16 September 2015 09:33:56 IST

Housing.com will pursue growth aggressively: CEO Rishabh Gupta

Looks to sell 50,000 homes a month in the next 6 months

Is there a fool-proof formula to win in business and in a career? Realty portal Housing.com’s interim CEO Rishabh Gupta thinks there is and that the formula is to put one’s head down and work.

And that’s a message he wants resonating across the organisation, which is looking at nothing less than 10-fold growth. “This is sure to succeed,” Gupta told BusinessLine in his first-ever media interview.

“People are saying things about Housing, which they have no idea about. All of these things can distract many of us; the idea is to concentrate on what we want to do,” the 26-year-old, who is also the company’s Chief Operating Officer, added.

Gupta was elevated as interim CEO, following the ouster of co-founder and CEO Rahul Yadav in July, which surprised many as he was not one of the 12 co-founders.

The map-based home search portal was started by a group of 12 IIT-Bombay students in June 2012 and Gupta joined the company from Flipkart 10 months later.

“The important thing was to keep the company together and focus on why we are here; to solve India’s real estate problem. We don’t want to look back and whine,” he said on Yadav’s exit.

Gupta, who was a batchmate of the founders at IIT-Bombay, was managing day-to-day activities at Housing as its COO before his elevation.

Media reports on Housing.com suggested there was an exodus of top people to a new venture being started by Yadav and that the company was laying off 600 personnel.

“Four of the co-founders have left — people choose to move on in their careers. Following our focus now only on two verticals — buying and renting from the earlier five — we are slashing 160-180 jobs,” he said.

After the layoffs, the company will still employ 2,500 personnel.

Housing.com will support the retrenched personnel for the next five months, with financial support for the first three months and career guidance for another two.

10-fold growth

“We do everything 10X. We don’t do incremental things,” Gupta said. Housing.com is now looking at 10 million listings in the next two years, which means it should get about 12,000-15,000 listings per day.

The platform, which crossed 1 million listings in August, now gets an average of 9,000 listings per day. “We are looking at bringing one-third of urban households to the platform,” he added.

In the next 6-12 months, Housing is also looking to sell at least 20,000-50,000 homes per month online.

This is about 7-16 times growth from the present 3,000 a month.

For the next one year, it will focus on building traction for consumers, real estate developers and agents and financial institutions.