INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Charles Nader from Latam healthtech champion doc.com on how the pandemic is accelerating telemedicine in our lives
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Charles Nader : We’re doing fine. None of my immediate family members got Covid-19 but I suspect I had it returning from a trip from Spain where I went to meet the King in late February. It was the first time I had a fever with delirium. Took me a couple of weeks to recover but I didn’t get tested yet presented Covid-19 symptoms. I know about 6 people that have been infected with Covid-19 and a friend whose grandmother died due to the virus. Thankfully though my family is safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company.
Charles Nader : I was born in Mexico City. My parents divorced when I was 7. I grew up poor with a single mother with three kids in Ormond beach Florida but we had a great mother that always expected the best from us. I started businesses early in my youth to try to have my own things and help my family. My mother is an intellectual who forced us to read constantly. In my teens after working at Dunkin’ Donuts for a year and working odd jobs and selling things I landed a job at an IT company through a local government program. At 17 I learned how to build and setup networks and program websites.
This opened my eyes to tech and internet businesses. Soon after because I had no funds to pay for college I came back to Mexico to study medicine honoring my mother’s dream to be a doctor. I was a restless student and was always trying to start businesses rather than dedicate myself to being a good student. I became an avid fan of science in medical school. In parallel when I was 20 I moved out of my father’s apartment and lived on my own means selling car performance software in Mexico which I was one of the few at the time that did that. At 23 with savings from my car software business, I opened my first franchise Barichara swimwear store in a hip part of Mexico City.
I worked there daily and the owner of the brand bought the store from me soon after. With those funds, I opened a night club with friends. A dream I had at the time that didn’t end up being what I thought it would be. After more than two years of trying to juggle medical school and running a night club with 30 employees, we sold the club and recuperated some of the money we had invested. At 26 with those funds, I invested in a theatre play with celebrity actors and an investment with a friend and lost all my money. I could even pay rent in my small apartment so I asked to move back in with my father. For the next two years, I spent my time reading books on business to try to understand the mistakes I made.
I was inspired by Jim Rhon’s books and finally created a business philosophy for my life to do something that could scale and help people. Broke but with a burning desire, I took an opportunity to make money on commission bringing in clients to an accounting office that belonged to a friend. With those savings and the lessons, I learned from my previous endeavors plus my knowledge of the medical system I started what today is Doc.com at 28 years old. At 34 after our company was valued at over 300 million USD I was on the cover of Forbes in Latin America. Today we’re still growing and we offer our services in 24 countries including 19 states in the US and have helped hundreds of thousands of people at no cost to them throughout telemedicine services. There’s still much more work to do but we’re on a great path.
How does your company innovate?
Charles Nader : We innovate with our business model by monetizing the data we acquire from our services as well as offering the lowest cost telemedicine service in the markets were in. We also use blockchain technology to provide additional transparency in the use of data and rewarding users with cryptocurrency for using Doc.com services. We are constantly innovating and adding more value to our users and customers by providing them with solutions that are easier to use than competitors plus lower costs.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Charles Nader : I’ve had to make many difficult decisions. The best lesson is that you can always find another way to solve a problem. Always be perseverance no matter what the situation is. Be optimistic and always use the first principle thinking to create innovation and solve problems.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Charles Nader : I exercise regularly and maintain a vegan diet. It helps me sleep. I always try to keep a positive outlook on life and always maintain the belief that you can solve any situation if you put your mind to it. We project Doc.com will be present in the rest of the world offering services to billions. I am lucky to have found my calling and plán on working to achieve our mission of providing free basic healthcare for the world for many years to come. It’s what makes me happy and gives me drive.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Charles Nader : Our competitors are any company that gives telemedicine services. We plan on doing what we do best. Constantly innovate and create new solutions unexpected in the industry to improve our products and services for our users while expanding to new markets.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Charles Nader : In borderline situations like these, it is inevitable to go deeper, reflect and value those things that we have always had and that we now realize how essential they are, such as the public health system. Here at doc.com, our goal is that our medical care services reach all possible places, quickly, easily and from home, which implies reducing the possibility of contagion to other people and helps not to saturate our public health services.
We know that this pandemic is accelerating the process of integrating telemedicine in our lives, as a new helpful tool, making all people believe in it. At the very beginning of the pandemic, we start making our protocols based on world standards, capturing in our database all probable, suspected, or confirmed cases, so we could give our patients valid information and also making a follow-up program until our he or she recovers.
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