Ritesh Bhatnagar: An Exemplary Leadership Personality

Ritesh Bhatnagar | CMO | U2opia Mobile

Innovative leadership skills inspire people to complete a series of tasks according to a specific schedule if they are in a management position or lead a project. These are skills that help organizing the subordinates to achieve their shared goals.

However, leadership is not just a skill but rather a combination of different skills coordination and unique approaches towards driving the growth of the organization. But does it really make any difference?

Standing out in the competitive world requires an innovative mindset and an ideology of being unique and inventive. Throughout the history, great leaders have emerged with their leadership ideologies in providing directions, implementing their plans to discover new things. Also, motivate people through their distinctive plans of action in achieving their desired success. This has been proven effective for almost all the industries and organizations till date.

Moreover, with such exceptional approaches, these personalities have changed the scenario of today’s world. Also, their significantly creative innovations in various industries and organizations are making a huge difference. One such personality is Ritesh Bhatnagar.

Ritesh is currently working as a Chief Marketing Officer at U2opia Mobile. He is responsible for the overall marketing, brand management, and growth strategies internationally. His most recent projects involve launching live gaming streaming channel along with an EA sports team and making WOO–a leading dating app in India and for the Indian diaspora globally with an active user base of 12 million users.

An Innovative Platform

U2opia Mobile is a Singapore-India based innovator in mobile technology and applications. The company holds a diversified portfolio of consumer and enterprise products in more than 70 countries. U2opia has verticals across Telecom, Digital Marketing, Gaming, Fantasy Sports, Dating, and Media.

As a company, U2opia always works on platform specific strategies and community outreach to make a positive impact on its corporate image and brand reputation. With this, the company has captured international markets and increased its consumer base as well. The company has successfully used diverse channels like email, mobile social media, and marketing campaigns to enhance the outreach and development. U2opia also nurture leads through their website and SEO first content strategy for each of its products which helps in global organic reach.

Below are some of the marquee products within U2opia.

Dating: Woo is a leading dating app in India and for Indian diaspora globally with over 12 million actives plus subscribers. Woo is a dating app that puts women first. This digital app is aware that gut-instinct plays a crucial role when you like someone new, so U2opia has built its app from that place of sensitivity.

The app makes it easy to navigate this world of dating by making it a comfortable and fun experience. For the company, women’s interests in ensuring safety, and privacy is paramount. With over 12 million matches and counting, WOO application is committed towards changing the dating game and helping women feel more empowered in making meaningful connections with people they fancy. It is not surprising that this is the dating app women love.

Gaming: – Mojo Gaming is India’s first indigenous high-quality social gaming portfolio along with a distribution and publishing platform. Mojo Gaming is a multi-genre gaming platform that brings together casual and hardcore gamers under one roof. It has five modules – Competitive Skill Gaming, Daily Fantasy Sport, eSports Streaming, an E-commerce engine called the Game shop to purchase direct top-ups of top-selling games and eSports daily matches and large tournaments across popular Battle Royale and 3X3 game formats.

Content: Mr. Phone is a video content platform on Technology. The platform is a unique amalgamation of technology-driven curation of smartphones, gadgets and devices and a content resource for the latest information from the world of phones. From original thought-driven articles to incisive reviews on YouTube, Mr. Phone ensures that all your technology-related queries are answered.

Anaadi Army is redefining the Esports space in India. U2opia holds a full-fledged team of young gamers who compete at international levels. U2opia has its own channel. Gaming enthusiasts get latest updates on e-sports of their favourite games! There are also frequent tournaments with real rewards for all its subscribers. Esports is a robust growth market with which the youth and young adults feel strongly connected.

Telco-Tech:  U2opia’s B2B leg, A Digital Lifestyle platform has operations in 70 countries, with 120 telecom operators. Its products like Chatezee, SportsMoby, FanMoby, Bid and Win, Gaming Players’ league, Reycreo, and Spin N Win reach billions across the globe.

Fantasy Sports: Fanmojo is the fastest growing fantasy sports platform with over five million users in India. Fanmojo covers Cricket, Football, and Kabbadi and available in multiple countries. It has also been featured in Forbes India.

Ad-Tech: SupremeDM is a global digital marketing platform. U2opia’s combined expertise in creativity, technology, and data delivers be-spoke integrated solutions that accelerate businesses. From content-rich brand experiences to valuable digital products and services that connect with the hearts of its consumers.

An Exemplary Leadership

With over 20 years of experience in driving marketing for leading brand globally, Ritesh takes the pride in being an agile leader, combining traditional, as well as new age marketing and business concepts to help achieve brands grow and achieve industry recognition.

The strengths that set Ritesh apart are his creativity, leadership, and risk-taking ability. He is also a big advocate of identifying top talent and supporting their strategy and vision. His prior experience includes new business development, marketing, sales, and advertising.

One of his most memorable experiences was his six years of working as a category head for USL/Diageo, where he launched Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the first season of IPL, and that helped to achieve a club value of USD 250 million in two years.

Ritesh is an INSEAD alum and holds a mechanical engineering degree from Pune University. In his free time, he likes to play soccer and cricket. Besides this he also coaches and mentors’ young minds on leadership and marketing concepts.

A Spark to do things Differently

One of things that has always made Ritesh’s mind tick is the consumer behavior. The whole buying behavior would always get him intriguing.

How brands position themselves based on consumer insights and create successful brand stories. How do you build a powerful global brand that resonates universally but also accommodates local nuances? How do you ensure that it is dynamic and flexible enough to change at market speed? Such concepts always intrigued Ritesh and made him venture into brand and marketing world

Ever since Ritesh stepped into his professional life, it has always been his dream to build a successful career that inspires others and helps Ritesh to establish his unique professional identity in today’s competitive world. Ritesh has built a career that is intellectually stimulating as well and offers an opportunity to capitalize on his professional experience and functional skills, thus building a path of experience that paves a way for Ritesh to learn new and interesting things.

His focus has always been on building his career in a step-by-step manner, ensuring a strong foundation and honing his functional skills to equip himself to adapt in this new era of marketing and business.

Ritesh have had a chance to interact and learn from others in a global milieu and gain better understanding from hands on experience of managing people with divergent views and learning in a multicultural business environment as Ritesh’s role models are  Narayana Murthy and Steve Jobs.

Surmounting the Initial Challenges

Ritesh took a U-turn from advertising and landed in Bengaluru to work with USL Diageo where he led flagship liquor brands- Royal Challenge and McDowell’s No. 1. The change was challenging but when he looks in hindsight, it was worth the price that he had to pay to climb the corporate growth ladder.

When he started his career, he came across advice like:

“Never change your industry, stick to it always,” and, Ritesh ditched the advice.

“Never work in a small state or remote area,” He ditched this advice as well.

Ritesh handled both liquor brands as a category head, but his vision was to grow in a core marketing role and become a CMO. For that, he required sales experience as both functions work in harmony.

That is why he went against all odds and even lived in a small city in Punjab, just to sharpen his sales skills. The risks did not stop there.

Again, Ritesh changed industry gears and moved to the telecom space with Aircel where he led branding and communications. His experiences in sales steered his growth across diverse industries.

After Aircel, Ritesh transitioned to the internet space with U2opia Mobile, a Singapore-India based mobile tech firm with over a billion users. Ritesh realised the world is headed to digital transformation and U2opia is going to be one of the drivers, so he took the leap fearlessly.
What made such distinct roles possible? Ritesh’s risk-taking appetite.

He always mapped his career vision with the changes industries are going through. Ritesh used to read between the lines, and he continued his journey in the internet space, which needs no introduction today.

Excellent Piece of Advice

People must learn to take risks. Ritesh’s formula is simple: He weighs the pros and cons and then, he takes the calculated risks.

Ritesh says, “If you see any successful personality in the history of business and life, you will find one trait common: Their risk-taking abilities.”

“Sometimes it pays off while other times it will not work as expected too. But this will lay the foundation of your success brick by brick, one step at a time,” he adds

“Do not take blind risks but if you think there is not much to lose, go for it because that is how you will grow. If a career move aligns with your vision, go for it,” adds Ritesh.

 Defining a Successful Career

The biggest challenge in today’s dynamic market is that the leadership paradigm is changing. Leaders are facing accelerating rates of volatility, uncertainty, and ambiguity. To be a successful leader in the current environment requires a constant state of innovation.

Ritesh feels that he was, and he is still able to constantly innovate and adapt and not shied away from taking a calculated risk in this ever-changing world. Ritesh believes that he is an agile leader who has a great combination of traditional and new age marketing and business concepts

Ritesh’s most memorable experience was working as category head for six years at USL/Diageo, where he spearheaded the launch of Royal Challengers Bengaluru in IPL first season, which helped to achieve a club value of USD 250 million in two years.

Surmounting the Adversities of the Pandemic

For U2opia, the COVID-19 lockdown saw a huge surge in its consumer centric platforms. The dating app WOO and gaming app Mojo gaming. Both these platforms experienced a growth rate of 20% to 30% organically.

However, U2opia, as an organization, maintained its growth even after the lockdown came to an end. It enabled customized features in the apps like Woo calling, Woo Hide and Woo Globe. Woo calling allows women to call from the app without revealing their phone number. In this lockdown period this feature usage has gone up by 30%. However, the team of WOO app ensured that they keep engaging their customers with customized solutions and keep innovating and be relevant with the times.

Keeping in mind the industry scenario, U2opia also integrated games to its shopping and offer platform-cashbuddy to entice, engage, and retain users. The company has changed its entire strategy on its technology content platform. YouTube videos became more innovative and relevant as per the current trends.

Today, U2opia hopes to keep its business growing in these testing times by being relevant, innovative, and opportunistic.

A Reliable Future…

U2opia Mobile is delivering flexible and innovative tech solutions for consumer and enterprise. Going forward, the company is going to focus on gaming and AdTech space and expand across the globe. U2opia Mobile also aims to reach more customers and subscribers, drive revenues or open additional revenue streams with its products and applications.

Exhibiting Excellence

U2opia mobile has successfully completed 12 years of growth in digital innovation and has been awarded with,

  • Great Place to Work by Google in 2018
  • Fast Company 50 Most Innovative companies award.
  • Enterprise Architecture Awards
  • Top 1000 growth companies Asia by Financial Times
  • Frost and Sullivan best practices award.