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Pharmpreneur of the week Tarek Hussein: "I enjoy the thrill of innovation."

The key driving force to become an entrepreneur was my desire to integrate my passion for healthcare with a vision of driving industry change and transformation.
Tarek Hussein


Education: PharmD (Candidate), MBA, BScPhm

Role/Title: Pharmacist Clinician/Co-Founder, Owner & Manager, Weller Pharmacy, Co-Founder, Chief Clinical Officer, MedaKi Inc., Clinical Pharmacist, Kingston Integrated Healthcare,

Chief Development Officer, International Social Prescribing Pharmacists Association - ISPPA,

Search Working Group Lead, Canadian Social Prescribing Students Collective – CSPSC,

Clinical Practice in Adaptation Co-Lead, Canadian Association of Pharmacy for The Environment – CAPhE,

What excites you about being an entrepreneur?

The exciting part of being an entrepreneur is the adventure itself, the ability to solve real problems and create value from scratch. I enjoy the thrill of innovation, the opportunity to be creative, and the freedom to make decisions that drive the course of my business. Most importantly, I love the impact I can make on people's daily lives. It's incredibly gratifying knowing that my work helps improve the health and well-being of countless individuals.

How has your entrepreneurial career evolved since your graduation?

I took my time after graduating to learn different aspects of business by working in different areas related to our pharmacy profession, including community and hospital pharmacy, sales, marketing, distribution, and business development in the pharmaceutical industry. It took a few years before my real entrepreneurial journey started after earning my Master of Business Administration, and it has been a roller-coaster ride of growth and learning since then. I founded/co-founded and managed several organizations/corporations, most of which are still in operation. The most recent one, Medaki Inc., I co-founded with a Queen's MMIE program graduate, who is aiming to help independent pharmacies reach more customers via innovative eCommerce solutions. For all of the above contributions, I have been named by the Ottawa Business Journal as one of the "power people" of Eastern Ontario.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

The key driving force to become an entrepreneur was my desire to integrate my passion for healthcare with a vision of driving industry change and transformation. Early in my career as a pharmacist, I noticed inefficiencies and a lack of personalization in delivering health services. I felt a strong sense of purpose to transform these services to provide more value to patients. This ambition and my innate desire for independence, creativity, and a drive to take calculated risks propelled me to pursue entrepreneurship. I yearned to create healthcare solutions that are more accessible, efficient, and patient-centred, and it was this aspiration to make a significant impact that made me an entrepreneur.

How do you define success?

To me, success is about making a positive, measurable impact on the world and the people around me. It's all about the value I can create, the problems I can solve, and the lives I can touch positively daily.

As a successful entrepreneur, what continues to drive you?

Continuous learning, innovation, and the ability to change people's lives keep driving me. Despite my successes, I believe there's always room for improvement, a new challenge to tackle, and a new frontier in healthcare to explore.

What are the biggest challenges to being an entrepreneur?

One of the biggest is uncertainty and the risk of starting something new. There's also the challenge of wearing multiple hats, from marketing to HR to finance. Another significant challenge is navigating the rapidly changing business landscape, which can be complex and intimidating. Shifts in market trends and consumer behaviour demand continuous innovation and a keen sense of foresight. Anticipating these trends and staying ahead of the curve requires entrepreneurial agility and strategic planning. Moreover, regulatory changes in the healthcare sector can significantly impact business operations and demand considerable adjustments.

How do you manage work/life balance?

I've learned to prioritize my time and delegate responsibilities to my capable team. I also ensure that I take time out with my wife and our friends or just unwind. It's essential to recharge and not let work consume your life entirely.

What books/resources do you recommend for every entrepreneur to check out?

Besides the classics like "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill or "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and other of Robert Kiyosaki's work and resources, I like the work of Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuk and Adam Grant. Yet the ultimate resource is finding a mentor who has walked the path you are embarking upon and can guide you based on their experiences, successes, and failures.

What advice would you give to colleagues who want to become entrepreneurs?

The most precious one would be to embrace failure as an integral part of the entrepreneurial journey. Don't be afraid to fail because each failure brings you one step closer to success. It's crucial to foster a mindset that views failure as a stepping stone, not a stumbling block. Remember, the greatest mistake is not to try at all. So, dare to take risks, dare to fail, learn from failure, and keep moving forward. Success is often just around the corner from where most people give up.

LinkedIn: @SherifGuorgui

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Facebook: @Sherif Seif Guorgui

Twitter: @Sherif_Guorgui

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