Management, Podcast

Ep 5: 2 Ways to Face (& Beat) Disruption

How We Solve

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Ep 5: 2 Ways to Face (& Beat) Disruption

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Rishi is a born entrepreneur.

So far, he’s founded an entertainment company and a fashion company, and helped grow the direct-to-consumer portion of his family’s home surveillance company (Q-See) to tens of millions of dollars.

Now, he’s tackling his most passionate project yet: Mallama, an all-natural men’s skincare company with a foundational focus on sustainability. 

Rishi came on the How We Solve podcast and told us all about his company, and how he’s ensuring he’s the disruptor, not the disrupted:

Why Mallama? Rishi wanted to combine his 2 biggest passions

Mallama is the culmination of 2 of Rishi’s passions:

  • High-quality skin care products
  • Climate change

There were no good all-natural skincare options

The problem of high-quality all-natural skincare for men wasn’t a happenstance issue for Rishi. It was personal. He was searching for all-natural skincare products for himself, and he realized there were really no good options.

The few options that did exist were simply longstanding major brands who had “side-stepped” into natural skincare to take advantage of the category.

But he had other ideas.

He wanted to start a brand founded on the principles of all-natural, and advocacy.

And he always believed businesses should intersect with advocacy.

Rishi had long believed that businesses ought to be a force for social change. Mallama offered him that opportunity; they focus on sustainability, and climate change isn’t a small after-thought. It’s part of their central value prop. 

On their website, you’ll find both his skincare and advocacy passions equally represented.


Not enough companies are prepared for disruption

Rishi has seen firsthand the power of disruption upon an unprepared industry. 

While leading the product division at Q-See, he said that when Ring and Dropcam came on the scene and disrupted the home surveillance category, Q-See wasn’t fully prepared.

He thinks that maybe Q-See was slightly “overly romantic” about traditional home surveillance, and they didn’t’ believe customers were ripe for change. But, as we’ve all discovered, technology has disrupted every industry.

Since then, coupled with Rishi’s own disruption of the skincare industry, he’s learned a few lessons about staying ahead of the disruption curve.

Focus more on why & who you're selling to and not so much on the what & how.

1. Focus on the why & who, not how & what

When you focus on the what and the how, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, and disruption could side-swipe your business. But, when you focus on the why and the who, you aren’t tied to a product. Instead, you’re tied to a customer and solving their problems.

A constant “how can I help my people” mentality will encourage you to look ahead and consider the best options for them, helping immunize you from disruption.

2. Speak to your audience

Rishi took his time to position Mallama as a skincare company with high quality products that would rival any major brand. But he didn’t stop there.

He also knew that today’s audience cares about values — customers want to purchase quality products from brands that stand behind principles they also care about.

This was easy for Rishi — he had always believed in the power of businesses to advocate, and climate change has remained a foundational pillar of the company.


Rishi’s personal mission statement

Rishi commandeered Ray Dalio’s philosophy in Principle, added empathy, and created this motto for his life:

Dreams + reality + determination + empathy = successful life.

A few resources Rishi says to check out:


Mobile Apps:

This interview is part of the How We Solve podcast. To hear more from industry experts who are solving everyday business problems, check us out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and on our website.

This episode is featuring

Rishi Sharma

Rishi Sharma

My passion for building impact DTC businesses can be traced back to my young days. Whether as a Starting my entertainment company in High School or part of the Head of DTC at Q-See., I’ve been on a entrepreneurial path from the start. The reason? I like getting people excited about the things I’m excited about. Right now, that’s Mallama Skincare.

Outside of the office, I’m committed to charitable causes through 1% Percent for planet and Soon be Pencils with Promises . I’m as looking to challenge myself with new activities and hobbies, recently I picked up Guitar, Surfing, and Improv . If you challenge me to Lakers trivia, I will win. I’m currently trying my hand at [very amateur] podcasting . I live the sweaty life and will probably invite you to join me for a Mediation at the beach or Game of one on one . Connect with me over LinkedIn for networking, career opportunities, and more!

How to reach Rishi:

  • Phone number: He said to shoot him a text at 650-433-9572
  • Instagram: @rish__sharma
  • LinkedIn: Rishi Sharma
  • Podcast: Keep an eye out for Rishi’s upcoming skincare podcast!

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