Housing.com appoints Abhishek Hota as chief of staff

9 Nov, 2015

Housing.com has named Abhishek Hota its new chief of staff, as the SoftBank-backed real estate portal strengthens its top management.

Hota, who was previously assistant vice president of strategy, fills the post left vacant by the recent exit of Azeem Zainulbhai. Hota will report to Housing's new CEO Jason Kothari and will work with him on all business initiatives, provide support for investor communications and drive special projects, the company said in a statement.

A chemical engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Hota has been with Housing for almost two years. In his previous role, he was responsible for driving revenue and monetisation initiatives for the company.

Prior to Housing, Hota worked for about two years with global consulting firm Bain & Company.

Zainulbhai, who also handled finance until the appointment of Silicon Valley veteran Mani Rangarajan as chief financial officer, recently quit the company. According to separate media reports, Zainulbhai and a couple of other former Housing executives are likely to join the new venture being set up by Rahul Yadav, the controversial co-founder of Housing and its former CEO who left the company in July.

Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt Ltd, which owns Housing.com, has made a number of top-level appointments recently. Most important of these was the appointment of Kothari as the CEO last week. Housing had been operating without a CEO and under the dual leadership of interim CEO Rishabh Gupta and Kothari, earlier its chief business officer, since Yadav's exit.

Housing has trimmed its workforce, shut operations and brought in new senior executives including chief financial officer Mani Rangarajan, chief marketing officer Nikhil Rungta and general counsel Nandini Mehta in the past three months.

The company last week decided to lay off an additional 175-230 employees within a month, after cutting about 600 jobs in August-September.

In October, VCCircle had reported that Housing.com was in talks to raise close to $30 million from SoftBank, almost a year after it last raised venture funding. The funding, when it goes through, would also mark the first since Yadav's exit.

Housing.com competes with 99acres.com, Magicbricks.com, CommonFloor.com and PropTiger.com, among others. PropTiger is 30 per cent owned by News Corp, which acquired the parent of this website in March.