Ritesh Malik has been listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 in the Finance and Venture list 2016. He is a 26-year-old doctor and has invested in over 26 startups that include RHLvision, Wigzo, AddoDoc, Mashinga, and Flipmotion, among others.
So who is Ritesh and what motivates him?
In 2012, while studying medicine at Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R Medical University, Ritesh met with Abhishek Shankar who was building a product in augmented reality. Ritesh suggested integrating augmented reality with healthcare, a platform that would assist and doctors across across the world while performing surgeries in rural areas. They formed a company called Adstuck.
Unfortunately this first startup tanked but it was this failure that gave Ritesh and Abhishek the idea for their product ALIVE which they sold, giving Ritesh the ability to invest in 26 other startups. After this Ritesh decided to study ‘Management of Innovation & Technology’ at Harvard University.
Ritesh also collaborates with the Government of India and champions ‘Startup India Standup India’ in the nether regions. He is the Founder and CEO of Guerilla Ventures which began in 2013, the focus is on hardware companies. “Through Project Guerilla, we take the President and Prime Minister to far flung colleges like the University of Agriculture and Technology where the focus is on small and medium size startup groups.”
I feel as a doctor I could just reach about 100 patients a day, but by leveraging technology I can reach 100 million a day”, says the docpreneur and investor.
Ritesh is passionate about encouraging more women to take up entrepreneurship. He says, “There are only about nine per cent of women entrepreneurs in India, and I hope to take this number to 45 per cent in the next seven years”.
So, has he said goodbye to medicine? “I’ve not left medicine, it is my first love” he says. Ritesh also manages his father’s hospital (Radix Healthcare).
Always in search of smart investment opportunities Ritesh looked to the startup village in Kochi, he now funds 9 of the 10 startups there.
“I often ask entrepreneurs – What do you want to build. And nothing frustrates me more when they say a ‘$1 billion company’. The focus should always be about creating value, not valuations.”
What advice does he give to all future ‘Doctor-preneurs’?
“I would suggest doctors to think out of the box. Go digital & create products in the field of healthcare. The market is huge & the returns on investments are mind boggling. I believe that doctors have an extra edge that technocrats don’t, because they know the industry in depth.”
“The next BIG thing in healthcare entrepreneurship will not be in the developed nations, it’ll be in the developing nations & rural areas of the world. The gap is massive & whoever will help patients to access quality information, prevent diseases & cure ailments will be the next man/woman in the Forbes 500 list”