Bidding Goodbye to Rahul Jaimini: Friend, Co-founder, Magician

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It was 7 years ago that I first reached out to a friend, requesting him to put me in touch with any good developers he knew. Back then, Nandan and I were frantically looking for a tech co-founder and were using contractors to keep the lights on at Bundl (our start-up before Swiggy was born). This friend mentioned that one of his good friends, Rahul Jaimini, was working as a developer in the startup ecosystem, and connected me to him on Facebook. I spent a good part of the next year (screenshots below :)) pinging Rahul, seeking a call or a meeting. When he didn’t respond, I gave up completely on yet another unsuccessful expedition.

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Screenshots of my exchange with the wrong Rahul Jaimini


When my friend came back to India next in 2014, I gave him a lot of grief for giving me a useless lead. It was then that we realised he’d connected me to another person by the same name! It wasn’t all bad, though. By then, we were already close to shutting down Bundl and were moving onto our new shiny idea around urban delivery. This time I got connected to the right Rahul Jaimini, and that changed things FOREVER. Here began the craziest journey the three of us could have ever imagined!

Nandan and I sold our vision to disrupt ultra-fast urban delivery in India to Rahul. Rahul was too excited by the technical challenge in the problem to say no, though he cautioned us that he strictly used food as fuel and wasn’t much of a foodie. (This has now proven to be a lie since we recently discovered his closet rasmalai addiction :)) 

The three of us hit it off like a house on fire. We developed this implicit sense of trust very quickly, despite not having known each other for more than a month. Since then, the three of us have had our highs and absolute lows, but our dogged belief in the mission and in each other has kept us going through crazy tough phases. As we scaled from 100 orders daily on a website-only offering to 15k orders daily in 6 months, Rahul and a small missionary team ended up building an entire suite of apps for our customers, delivery partners and restaurant partners. We were also the first brand in India to offer the delight of live tracking in delivery services! 

The otherwise quiet and ambitious Rahul often surprises people with the many sides to his personality.


Over the next few years, we ended up building many industry-firsts, growing from a small startup into India’s largest food delivery company. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without Rahul’s drive and determination, and the way he rallied teams to move mountains while delivering on pace and quality.

Rahul epitomises the ‘founder mentality’ to the tee. Incredibly grounded and with an unwavering org-first attitude, he’s always reminded me how fortunate I was to have a founding team like this – one with pure trust and zero second guessing.

Over the last 6 months, Rahul had been taken by the future of remote working – especially the chance for India to disrupt the landscape with its access to world-class engineering talent. He’s also invested as an angel in a company that is eyeing this opportunity (Nandan and I joined the round), and diving deeper convinced him that this is another area he can have a huge impact on, building something from scratch.

He then spoke to Nandan and me about the idea of working full-time with the company. We could tell how excited Rahul was about this, and were fully supportive of his decision. So, while Rahul will no longer be involved in day-to-day responsibilities at Swiggy, he will continue to be a board member and a shareholder at the company. This is the end of an era for Swiggy, and team and I will definitely miss having Rahul around. We wish him the absolute best with his new mission and will be cheering for him from the sidelines. 

Thanks again, Rahul, for making a dream come true, for being the great friend and person that you are, and for all the amazing memories building this rocketship. Godspeed!

Best,
Harsha

This post originally went out as an email to the team at Swiggy on May 7, 2020.
Some of the content may have been edited for language and brevity.

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