First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Fernando de Obeso: This 2020, as for many has tested both our business and personal mental stamina to the limit, fortunately, myself all of my loved ones are healthy and have not contracted COVID.
From a business perspective, the pandemic has benefited our medical equipment leasing business quite a lot, as many of our clients, which are small to medium-sized clinics in Mexico are investing quite heavily on new medical equipment, especially equipment that is needed to detect and/or treat COVID patients, e.g. ultrasounds, X-Rays and PCR equipment.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Salud Facil.
Fernando de Obeso: My background is in engineering with an MBA from Harvard Business School, I became involved in microlending in 2006, and since 2013 I started Salud Facil for healthcare lending. When we began our business, it was primarily to broker credits for patients that needed some type of surgery and did not have insurance or the resources to pay for it. In 2018 we also started, to give financing leasing for medical equipment to small and mid-size clinics, this new business unit has become our most important and our core.
How does Salud Facil innovate?
Fernando de Obeso: By developing a non-traditional credit score mechanism to be able to give leases to small and mid-size clinics that do not necessarily have all the financial information up to date to apply for a loan in a bank.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Fernando de Obeso: The pandemic has increased the number of clinics and hospitals that need new medical equipment that has boosted our leasing placements making 2020 a record year for us.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Fernando de Obeso: I think the main lesson is that you have as an organization make room for flexibility so your team can balance their personal and professional lives.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Fernando de Obeso: Taking one day at a time, avoid information overload, and focus on what you can control
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Fernando de Obeso: We are fortunate to be in an industry that has proved to be relatively COVID resistant, we plan to expand our market share by taking on competitors that are now slowing their growth due to the pandemic.
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