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I am Rajiv Srivatsa, Co-Founder of Urban Ladder, and This is How I Work
Productivity

I am Rajiv Srivatsa, Co-Founder of Urban Ladder, and This is How I Work

Five years ago, when IIM batchmates Rajiv Srivatsa and Ashish Goel were setting up their individual homes in Bangalore, they hopped multiple stores to handpick furniture that would fit, feel and look the way they wanted. But the entire exercise was painstakingly time consuming. Moreover, customisations demanded more time and energy. That's when the two of them thought of creating an online marketplace for furniture. After six months of market research, they launched Urban Ladder in 2012.


Their journey was not an easy one since customers were initially not receptive to the idea of buying furniture online and Urband Ladder sold less than 10 pieces online in their first year. However, unswerving Rajiv and Ashish relentlessly marched ahead with their vision and today, Urban Ladder is India's leading online furniture and home decor destination. Before turning entrepreneurs, Rajiv worked for Yahoo & Cognizant and Ashish worked with McKinsey & Company and served as the CEO of Amar Chitra Katha. We asked Rajiv to spill a few life hacks and here's what he revealed.

Location : Bangalore, Karnataka

Current Gig : CPTO & Co-Founder at Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions

One word that best describes how you work : Efficient

Current mobile device : Apple iPhone 7

Current computer : MacBook Pro

Tell us about your journey and how did you get where you have?

Ashish (Goel) and I have been friends since our IIM Bangalore days. We moved to Bangalore in 2012 and were trying to set up our individual homes. We had to run around town trying to figure out which store had what. It was a painful process to find the furniture we liked. It was then that we stumbled on the idea of having a marketplace where you could find all your furniture and home decor products with just a click. After much R&D on the furniture indus try and the venture as a whole, we started Urban Ladder. We had the singular vision of making a million Indian homes beautiful. Today, Urban Ladder is India's leading online furniture and home decor destination, and a preferred choice for shoppers looking for world class designs and exceptional customer service. It's taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears to come this far, and we couldn't be prouder of the people and the team that made this happen. All of us at Urban Ladder have a humongous desire to create a global impact.


What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

I cannot live without Wunderlist, Evernote / Notes, Gmail, Google Calendar, Uber, WhatsApp, Google Maps, Instagram, Apple Music.

What's your workspace setup like?

I like my workspace to be minimalist and include essential items only.




What's your best time-saving shortcut?

Divide the entire day into multiple 30 minute slots and stay focused in those slots. Do not schedule anything for more than half-an-hour if you want to stay highly productive. If you follow this rule, you will suddenly feel like a whole lot of time got created within a single day and you can also typically get a lot of tasks done.

What are some of the jugaads you use in life?

Auto payment of card and mobile bills is a jugaad to avoid entering card details each time you need to make a payment. After setting an alarm on my phone, I keep the device at a distance and that forces me to get up and turn it off.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Wunderlist is my favourite to-do list manager as it is all-device friendly, including Mac. Moreover, it is very easy to use and convenient to maintain. (Also Read: I Am Saran Chatterjee, CEO Of Housejoy, And This Is How I Work )

How is it to run a business with a college friend? How do you tackle conflicting viewpoints?

We can have conflicting viewpoints but we let each other take calls on our function of expertise. There are clear accountability and responsibility lines and we don't come back later to say 'I told you so' if things go wrong!

What are your tips for those contemplating to initiate a start-up with a friend/s?

Look for complementary skills in your co-founder(s). Similar skills will not help. Align on vision and values of what you are going to build. It is okay to have different plans on how to build it. Go for a big market. Make sure it's a real customer need.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Zero inbox. I solve all open issues before I go to sleep. I think I am good at having a largely balanced day, every day.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I spend Sundays with my daughter & travel once every quarter! (Also read: I Am Nitin Saluja, Founder & CEO Of Chaayos, And This Is How I Work )

What's your fitness and sleep routine like?

Fitness is non-existent, except some rare swimming, cricket and dancing. I try to sleep 12:00 - 06:30 every day though weekends can completely go for a toss.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

It's #OneLife. Do what you want. With full freedom. Live in the present. Don't judge self or others. It is not one single advice, but a combination collated from books & podcasts.

Urban Ladder recently received the single brand retail licence. What's the roadmap hereon and what new can we expect in the upcoming year/s?

Great products. Awesome designs. Better customer experience. Last but not the least, our brand name on all our products!

Could you share a few resourceful furniture hacks people can try at home?

●Have scratches on furniture? Buff it up with linseed oil/coconut oil

●Coffee stains on upholstered furniture? Mix a concoction of acetone, vinegar, and soda and scrub it on the stain. Leave on and see the magic.

●Legs of furniture scrape when pulled? Get paper felt/sheet rubber, cut out circles and stick under furniture leg.


The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Ishita.

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