Head of Commercial Innovation, Transport for London
Rikesh is accountable for TfL’s engagement with market innovators that includes start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, academics, R&D institutes, accelerators, venture capitalists and large corporates. By shaping this eco-system of innovative companies and institutes, TfL’s multi-disciplinary Commercial Innovation function which launched in 2017 – set up by Rikesh – to define clear problem statements, engage with the most innovative companies from across the world, curate and incubate the best ideas and then scale them to support the delivery of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
A wide range of challenges has resulted in innovators solving some of London challenges in areas such as promoting active travel, delivering more homes and reducing the adverse impact of roadworks using innovative procurement techniques. Rikesh has also overseen TfL’s first corporate programme with Bosch as an 18-month pilot which entails TfL sharing key problem statements and data for Bosch and its eco-system to develop innovative prototypes and solutions.
Rikesh was previously responsible for TfL’s world-leading open data strategy and set up a digital and data partnerships function. As a result of TfL’s open data, there are nearly 700 apps used by 42% of Londoners with over 14,000 registered users, mainly developers. This also resulted in shaping innovative partnerships with leading platforms including Apple, Google, Waze and Twitter aligned to the city’s goals. A recent study illustrated the overall value of open data to London to be worth £130m per annum.
Rikesh also is a member of the Smart London Board which is charged helping the Mayor shape his vision and strategy for London’s smart city agenda and investment in data infrastructure.