Interview with Ridesafe’s Nishith Rastogi

Nishith Rastogi is a graduate of BITS Pilani – Goa, and is currently on his second startup. His newest project has him deal with Product and Data Science at RideSafe, a road safety initiative, that uses cutting edge algorithms, to provide a safer experience while travelling in a cab/taxi.

If you are wondering what possesses someone to come up with an idea like this, the ride from the airport, home with your sister in the middle of the night. After realising how unsafe this is, you tend to have ideas of how to make the system better and safer when you are put in such a situation. So he thought of creating a system and monitoring it himself.

The difference between RideSafe, and most other women safety apps, is that RideSafe does everything by itself, using advanced algorithms to detect unsafe situations based on route deviation.

The fact that someone like Nishith came up with an idea like this shouldn’t be surprising owing to the entrepreneurship spirit in him right since his childhood, when he created origami models and sold them for a little more than the cost to make them. He kept doing this with the intention of making things that people love. He desires that his company should be remembered as the company that builds cool stuff. Nishith likes creating apps to make people happy and definitely not for the fame that comes with it, he still has to say being covered by various magazines and papers felt pretty awesome when it happened around woman’s day.

To be good at what you do, you ought to hit a few speed bumps and failures but the challenge is to rise above them and Nishith looks at not being able to deal with the consumer marketing for PinChat as his biggest failure. Like a phoenix though, he learnt from this and is now taking care so that he doesn’t repeat a similar mistake in future. Now he is systematically working about how he is going to gather every user from the first ten to hundred to hundred thousand.

No matter how much you would love to run your own company, and how well you do it, there are a few hiccups you would come across along the journey. Running a company is a marathon and according to Nishith, you have to keep sprinting through it. Problem solving and beer keeps him going and distracted from the hassles of the day. After doing so much in the past, Nishith still looks at RideSafe and the team that he created around it as his biggest achievement.

While hiring someone, he weighs discipline over talent. No matter how talented you are, if you don’t have any discipline, you won’t get far. Other than that he would hire someone who is amazing at something, and it could be anything, even not related to work at all, like being good at playing an instrument, and do it well, it shows your aptitude and that you could work at being amazing at anything. After hiring them, it isn’t difficult to keep your employees motivated, just make sure they have their daily dose of fun, the right problems to solve, no bureaucracy and beer in the fridge. Once you form a core team, your biggest fear would be to lose that team, you can get over this by keeping everyone happy and making sure everyone is having fun.