Saurabh Garg - I Was Very Focused on Solving This Issue and Democratise the Property Search Process for Home-Seekers (Co-Founder & CBO, Series D Company)


There are businesses that do not require fund infusion and can scale without that. Zoho and Zerodha are some examples. And then there are business that have capital requirement and founders should think of raising funds as per the business requirement. 

1. Tell us about your background, upbringing and journey.

I belong to a middle-class family. My father is an engineer, and my mother is a doctor. We lived in various small towns before I came to Bombay for engineering. After graduating from IIT Bombay, I went on to pursue MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. I started my career with Unilever but was always very clear about starting my own business. What excited me most about starting up was the idea of solving  a real problem that would make people's life easier and better.


2. When & how did you get clarity on what you wanted to do and how did this idea come to you?

I always knew I wanted to have my own start up, my own business. I wanted it to be one that would create significant impact in people’s lives and solve a real problem. The idea struck when I had to pay huge brokerage in Mumbai. It was quite absurd to be paying brokerage equal to the amount of one month’s rent for being connected to a property owner. It was even more absurd to pay brokerage upon renewing the contract with the same owner. 

The amount of money charged as brokerage did not justify the service offered. It had been an accepted norm for generations. While many platforms tried to solve the problem of access, nobody tried to arrest and resolve the consumer pain point. Brokers started using these platforms to bait home seekers by showing misleading properties. So I was very focused on solving this issue and democratise the property search process for home-seekers without subjecting them to pressures, manipulations, and biases of middlemen.


3. What have been your biggest challenges as a Founder CEO & what advice would you give to others to avoid them?

I think the biggest challenge that any start-up founder has is to work on multiple projects at the same time. And the only way you can execute them with speed is to have people better than you to manage them. So, choosing your core team is very important and you should invest enough time to find the best people and train them.


4. What is your advice to an early-stage founder looking to build an ESOP program today?

I would want them to understand that employees are their key strength. They should build an ESOP program that makes their employees feel like owners. That way their employees will do better than what is expected from them. 

Qapita helps founders, CFOs and CHROs to organize their equity ownership record at one place making it the single source of truth. You can use Qapita to run scenarios, issue ESOPs and communicate their value to employees, run buyback or liquidity programs and engage with your employees effectively. Do click here for a demo

5. What is your view on implementing ESOP buybacks and liquidity programs in startups?

It should be done at some stage as it increases the confidence of employees in the ESOP program and it becomes real. However, like owners they should also hold onto the majority shares till the full value is realised. 

6. When should one consider raising funds, what according to you is the right time?

It depends on the nature of business. There are businesses that do not require fund infusion and can scale without that. Zoho and Zerodha are some examples. And then there are business that have capital requirement and founders should think of raising funds as per the business requirement. 

7. What does your typical day look like and how do you handle setbacks?

I spend lot of time with my team discussing ideas, new projects, updates, etc. But I do leave a couple of hours every day to think. And I believe that that is the most productive part of my day. 

I am a very optimistic person and setbacks do not rattle me. But whenever there is a setback, my approach is to plan out what we should do now to correct things. And then go back to figure what we should do so that something like this does not happen again. 

8. Which is your favourite book and why?

 I read quite a bit on a wide array of subjects. But if I have to pick one book, I think it has to be "Poor Charlie's Almanack". It takes you through the mind of one of the best businesspersons on the planet and gives you valuable lessons on not only business and capital allocation but also wisdom on living a much happier and enriched life.

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