Info Edge's Hitesh Oberoi on expansion through acqui-hires & strategic investments
From experiences in acqui-hiring startups and making strategic investments, to writing off investments and building the core business, Hitesh Oberoi, MD and CEO of Info Edge (India) Ltd, which runs a slew of consumer internet properties such as Naukri, 99acres, Jeevansathi and Shiksha, shared it all at the Techcircle Startup 2014 event.
To begin with, Oberoi emphasised that it is important to build the core business before investing or venturing into other verticals.
"Historically, most of the bigwigs including Google, Facebook, etc. were all one trick ponies who later expanded their services through acquisitions," said Oberoi, adding that Info Edge had also acquired (and is eyeing many more) Toostep, a platform that enables recruiters to promote jobs on social networking sites. To date, the company has mostly made small acqui-hires, while refraining from making big bets.
He touched upon tricky issues like how integration while acqui-hiring is the key to successful inorganic growth and also how first hires from the mother businesses help in setting up a new vertical- in their case, 99acres.com- within the group.
While speaking on Info Edge's investments in firms like Policy Bazaar, Zomato, Canvera, Meritnation, 99acres and Mydala, Oberoi said that it is very difficult to build businesses from scratch and then scale up and much easier to make strategic investments- as they can be written off.
Watch the video for more.