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After multiple attempts at different startup ideas, Rahul Yadav, former CEO and co-founder of Housing.com has re-joined the real estate. Yadav has been appointed as the Chief Product and Technology Officer of ANAROCK Property Consultants. ANAROCK was launched by industry stalwart Anuj Puri last month.

Talking about the appointment, Rahul Yadav said, “I consider my appointment as Chief Product & Technology Officer at ANAROCK Property Consultants the logical next step in my career, and it is, of course, a complete privilege to work with an outstanding industry leader like Anuj Puri. Given my product and technology background, I am fascinated by the highly tech-driven approach that ANAROCK is adopting for its residential real estate business, and I already feel very much at home here.”

In his current role, Rahul will be building a team of product and technology experts to improvise ANAROCK. A company statement mentions that before joining ANAROCK, Rahul also advised the Lodha Group for a brief period. He will be based out of ANAROCK’s Mumbai offices in Bandra-Kurla Complex.

The ANAROCK Story

Arun Puri is the former Chairman & Country Head of international property consultancy JLL India. ANAROCK Property Consultants Pvt. Ltd, is essentially the rebranded avatar of JLL’s erstwhile residential brokerage business, which Puri acquired earlier this year. At that time, Puri had also announced a real estate investment and fund platform, which aimed to invest about $46.25 Mn (INR 300 Cr) in residential real estate projects.

ANAROCK’s residential brokerage model fully enables supply, demand, and discovery through a digital platform, with transactions facilitated offline via real estate experts.

Talking about the appointment Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants said, “This appointment is in line with ANAROCK’s highly technology-driven orientation and business model for its residential advisory services. The online real estate business is still in its fledgeling stage in India, and we are taking the lead on boosting it into maturity. So far, the real estate sector has not been able to emulate the success of ecommerce for consumer durables and services. We intend to change that, and Rahul Yadav’s experience in harnessing the consumer housing market at via technology will add the key element.”

Real estate, in its majority, still witnesses a major traction through offline business. Over the years, tech platforms like Housing.com, Quikr, have emerged that have helped ease real estate discovery.

Real estate advisories, online property listing aggregators, and even developers have made some headway. The company claims the lack of integration with credible expert offline advisory, and transaction support still looms over the sector.

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“Indian residential buyers and investors will not embrace an ecommerce model of property purchase unless they get a seamless experience from online selection to offline advisory and transaction closure,” opines Puri.

He believes that Yadav’s appointment will be instrumental in attaining a pole position in the online real estate sector.

Rahul Yadav – Entry-Exit-Return

The 12 co-founders of Mumbai-based online realty platform Housing, including Rahul Yadav, were young IIT Bombay students. They set up one of the most spoken-about startups in real estate and the ecosystem alike. You can refer to our story about the 12 co-founders here.

In July 2015, after a number of PR disasters, Rahul Yadav was ousted from his startup Housing.com in 2015. At that time the company stated, “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.”

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Housing till date has raised more than $130 Mn in funding. After Rahul’s exit, Jason Kothari took on the mantle of Housing CEO.  Earlier this year, PropTiger merged with the distressed entity Housing.com in an all-stock deal worth $70-$75 Mn.

Return 2.0?

In September 2015, the market was buzzing with the news that Rahul Yadav’s team at Housing was quitting to join his new startup venture. At the same time, the buzz was that Rahul was all set to launch a data analytics and visualisation firm, and the product was likely to be used by ecommerce companies on day-to-day basis.

By December 2015, the idea changed to – Intelligent Interfaces. It was reported that Intelligent Interfaces will be used by various government departments, and will help them use internet and technology tools to save cost and expedite service delivery. Word got out that  Yuvraj Singh had invested an undisclosed amount in Yadav’s  Intelligent Interfaces. Some other names also came to light including, big names like Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma.

Within just a few months of announcing and launching Intelligent Interfaces, the startup crashed. It was reported that out of the initial 15 member team only a handful of the team was left in Intelligent Interfaces. In his trademark style, Rahul announced the failure of the venture on his social media account in May 2016.

Since then, Yadav has been MIA more or less. On the other hand, the most recent update on Housing was in May 2017, when eight of the 12 Housing founders alleged that the Board of the merged entity has been giving them differential treatment on exit, with respect to investors. The merged entity is backed by Japanese investor Softbank.

According to an IBEF report, the Indian real estate market is expected to touch $180 Bn by 2020. Other players in this segment that compete with Housing and ANAROCK in the online real estate space include Eduardo Saverin-founded 99acres, MagicBricks, Quikr, etc.

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