Rahul Yadav: Housing.Com's Maverick Entrepreneur
On May 5, 2015, Yadav had a meeting with the board members of Housing.com, including the investors. At the meeting, the investors reaffirmed their faith in Yadav and announced that they would retain him as CEO of the company. Subsequently, Yadav apologized to the board and investors and withdrew his resignation. According to him, “After some frank and healthy discussions with the board I have agreed to withdraw my resignation and I apologize for my unacceptable comments about the board members...”
Industry experts felt that though Yadav had withdrawn his resignation, the brand image of Housing.com had been badly dented. They said that while differences between investors and founders were not uncommon, in the case of Housing.com, both the founders and investors had acted immaturely. According to brand expert, Harish Bijoor, “For Housing.com, this is a slur. This is a category that depends very heavily on transparency, integrity, and ethical behavior. Housing.com needs to correct its imagery on this count. And it needs to do it fast, as in eSpace, damage is done fast and quick. The good thing is that correction can be attempted quick and fast as well. eSpace can damage you fast, it can correct your reputation fast as well.”..
On May 13, 2015, Yadav was once again in the news when he allotted his entire personal stake of 5 percent worth Rs. 1.5 to Rs. 2 billion to the 2,251 employees of Housing.com. Commenting on this move, Yadav said, “I’m just 26 and it is too early in life to get serious about money.”..
Housing.com had plans to make a foray into the international realty market to expand business and was looking at regions like South East Asia and the Middle East. According to Rishabh Gupta, Chief Operating Officer of Housing.com, “We have been looking at various opportunities for spreading our network and the international markets, especially the developing countries, are also looking promising. At present, our focus will be on deeper penetration in Indian markets as the scope here is immense. We are already live in 101 cities and we will like to increase it to more than 150 in the next one year.”..
Exhibit I: Shareholding Pattern of Housing.com
Exhibit II: Funds Raised for Housing.com
Exhibit III: Comparison of Online Realty Firms (in Rs. Millions)
Exhibit IV: Housing.com’s New Logo