Medical Entrepreneurs in Venezuela


The Life of Enterprising Doctors, with Andrés Simon Gonzalez Silén

How do two enterprising doctors who would end up forming a leading medical company in Venezuela start their careers? What to do when life makes you decide between two options? How is surfing related to running a business?

Today in N5 CIZ, Julian Colombo interviews Andrés Simon González Silén, CEO of Grupo Venemergencia and co-founder of Asistens — recognized companies in the health area.

Here are the key points from the interview and the most valuable lessons we learned. We invite you to watch the full video so you don’t miss the beginnings of two enterprising doctors and how they impacted the health area in Venezuela.

The Importance of a Positive Childhood

Andrés’s childhood was closely related to the sea. When he was a boy he lived near the coast and used to go fishing many times with his father.

On the part of his family, he was closer to medicine. Andrés describes his father as someone whose goal was to achieve the maximum academic achievement of his children. So much so that his brother went to Wales, his sister to Singapore, and he went to England to study.

Andrés had a childhood that he remembers as “super positive”. His childhood dream was to become a fisherman, combining two things that he was passionate about. However, when he grew up he ended up opting exclusively for medicine.

It’s never too early to start a business

In his first year of medicine, Andrés met Luis Velázquez, who would eventually become his business partner. With him they would be spectators of multiple real medical cases in a hospital, and this would lead them to start giving first aid courses on weekends.

Starting their third year of medicine, both founded Vemergencias, their first company, to give first aid courses.

That would be the first of a series of ventures that over time would lead them to manage what today is the leading company providing emergency services, ambulances and telemedicine in Venezuela.

Thanks to all this, at the time of graduation they were already in charge of a company with more than 40 employees. Even their fellow graduates came to offer their resumes to work with them.

Study or Work?

Now that 2010 has arrived, a dilemma presents itself to both partners. On the one hand, they could continue in a linear way with their medical career and end up practicing as specialists and p. On the other hand, there was the opportunity to continue with the company.

It was a difficult decision, but in the end they ended up choosing the company. Well, as Andrés comments, they were no longer going to treat one patient at a time, but millions of them.

After that, he promised himself that he would not study anymore, but he was unable to complete the promise. Soon after, he was already doing a diploma in occupational health, and later he would end up going to Harvard to extend his studies.

As we have seen in other interviews, sometimes plans change. The important thing is to know when it is necessary to take another course and do it.

How Does a CEO Manage His Agenda?

At some point in the interview, Julián is interested in how Andrés manages his time, being the head of such an important company.

To this, he comments that the key to keeping your schedule on track and getting all your tasks done is a support team you can trust. He calls it “Simon’s company”. These are people who help you in multiple aspects of your business and personal life.

In addition to that, Andrés confesses that he hardly says “no” to something. His schedule fills up pretty quickly, but that’s exactly why he’s motivated to keep his time organized.

However, Simon insists, it would be impossible for him to keep up if it weren’t for his team.

Where There Are Problems, There Are Solutions

One of the things that motivated Andrés from the beginning when it came to moving forward with his insurance service was the situation faced by Venezuelans who had gone abroad and their relatives continued to send them money but.

This situation is particularly difficult when it comes to a medical emergency. Many times a problem occurs, and that person who was trying to progress in another country ends up sending their savings to their relatives so that they can be attended to.

That is why Andrés had the idea of ​​offering health insurance to people outside of Venezuela. This way they would be covered in case something happens.

Andrés was able to highlight a problem and find a solution thanks to his predisposition and observation. As we’ve seen in the past, those are key attributes when it comes to finding new opportunities.

Why It Is Necessary To Pass The Torch

When Andrés looks back, he realizes that one of his main mistakes throughout his career has been not “passing the torch”.

As he comments, being an entrepreneur is almost a vice at times. Entrepreneurs often see themselves as multitasking, taking care of all aspects of their business in order to be perfect. After all, nobody knows the company like them, right?

However, for Andrés this has been a problem throughout his endeavors. Like in a team race, if one member refuses to pass the torch to the next and instead keeps running, their entire team is sure to lose.

Being able to delegate tasks is important. That is something that in the past he has avoided, but that today he feels comfortable doing, since he has a team that is specialized and that he trusts.

Find time to work and time to enjoy

To end the interview, Julian asks Andrés about how he finds time to do what he likes. To this, he responds with something his mother used to say: “Life is divided between intense periods of work and intense periods of pleasure.”

Andrés mainly reads business analysis material and medical journals to keep up with the latest discoveries. He also really enjoys playing music. He has been a pianist for many years, and nowadays he is mainly interested in classical music. It is something that inspires him a lot.

Finally, Andrés is also a passionate surfer. Even if he has a business meeting in the morning, he’s able to go surfing two hours early, then come back and be on time for the call. He always finds time to ride a couple of waves.


In this edition of N5 CIZ we have had the opportunity to explore Andrés’ life, which has not only been marked by medicine but also by a strong entrepreneurial spirit. These are the main points to remember:

  • It is never too early to start entrepreneurship. The desire of Andrés and his partner to undertake was what made their own classmates send them CVs when they graduated.
  • Studying is important, but becoming an eternal student can be a mistake. It is important to know how to put into practice what has been learned.
  • Where there are complicated situations, there are ways to solve them, and therefore there is space to undertake in order to help people.
  • Knowing how to delegate work is a skill often undervalued by entrepreneurs, but of enormous importance.
  • In life there are intense periods of work and intense periods of enjoyment. Finding a balance between the two is ideal for a healthy career and life.

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