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A file photo of Advitiya Sharma. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
A file photo of Advitiya Sharma. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Housing.com co-founder Advitiya Sharma resigns

Sharma's departure follows the controversial exit of Rahul Yadav, who was asked to leave by the board after a public spat with investors and the media in July last year

Mumbai: Advitiya Sharma, co-founder of Housing.com (Locon Solutions Pvt. Ltd) quit the Mumbai-based online real estate website on Wednesday.

“It is with great attachment that I choose to detach, and walk a different path," Sharma said in his signing-off email to employees.

“Advitiya has played an invaluable role in the birth of Housing. It’s always hard to say bye to a friend and colleague, but we’re excited about what he will create next. The company is successfully executing its plan to become the most trusted, transparent and efficient place for buying and selling homes in the country, and Advitiya can be rest assured that Housing is in good hands," Jason Kothari, chief executive officer of Housing.com, said in an email.

Sharma’s departure follows the controversial exit of co-founder Rahul Yadav, who was asked to leave by the board after a public spat with investors and the media in July last year.

Sharma added in his email, “But the toughest phase in our history were the last nine months. Nothing haunts a team more than a threat to the survival of what they stand for. We had to shut down a few departments, and rethink our vision. It meant letting go of many people we had worked with, been friends with. People who believed in our vision as much as we did. It was excruciating. They will always have the life-long gratitude of a grateful entrepreneur."

Housing.com fired 600 employees in August last year.

The company was set up in 2012 by a dozen Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay graduates, four of whom quit by 2014.

After the departure of Yadav and Sharma, six co-founders now remain with the company. They are Snehil Buxy, chief product officer; Abhishek Anand, chief technology officer; Amrit Raj, head of digital marketing; Ravish Naresh, chief executive officer of IREF (Indian Real Estate Forum), which was acquired by Housing.com last year; Sanat Ghosh, assistant vice-president, product; and Jaspreet Saluja, head, data operations.

Kothari, who was the chief executive officer of Valiant Entertainment in the US, was hired in August as chief business officer and made CEO in November as part of a senior management change.

Mani Rangarajan was brought in as chief financial officer, Nikhil Rungta as chief marketing officer and Nandini Mehta as general counsel.

The company raised an additional 100 crore in funding from its main investor, Japan’s SoftBank Corp., in January.

Under Kothari, Housing.com has changed its business model with a focus on revenue generation and profitability. Having started out as a property listing portal, it has begun to focus on transactions.

“The leadership team’s hard work is now taking shape. Jason has quickly managed to revive our product vision, restructure the whole company and gain confidence of investors. We’re also working on some big projects, that will put us in a very strong position in the industry," added Sharma in the mail.

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