As the co-founder and CEO of myVETgroup (MVG), Raj has spent his career challenging the status quo and driving value for business owners. And he continues to push the envelope of what’s possible for veterinarians across North America today.
Raj has over 15 years of experience in healthcare consolidations and has spent much of his career as CFO for two large dental and veterinary consolidators in the U.S. Through this experience, Raj noticed a major knowledge and information imbalance between the individual owners and the consolidators valuing them. Specifically, sellers don’t have nearly as much access to information as buyers do. Where a clinic owner makes a single sale in their lifetime, buyers close several transactions per week. This results in a significant power and information imbalance between the buyer and the seller. Raj set out to balance the scales of power by co-founding MVG, a sell-side advisory firm that represents veterinary clinics throughout the sales process. As the CEO of MVG, his passion to represent the underdog has created a ‘Robinhood style story’ that drives value for veterinarians.
We sat down with Raj to learn more about how he leverages his unique experience and expertise to serve this community of veterinarians and business owners.
How has your background laid the foundation for what you do with myVETgroup (MVG)?
My work ethic comes from my dad. As immigrants to Canada, my dad’s qualifications weren’t recognized as a CPA or as a CFO. He had to redo his qualifications while working full-time, supporting his family, and starting his own business. I saw my dad’s persistence drive him. Failure was not an option. This is similar to what I see with our clients at MVG, how persistence and hard work drives them. My success and passion come from my natural curiosity, my drive to build, and my affinity for people. I went to school for finance, but took advanced chemistry as an elective just because I found it interesting. I earned my CPA through a big four accounting firm (KPMG) and found my niche in transaction services. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) particularly appealed to me because it allowed one company to find an exit after building something with years of passion, and it allowed another to build quickly in a market it would take 20 years to replicate. It was at this intersection that I ended up joining a dental consolidator, and later became their CFO. After nearly a decade of building and a successful exit, I dovetailed and expanded my experience with a veterinary consolidator in the US as their CFO.
Tell us how being the CFO of multiple healthcare consolidators has informed you about the information imbalance?
In my role as CFO, I grew these healthcare businesses to be great success stories for their principles. The private equity owned dental consolidator, Novadent, became the fourth largest laboratory network in the USA under my leadership. The family-owned veterinary consolidator, Lakefield Veterinary, started from infancy to sit among the highest and well-respected network of veterinary clinics in the USA under my financial stewardship. In the world of consolidations, negotiations are key. As CFO, with more than a decade of buying owner-managed businesses and clinics, on most occasions when the seller was armed with the right knowledge, information, and negotiation strategies, I was willing to pay more for a high-quality asset. There was always a limit to what I could spend while continuing to provide a return for my investors, but I can tell you that on most occasions, there was always room for further negotiations. Many owners sell their most valuable asset without an advocate to guide them. You can expect a significant knowledge and information imbalance where a buyer is closing several deals a week, and more often than not, the seller is closing one deal in their lifetime. Recognizing that these business owners were at a real disadvantage is why MVG was born!
What sets myVETgroup (MVG) apart from the competition?
Simply put, our team is made up of doctors who have been in the shoes of our clients, and a team of former buyers who understand the institutional thought process. Our diverse team helps successfully bridge the knowledge gap that exists between the buyer-seller transaction. As a step further, we take a holistic approach to marketing a clinic from the evolution stage, through negotiations, right through to finalizing the deal. At MVG we focus on creating a solid foundation for our seller and a smooth transition for the buyer. Most advisors don’t typically stay with clients throughout the transaction, but we do.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love that my culmination of knowledge and experience can be of service to others. I get invigorated that every day I get to work for the underdog. The owner that has put decades of sweat, blood, and tears and now gets to reap its reward. I love that we get to help clinic owners understand their value, advocate, and negotiate for what they deserve, and create a positive sale process for them. The best part of success is the ability to enjoy it and we work to ensure our clients can take advantage of the success they have earned. I am proud to have served all the veterinarians and their families, and I look forward to continuing to do so. Their gratitude continues to empower us at MVG. It's a constant reminder to continue to push the limits of what is possible.
CEO & Co-Founder — myVETgroup