia Capital? For science, Can you tell us what ‘other bad things’ were you referring to in your email to the VC?
We decided a slided deal between 10-15% (depending on performance)for 1mn$. After 2 months of due diligence, when they realised we were running out money, they said they want to do a flat equity deal. I said ‘Okay. Let’s do it at 12.5%. They said 14.75%. When I requested more, they said “Let’s not waste each others’ time.” We were left with no option.
I came to know they have done it with lots of other ventures (TFS, Ola, Dexetra, LetsBuy..)
So to cut it short, I think they’re culturally a very cutthroat VC and sometimes I think that’s why they’re more successful than others. But I still condemn their practises because I feel they’re inhuman and for me, people are the ‘why’ for everything I do.
8. Does Housing.com have any policy for employees to contribute back to OSS, say for 5 hours in a week?
Our tech team has complete freedom and they have their own culture as well. And they actively do contribute from time to time. One of our co-founders, Neeraj Bhunwal sleeps, eats and breathes open source!
9. How about some tips for entrepreneurs on self-promotion, pitching to VCs and the right way to do PR?
Be obsessed about solving the problem.Work hard and be optimistic. Surround yourself with great people; rest is just a cake walk. VCs, PR etc will automatically follow if you are doing good.
10. Don’t you feel that your efforts should be more concrete in building an image that is fitting of a CEO of a growing organization instead of indulging in unnecessary shenanigans?
I think whatever issues I have raised are very important for the Indian start-up ecosystem.
11. Why ‘Look Up’ ?
Because when you Look Up you only see people who are ahead of you in terms of greatness and achievements. No matter how much you have achieved in your life, the moment you Look Up, everything gets reset and you find yourself again at level 0.
To Look Up means to always keep chasing the best! To Look Up means to always keep asking ‘What’s next’. To Look Up means getting ready for the action. To Look up means to never settle.
12. Why did you decide to drop out of IITB in your final year?
I think I mentally dropped out of IIT in 2nd year. Physically in my 4th year. And on papers, I think I’m still an IITB student. 🙂
A very pretentious conversation with Kanan Gill| “There’s nothing stopping you besides going out and doing it.”
“If it’s something that makes you happy, then totally pursue it.” – Mana Santhanam, Custom Artist.
“Everything started as nothing, so start something!” – Rana Atheya, CEO, Dogspot.in