“This is a crap product. There is nothing in it. We didn’t want to touch it but Tiger made us buy it. We will have to start from scratch,” Manish Sinha, executive vice president of QuikrHomes, reportedly told a room full of people. He was referring to CommonFloor. The room full of people had section heads from CommonFloor and Quikr.

“It hurt. But we said nothing. We were told this was coming,” says a former employee of CommonFloor, who left to join an e-commerce company and wasn’t allowed to talk to the press. Another former employee, who is currently a mentor at other startups, present in the room confirms this conversation. “It was Manish Sinha after all.”

In an emailed response, Quikr denied this meeting ever took place.

Let’s understand Sinha first. For now, Sinha, a man who never ran a real estate tech business, is the protagonist in the QuikrHomes story. Through him, we can understand what Quikr’s big real estate plans are all about.

Sinha’s claim to fame, which he often repeated in meetings, was that he had sold several Rs 200 crore plots in Delhi and ran a real estate brokerage firm called Favista Real Estate. “These claims were suspect,” says the staffer. “We tried to confirm them but could find no one who could confirm if he ever had made those sales.” The company was almost sold to India Homes for $2.2 million in 2014. The company reportedly asked Housing to acquire it in 2015. But that deal fell through as well.

“The less you ask about Sinha the better. Almost everything will get you into trouble,” says the CEO of a VC-funded company in the real estate sector. Sinha’s accomplishments were likened to Keyser Söze by one former employee. Everyone had heard about them but no one was sure if they were real.

Sinha, former employees say, would get into screaming matches in the office with developers on his vision. “But he never had any background in tech or product. Running a call centre [WNS Global] doesn’t give you any insight into how to develop a product. And he offered no insights either. He was so harsh to the developers that 10 of them almost quit in protest,” says another former employee. But how did Sinha get this job? He was Quikr founder Pranav Chulet’s classmate in IIT as well as IIM. When Chulet needed a hand to run his real estate project, he called his friend.

QuikrHomes runs the way Sinha says it does. He is the top boss. He has the final say.

Manish Sinha, executive vice president, QuikrHomes

As things stand today, Sinha and Chulet have been buying companies, integrating them for a large real estate pursuit.


Patanjali Pahwa

Patanjali has spent over seven years in journalism. He last worked at Business Standard as Principal Correspondent, where he wrote on startups, e-commerce companies and venture capital. He has worked at an array of institutions, which include Forbes India, Caravan and Outlook Business. He is a Mumbaikar, born and brought up. Patanjali did his BSc in IT from Mumbai University and then got his journalism degree from IIJNM in Bangalore. He is enamoured by Ernest Hemingway and Tom Waits and may try to sneak in references to them in his stories.

View Full Profile

Available exclusively to subscribers of The Ken India

This story is a part of The Ken India edition. Subscribe. Questions?


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 200+ stories, archive of 800+ stories from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 2,750


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 60+ new stories with 3-months worth of archives from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 1,750


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

Rs. 500


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 150+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 120


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 35+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 50


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

$ 20



What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-only business journalism website and app that provides coverage across two editions - India and Southeast Asia.

What kind of stories do you write?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics.

We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

What do I get if I subscribe?

For subscribers of the India edition, we publish a new story every weekday, a premium daily newsletter, Beyond The First Order and a weekly newsletter - The Nutgraf.

For subscribers of the Southeast Asia edition, we publish a new story three days a week and a weekly newsletter, Strait Up.

The annual subscription will get you complete, exclusive access to our archive of previously published stories for your edition, along with access to our subscriber-only mobile apps, our premium comment sections, our newsletter archives and several other gifts and benefits.

Do I need to pay separately for your premium newsletters?

Nope. Paid, premium subscribers of The Ken get our newsletters delivered for free.

Does a subscription to the India edition grant me access to Southeast Asia stories? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

Do you offer an all-access joint subscription for both editions?

Not yet. If you’d like to access both editions, you’ll have to purchase two subscriptions separately - one for India and the other for Southeast Asia.

Do you offer any discounts?

No. We have a zero discounts policy.

Is there a free trial I can opt for?

We don’t offer any trials, but you can sign up for a free account which will give you access to the weekly free story, our archive of free stories and summaries of the paid stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

Do you offer refunds?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Please write to us at [email protected] detailing the error or queries.