Dr. Ritesh Malik attended the Youth Ki Awaaz Summit, 2018 on September 1 as a speaker to give a talk on ‘The Multi-Million Dollar Story of Innova8’, his venture in the world of co-working spaces. The Summit was held at Ambedkar International Centre, Janpath, Delhi.
Ritesh Malik is a doctor, entrepreneur and an investor. He’s a medical graduate from Dr. MGR Medical University Tamil Nadu. He attended the Marketing Science 101 course at London School of Economics where he learnt about Silicon Valley and startups. He started his entrepreneurial journey in 2012 with an augmented reality startup called ‘Adstuck’, which created a product called Alive App. This was eventually bought out by Bennet & Coleman. Thereafter, in 2013, he decided to study ‘Management of Innovation & Technology’ at Harvard University for a semester.
During his talk, he spoke about how as a kid he used to stutter a lot and was made fun of. He was bullied for being dark- skinned too. He belongs to a family of 37 doctors but he never wanted to be one.
Ritesh is the Founder and CEO of Guerilla Ventures, an angel fund that was founded in 2013, with a focus on hardware companies. Their main focus is to help startups from the areas of healthcare, technology, education & energy to create valuable solutions, extensive research modules & market their products globally. “The quality of startups that we had when I started out was very poor”, says Ritesh Malik. He was the first investor & mentor of FIN ROBOTICS, a wearable gadget manufacturer, which became the first Indian hardware product company to raise a Series A venture funding.
Ritesh has funded over 41 startups with Project Guerilla. He also actively collaborates with the Government of India to help build a college entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country to champion ‘Startup India Standup India’. “India is the kind of the nation where we are provided with the kind of opportunities that if you have an idea, you should at least try it once”, adds Dr. Malik. He has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 Finance and Venture Capital List, 2016.
With Innova8, his latest venture he rents prime real estates in major metropolitan cities to build them into beautiful co-working spaces for the budding entrepreneurs. Innov8 rose sharply from just one centre at New Delhi’s Connaught Place (CP) in 2015 to nine bustling centres spread across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chandigarh in 2018. The motivation behind this venture was the rise of startups, the ever-growing work-from-home culture and the skyrocketing prices of commercial spaces, which had discouraged many companies from investing heavily in the physical office space. “We are India’s most design-oriented co-working player with 13 campuses and an active community of 4,000 members”, says Ritesh Malik.
To become a successful entrepreneur, he emphasizes on having TQ i.e. Trust Quotient. “Your success depends on how honestly and ethically you do business”, says Ritesh Malik. He believes that it is important to upgrade your skills constantly with changing times and to have patience and perseverance to stay in the game. According to him, it is necessary to understand that to become a happy entrepreneur, it is important to make something people need and for which people would be willing to pay. “I realised we don’t think big. The British education system taught us to never think big”, says Ritesh Malik. He points out the fact that nobody in India is willing to invest and innovate in the field of agriculture and healthcare, fields where the country provides the highest potential to grow.
At the end of his talk, through the poem by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, he emphasised that the people who work hard are not bound to fail and one should not give up when faced with adversities and obstacles.