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Rahul Yadav, you have made me doubt everything about Housing.com

Housing.com CEO Rahul Yadav's latest email where he claims to have lied to journalists raises serious issues about the company

Written by Nandagopal Rajan |
Updated: July 1, 2015 7:48:13 pm
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Okay, so Housing.com is valued at Rs 1,500 crore. But if we know anything about Rahul Yadav, its just-sacked CEO, then there could be another valuation for the company that is shared only internally. Worse still, there could be more such figures floating around, shared for different sets of people — one for the Income Tax Department, one for divorce lawyers and so forth — so that the figures are put to best use and of course maximum fun derived.

We could not help but make this inference after the new mail that is floating around Twitter for the past few hours. See tweet and photo below:

It is an internal note from the CEO to his staffers pretty much saying he just had some fun with a bunch of reporters, feeding two sets of journalists, two sets of (false) information. First flag for any reporter seeing this letter would be why a CEO would give out this detail to his staff. But then this is Mr Yadav and even though this is a bit too crass, despite his recent antics, these depths don’t seem to be beyond his reach.

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As a journalist, who has spoken to a fair share of CEO and country heads over the years, I have a problem with a CEO, any CEO, taking you for a ride. There is an element of trust that goes between a journalist and his source — it is expected that the source is speaking the truth, just as the source expects the journalist to stick to that when he writes the copy.

Of course, the journalist is expected to double check this data when possible. But then how would Mr Yadav feel if one of the journalists he spoke to filed two separate copies with different facts, say, one for print and another for web.

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The other issue is how do you take a founder CEO who has this attitude to his business seriously? If he can plug wrong details about something as serious as the acquisition of the company, it raises questions on what else he has been fibbing about over the years.

In the letter, you can almost visualise the glee of a 19-year-old who has thrown a tele-marketer off the trail at the end of a rather long phone call. Something is really wrong.

We all know how start-up culture is supposed to be easy going and non-serious with the CEOs wearing Polo necks to works and all, but when you are a startup with a valuation of over Rs 1500, you better start acting serious. Also, please remember this is not some pan IIT AdJam contest any more, it is serious business with big money and people’s careers at stake.

Rahul, please grow up… for Housing.com’s sake at least.

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