Benita Chacko
People Spotting

Croma’s Ritesh Ghosal joins two more startups; enters logistics and communications space

After stepping down from the consumer electronics chain last month, he joined Aasnaa and GRPS Labs.

Ritesh Ghosal, former chief of marketing and business development at Croma, has joined two more startups now- Soptle and Cutting Chai Technologies. After stepping down from Croma last month, he began serving as the Chief Growth Officer at Aasnaa and GRPS Labs, another startup in the area of insight automation.

At Soptle he will be the chief of business and marketing and will be advising the startup on building customer experience, making the app easy to use, structure the selling portal, among other things.

“The retailers in small town India are not very sophisticated. So we have to make the app easy to use,” Ghosal said.

At Cutting Chai Technologies he will be the growth advisor helping it package its product info proposition in a way that a retailer or a mall owner in India would understand.

Soptle, a Gurugram-based online manufacturer-only marketplace for SMEs, is creating a logistic solution which will connect the retailers across small towns and rural India with the regional brands. This ensures that the most cash-strapped consumers get access to less expensive options.

“India has a lot of small regional brands, who don't operate beyond a couple of states. And only the big companies like Parle, Unilever, etc reach the small markets. On the one side Soptle is creating access to new markets for a smaller regional brand and on the other, access to cheaper products for the small town rural markets,” said Ghosal.

Mumbai-based Cutting Chai Technologies provides hyperlocal communication in the retail space. They map one’s interest with their location at a certain point of time.

“Let's say you're interested in buying a smartphone and you're near a Croma store, then it will message you and connect the location with your needs,” he added.

While entering into the startup universe last month, Ghosal had said to afaqs!, “I had made my first business plan in 1999 for bringing a UK-based research agency into India. I have often thought about the startup world. But with a steady salary and employers like Tata, I kept hesitating. With increments and moving up the ladder, the cost of exiting and failure keeps going up. But now where I am in my life, I have nothing much left to prove and I have my retirement plans in place. So it is time to have some fun. I have always loved chasing new ideas, creating new propositions and launching new products.”

Speaking a month later, he says, “It's like living in a pure world of ideas without any of the corporate processes. I’m applying what I have learnt, but without the burden of having to prove anything. So that's what I'm really enjoying.”

Managing four roles at the same time doesn’t seem like cakewalk. But Ghosal says he is able to do it now due to the shift to online meetings as he’s able to better utilise his time as he doesn’t need to travel anymore. Moreover, he’s now free from operational responsibilities.