Pharmpreneur of the week Erene Kaldas: "I never wanted to be the status quo."
There is an essential need for creativity in entrepreneurship; always question how to stand out to patients and customers beyond what other competitors can offer, prioritize the customer through teamwork. The concept of managing a business is built upon the team. “Together we are stronger!”
By Sherif Guorgui
B.Sc.Pharm, RPh., CDE Role/Title: Associate Owner of Shoppers Drug Mart Retail Stores 926 and 936 in Toronto.
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
I never wanted to be the status quo, I have long desired to diverge onto my own career path to make an impact in community pharmacy. I had always wanted to write my own story! My primary motivation originated from the desire to mimic my mentors I had developed relations with, working within the Shoppers Drug Mart network.
Beyond that I wanted to stand out for my fellow women in the industry. Within my work I always involved myself with female STEM empowerment groups and wanted to inspire other women to believe they are capable of achieving the very same success.
How do you define success?
Success within the pharmaceutical retail industry is making a meaningful impact, in the life of my patients, community, team and my coworkers. Inspiring my team to always continue pushing and being an exceptional role model to those around is my core personal metric of success, after all “Success breeds Success”! Analytically speaking, success to me is always going beyond expectations when comparing to the goals I set. I always aim to have my numbers excel the expectations set for my business.
As a successful entrepreneur, what continues to drive you?
Being in the retail industry I gain my motivation and inspiration to continue to thrive and develop my practice, through witnessing the impact my work and business have on the lives of my patients day in and day out. The love of my profession, aiming to elevate the standards and customers, keeping the convenience piece as a key utilizing technology, and the human power. What further drives me is empowering others, and being able to raise new leaders and nurturing new pharmacists into their own careers and supporting them in their practice continue to be a demonstration of what can come into fruition from strong leadership.
Other than just team members and pharmacists, my ambition is to never stop being a role model for my children. I want them to see that there is no bound on what they can do, I want to continue to remain as a model of never-stopping growth!
What are the biggest challenges to being an entrepreneur?
In the world of being a business owner, the biggest challenge as well as the biggest priority is maintaining the balance between the interests of all the varying parties involved within my business. As business continues to grow it is always difficult making everyone happy, so it is a fine art to take optimal decisions and minimize sacrifices to keep everything in running order. As the business flourishes, never forget what you abide with, always ensure to embody your CORE values no matter the demands of the business.
How do you manage work/life balance?
The way I find a sustainable work/life balance for myself is through developing a strong support system that I find through my family, teams and other interests. The ability to achieve this is first through the incredible support of my family; it is always rejuvenating returning from work and spending time with family. Second, being invested in my work when I am present at my stores but most important being able to have peace of mind that the business is in good hands through the trust in my teams during my absence. Last, having interests outside of work like cooking and pursuing a healthy spiritual life help with taking my mind off business and keeping the balance going.
What advice would you give to colleagues who want to become entrepreneurs?
Make sure to always continue to work on yourself, since the journey of self-improvement is never ending. Make sure to expand your scope beyond the pharmacy; the art of entrepreneurship also requires you to understand your team – and business. There is an essential need for creativity in entrepreneurship; always question how to stand out to patients and customers beyond what other competitors can offer, prioritize the customer through teamwork. The concept of managing a business is built upon the team. “Together we are stronger!”