Ritesh Tilani is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. Satish Kumar / The National
Ritesh Tilani is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. Satish Kumar / The National

Day in the life: Multitasking entrepreneur and angel investor shares the joy



Ritesh Tilani is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and the founding partner of enhance, a holding company that develops web and mobile-enabled businesses in the Middle East and Africa. The company's portfolio includes joigifts.com, an online physical gifting business and medigo.com, a Berlin-based medical travel entity with a regional head office in Dubai. The Indian, 36, who grew up in Dubai, returned to the emirate in 2006 and has been involved in the tech world ever since.

8.30am

I’m a night owl, so I’m usually up late the night before. At the same time, I don’t want to sleep through the day, so I set the alarm for six hours after I go to bed. I check my notifications for anything important I need to respond to before I start getting ready for work.

9.10am

I jump in my car, a Lexus GS 430, to head to work. I try to be as productive as possible throughout the day, so I save phone calls for when I’m driving, since I can’t do anything else during that time. I’d take an Uber or Careem, except I love driving. Back in the US I used to have a black Camaro with a low body and T-tops. It looked a bit like the Batmobile, and my friends started calling me Batman for it, a nickname which has stuck until today. I call either my mum or dad, or my business partner Alper to plan an important meeting coming up that morning.

9.30am

I’m at the office, a warehouse converted into a creative workspace we lovingly call The Garage. I juggle a lot of balls every day, as is the case with most start-up founders. But the morning is the busiest.

10am

We have an angel investor from Saudi visit us. He heard about our current funding round through a mutual friend, who is interested in investing. We have already raised the majority of the round, and with the new investment we plan to expand joi’s offering and grow our customer base. The meeting goes well, we give him a tour of the Garage, introduce him to our team and take a group photo in front of our now famous graffiti wall.

11am

Time for the weekly Sprint Meeting, where we bring the entire joi team together over a conference call across our offices in Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah and Cairo, which houses our development team. We update each other on key initiatives and welcome the latest addition to the team with our induction tradition of asking him to share a secret. We also sing happy birthday for one of the team members.

12.30pm

I eat at my desk while working. I then head to our category manager’s desk to finalise the products for joi Luxury, the new sub-brand we’re launching to cater to the higher end of the market. joi lists products from some brands like Jones the grocer and Lime Tree Café in the UAE, and Godiva and Magnolia Bakery in Saudi Arabia. Once in a while, our partners graciously send over delicious samples for us to try, one of the perks of my job.

1.30pm

I have a meeting with the HR manager of a leading Dubai-based company. We have already shaken hands on serving their gifting needs with our “joi@work” business line. We discuss details of credit terms and process automation, and agree to finalise the contract by next week. I promise them a karaoke party when it’s done, as long as they won’t force me to sing too.

3pm

I have another meeting, this time for Medigo, with a large online travel agency. Medigo can enhance their customer offering by adding on international medical treatments to upcoming trips. They have a concern around our ability to handle their volumes. We agree to move forward with a trial, which is great news for us.

6.30pm

I leave The Garage and make a few more calls on the way home, this time to friends. I have friends all over the globe, and it helps to have a generous international mobile plan. At home I have a quick bite and hit the gym or the squash court. I used to play for my university in the US and now try to get a game in once in a while. As unintuitive as it sounds, squash gives me Zen.

9pm

After a quick shower, I jump in my car to meet one of my mentees over dinner or drinks. I had very helpful mentors when I launched my first start-up, and I feel I have a responsibility to give back, now that I have some experience. So I regularly mentor new start-up entrepreneurs.

11pm

Back home I get some more work in. At some point I’ll take a break to have another small meal. My metabolism is superhigh, so I’m constantly eating throughout the day. While I eat, I like to watch an episode of my favourite TV shows. It could be Modern Family, Suits, Silicon Valley or Game of Thrones. After replying to some more emails, at 2.30am I go to bed to get my full six hours in. I’m always out within 20 seconds of my head hitting the pillow because that’s how exhausted I am. I’ve promised my body I’ll let it rest more once I retire.

business@thenational.ae

Follow The National's Business section on Twitter

WRESTLING HIGHLIGHTS
Scores in brief:

Boost Defenders 205-5 in 20 overs
(Colin Ingram 84 not out, Cameron Delport 36, William Somerville 2-28)
bt Auckland Aces 170 for 5 in 20 overs
(Rob O’Donnell 67 not out, Kyle Abbott 3-21).

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

THE BIO

Ms Al Ameri likes the variety of her job, and the daily environmental challenges she is presented with.

Regular contact with wildlife is the most appealing part of her role at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.

She loves to explore new destinations and lives by her motto of being a voice in the world, and not an echo.

She is the youngest of three children, and has a brother and sister.

Her favourite book, Moby Dick by Herman Melville helped inspire her towards a career exploring  the natural world.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg

Bayern Munich 1
Kimmich (27')

Real Madrid 2
Marcelo (43'), Asensio (56')

MATCH INFO

Manchester City 3
Danilo (16'), Bernardo Silva (34'), Fernandinho (72')

Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Ulloa (20')

Tips to keep your car cool
  • Place a sun reflector in your windshield when not driving
  • Park in shaded or covered areas
  • Add tint to windows
  • Wrap your car to change the exterior colour
  • Pick light interiors - choose colours such as beige and cream for seats and dashboard furniture
  • Avoid leather interiors as these absorb more heat
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

England's all-time record goalscorers:
Wayne Rooney 53
Bobby Charlton 49
Gary Lineker 48
Jimmy Greaves 44
Michael Owen 40
Tom Finney 30
Nat Lofthouse 30
Alan Shearer 30
Viv Woodward 29
Frank Lampard 29

AndhaDhun

Director: Sriram Raghavan

Producer: Matchbox Pictures, Viacom18

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, Radhika Apte, Anil Dhawan

Rating: 3.5/5

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

Upcoming games

SUNDAY 

Brighton and Hove Albion v Southampton (5.30pm)
Leicester City v Everton (8pm)

 

MONDAY 
Burnley v Newcastle United (midnight)

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Miss Granny

Director: Joyce Bernal

Starring: Sarah Geronimo, James Reid, Xian Lim, Nova Villa

3/5

(Tagalog with Eng/Ar subtitles)

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

UAE PREMIERSHIP

Final: Dubai Hurricanes v Jebel Ali Dragons
Saturday, 8.15pm, Al Ain Amblers

Semi-final results
Dubai Exiles 20-26 Dubai Hurricanes
Dubai Tigers 32-43 Jebel Ali Dragons

Table
1 Dubai Tigers, 33 points
2 Dubai Exiles, 24 points
3 Dubai Hurricanes, 18 points
4 Jebel Ali Dragons, 14 points
5 Abu Dhabi Harlequins, 14 points

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Tax authority targets shisha levy evasion

The Federal Tax Authority will track shisha imports with electronic markers to protect customers and ensure levies have been paid.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director of the tax authority, on Sunday said the move is to "prevent tax evasion and support the authority’s tax collection efforts".

The scheme’s first phase, which came into effect on 1st January, 2019, covers all types of imported and domestically produced and distributed cigarettes. As of May 1, importing any type of cigarettes without the digital marks will be prohibited.

He said the latest phase will see imported and locally produced shisha tobacco tracked by the final quarter of this year.

"The FTA also maintains ongoing communication with concerned companies, to help them adapt their systems to meet our requirements and coordinate between all parties involved," he said.

As with cigarettes, shisha was hit with a 100 per cent tax in October 2017, though manufacturers and cafes absorbed some of the costs to prevent prices doubling.