By Tim Ryan

Get ready for some exciting news that’s buzzing in our backyard. Virginia Beach-based DroneUp, a leading name in autonomous drone delivery, just announced a monumental shift in its organizational structure that promises to drive innovation and growth to new heights. Rishap “Rish” Malhotra, an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, has been appointed as Chief Growth Officer.

In a move that combines his previous role of SVP Corporate Development with his new mandate, Rish will oversee an array of organic and inorganic growth measures. This includes steering the ship on corporate strategy, sales, marketing, and corporate development.

What makes this even more intriguing? Rish isn’t just any executive; he has a history of driving growth in prestigious companies like J Walter Thompson, Saatchi & Saatchi, and CNBC India. According to Tom Walker, CEO and Founder of DroneUp, Rish is “ideally suited to now execute” their growth strategy, mainly focusing on DroneUp’s autonomous last-mile delivery ecosystem.

But let’s dial back for a moment and examine why this matters to us in Hampton Roads. DroneUp has already made waves since November 2021 by providing same-day drone delivery services for Walmart in multiple states, including Virginia. With 34 operational “Hubs” across six states, they’re taking a major step toward defining the future of last-mile delivery. And the best part? This innovation is happening here, contributing to Hampton Roads’ reputation as an emerging tech hub.

Rish Malhotra expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming journey, stating that DroneUp’s latest pilot programs have proven their technology’s capability to deliver “delightful delivery experiences to end consumers and an impressive ROI.” He’s all geared up to lead a talented team of strategists, marketers, and sales leaders.

As a bonus, it’s noteworthy that Rish holds an MBA from the Mason School of Business at William and Mary.

So, why are we thrilled? Well, not only is DroneUp solidifying its commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology, but it’s also strengthening the Hampton Roads community by adding more clout to our burgeoning technology and innovation landscape.

Keep soaring, DroneUp, and here’s to more innovation right where we love it—in Hampton Roads!

For more information on DroneUp, you can visit their website.