Barcelona Metropolitan – Entrepreneurs Explain
My name is Natalia Ribé, and I am a specialist in aesthetic medicine and andrology. I am 45 years old, and arrived in Barcelona 20 years ago. I have always wanted to help others, and since I was little it was really obvious to me that my future career lay in medicine. I have been lucky enough to have contacts with many medical experts in the areas of emergency treatment, obstetrics and gynaecology, STI's, and plastic surgery. I have also worked as a volunteer with many different humanitarian organisations. In 2006 I opened my own Medical Centre, which carries my name, on Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona. After six and a half years, I needed to increase the size of my facilities so that I could offer new services to my patients. Then in November 2012, I opened my new centre, also on Passeig de Gràcia in the historic El Cano building, which offers a holistic approach to both face and body. Our working philosophy is based around personalised treatments, because everyone is unique, and we always work to the same high ethical and professional standards.
1. Where did the original idea come from?
I am from Lleida and I came to Barcelona to study medicine, and really wanted to start my medical career here. I then created my own professional medical project in my own clinic.
2. How long did it take to get your business off the ground?
As soon as I started studying medicine my training to become a doctor had definitely already begun in earnest. This was combined with my specialisation in andrology. In 1999 I became a part of the ‘Unidad de Medicina Estética y Andrología’ with a prestigious plastic surgeon in Barcelona, at the Clínica Teknon. In 2006, I decided to start a new phase of my professional life, and create my own personal medical project: the Dra Natalia Ribé Institute, specialising in aesthetic medicine, lasers, nutrition, andrology, beauty and well-being.
3. What do you wish you had known when you started?
I would have liked to have received more help and guidance when I was going through the opening procedures of the new clinic.
4. How easy was it getting the financing for your business?
In truth, it wasn’t at all easy. It was thanks to family support that I was able to start my project up, together with information that I received from the Colegio Oficial de Médicos in Barcelona.
5. Did you find the paperwork difficult?
There are certainly many procedures and a lot of red tape that inhibit any sort of seamless set up at the start.
6. Did you get help from any particular official organisations or associations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce)?
I didn’t get any sort of public help, no. But it certainly would have been appreciated. I think that they should help professionals who want to grow professionally, and assist their efforts that help to offer the best options to society.
7. What is your business experience/background/qualifications?
My experience all started in 1993 with aesthetic medicine. I am a medical consultant now in all sorts of different areas of pharmaceutical medicine and I also train other doctors, on a national and international basis. I teach management techniques, the use of Botox, fillers, collagen-inducing treatments, among other procedures. I am currently the Medical Director of the Institute that bears my name.
8. What are the positive aspects about having a business here?
It’s a blessing, firstly to work within such a gratifying area of medicine which really inspires me, secondly to be able to work in Barcelona, and thirdly to be able to offer our expert services both to people from this wonderful city as well as to those who have come here from afar.
9. And the negative aspects?
I think it’s better to talk about the positive aspects, always look on the bright side of life!
10. Are there any other useful contacts, tips or information you think would be useful to other foreign entrepreneurs in Barcelona?
The best thing to do is get yourself in contact with the official body that represents your specialty or area. This will definitely result in your finding the help that you need. And you need to have a little good luck too!