Info Edge CEO Hitesh Oberoi's advice to young entrepreneurs on starting up businesses and his take on leadership styles.
From a small office in a Delhi neighborhood over 20 years and with just Rs 7 crore as funding, Info Edge has traversed a long way to become one of India's largest internet conglomerates.
It now boasts of a plush glass building in Noida for its headquarters and over Rs 860 crore as annual revenues (FY 16-17).
The company was funded by ICICI Ventures in 2000 just before the dot com bust and never raised another round of venture capital since.
With prime businesses such as jobs portal Naukri, real estate classifieds venture 99Acres, online higher education guide Shiksha and matchmaking site Jeevansaathi, InfoEdge has a vision to consolidate these four verticals and focus on the India market in near future.
However, in the recent years, Info Edge has ventured into newer areas by taking strategic positions and investing in startups.
Including its investment in Gurgaon based Zomato, Info Edge has invested an aggregate of over Rs 250 crore in nine start ups.
Three tips for young entrepreneurs:So, my advice to the entrepreneur who are starting out
- Focus on the new customer. Customer is king. You exist because of your customer. Don’t lose your sight to your customer’s need.
- Cash is king. Always ensure that you have money in the bank. You can’t survive if you don’t have money in the bank.
- Be persistent. Remember it takes a long, long time to build a business.
Hitesh Oberoi on his leadership style:
Q: So, Hitesh, tell us about your leadership style. Is it more of delegatory or participatory? And how do you manage so many businesses?
So, usually, in a company like ours, our IP is built by people. So we are a people organisation. My style, or what we believe in as a company is that, we should hire good people, empower them and work hard to retain them because it’s people who have built our IP. And we are basically a voluntaristic property.
We have several businesses. Each of our businesses is run by a business head and mostly these people take all the decision which relate to their business. There are some projects which I could be passionate about, which I drive personally but there are enough projects which they are passionate about and they are trying intermittently.
Q: Who comes to you first, an employee or a customer?That’s a tricky one; that is a tough question. The truth is that a company exists because of its customers. One of the values we believe in is customer’s delight. So we sort of tell our employees all the time that we should do whatever it takes to make a customer happy because they ultimately are paying the bills for everything.