Is the Investor-driven Indian E-Commerce Tiger Whining Down?

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The rumour mill churned. Spending on marketing had been trimmed, many employees had started leaving, some long-timers stayed on, hoping things would turn. Then on New Year’s Eve, as festive fervour gripped the beer-guzzling city of Bangalore, Sumit Jain, Co-founder and CEO of online real estate and property search company CommonFloor, asked a co-worker to email some documents to classified advertising firm Quikr. It was all over. CommonFloor would be acquired.

Before a townhall the next week, on January 8, Jain was prepped by his communications team – a list of 35 ‘likely questions’ to expect from employees. He knew most answers. He was one of the earliest to bet on India’s consumer Internet sector. CommonFloor started in 2007, the same year as Flipkart. Like most new economy founders, Jain was aggressive, passionate, and appreciated ideas. By 2010, he was talking of a “clear visibility” in making “$100 million in topline over the next five years”. On question-and-answer website Quora, he would jump in to promote his workplace. “We, at CommonFloor, give MacBooks to everyone in the engineering team,” he once wrote. Someone asked if CommonFloor was a good place to work for a software engineer. “Dude, it is not just good, it is awesome. Just to make you more comfortable, the CommonFloor leadership team has more computer science engineers than MBAs.” Read more

Sweekar S

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