Yes, I know. The whole Rahul Yadav controversy keeps growing each day. The morning you wake up and see no news about Rahul Yadav ain’t no good morning. Love him or hate him, we’ll never get enough of him.
For the readers who don’t know much about it, here’s a little summary. Rahul Yadav, a 26-year-old is the CEO (erm..was!) and founder of Housing.com. Housing.com is the fastest-growing family in the online real estate space in India. Rahul Yadav has been making news headlines since last four months for several reasons – multiple resignations, not the normal ones, but sharp, nasty ones, taking them back, openly challenging and throwing shade at the CEOs of other companies like Zomato and Olacabs, and take a seat before you read the next one – giving away all of his shares worth Rs 150 cr-Rs 200 crore to all the 2,251 employees. In short, there’s no stopping to him.
It all started back in March when Sequoia’s Shailendra Singh hired an employee from Housing.com. Rahul, who doesn’t believe in sugarcoating things, wrote this mail to Shailendra:
From: Rahul Yadav <email@example.com>
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 things that you’ve done with Housing in the past.
You did the same inhuman and unethical things with large number of entrepreneurs including Ola, TFS, Flipkart, Dexetra and many more…
Now I just came to know you personally are completely after Housing’s employees and are brainwashing them to open some stupid incubation.
If you don’t stop messing around with me, directly or even indirectly, I will vacate the best of your firm.
Also, this mark the beginning of the end of Sequoia Cap in India.
Try me :)
Now Shailendra replied to him on Quora. The thread has been removed now, but here are the curated excerpts from it:
My best guess is that this mail has been triggered by an offer that we made to one of the Housing employes to join us as an analyst. Here is some more context – based on feedback from entrepreneurs in India, we decided to expand our analyst pool to include younger team members who have start–up experience. During this recruiting exercise, we evaluated over 100 candidates from multiple companies and geographies, and I personally met about a dozen of them, including two housing employees, whom I spent an hour each with. We made an offer to one of them, and he decided to join us.
While these are the facts, I would still like to use this opportunity to talk about something larger and close to my heart – how will we all work together to create a better start-up ecosystem in india? During my career in the valley, what stood out is a feeling of community – amongst entrepreneurs, employees, and investors – and a sense of professionalism, not personalizing the competition between funds or individuals, and having a drink together in the evening. For us, that means not being vindictive and petty and instead being collaborative with the ecosystem – to focus on what matters in the long term.
To this, here’s Rahul’s reply:
Ouch! He called him that! He was all over the news when after this incident, he dramatically left the company with a public letter of resignation:
Dear board members and investors, I don’t think you guys are intellectually capable enough to have any sensible discussion anymore. This is something which I not just believe but can prove on your faces also! I had calculated long back (by taking avg life expectancy minus avg sleeping hrs) that I only have ~3L (hours) in my life. ~3L hrs are certainly not much to waste with you guys!
Hence resigning from the position of Directorship, Chairmanship and the CEO position of the company. I’m available for the next 7 days to help in the transition. Won’t give more time after that. So please be efficient in this duration.
At a board meeting a few days later, he apologized and withdrew his resignation. Later, in May, he shocked everyone by giving away his entire stake in the company – Rs 150-200 crore worth of shares – to the 2,251 employees as a gift. The reason for this, he said, he is only 26 and “it’s too early in life to get serious about money etc.”
He then challenged the Ola Head Bhavish Aggarwal and Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal to also give away half of their shares to employees.
Deepinder Goyal had a very cheeky reply to this –
Interestingly, before a few days, here’s what he had said –
Housing is what happens when investors leave founders with little skin in the game. Especially, 20 year old founders with nothing to lose.
— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) May 5, 2015
And then, he took a dig at Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka by posting a picture of him sleeping at an airport lounge. He had also made fun of journalists –
Must say this Rahul Yadav of https://t.co/cB0y2ZzV9D is a genius, just the kind media needed to hold mirror to it pic.twitter.com/BpICZd4Ibb
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) June 30, 2015
On Monday, he changed his Facebook cover pic –
Finally, day before yesterday, Housing.com officially fired him after issuing a public statement:
Mumbai based online realty platform, Housing.com,(Housing) has released its CEO Rahul Yadav, with immediate effect, after a regular board meeting, held earlier today. Yadav who is also the co-founder of the company, will no longer be an employee of Housing and be associated with the company in any manner, going forward.
The Housing Board, unanimously agreed to bring Yadav’s tenure to a close, with reference to his behaviour towards investors, ecosystem and the media. The Board believed that his behavior is not befitting of a CEO and is detrimental to the company, known for its innovative approach to product development, market expansion and brand building.
While the search for an interim CEO is underway, a transition plan has been put in place, The current senior executives of Housing will continue to run the operations on a daily basis, and ensure its continued smooth functioning. The Board and the Operating Committee will remain closely involved with all key decisions.
The Housing Board, investors, management team and employees are keen to see Housing maximize its huge potential in India and beyond, as well as run in professional and world class manner. This is part of their larger commitment to India and the start-up ecosystem, which together remains unaffected and as strong as ever.
Soon after, this is what he had posted on his FB:
Clearly, he had absolutely nothing to worry about. He has been terribly mocked on the social media, and some even call him Kejriwal! There are some who support him. You might fall into any category, but you can’t simply ignore him. A quick look at the last few months on his Facebook timeline and you’d know what I mean!
When he gave this message to his haters right after that infamous resignation letter-
When he absolutely had no qualms in using swear words. He had nothing to hide and he didn’t hesitate to say so!
When Ravish Naresh, the CEO IREF and Co-Founder, Housing, shared their cheeky conversation and he sportingly agreed to have said that!
When he mocked Deepinder Goyal like this, #Burn
When he was fed up of the office Board meetings…
When he let the world know about his wit and power.
When he let his sarcasm do the talking…
And when he shared this…
When he knew how to talk about best friends.
And when he would take no nonsense.
Interestingly, he did an AMA on Reddit India and we got introduced to his wit and humor. People obviously had a lot of questions for him, and his answers are worth your time :)
When he shared what he was asked for –
And when someone had a really important thing to ask –
And when he said that he drives a rental.
When he called the competitors bullshit metrics.
And when he had an epic answer to Deepinder’s Aww comment!
When he consoled this engineer!
And when he confessed that he isn’t much of a reader
Oh, and when yesterday he changed his Cover image to this –
You could follow his Facebook profile and he shall never bore you. We might think that we’re done reading about him, but the truth is, we can never get enough of him!