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Rahul Yadav: why the Housing.com CEO is bratty, bright & such good copy

Vishakh Unnikrishnan | Updated on: 29 June 2015, 11:12 IST

Think of this as the Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi of the startup world: every few days, a new drama unfolds. 'Has Rahul Yadav quit Housing.com or not?' is the new 'Has Mihir Virani died or not?'

On 25 June, Twitter was rife with rumours that Yadav, the CEO of the real estate startup, may have quit again. While the official status of this is still unknown, the time was ripe for the funny guys on the platform to take potshots.

While someone suggested he should start an equivalent of Twitter called 'Quitter', someone else asked whether he would do a 'House-wapsi' again.

Often termed as the 'whippersnapper' of startups, here's a look at nine things behind his meme-worthy infamy.

The first resignation letter and the name-calling

Earlier this May, Yadav's first resignation letter went around. It wasn't just about him quitting; it was the grandiosity of it all. It takes an excess of the 'devil-may-care' attitude to call his board members 'intellectually incapable' of a sensible discussion.

When asked about his flare-up, Yadav unabashedly said he has always been like this - first it was against the deans of his college, now it's his colleagues.

After a few discussions with the board, he finally withdrew his resignation . But soon after that, he posted a picture on Facebook showing the middle finger.

Subtlety is clearly not his thing.

Relinquishing his stock

Right after the resignation episode, he decided to relinquish his stock. "I'm just 26 and it's just too early in life to care about money," he said. So many people in this country would love to be able to say this.

Speaking at a company town hall meeting, he announced that he would give up all his stock, worth Rs 150-200 crore, to the 2,000+ employees, including support staff.

He doesn't need stock to make the company a $10 billion one, apparently. #YoYadavSoVisionary

A spat with the CEOs of Ola & Zomato

Turns out, Yadav thought all of the startup universe should share his vision. He challenged the CEOs of Ola - Bhavish Aggarwal - and Zomato - Deepinder Goyal - to sell their shares, too.

Goyal called his challenge 'cute' and Yadav debunked Zomato saying it's a company that has only been scanning menus for 7+ years without any real innovation.

Then Goyal said something, then Yadav said something. The war of wits went on for a while.

Young entrepreneurs, be inspired.

The Sequoia India tussle

Can employees of one firm quit to join another? While most people would say yes, in Yadav's world, this is a no-no. When Sequoia tried to hire an employee from Housing.com, an enraged Yadav accused Sequioa of "inhuman and unethical conduct towards Housing.com" on Quora; almost making a human rights violation out of the incident.

Why would he stop there? He went on to threaten them saying, "If you don't stop messing around with me, directly or even indirectly, I will vacate the best of your firm. Also, this marks the beginning of the end of Sequoia Cap in India. Try me."

We still don't know if Sequoia quivered with fear.

Trolling Vishal Sikka (Really, what's with Yadav & troubling other CEOs?)

At an airport lounge, Yadav tried to strike up a conversation with Vishal Sikka, the Infosys CEO. When Sikka gently refused because he wanted to catch his 40 winks, Yadav waited for the opportune moment, clicked a picture of Sikka sleeping, posted it on his Facebook profile, and accused Sikka of snubbing him. The man just wanted to sleep and quite frankly, who doesn't?

He later apologised but a lesson in right to privacy, anyone?

What he thinks of other real estate ventures

Simple. To the point. East or west, Housing.com is the best. He prides himself on his apparent skills to intimidate others. He made the claim that Housing.com would surpass 99acres & MagicBricks, to become number one.

Both his rivals steered clear of the spat. By now, even you know why.

He has trust issues

No, not the relationship kind, But with India's real estate business. While this would have been believable, the man has given up on journalism as well. One article against Housing.com, and his faith in India's journalism came down like a house of cards.

Does this remind anyone of some other gems in our society? Yeah, well.

The road to IIT

Most parents slog hard in an attempt to get their children into IIT, but Yadav was too cool for that. As per his own confession, he was not interested in education till the ninth grade when biology, chemistry, maths and physics became subjects he liked. Thanks to this, he says, he got into IIT Bombay. Easy-peasy.

Dear parents, you've been doing it all wrong. Hard work may not be the answer. Try pomp next time.

He went bananas

Please don't confuse this with the previous eight points. He literally went bananas. Someone on Reddit once asked him to post a picture of a banana for no reason. So he did. And genuinely for no reason.

The only surprising thing here is, how he simply listened to someone.

First published: 26 June 2015, 22:14 IST
Vishakh Unnikrishnan @sparksofvishdom

A graduate of the Asian College of Journalism, Vishakh tracks stories on public policy, environment and culture. Previously at Mint, he enjoys bringing in a touch of humour to the darkest of times and hardest of stories. One word self-description: Quipster