Meet Golnasim Riahi, RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Ones to Watch Recipient
Golnasim Riahi is a single shareholder and the only full-time pharmacist at her innovative online company, Pharmacie Golnasim Riahi Inc. She opened the pharmacy in September 2020 at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic without any clients or employees. Since then, she has established a loyal and trusted client base, built around exceptional customer service and a detailed knowledge of each client’s health history. Pharmacie Golnasim Riahi has also grown to have five employees catering to its many loyal customers. Golhasim has been an associate clinician since 2016 and has taught at both Laval University and UdeM from 2016-2017. She is a leader in different clinical activities provided for pharmacists to prescribe and communicate with healthcare professionals. She passed various exams of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada in 2012-2014 to practice as a pharmacist in Canada. She has a PhD in Neuropharmacology from Laval University and did a fellowship at Harvard University in 2008. She obtained two master’s degrees in 2007 and 2008 in France, a Pharm.D in Iran, and is also an active member in dance groups and Persian literature. Her various studies and experiences have helped her develop capacities for innovation, professionalism, quick adaptation to changes, and problem-solving.
I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur when… I found that the implementation of my ideas was the best joy of my life. I followed my dreams and the colour of life changed to the best one that suits me.
Entrepreneurship is made for me because… I have the ability to manage projects. I can see the overall details of a project. My various studies and experiences helped me to develop my capacities for innovation, professionalism, quick adaptation to changes, and solving problems.
The impact I hope to make through my work is… to increase the quality of life of people, especially my patients. I also hope that by co-working with my employees, they develop their personalities and be more confident in their lives and they also do the same to others to have a better society.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey is… to be confident and not fear to take a risk. I already have a number of experiences and education that help me to be effective and go forward. The defeat is just a lesson, noting more!
My proudest accomplishment is… to be a successful entrepreneur in such a short time, less than three years in business.
The biggest risk I took that paid off was… to open an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. No franchised pharmacy collaborated with me to open an online pharmacy that focuses on clinical services. I believed in my project and I decided to open an independent pharmacy, working with my ideas. The outstanding results came just a few months later.
My biggest setback has been… finding people to employ to deliver medications. I could not find deliverymen and women for different regions of the Metropolitan Montréal Area, and I had deliveries in different areas every day.
I overcame it by… asking for help from my family and friends as a short-term solution, and I asked my colleagues and professionals to help find a long-term solution. Finally, we found a delivery company, an external source, for long-distance deliveries along with our deliverymen and employees for short distances.
The best advice I’ve received as an entrepreneur… was a quote from my father. He said, “Do not give up — you will be successful; your education and experiences will help you. Remember you were always among the best in your school and your work, here is the same. You will be among the best.”
I surprise people when I tell them… that I have seen success in business in such a short period of time — I started with zero clients and zero employees less than three years ago. They are also surprised when I tell them that I am also a writer, dancer, hiker, and traveller.
If I had an extra hour in the day, I would use it to… write short stories, read books, and play sports.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I am also directing a play, which I am the author of. I also play a role in it. I hope we will perform it soon.
The future excites me because… there are lots of unknowns to be discovered. New ideas will come and new accomplishments are waiting for me.