Ritwik Tewari: Why I Joined Aledade
To my new colleagues at Aledade, I am super excited to be here and hit the ground running with you. I wanted to take this chance to tell you a little about myself, and what brought me to Aledade.
Broadly speaking, I am drawn to problems that, if solved, can have a big societal impact. Senior care - and health care at large - clearly fits in that category. And after a few interactions with my now team members, two things were immediately clear to me: 1) Aledade has the most passionate and knowledgeable people dedicated to its work, and 2) there is clarity of product vision that maps where the industry needs to go. Needless to say, I was blown away, and I knew this was the perfect place for me to settle in, roll up my sleeves and help build a world-class execution machine to achieve our mission.
Some background on me. I’m probably best understood as an extroverted introvert; I can get up in front of large groups and speak without concern, but I find it hard to make small talk. I grew up in a middle-class family in Kanpur, a town in the heartland of India. My dad is a lawyer, and my mom is a banker. My mom has had the most influential presence in my life - she is a petite woman of few words, but she has a steely resolve and kind heart (I try to be at least half the person she is, but I often come up short). My wife Shalini and I have known each other for close to two decades now, and we love traveling together. She’s the master planner behind all of our adventures - and she loves sharing that talent to help our friends and family as well. We have two wonderful daughters - Amaira (10) and Zaina (7). Fun fact: Their names have the same meaning - “eternally beautiful.” And that they are. Amaira and I share a birthday, and she’s very interested in fencing right now (though she just recently lost a competition and cried quite a bit). Zaina has just gotten into soccer and is thoroughly enjoying it!
Before joining Aledade, I spent seven years at Meta/Facebook, leading the AI Infrastructure group for Ads. The AI we developed decided which ad about a product or service from hundreds of million businesses would be wanted or loved by billions of people using Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. Before that, I founded a marketing automation startup and spent a decade at Microsoft, where I was part of the founding team for the Microsoft Azure cloud.
While I love looking back at the highlights of my career, one of my favorite memories was one of my biggest mistakes. While I was at Microsoft, I accidentally rebooted the data center. This was back in the very early days of Azure, and we only had one or two data centers (for reference, Microsoft now has more than 200). I was on call and created a patch. I had two terminals: one pointing to my development data center and another to production. As life would have it, I mixed the two, and a few keystrokes brought down the entire data center. I was immediately frantic and anxious - did I just lose my job? Of course, I had to present what had happened - what followed, to my surprise, was good-natured laughter, and I got a new assignment of developing the tooling to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. It was 2010, so we were all learning to create planetary-scale services, but this was a master class on dealing with human errors. And I aim to always pay that kind and gracious spirit forward.
Outside of work, my favorite thing to do is try to build things I admire. It’s fun and deepens my love for these things. In the last decade, I have been drawn to computer languages, woodworking and wine - so you will see several attempts at those in the code-repos, backyard and cellar.
As Chief Technology Officer here at Aledade, I look forward to helping many people get and stay healthy by serving our incredible physicians and supporting my fellow Aledaders, who truly know how to execute better than anyone else. Even bigger societal impact is on the horizon, and I’m so looking forward to being part of it.