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Why this start-up hired 100 IITians!

By Prasanna Zore
Last updated on: November 14, 2014 08:34 IST
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"Our company is a lot bigger than the 100+ IIT people we have on board.

We know that talent lies in the person and not in their college degree, and we're looking on and off-campus to hire talented people from around the world," says Advitiya Sharma, an IIT-Bombay graduate, and co-founder & marketing head of Housing.com.

On reports that fresh Indian graduates are unemployable, he says: 

"All these reports are bogus. The Indian education system is incredible, and it has produced global leaders in every field.

As with anywhere, fresh graduates need guidance. When they enter a company, they are like raw fuel. Their minds need to be opened up."


Started in 2012 by 12 IIT-Bombay alumni, the company, India's first map-based home search portal, in its third year of operations is on a hiring overdrive.

Advitiya Sharma, in this interview with Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com, shares Housing's hiring plans, how they hire people in India and his success mantras.

Housing has expanded to over 100 cities now. Could you tell us about your expansion plans, especially what kind of employment are you likely to generate this year?

Last year we were the only two-year-old start-up to get Day 1 slots during IIT placements. This year we have been offered Day 1 slots around the country, and are looking to hire 30 people across disciplines from all of India's top business and technology schools.

What kind of talent are you looking at? Are you hiring only IITians or is there any scope for fresh graduates to seek employment in Housing?

Housing is all about the people it has and the ideas they bring. We thrive on innovation.

We know that talent lies in the person and not in their college degree, and we're looking on and off-campus to hire talented people from around the world.

We're looking for people who are a bit crazy -- just like us -- and who are going to take their crazy, brilliant ideas and turn them into reality.

You have recently hired 100 IITians from various IITs. Why this focus on IITs? What kind of talent/skills do IITians bring on board?

The co-founders of Housing during a brain-storming session

We've known from the beginning that Housing was going to be a world-class product.

We happened to go to school with a lot of people with world-class talents, and so we have faith in the IIT system for tech and design skills, as well as business, marketing, operations, and every other sector.

However, our company is a lot bigger than the 100+ IIT people we have on board (only 50 were hired in last year's recruiting).

What kind of challenges are you facing while attracting talent in India?

None! We're a fun company that makes an amazing product. There's work and there's work that makes you feel proud.

We enable our people to do work they take genuine pride in.

We have no trouble finding people who want to work in an environment that encourages their growth and development while being part of a company that's blazing the growth chart.

Do you think Indian graduates are not as employable as many, many reports make them out to be?

All these reports are bogus. The Indian education system is incredible, and it has produced global leaders in every field.

As with anywhere, fresh graduates need guidance. When they enter a company, they are like raw fuel. Their minds need to be opened up.

And we at Housing ensure that they transform from raw fuel to jet propulsion engines of growth.

Your advice to fresh graduates who are seeking employment at this moment and also for those who will be joining the job market in the New Year…

  • It's not about finding a job, it's about finding your job. You're the one who will be waking up every morning and going to work.
  • Find an opportunity that will make you want to go to work every day, and that will give you a chance to learn and grow.
  • When we find our people clocking in long hours, it's not because they have to but because they want to -- they have ownership over their projects, and they're excited about them, and they want to do as good a job as they can.
  • Find a job that excites you that much and you can guarantee that you'll find career success.

Your success mantras...

  • There's a simple attitude we try to cultivate at Housing. Whatever you wish to achieve, the seed for that is sown in the present moment.
  • Aim for excellence now. Put in your best now. And success will follow you. 

Photographs: Courtesy Housing.com

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Prasanna Zore