Ankush Gera Dishes on Family Values and Angel Investing

Screenshot 2024 01 22 at 6.00.15 PM

Image credit: Ankush Gera

Bringing new life into the world as a father is not so different from an angel investor nurturing a startup in its infancy. Both require patience and faith as you nurture potential, shield it from harm as a guardian, and provide the support needed to help them survive the earliest high-stakes stages. Veteran founder Ankush Gera has experienced both of these roles extensively, finding that the passion and protection required for each are cut from the same cloth.

Gera’s journey to becoming a notable angel investor in the tech sectors began right at home by watching his father. As a kid, Gera got to see his dad transform from a middle-class employee to a thriving entrepreneur who launched multiple companies exporting goods and financing vehicles.

“I think seeing my dad build those businesses to create a great life for our family was my first taste of entrepreneurship. Not only got I to see what happens when you succeed but also what it takes to make it work in the first place,” Gera, a three-time startup founder himself, says. “At the time, I couldn’t really imagine that not only would I get to build several businesses over the next decades but also to fund and support hundreds of them.”

Gera chose not to join the family business as he was intent on starting his own business. He succeeded several timesin this endeavor over the next 15 years, facing the same challenges he saw his father deal with years earlier. However, having sacrificed so much to reach the pinnacle of success in the entrepreneurial world, he quickly realized he had missed precious opportunities in the process.

“Family, personal time, friends, health, and other things I enjoy doing, like being in the water. All of that was kind of neglected to build these companies into success,” explained Gera in a recent interview when talking about his shift to angel investing. “While I’m still operating, given the size of the businesses I’ve been fortunate enough to build, I finally feel like I can breathe and use the little bit of wisdom I’ve gathered in life to support other founders.”

Of all the areas Gera feels he neglected at the time, family is the one that had the biggest impact in this shift. While he always made sure he spent quality time with his son, Armaan, and wife, Nimisha, he felt the toll of balancing these with his professional life. Today, not only does Gera religiously protect his family time but also makes sure he can be fully present and engaged.

This reevaluation of his priorities also resulted in Gera changing his perspective on what it means to be an investor. While he had always seen entrepreneurship as a way to create a legacy and provide for your family in the best possible way, he now found himself prioritizing positive impact over anything else. To him, investing became all about finding and nurturing great talent, using his resources and experience to help the founders succeed.

“Everyone knows that your whole worldview shifts when you become a parent,” Gera adds. “Things like valuation and reputation feel trivial when you realize there is someone relying on you for guidance and support. If I can help talented founders and teams build companies that make the human experience just a tad bit better, there is nothing like it!”

While Gera’s approach to angel investing might seem idealistic (and even foolish) to many of his peers, he has managed to make it succeed. Today, Gera stands as a respected thought leader and human being who managed to break free from the conventional norms. Whether his approach is better than more traditional investment strategies is up for debate, but its potential is evident in its increased financial returns, positive societal impact, and enriched family life.

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