Finding the right doctor is often a challenging and stressful experience and in many cases the stakes could not be higher. Cole Sirucek and Grace Park were once faced with this challenge when their daughter, Rand, was diagnosed with liver failure when she was 100 days old. The couple found themselves needing to find the right surgeon for their daughter within days of her diagnosis. This was no easy feet as the information they needed to make an informed decision was not readily available. Luckily, Grace, as the former Managing Director for the largest medical device company in Southeast Asia, had a sizeable network of doctors she could depend on to help find the needed medical team. They were fortunate and found an exceptional team in Japan that pioneered the live liver transplant procedure which their daughter required. Cole was the donor and the procedure was a success.
However, this experience left an indelible mark on both Cole and Grace in more ways than one. They looked at how difficult this entire experience of finding the right doctor and team was and said to each other, “If not us, then who, and if not now, then when? This is a problem that we will solve because we must. Finding the right doctor for you and your loved ones should not be this hard and cannot be left to chance,” said Cole Sirucek. Being an entrepreneur and former investor for Temasek Holdings, Cole worked with Grace and founded DocDoc to help patients find their right doctor for their unique needs.
Helping Patients Find the Right Doctor at the Right Time
Today, DocDoc has become Asia’s largest healthcare network with over 23,000 physicians, 600 clinics and 100 hospitals from a broad panel of specialties throughout the region. With its virtual network of physicians and hospitals supporting patients to find high quality medical care, DocDoc is transforming healthcare while empowering patients to find the right course of care.
The company combines deep expertise in clinical informatics, artificial intelligence, and healthcare quality assessment to deliver simple yet powerful patient empowerment solutions. DocDoc does this by collecting information no one in the industry has and then categorizing that information in a way that allows for medical quality assessment at the procedure level. DocDoc leverages their knowledge based assets through a medically trained contact center which supports each patient to help them understand the information the company provides and to answer questions. “We are there for our clients as if they were family because in our minds they are,” said Grace Park, Co-founder and President of DocDoc.
An Entrepreneurial Journey
Cole has founded a diverse range of businesses in his career spanning over 17 years of experience in founding, investing into and otherwise supporting entrepreneurial ventures. He has also served as an Independent Member of the Board of Directors for Global Eagle Acquisition Corp, a US$190 million NASDAQ listed Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation focused on the media and entertainment industry. Cole spent seven years as a direct investment professional with Temasek Holdings. In this capacity, he sourced, executed, and monitored investments on a global basis in the firm’s telecommunications, media and technology group. He has successfully invested over US$500 million in private equity direct and secondary transactions.
Before Temasek, he was the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Pluto Networks – a wireless data networking company. He has formerly held executive positions in Hawaii’s State Government and has worked as a technology venture capitalist and strategy business consultant.
Cole attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management (Master of Business Administration) and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (Master in Public Administration). In his free time, Cole is a martial artist, adventure racer, scuba diver and mountaineer. He has completed self-supported 250KM foot races across China’s Gobi Desert and Egypt’s Sahara Desert, funding medical missions in Vietnam and China that directly saved the lives of +13 children.
Making Well-Reasoned Convictions Every time, All the Time
Having founded various businesses of his own, Cole believes that there are several existing common issues, which you are bound to face every time you start a company. According to him, team building comes first, followed by the distribution model and then fund raising. He says, startups have considerable variability and lots of ambiguity which is difficult to deal with at a personal and team level. For him, building and keeping a high-quality team together while selling the vision during periods of difficulty is the hardest part of building a successful innovative company.
When asked about the qualities he possesses that makes him an inspirational business leader, he said “I believe in having the guts to follow well-reasoned convictions and the work ethic to get people comfortable that we are going to make it happen. I think the team also knows that I will be the first person to sacrifice if needed from the group and the first to share praise when we win. It is all about servant leadership.”
Pushing the Limitations for the Better Future
His advice for aspiring and stagnant entrepreneurs: “Pursue something bigger than yourself. Have a goal that is beyond the mundane and that is part and parcel to your soul. Then, never give up and never give in. The world will always push back and try and stop almost all forms of change. This is human nature. The job of an entrepreneur is to push through this limitation of human character to build a better future. This requires near pathological determination.”
He also believes that he would not enter the health care market as a young entrepreneur. It is too complicated and the channel partners are too complex to deal with unless you have significant background in the space before you start the company. Unlike many B to C startups, health care requires significant domain expertise and experience to interface with industry partners. “I am so thankful for the team at DocDoc. Grace and I could not do this without the near ‘jedi’ expertise and insights of Dr. Dan Riskin, Dr. Ari Widodo and Chad Parsons. These guys make this vision real every day and we are so thankful for their leadership, friendship and expertise,” said Cole Sirucek.
Going ahead, Cole envisions DocDoc as the preferred partner for insurance companies and employers throughout Asia who want to provide high quality doctor discovery services to their policyholders and employees.