DTU Times interviewed Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, Founder, Malpani Ventures, an Angel Investment firm, who was in DTU for E-Summit 2019.
You’re a gynaecologist by profession, but you also founded an Angel Investment firm. What was the motivation behind it?
Yes, I still practice gynaecology. I’m an IVF specialist, I deliver babies and the husbands pay me for it. The good thing about IVF is that it’s all by appointments, there are no emergencies. This gives me an ample amount of time for other things. I keep doing this since it keeps me motivated and less cynical. I interact with a lot of people, and this helps me connect to the youth and startup industry.
I can very well put all my money in a bank or a Fixed Deposit, but I believe helping the entrepreneurs nurture their B-Plan is the best use of my money.
Being from the healthcare sector, what disruptions do you feel in the healthcare industry startups?
So, I have a lot of preconceived notions about the healthcare industry. Personally, I never invest in the healthcare startups, If someone pitches me with a business related to this industry, I would hear them out but I won’t pursue that. The idea might be path-breaking and may have a lot of potential, but my mind just stops me from pursuing it.
The disruptions in healthcare industry majorly occur in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, due to the lack of facilities, technologies, etc.
An Angel Investor has to take a lot of risks while investing in a company without being sure of the results. How do you tackle the risks?
Obviously! But I’m a big boy. I have divided my money into two parts - one that is for my basic sustenance which would fetch me food to eat and a night’s sleep, and the other overhead part which even if I lose my basic life would not be affected. This motivates me to invest in an idea which I think has a great potential, and in turn motivates the entrepreneur to pursue it and make it grand.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have become the new buzzwords. Everyone is trying to incorporate them somehow. How do you differentiate the fakers from originals?
These “buzzwords” keep coming now and then. Earlier it was blockchain, now it’s AI. I do a thorough background check of every entrepreneur who pitches to me. If one claims to have implemented Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, then it must not be that he/she has just done some course on the same and that’s it. You need to get your hands dirty in it to be able to claim such a thing. This is the background check I perform.
The past decade has seen a huge number of companies working in the same domain. What, according to you, differentiates a company in this big pool of competition?
Ideas cannot be stolen, Two people can have the same idea, but what inspired and motivated them to reach there is always unique.
The thing that makes you stand apart is the Customer Feedback. If your customers are willing to pay you, then obviously you have it all sorted out. Read books and learn how to stand out. There a number of books available, if you don’t understand the first one, read the next. This will help you see your potential and you can then use it in the right direction.
What message would you like to offer to the young entrepreneurs?
It’s a great time to be a young person in India. The whole world is changing, India is definitely on a growth trajectory. You guys are young, you have the time and you’re privileged. Play to your strengths and don’t compare yourself to people around you.
I would say you actually have the right to win in Tier-III cities. Someone sitting in Stanford doesn’t have the access to such a growing market. Your market here is big enough for you to start a million-dollar company.