Balancing the Grind with Ilya Kravtsov, Co-Founder of Ringkas

Ilya Kravtsov is the Co-Founder of Ringkas, a digital mortgage platform for Indonesia.

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

I started my career in management consulting, focusing primarily on TMT (Telecoms Media and Technology) in emerging markets. So I spent a few years of my career in South Africa before moving to Singapore with the same consulting firm.

After a few years being a consultant I decided to resign and switch my career, so I moved to Indonesia and started my first tech startup. Now I am at my third startup, so the majority of the last 10 years I’ve been building tech businesses across South East Asia. Some businesses failed and some I exited through M&A.

Currently I am leading Ringkas, a digital mortgage platform for Indonesia together with my co-founders.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

My day starts with a workout usually around 6am, I try to wake up before my wife and daughter do (that is the only “me” time of the day). Later I try to have breakfast with my daughter (she is only 2) and go to work. Rest is all very hectic juggling between internal and external meetings. Mostly stakeholders management.

I try to go home not too late and spend a few hours again with my daughter. After she goes to sleep I either rest, go for more meetings or do emails (usually those are left towards the end of the day). In between all this I also try to squeeze in a few mentorship sessions as I mentor startups in my free time.

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

To be honest I don’t think one should draw a clear line between work and life, I think the concept by itself is not really correct. Work is part of life and vice versa life is work + other things. Thinking about it in that way I believe defines true happiness. Obviously you need to love what you do. Having said all that, I organise my day as much as I can to make sure that I don’t miss all the things I want to do, whether they are related to work, family, sports or other.

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

I always try to think how I can live healthier, so working out is definitely one of them but paying attention to other things like what you eat, drink or breath is very important also. The biggest change I implemented is buying three air purifiers in my house since the air in the city I live in is really polluted. 

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

I like reading books about successful entrepreneurs and their lives. The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a good book, Zero to One is also great, etc. These types of books make you realise what to focus on more, at the end if you can prioritise and focus there is time for everything including work-life balance.

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Put down a list of 100 things that matter to you, take the top 10 and focus on those (make always time for those), rest matters less. 

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.