He was enlisted in the 'Forbes 30 under 30 Asia'. He has invested in over 26 startups including about nine startups from Kerala. Startup investor and mentor Dr. Ritesh Malik talks to Onmanorama about his views on on the current funding scenario of Indian startups.
A doctor by qualification, he is one of the most active angel investors for startups and has invested over Rs. 13.43 crore (approximately – $2 million) in startups all-over India.
It is all about entrepreneurship building
Ritesh Malik, completed his MBBS from the Government Medical College in Theni, Tamil Nadu in 2011. He had begun his internship at Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi. It was then that he realised that he was not meant to be clinician. He soon went on the pursue his higher studies in management from the London School of Economics and Harvard University.
It is wasn't long before Ritesh Malik had ventured into the world of startups. At present, he runs Guerilla Ventures, a firm that offers a support system to startups. He also runs Woodapple Residency, a firm that strives towards providing luxurious facilities at affordable prices for business and leisure travel. Ritesh Malik even co-founded Adstuck, a company that focusses on digital marketing and product development.
A fan of the Kerala startup ecosystem
Having invested in some of Kerala's most popular hardware startups, Ritesh Malik was all praise for the startup environment in the state. “Kerala has done a commendable job is sensitising people in the area of entrepreneurship,” he added. He considers Kerala's hardware startups as the best compared to many other hardware startups across the country. This is because of the level of commitment that the entrepreneurs have towards their product. Some of the startups that he has invested in are Exploride Inc, Fin Robotics, and SectorQube Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Think value not valuation
Ritesh Malik said, “Most often, when entrepreneurs are asked as to what their goals are, they say that they hope to run a company that is worth a million dollars. In short, they are going about the process wrongly. They need to work towards a establishing a company that facilitates certain values. They must all think of building things that have not been built before.”
Know where to invest
Although investing in a startup is a calculated risk that businessmen take, Ritesh Malik throws some light on a few aspects that one could consider before making their investment.
He recommends that investors should not 'cough-up' funds for a startup during the first three months of its establishment. He emphasised that more than the financial stability of a firm, it's important to assess the emotional bonds that exist between co-founders of a firm. “Good relations are very important for good business,” he explains.
Amateur funding systems
Ritesh Malik believes that India still has long way to go in terms of the funding options that startups could avail. “We are still awed by degree from the country's top notch institutes instead of the entrepreneurs ability to run the business. That is not how a startup works. It is different in the USA. Hence, there is much to be done in this regard,” he said.