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The Story so far and lessons learnt while climbing (or falling from) the ladder

When I was in my fourth year of college I had a very important decision to make, to go ahead with the irresistible job offer from Directi with whom I had previously interned and loved every bit of it or to accept the funding offer which I got for the product which me and a friend of mine Pratik Tandel were building at that time. I must have asked hundreds of people what is the right thing to do that includes my parents, my friends, my relatives, my professors and everybody had one answer, one simple answer “You are too young to venture out and build your company, you should gain some experience and then do your own thing.” Even though everybody unanimously wanted me to go ahead with the job I was not convinced, but I still went ahead with the job because being honest I did not have the balls to refuse a 16 Lakh CTC job offer and pursue my startup.


Let me tell you the product that we were building then, it was a map based site to search for rental flats particularly aimed at bachelors and students. We had already signed up a few paying brokers and helped more than 200-300 students get flats, this is back in June, 2011. Still one year before a startup called Housing launched on similar lines with a very similar interface and which has so far made waves in terms of customer acquisition or UX or UI or the thing which interests most of us “raising money”. Did I feel bad that I lost on a brilliant opportunity because I decided to go with the job and did not pursue The simple answer is no, I actually felt good that the idea that we were working on was a good one.



Now ever since I started working in the job, though it was very good, though there were brilliant people and it had challenging work, I was not satisfied, I used to think that this is not what I want to do, I want to go out there in the field and play and fight and survive. That one of the ideas which we were working on is making waves but someone else is doing, that could have been us, that still can be us. And that’s when I officially took permission from Directi to work on my product, I remember the next six months were crazy, I used to work 5 days a week and weekends were spent in designing and selling to brokers and getting flats and hiring interns. Aakrit who had earlier offered to invest in the company now came onboard as a co-founder too and he started helping with the day to day operations with the minute product details and with how we should take everything ahead. That is when I started breathing again, and that is when I started going to bed with a feeling of satisfaction (no pun intended). Now things started moving fast at and it did start affecting the Directi work and eventually in June, 2013 I had to quit Directi and come to full time. Leaving the job again was a very tuff decision and I always wanted reassurance from people that all will be well and everything will work out fine but I never got that reassurance and realised that I will never get this because then that wouldn’t be called as a risk.


19th June was the day when I left the job, there were three people in the team, today there are more than 18 people in the team and we work out of our own office, though my weekdays are more harsher than they used to be, though I have realised that managing people is one hell of a job, though my weekends are sometimes fucked up making sure the new features go live on time, I have never looked back and regretted any decision in fact I can happily say that quitting my job was one of the best decision of my life so far and hopefully will always be.


As far as ( is concerned we have tried our best to make a few waves and help students and bachelors get accommodation for example we have helped more than 1200 students get accommodation in the past three months and here is our coverage in Times of India. I think if you check out the site yourself you will get an idea of the cool stuff we have been doing.




I don’t want to ramble about my product more instead I want to talk about the lessons I have learnt along the way.


    • Nobody is going to tell you that things will be alright, there have been times when to assure myself I ask my angel investor whether we will be able to raise more or we will be able to do well, the truth is that depends on the way you perform and how well you do what you have to do. So stop asking people whether you are doing the right thing just go ahead and do it and trust me nobody will support that you should leave your job and do a startup (get fucked basically) but well you gotta do what you gotta do.


    • Hiring: I have used agencies for hiring, I have hired people through references, I have hired friends. Few lessons which I have learnt are: refrain from hiring friends and do not think of hiring close friends or relatives. Don’t look at the qualifications instead look at the other stuff the guy has done and how enthusiastic or hard working he is and is he a guy you can have an hour long discussion because if you have to hire someone in your company has an initial employee you guys have to gel together.


    • Issues, there will be LOADS of issues on your personal front, there will be financial issues, parental issues, relationship issues, but the thing is success never comes easy you have to fight it out and survive and focus on the game changing stuff you are doing.


    • Firing: Don’t get emotional about employees, if someone is not performing tell them once that they need to buck up and if they are still not performing you will have to fire them straight away.


    • Feedback, listen to everyone take, take feedback from everyone but eventually take your own decision and do the right thing.


    • Your family and your health are more important than your startup, make sure you take care of both.



That’s it for now, will keep adding more stuff as and when I have more stories to share. Till then a big thank you from the team.




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  1. Awesome article Gaurav Bhaiya!

    Being a Final Year Engineering Student ,who had to run around searching for an apartment in my city,Manipal. I can totally relate to the idea and the pain points of students , you are helping out! 

    Cheers and Godspeed To the Entire Team! 

  2. It’s heartening to listen to you… I’m in a similar position as you were in before graduating. (High-paying job offer vs. startup) and I’m still on the fence. Of course no one thinks I can do it, but I like what you said- You gotta do what you gotta do 🙂

  3. Great post Gaurav. It’s funny you and I think alike on many topics related to startups. 🙂

  4. Thanks a lot Harshith 🙂

  5. haha yes, you gotta do what you gotta do! I would say take the plunge asap and enjoy the adventure.

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