153: Riyaad Seecharan (Tesser Health)

Riyaad Seecharan on Innovation City

“If you’re creating something and there’s no conflict, you’re doing it wrong.” – Riyaad Seecharan

Welcome to Season 3 of Innovation City, a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Riyaad Seecharan, CEO at Tesser Health, which manages prescription healthcare drugs for companies, to help reduce the cost of medications for employees. Riyaad is an entrepreneur with 20 + years of leadership and product development experience, with successful exits to Microsoft, JC Flowers, and Rev360. In this episode, Riyaad sits down with the team to discuss how conflict can be a good thing, relationships in business, the characteristics of an amazing team, and much more!

They discuss:

  • The evolution of Riyaad’s passion, from an internal focus on human performance, to a more external focus on relationships and being aligned with the world
  • Relationships in business
    • Find someone who makes you better
    • Good business partners are patient, know your vulnerabilities and understand that your skills make up for your shortcomings
  • The characteristics of an amazing team
    • Everyone has the ability to constructively express themselves, even of anger
    • Empathy
    • Grace
    • Kindness
    • Respect
    • The same reference and values
  • Conflict
    • It gets a bad rap but in business constructive conflict can actually be a good thing
    • It’s important to have the ability to have a difficult conversation with your team and still be respectful afterwards
    • Disagreement is part of life and business
  • Failure
    • Prior to successful exists, Riyaad had 32 different jobs and 20 business partners
    • Riyaad’s favorite failure was a dividend reinvestment planning
      • He spent $7,000 writing software but found he was out of his depth
      • He knew the tech components but not the financial elements, and the company fell apart
      • Knowing when to stop was hard
  • Indicators of when to “let it go”
    • Business partners are the greatest mechanism of group regulation
    • Riyaad relies on his team to be honest and let him know when an idea isn’t working
  • One little-known fact
    • Riyaad loves working with kids in the community
    • He studied martial arts and has a black belt
  • Learn more about Riyaad at TesserHealth.com

Lightning Round:

  1. If you could run your own country, what would it be like?
    1. It would start off as 1940s South Korea, then Korea as it stands today.
  2. What is one of the kindest things someone has ever done for you?
    1. In 2008, my mom let me stay with her for a few years, while I was in a rough spot, figuring things out and getting my first company started.
  3. What did you learn from your biggest regret?
    1. To not see it as a regret but as an essential part of who I am.
  4. What do you spend too much time doing?
    1. Reading about technology.
  5. What does the world need more of?
    1. Empathy. We can’t have enough empathy.
  6. What, or whom, are you grateful for?
    1. My family. I wouldn’t be here if not for them.