At 1Ci we identify with productivity and in this context, today we have the pleasure of talking to Johana Corrales, an outstanding entrepreneur with vast experience in the medical device and pharmaceutical industry. In this interview, Johana will share with us her inspiring trajectory, the challenges she has faced, and how she has managed to balance her professional life with her personal life.

Good afternoon Johana, nice to have you with us, to begin with, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and your background?

Of course, I am 36 years old and I have been in the medical device industry for 12 years. We started importing surgical devices and mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, canes and walkers. Six years ago, I had the opportunity to start a new company, Drogas Económicas, a chain of pharmacies. We started with five pharmacies and now we have grown to ten.

It is a remarkable growth. How did you come to found Drogas Económicas?

It came about as a business opportunity with some friends. I decided to take the reins of this new challenge and, fortunately, it has been a very rewarding experience.

And this trajectory, how would you qualify the impact of your success in your personal life and in your business?

It has been very positive. At the beginning, it was a very busy time, but since I had not yet started a family, I was able to dedicate myself completely to my business. Eventually, I started my family and that has given me a different perspective and balance in my life.

It is interesting that your professional growth went hand in hand with your personal growth, now that you are a wife and mother. Do you think that for women entrepreneurs, having a family and children can be a challenge?

A little bit, yes. I think it depends a lot on how you want to raise your children. In my case, I like to be a mom who gives 100%, which is a great challenge because I always try to give them as much quality time as possible, although sometimes I feel that it is not enough, I try to give the best of me both in my personal life and in my business.

How do you balance your role as a businesswoman with your role as a mother?

I now work part-time so I can share more quality time with my husband and daughter. It is a way to make sure I am present in both aspects of my life.

The business world is very demanding. What have been the biggest challenges in running your business?

Managing a business with the economic situation in Colombia is a great challenge, as well as finding qualified personnel have been the most complex challenges. It is difficult to find qualified and reliable personnel in a business where large sums of money are handled. It is also crucial to surround yourself with the right people to work in an environment of trust. On the other hand, it is important to understand that the investments made in this business can be a challenge because their management is crucial to obtain the best results.

How have you been overcoming these challenges?

It has not been easy, but not impossible either. The organization has been our main ally and, thanks to it, we have been able to move forward.

Regarding the lessons you mentioned, what do you think have been the most important as an entrepreneur in this sector?

Many lessons have been important, but one of the most crucial is to trust your intuition. This instinct guides you about people and decisions to make in a business. Another important lesson is to know when and how to provide information in the business world.

How do you see your company's processes now, and do you think that trust in your processes leads to automation?

Definitely. Before, the processes were very empirical, but with automation we have closed human error gaps and thus optimized our operations.

In this line of thought, what is your projection for the future?

The country's economic situation is a bit difficult, but we have always worked well and I believe we will continue to grow. My projection is that we will be one of the largest pharmacies in Colombia and also internationally in Latin America.

In your experience, what areas do you think are decisive for the growth of your business?

The financial area and sales are crucial. Although the sales area is complicated because it depends a lot on people, it is always essential.

We know that adaptability is one of your strengths. What is your approach to maintaining innovation and adaptability in your business?

To always be attentive to market changes and visualize strategies for each situation that arises. Acting quickly is important, not necessarily as a pioneer, but as a strategic thinker who adapts to the moment.

I see that you have a very broad vision and great clarity of your business. What are your tips for other entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses?

Always give your best and make sure that the people who work with you do too. Sometimes we don't have everything we need, but providing quality products and services makes us very dear to our customers, which keeps them choosing us.

Throughout this interview, Johana Corrales has given us a deep insight into her business and personal journey. Her determination and passion for excellence have been key to her success, and her advice is valuable for any entrepreneur looking to grow and stay relevant in a competitive market. We thank Johana for her time and for sharing her inspiring story with us. We are confident that Drogas Economicas will continue to thrive under her visionary leadership hand in hand with 1Ci and QP Consultants' solutions.