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NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?


Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur

 

Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of LittleThings.com

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of Edmunds.com

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of Reputation.com

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

Friday
Sep082017

AJAY YADAV: Founder & CEO, Roomi

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

Ajay Yadav sees every day as a new opportunity to “crush it” and to make positive co­living experiences easier to find. Ajay created Roomi after helping a friend search for a roommate, spending countless hours emailing back and forth, sifting through candidates with conflicting preferences, and worrying about safety when going to see a listing. He knew he could find a better way and got to work. Ajay developed the concept for a new app to help connect people looking for a place to live with those looking for a roommate. He wrote the code himself until he could afford his first employee. Since then, he’s guided Roomi through its debut in New York and expansion to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, with other markets and services launching in 2016. Before Roomi, Ajay studied computer science at NYIT and helped to launch two other startups. He’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but he experienced the link between motivation and achievement when his father offered him the chance to study in the U.S. once he passed his high school exams in India. Since then, he’s continuously moved the marker, meeting his funding goals and growing his company rapidly while innovating the rental market and building a culture of service to customers.

How did you get into the industry?

I came to America to study Computer Science at NYIT so I always knew I wanted to work in the tech industry, and even before that I knew I wanted to start a company. I actually started other companies before Roomi, so it was more about finding the right problem to solve. It didn't matter what industry, it could have been anything that I was passionate about.

Any emerging industry trends?

The idea of co-living and breaking away from traditional leases is on the rise. Millennials don’t want to buy and they don’t necessarily want to stay in the same place for a full year. They need flexibility and the option to get up and go if they need or want to.  

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

When it started out, co-living got a negative reputation as a way for adults to live who didn’t want to grow up. A sort of renters “Never-Never land”.  I think some people, both real estate owners and renters, also perceive it as a free-for-all. Co-living needs it’s reputation to reflect its current state. That of a professional, emerging industry. To do that, we have to show everyone we have safe, secure, effective systems in place to enjoy this unique way of living and form a profitable business model around it. The good news is, we’re already doing that at Roomi. And a lot of our peers in the industry are making great strides as well. That’s important, because changing the reputation of an entire industry is too big for any one company to take on. So I’m excited to see everyone involved taking it so seriously. I think once that reputation piece is addressed, a lot of the other challenges we’re facing right now will fall into place.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

So, no joke, I once got robbed by my roommate. It became very clear to me there was a problem to solve in the way we search for roommates. Craigslist felt unsafe and you never knew what you were going to get. Personal contacts are great, but you only have so many friends looking for an extra roommate. It’s not flexible enough to rely on by itself. I started Roomi because I wanted to solve those problems for everyone.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We just acquired The Room Ring, so we’re pretty excited about that. We’ve already really simplified roommate searching, but it's going to make finding roommates even easier than before.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

One thing I can’t stress enough for startup success is building a work culture that elevates failure to a virtue. Make failure valuable. Many startups avoid risk in any form. But launching a startup is just naturally risky. There’s no avoiding it. So embrace it. Once you’ve got a culture where it’s okay to fail, you’ve got a workplace that is constantly learning. It’s awesome. Unstoppably, patently awesome.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

At a startup every day is difficult and any day it could all go away. That's why I'm constantly trying to innovate and dig in deep to what we are doing in every part of the company. I've learned that you should never feel comfortable. Always question everything. Always innovate. It’s how I work, and I encourage everyone on my team to do it as well. Some bosses don’t like to be questioned. When someone questions my ideas, I’m thrilled. It means my strategy is working.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

For Roomi the ideal customer experience is being able come to our website and either find a room or find a roommate, quickly and easily. Also, the customer should have their lives changed for the better because they found a great place or live or connected with a super cool roommate. Someone they can have a long term friendship with. We understand security is a concern for our customers, so we want our users to feel safe. Like they can come back to Roomi time and time again and yield the same awesome results.

How do you motivate others?

I've always believed in having my employees working with me, not for me. I want to facilitate a culture where my employees feel like they have a real voice, because they do. Nothing is better than being challenged by my employees and allowing them to challenge me. It doesn’t get more exciting than having a brainstorming session and watching a solution bubble to the surface because people feel empowered to share and build on each others ideas.

Career advice to those in your industry?

You need to really care about what your company is doing. Care about solving a problem and satisfying your customers. That is what is going to drive you to build the best company that you can. Yes, I know startups are strapped for cash. And it’s a business, so of course, profits are important. But you might be surprised how much that side of the equation sorts itself out when you focus on the other side. The customer satisfaction, employee happiness, human element of running a business. Any business.

https://www.facebook.com/RoomiApp/

https://twitter.com/RoomiApp

https://www.instagram.com/roomiapp/

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