Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Why an IVF doctor is an active angel investor

I am a full time practising IVF specialist, which is why people sometimes wonder why I am investing in startups so actively. Why do I want to wear a new hat at this stage of my life ?

There are many reasons why I am very glad I have gone down this path.

I believe you remain young as long as you keep on learning new stuff, and while I know a lot about IVF, there's lots of stuff I don't know about many other fields. I am curious and I like learning more, and a great way of learning is by investing in start-ups . These founders are domain experts, who have the courage to have a contrarian point of view. They  think they can do a better job than the existing incumbents, which is why they're willing to challenge them. This requires a lot of conviction, and I learn a lot about the domains I invest in, thanks to them.  This makes life much more interesting , because practically everything I read is grist to my mill, and can be of use to one of my founders.  I need to be interested in what is happening in many domains, rather than be myopic and think only about what I need to do for my IVF patients.

I believe in the T-shaped model of leading life, which means you acquire a lot of expertise and depth in one particular niche, and then apply it to other fields. Angel investing allows me to do this. If you want to be a good angel , you need to be a well read philosopher ! Because I invest across many different domains, I need to keep up to date on what's happening in all of them, so I can have intelligent discussions with entrepreneurs. This is why investing is the last liberal art !

Neither of my daughters  is a doctor, and  while one is doing her MBA at Stanford, the other is working in a clean-tech startup in San Francisco after completing her Masters in Environmental Management in Yale. I need to be able to understand what they are doing, and I don't want to lose their respect just because I cannot decipher cash flow statements. Angel investing allows me to keep up with them !

One problem with being a doctor is that you tend to hang out only with other doctors, and as doctors get older, they get a skeptical and cynical. They are always complaining about how people don't respect doctors anymore; and how patients are always on the internet,  trying to second guess their doctors. They keep on reminiscing about the good old days, but these aren't going to come back, so there's no point in wallowing in nostalgia ! The problem with hanging out with pessimists is that you become pessimistic yourself, and start thinking that the world is going to the dogs.

It's much more interesting to think about the future, and what we can do to make it better. Entrepreneurs have to be optimistic , because they're willing to invest time and energy on tackling complex challenges. My hope is that their optimism will rub off on to me as well !

Life has been kind, and because I have been lucky to have a friend like Rakesh Jhunjhunwalla ( India's Warren Buffett), I have more than enough money to be contented and happy.  Making more money is not going to change me or my lifestyle, so I would rather invest in startups, even though they are a riskier asset class. My investment in them has the potential to create much more good, especially because I have a soft corner for social impact investing. If I can help the next generation of entrepreneurs to make the world a better place by funding them, this is the best use I can find for my money ! This is why I find angel investing  very rewarding, and look forward to being an active angel investor in the future as well.

My next post will be on why being an IVF specialist helps me to become a better angel investor ! Stay tuned...


  1. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Hello Dr. Malpani! I just wanted to say that I admire your outlook on life, your philosophy and way of thinking.

    I am a 41 year old with infertility problems. I've been scouring the internet to learn as much as I can about my situation as well as IVF. As I googled my inquiries, I often came upon your blogs and web pages and have found that your practice, philosophy,way of thinking, writing and relaying your message to others, resonates with in. I appreciate the selection of poems and articles you post in your blogs. They are so precise and relevant to the topic you blog about, and; of course, very helpful, insightful, educational,and also soothing. Through your blogs and other works in the internet, I understand that you are an honest and caring doctor. You want your patients to be positive, yet realistic; informed,so that they may have the discernment in choosing the right clinic, doctor and treatment that is best for the patient's own interest.

    I just wanted to let you know that all the work you do for others is appreciated. Your enthusiasm for life itself, thirst for knowledge, selflessness, care and concern for patients under your care as well as the internet community at large is evident and far-reaching.

    Although I do not know you personally, it was through your blogs and web pages in the internet that led me to appreciate you and compelled me to write this email.

    You must get this a lot, but; thank you Dr. Malpani. Blessings to you and all you do!

    1. Thanks so much - this is very kind of you.
      You just made my day !

      Dr Aniruddha Malpani
      Malpani Infertility Clinic, Jamuna Sagar, SBS Road, Colaba
      Mumbai 400 005. India

      Clinic Mobile: 9867441589

      Tel: 91-22-22151065, 22151066, 2218 3270, 65527073

      Helping you to build your family !

      Watch our infertility cartoon film at http://www.ivfindia.com

      Please add a google review for us at http://bit.ly/2tN1wdb

      Read our book, How to Have a Baby - A Guide for the Infertile Couple,
      online at www.DrMalpani.com !


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