Ritesh Malik may easily be described as possessing super-human qualities, considering his age and achievements. The 2013 medical graduate from Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University has been listed on Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2016 (finance venture). He started developing his interest in entrepreneurship while still in medical school. In 2010, he joined the London School of Economics for a Marketing Science 101 course. Then in 2013, he enrolled at Harvard University to attend the Management of Innovation & Technology course.
Ritesh has vast knowledge and expertise in multiple sectors including healthcare, entrepreneurship, management, information technology, angel investments, innovation and social entrepreneurship. ALIVE was the first flagship product to be sold by Adstuck, a company that was co-founded by Ritesh during his last year of medical school. They sold the product in 2012 to Times of India, and that resulted in Ritesh’s major breakthrough.
He is also the CEO and Founder of Guerilla Ventures, an angel fund specializing in hardware firms. According to Forbes,a manufacturer of wearable gadgets Fin Robotics, and one among Ritesh’s many portfolio companies, is the first hardware firm to raise capital via Series A funding. Ritesh has so far invested in more than 26 companies including Wigzo, RHLvision, Mashinga, AddoDoc, Asimov Robotics, Bisko Labs, SectorQube Technolabs, Flipmotion, and Exploride Inc. He is also the current manager of Radix Healthcare, his father’s hospital.
Ritesh has been championing entrepreneurship in India through active collaborations with the Indian government. He is advocating for the establishment of college entrepreneurship environment in all parts of the country.
He has two primary goals for the future. The first one is to promote women entrepreneurship, which he hopes will increase from the current 9% to at least 45% within the next 7 years. His second main goal is to leverage technology to serve market needs within rural areas, in addition to revitalizing the agricultural sector.
One of the clear things about Ritesh’s entrepreneurship journey is that his success did not come easy. His first product, which he co-produced with Abhishek Shankar, failed due to poor uptake and lack of infrastructural support. But they got inspired, and through this failure came their state-of-the-art product, ALIVE. He used the capital gained from the sale of ALIVE to invest in 26 other startups.
The investment mantra that Ritesh strongly believes is ‘investing in people.’ This is his key success factor. He adds that failure and mistakes are part and parcel of success, which have to be acknowledged and, in turn, used as building stones. As such, you have to fail in order to create a valuable product. Accordingly, he says that he always celebrates his failures knowing that great ideas have come out of them.
Furthermore, all his dreams are aligned with those of this team members, to whom Ritesh attributes most of his success. Currently, he is more of a people manager than a medical or technology expert. He infuses dreams in his team members and gives them free reign to invent, fail, and bring out the best in themselves and each other.
His latest product is Innov8, which was launched in November last year. It is a co-working space (business networking platform) being developed in Delhi. He has learnt from his experiences that innovation and entrepreneurship largely involves meeting and interacting with people to make deals that will disrupt traditional business models and spur market growth. Innov8 aims at connecting a community of entrepreneurs, freelancers, tech innovators, corporates and investors in a social environment under a single roof. Moreover, the product offers additional startup incentives to women.
Ritesh has two pieces of advice to his fellow investors and entrepreneurs. First, stop investing in current trends and, instead, look for products that will disrupt the current market, and invest in these products. The second piece of advice is for entrepreneurs and investors to master the art of delegation.