The gumption and gusto — the ability to think strategically, acting aggressively, and possessing an unfailing, if not occasionally, irrational self-confidence. This is what truly defines Rahul Yadav. But when Entrepreneur asked him why real estate? He sheepishly shared that an astrologer had once predicted that the industry could give him name and fame. He is as simple as he is complex and as mature as he is childish. He is a man who has lived more life by 27 as any would see in their entire lifetime.
Rahul Yadav, in his well-known style of without mincing words, shares his learnings:
1. On investors:
In the US, entrepreneurs generally control 20-30 percent of the company, which makes them in control; whereas in India, everybody is diluted till 5 percent. You own less, so you have a lesser say. Investors use to sit on the boards of so many companies. I need their help, but they need to invest time and understand my business. Today, Bezos of Amazon can say he is not thinking profits, he is targeting long-term goal. Today, Mark Zuckerberg can buy WhatsApp because he has stock. In India, it’s not going to happen. On real estate
There is a seven years gap between e-commerce and real estate peak of any economy. As 18-20 years old can buy stuff from Flipkart, but will buy a home once they are 35. My target customers today are from 35-40 age group who don’t use Internet much. Our story is seven years later after Flipkart. It’s a long journey.
3. On improving ecosystem:
If you use BlackBerry how you can fund companies working on Android and iOS. I saw many VCs doing that. They don’t understand new platforms, new features. They are irrelevant in today’s world. Technology is changing so fast. In India, most of the VCs are from the management background, not from the tech background. So India is a big mess. Entrepreneurs should raise money from LPs. Investors should have young guys to run the show. They never created any value in the 2007 era. This was the first phase of Indian VC industry. There was no output, only cash burn, and again same will happen.
4. On innovation:
Take a different approach, if you copy-paste, you are just an execution guy. In India, you really see copycats. When Uber came, there was no copycat in the US. There is no copycat of Airbnb. The copycat culture is here. The innovation culture is there. Investors can control it by not investing in a similar company.
(This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (December, 2015 Issue).