Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last couple of weeks, you have probably heard of Rahul Yadav and Housing.com.
Founded in June 2012 by 12 of India’s premium engineering institutions, Housing is an online property listing portal which prides itself on its authenticated-listings and easy user interface.
Today the 2500-employee strong Housing is valued at 1500 crores ($230mn). However that’s not the only reason why it’s been in the news of late. Housing.com’s 26 year old CEO Rahul Yadav is a man on a mission, and the mission could well be to create his own brand. To stand out in the clutter of startup founders, he’d triggered a mild sensation, with his earlier foul-mouthed emails, to now crescendoing into an enfant terrible of the startup world with his consecutive shenanigans over the last 2 weeks.
Here is a chronological sequence of events that prove that Rahul Yadav is the most badass CEO around.
1. Look up, another ad!
Rahul Yadav has been said to be mainly responsible for Housing’s 150 crore+ marketing blitzkrieg across print, display and social media to build awareness for its new “LOOK UP” campaign.
2. War of words with Sequioa capital’s founder
Rahul Yadav emailed Sequoia Capital’s main guy Shailendra Singh cautioning him against poaching employees from his firm, in rather colourful language.
Shailendra Singh took to Quora to clarify his position, saying he was “deeply hurt” by the email. He stated that he’d interviewed around a 100 candidates for an analyst position at Sequoia, and had finally extended the offer to one Housing.com employee, to which Rahul Yadav replied with even some more unparliamentary language.
3. Rahul calls Times of India out on their mudslinging
Following Rahul’s exchange with Sequoia, the media giant Times of India carried a lengthy story on him, speculating that his days as a CEO may be short lived and that a search for a replacement was on. In response to the feature, in an internal email, Rahul called Times out on their mud slinging, and even alleged them of trying to “malign” Housing, while raising funds for their own property portal Magicbricks.com.
4. Rahul quits housing, calls investors intellectually incapable
After a period of silence on the Housing front, recently Rahul Yadav announced his resignation as the Housing CEO. While the writing had been on the wall for sometime, and we had reported how his brash ways could soon lead to his ouster, it didn’t come as a big surprise when Rahul Yadav finally did resign from his position. However, the fact he decided to exit with a bang, and called his investors “Intellectually incapable” in his exit note had classic Rahul Yadav written all over it.
5. Still CEO, bitch
Just when social media was still abuzz with “How could he?”, within a few hours, Rahul, in true trademark style, withdrew the resignation, apologising to the investors, with this message released by Housing.
“After some frank and healthy discussions with the Board I have agreed to withdraw my resignation and I apologise for my unacceptable comments about the board members. I look forward to staying on at Housing as CEO and building an even greater company, while working in full harmony with the board”
6. Fuck you world
The same day, Rahul Yadav, changed his Facebook profile photo to one where he appears to be showing a middle finger. To whom? We’d leave that for speculation. But there’s something about a CEO of a $230mn company showing a middle finger on a public platform, especially in the wake of the hoopla his resignation, and subsequent withdrawal managed to amass.
7. Take it all and go
A few days later, Rahul pulls out another rabbit from the hat, and in a self-aggrandising act of magnanimity announces he’d be distributing all his shares in the company (touted to be worth 150 crores) amongst the employees of housing, evoking some comparisons to the ambitious Steve Jobs.
Rahul was quoted as saying that he “couldn’t be bothered about money etc. at this age”.
8. Challenges other CEOs to follow suit
Not happy with his own self-proclaimed noble act of parting with his shares in the company to the employees, Rahul goes on to challenge Ola and Zomato CEOs, Bhavish Aggarwal and Deepinder Goyal respectively to follow in his footsteps with this Facebook status.
9. They didn’t take kindly to Rahul’s swagger
Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal replied with an “Aww cute” on Rahul Yadav’s status. Ola’s CEO replied with a tongue in cheek “Give this man a cookie”. This exchange set the internet on fire, and spawned many memes in the process.
10. Rahul agrees for a Reddit AMA
Amused, and befuddled by his actions of a few weeks, the Reddit India community requests Yadav for an AMA ( Ask me anything) and he obliges. While not his usual rabble-rouser self, Rahul patiently fields many questions of the community. Except for a few digs at the startup Zomato founder, and admitting to selling out on a few ideas he does not believe in, Rahul’s AMA was a touch disappointingly politically correct for the most part.
11. Housing Acquires A Startup
The latest news to come out of the housing stable is the acquisition of the Delhi based startup called Realty Bi, that deals with business intelligence in the real estate vertical, at a sum of around 25 crores. ($40mn)
We have a sense that this this story isn’t quite over. We wait to see what Rahul Yadav will be up to next.