Big problems have big impacts and an even bigger chance of success: Dr Ritesh Malik, Founder & CEO, Innov8

A doctor, an entrepreneur, an investor. Winner of many 30 under 30 and 40 under 40 awards, Y-combinator alumni and the founder of co-working space Innov8. Dr. Ritesh Malik has many accolades to his credit. He is a family man and an inspiration to many Indian entrepreneurs. Dr. Malik aims to make innov8 the biggest co-working space in India and change the education system of the country so students end up studying what they want to rather than what has been designed. 


ObserveNow recently caught up with Dr. Malik where he shared some interesting insights on his vision, change in life post-acquisition by OYO, his regrets, future plans, and motto. 


Edited excerpts from his interview:


Q- You aim to make Innov8 the largest Co-working space in Asia, what is your game plan for that? 

Since the beginning of our inception. Our first-principles have been a very firm, insanely valuable product at rock bottom prices, with a focus on unit economics & sustainable organic growth. Create spaces that are beautiful yet functional, technology-led operations, the community at scale & frugality at the core. 


Q- How has Innov8 changed post-acquisition by OYO. Do both the Ritesh's have a common goal and shared a vision for it. What is that?? 

Having OYO on our side has created massive acceleration for us, OYO is the only company in the world that has scaled a real estate tech business so fast. Having similar a common ground, helps us learn from OYO on the sides of transformation, supply, demand, technology & finance. The vision that OYOpreneurs share is to create quality spaces at affordable price points for accessibility of the world's majority demography. 


Q- In an interview you previously said- "I regret wasting 6 years studying what I did not want to", Tell us the story? 

I think it would have been better if I would have not done graduation, MBBS, took 6 long years, I would have started early. But nevertheless, 24 is a decent age to start. Its been 6 years of my entrepreneurial journey, & I'm so happy leaving medicine in my past life. Entrepreneurship is a risky, uncertain, constantly evolving & learning curve that no other profession can provide. 


Q- How is Innov8 different from other Co-Working spaces in India? 

We're heavily focussed on design, community, aspirational quality yet at affordable price points, our cheapest ticket to accessing an Innov8 is 2999/month. We're very focussed on organic scaling & we don’t focus much on competition. Our focus is more towards being better than what we were yesterday, bring costs down, improving both the demand & supply side of the business & creating product jumps each week. The market for co-working is so large that multiple co-working players can exist, so competition isn’t a threat. The more co-working centers, the better is the adoption of co-working as a concept. 


Q- When are you planning your big move to Silicon valley like many of your peers? 

Not soon. But never say never, let’s see what future has in store for us. 


Q- You have said your motto is to change the Indian education system- What have you done about it so far? 

I spend time, interacting with a lot of students, mostly college students. Apart from that, we have a mission called Project Guerrilla, wherein we partner with academic institutions to encourage college entrepreneurship. I'm also the founding partner of Plaksha University, a non-profit initiative to transform the way tech education is imparted in India. 


Q- From your experience please give 2 pieces of advice to young budding entrepreneurs? 

1) Take action, whatever idea good or bad, act, fail, learn, iterate, relaunch & win. Keep hustling & navigating through your journey having customer feedbacks as your compass & ability to raise capital & build teams as your motor for your ship. 


2) Great companies are always built on insanely great value-adding products, always remember that. Ask yourself how big of a problem are you solving your customers. The larger the problem, the larger would be the impact, the most successful you are. 


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Taniya Tikoo

Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder at ObserveNow. A Mountain girl using the power of words to change the world.

I dream to wake up to a world where I see a thriving Kashmir, a free Palestine and a Free Tibet 

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