Heet Tike | Founder and COO - Ripen

Heet Tike is the Founder and COO of Ripen

His journey with Ripen started when he met Ritvik Varghese in college. Throughout college, they were figuring out ways to give back to the community. When they realized the true potential of Ripen, Heet was working elsewhere. Initially, he started working on Ripen part-time and eventually moved full-time when the vision of what Ripen could be moved him. He realised he needed something like Ripen when he was younger and the impact it would have on millions of people over the years dawned on him. They tested their thesis, rolled out their communities, and are launching their app very soon 💪🏽

What are your days like? 

For the longest time, I have struggled with having a consistent morning routine. I didn't have the best sleep cycle, and it is something that I have taken an active effort in the past month to build. I would wake up groggy and unenergetic and stay that way throughout the day. 

I believe that smaller changes in bedtime, coffee consumption, and time management can help maintain a better morning routine. 

I try waking up around 7:30-8 and not checking my phone right after. I make my bed, do my morning routine and get to a work sprint of 4 to 5 hours of work, calls, and standups. I take a break before lunch and hit the gym 🏋🏼

Fitness is also something that I have proactively taken up recently after I noticed how physical health goes for a toss at a job like mine.

So I don't want my job to be an excuse for me to shy away from my fitness journey.

After I come back, I have lunch, take a breather and get going on my second sprint of the day.

How do you manage your workload? 

I don’t have very strict boundaries but I am trying to be more intentional with not entertaining work beyond dinner unless urgent. I call lights out at 11 pm and it is difficult to stay away from revenge procrastination 📱

This boundary is an essential lifestyle change to make the next 10 to 15 years of my life fruitful.

Because I manage community and collaborations, long working hours were sort of a standard, and constant meetings and calls did not give me enough opportunity to deep work throughout.

I try to club all my calls of the day in a 4-hour window so that I can get deep work done in the remaining time. I think managing my time well just gives me a lot more time throughout the day. 

How do you identify areas to improve?

The biggest reminder for me is my co-founders. We have a very good and instantaneous feedback loop. After the pandemic, I also have a level of self-awareness which coupled with the right motivation and push sort of always helps me understand things a lot better. 

In terms of knowing what to improve on, either it's a reality check from the external world that I've done something wrong and it's entirely on me, or it internally comes from me or my co-founders. So I think it's a very healthy process for me. 

Regardless, when you zoom out, it's not too difficult to know about your areas of improvement.

Like, if you're not too blindsided by the fact that you're just a human being and you're not ideal, it's super easy to sort of know where you're lacking. And just acknowledging it is half the battle. Now I am onto the other half, which is actually working on them. 

What do you do for your mental health? 

I think a lot of things have helped me. I found multiple escapes in life which help me zoom out. Spending time with my parents, and close friends is a great escape for me when I stop thinking about work. Additionally, for me, football and poker are two things that I am extremely fond of, and are times when I focus on the game and stop thinking about work. I've been personally looking for more things like these when my head is away from work. 

This is a 24 * 7 job. You go to sleep thinking about problems, you probably dream about problems and you wake up thinking about what to do next, right?

So you need to take some time off. Gradual efforts help. It can be anything small like working out, going to play football, meeting friends, or talking to your loved ones that helps you disconnect and have a healthy balance 🫂

This is something I am working on. I'm trying to make this better. It hasn't been the best. And I am more intentionally taking care of my mental health by positive self-talking. Because I think that's something. It's probably cliche and overrated, but it definitely helps right? So good self talk and just these escapes I think are my solution for whatever life is throwing at me.

Any advice for other entrepreneurs prioritizing mental health? 

It's pretty simple and it's a mistake that I've also made. 

When you stop treating people as a resource and actually start treating them as human beings is when the culture of a company develops to where at least the work is not extrapolating the mental health issues of your employees. 

I would recommend being close with your team and being their good friend, at least at an early stage team like ours, it is possible to do so.

When you stop treating people as a resource you start understanding their problems as well. 

This is because you start looking at them like they are human beings as well. Because at the end of the day, we define the culture, the hours we work, and the stress we give and take. So yeah, just treat humans for humans.