The Rahul Yadav Syndrome and Six Things You Sho...

The Rahul Yadav Syndrome and Six Things You Should Avoid If You Don't Want To End Up Like Him

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“How not to be Rahul Yadav – The Rakhi Sawant of Indian Startups? From Rakhi Sawant to Rahul Yadav – Glory Fades fast.”

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Does anyone still remember who Rakhi Sawant is? Just to refresh your memory, Ms. Sawant was the much talked about television celebrity who shot to fame very early during her career. Right at the commencement of her tenure, she became a flicker on the Indian Television Screen and there was a time 6 years ago when she would get any channel’s ratings up. Whether it be her infamous Swayamvar or the ruckus she created on the stage of a popular dance reality show, Indians loved to see her fiery face day in and day out. Well, such was her screen impression, she managed to make even Rahul Mahajan popular.

Though, before metaphorically correlating her to Rahul Yadav (the focal point of this article) it would be worthwhile to mention the inference I got from Ms. Sawant’s notorious behavior. And to elaborate on the same, I would particularly like to highlight an incident. This particular time, I was privileged enough to be on one of the most rated shows on Indian Television and fortunately or not? on the same show was Ms. Rakhi Sawant. Well, it was on Rajat Sharma’s Aap Ki Adalat where I appeared as a judge and Rakhi Sawant got seated in the defendant’s box waiting for a series of missile like questions being shot by the Plaintiff, or in this case, Mr. Rajat Sharma. Finally, the proceedings started and the questions began in the much favorite Rajat Sharma’s style, the answers, in Rakhi Sawant’s. But, what I deducted as a judge was something anyone and everyone sitting in the audience or in front of their television screens would have inferred. Yes, though Rakhi’s remarks had a bold and populist outline to them, they were heavily bordering on the verge of tawdriness and greed for media attention. Her callousness in approaching an ever giving industry was shallow and that would have been evident even to the lowest of the lower minds.

In life, it’s important to be popular for the right reasons. It’s not about just being in the news but what are you in the news for? If people of high regard are talking about you, then you must be really doing something that is making them take notice of you, however in what context are you being discussed or mentioned is all the more pertinent. And it has always been the case, IT STILL IS. Being discussed and known for the right reason is important to your cause (whether it’s you, your career or the business) and how you promote and adhere to that is key to the same. Right during the onset of the era of social media interactions and conversations, the much reverent author and speaker, the late Stephen Covey had said

“One has to do the right thing for the right reason and in the right manner”.

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Finally then, I come to the Rakhi Sawant of Indian startup industry or the so called ‘bad boy of Indian Start-ups’, Mr. Rahul Yadav. But before detailing him out, it is pertinent to acquaint the readers with him. So, who is this Rahul Yadav? Well, he’s the person who once headed HOUSING.com (the hotspot of the Indian startup industry two years ago) and was later ousted from the company by the board of directors. Post Housing.com, Rahul Yadav initiated a second venture in September last year but had to close that down in May this year due to ineffectiveness of the project. The poster boy of startup success once, Rahul Yadav thus fizzled out into complete saturation in a short span of his flamboyant career. Two years ago, this outspoken, bold and media savvy guy, with an ego spilling attitude of, ‘I don’t care as I am talented and God’s gift to investors’ made his mark as one of the stalwarts of Indian startup industry. Rahul Yadav made a similar entry in startups as Amitabh Banchan did in Shenshah. The fact that I am writing my first piece on BW Businessworld for www.bwdisru...om about Rahul Yadav tells you how much of an impression he personally left on me. For starters, my personal experience tells me how he did not turn up at the BWBusinessWorld’s Young Entrepreneur awards and conference to speak as a distinguished guest even after multiple confirmations.

Though before I move on, it would be pertinent here to say that ‘all the things that are symptomatic of malaises can carefully creep in when the ethical values go for a toss and basics are not followed in human relations, in business and life’. Rahul Yadav took the same course and unfortunately (or fortunately for the investors) is now fading into oblivion. He is becoming a four letter word, someone who at a point in time irritated the investors to such an extent that the latter would now warn any young and budding entrepreneur to not step in Yadav’s ugly shoes.

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But what went wrong in Rahul Yadav’s head? What led to this master blaster of Indian startup success getting bowled out so cleanly? Well, it turns out that his story can easily become a nice recipe for Anurag Kashyap’s next movie in Indian Cinema. Rahukal is the title I would suggest. Also what are the lessons that startup entrepreneurs and young founders can learn from Rahul Yadav (the Rakhi Sawant of Indian startups)? The amalgamation of two will form the subsequent part of this column:

1. Yes, You Matter but Your Investors Matter More:

Rahul Yadav seemed self-obsessed, focused on publicity, arrogant, a team averse player and most importantly devious. This eventually proved dangerous, he wasted investor’s money and brought his company almost to the brink of getting closed. One of the angel investors, Haresh Chawla has himself put it in this way, ‘Rahul was always focused on future, in execution you have to be focused on now’. The truth is out there, your company is a product of your investors’ and your mindset, if one goes, the other cannot sustain. In Rahul Yadav’s case, the investors sustained, his mindset was eradicated. In turn, a new person with a new mindset was bought which adhered to that of the investor’s. Well, money can buy anything, almost! A clear message can be inferred from this case; that it is almost pertinent to align your ideas with those of your investors. Without them, your company is doomed for failure. Hence, my advice is, yes your ideas matter but those of the investors too.

2. Media Is A Good Tool, But A Double Edged Sword:

Rahul Yadav is a perfect example of getting inside the pit of media trolls. Yes, he did get famous through media, but media also made him infamous. And well, for all the bad reasons. His in house quarrels with investors was all over the media and was one of the reasons for his ouster. An investor of HOUSING.com highlighted how Rahul was bringing unwanted media attention to the organization. To the young entrepreneurs, the lesson is really simple. Yes, it is good to be in the limelight, but it is better to remain like a shadow. Media won’t let you work the day you become an item of its trolls.

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3. Are You Brilliant? You Might Be Insane As Well:

Rahul Yadav is the perfect example of Brilliance, and yet an even more perfect example of Insanity. The line between the two, he passed reluctantly yet non-voluntarily.
Here is my message: Yes, brilliance requires a bit of insanity but you should always define a boundary to it. Rahul Yadav crossed that and the same instigated his board of directors to fire him out. He pushed his brilliance out and made housing.com as what it stands today, and he pushed his insanity out to get fired from his brainchild. Thus, be sane even if you would want to notch a bit down from the platform of brilliance. Oscar Levant’s quote for this paragraph suits perfectly,

“There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”

4. Investors Like DOODH DETI GAYEIN:

There is a simple equation for an investor. If he has invested ‘x’ money in your venture, he would want ‘10x’ out of it. And for the same, he would also try to incline in, his brains. Align with it, match it up with your brilliance and put out a product beneficial for you as well as your investor. Where Yadav failed was that he projected a product that would not bring enough yield to investors, well so according to them. And then what happened? The GAYEIN was replaced by another.

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5. Habits Die Hard, Get Good Habits:

Nature drives your habits and vice versa. A person with good habits automatically imparts the same around his/her surroundings. And the same seems to be almost extremely pertinent in the investor world. Investors today don’t just look at your mindset, but also at your external psychology- the way you behave and interact. The latter two can only come in you when you have nurtured the tree of your habits well. Thus, here goes my message, have an aura around you which attracts people to you, build it with positive and attractive habits and together, these will drive the path of your entrepreneurial success.

6. The Action-Reaction Law and Investors:

This law of Newton existed even before Newton did, though in terms which were not then calculated. Actions and reactions in the industry of business psychology do exist, but are incalculable. What matters though is that you are at the positive side of Newton’s 3rd law. That the equation of your actions and reactions turns out to be positive is what you must try for. Whether it be the growth of your company, your impression in media, or your image in the social circle of your industry, your action will automatically lead to a reaction. The best output would be when, all of them are positive. Thus, you have to be a leader, a positive one. Your output will derive the company’s output, your actions will derive your employee’s and that your aura in the company will define the company’s aura.

Here then is the culmination of my much elaborated vision on Rahul Yadav and the things that you, as budding entrepreneurs need to avoid and initiate if you don’t want to end up like him. My message here is larger, not to acquaint you with Rahul Yadav, but to make you see a transparent vision of the world of startups, a world which does not accommodate the attitude which Rahul Yadav emanated, similar to the world of showbiz that did not tolerate Rakhi Sawant’s attitude.

Before I sign off, here is my mantra to entrepreneurial success:
‘Prosperous is the one who prospers all around him, and not just himself’.

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Whatever said above is all right… but what was the inspiration of Mikka paaji… https://cdn2.desidime.com/assets/textile-editor/icon_rolleyes.gif

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