Jan Gerber, CEO, Paracelsus Recovery
An entrepreneur’s life is not a fun ride. Right from the inception of an idea to building up an empire around it and finding success with it, a leader goes through some of the toughest times of their life. But, only a person who nurtures a never-give-up attitude can see their idea develop into something extraordinary. They must possess the will and patience to see their handwork blossom. A brilliant example of such an attitude is Jan Gerber, the CEO of Paracelsus Recovery and this is his story:
After graduating from the London School of Economics in finance, Gerber began his career as a management consultant. During these years he realized that he was not someone who belonged to the 100 hours per week matrix and was rather destined to create something of his own. He went on to incept many ventures and finally founded Paracelsus Recovery, a private and exclusive addiction treatment provider, after identifying the need for such an institution in the mental healthcare landscape. In this endeavor, he was accompanied by both his parents who are also experts in the healthcare sector; his father is a doctor/psychiatrist and his mother is a clinical nurse specialist. “The analytical skills, stress-resilience, and solid business administration knowledge from my studies and job prepared me well for entrepreneurship,” says Gerber. “And in the end, there was also a lot of luck involved,”.
The Road to Success
Being a start-up, Paracelsus Recovery’s road to success was not that easy. When the need for funding became an issue, Gerber self-funded the clinic completely and kept all the costs in check by setting up a lean organization. Not only that but since the focus of Paracelsus Recovery was in a very special niche targeting ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI) clients, it took years for them to build a solid reputation in the landscape. The discreet nature of the services provided and their cost added to the difficulty in gaining trust and building relationships with potential clients.
On the other hand, Gerber struggled with recruiting the best clinicians for the clinic. Since it was their initial phase and they were yet to establish themselves in the landscape, it made it challenging to convince the clinicians to join the team. Fortunately, Gerber was successful in enrolling a renowned psychiatrist and thereafter, it became easier for him to assemble the remaining team.
Interestingly, reports show that UHNW individuals, CEOs, famous entertainers, and celebrities are the underserved minority when it comes to accessing mental health treatment. Due to confidentiality reasons, they are obstructed from checking into regular rehabilitation centers. Paracelsus Recovery serves the purpose of providing healthcare services to this particular class. Since these groups deal with problems and mental health triggers that differ from the average population, therapy sessions demand experienced and empathetic specialists. This is precisely what Paracelsus Recovery offers. Their therapists are experts who can deeply understand and handle such specific issues with utmost concern and consideration. Notably, they provide a service at a level where the clientele feels comfortable and at home.
“We have a 360° approach,” Gerber explains the kind of care they provide. Paracelsus Recovery always aims to identify the underlying reasons behind a person’s mental suffering and targets the body, mind, and soul simultaneously. The clinic claims to be one among the few institutions that work with biochemical restoration of the brain and body concurrently with extensive psychotherapy, counseling, and coaching.
Every treatment is offered by understanding the fact that human beings are complex creatures and thus their pain and suffering have complex reasons. The most important aspect they highlight is that every individual is different and hence there cannot be a “one-size-fits-all” treatment for addressing mental health issues. Having said that, the differentiating factor of this Paracelsus Recovery is that they provide 10 hours of 1:1 therapy every day where a team of 15 specialists works with a single client. This way, every client is able to receive more care in a few weeks which might take months with other clinics.
Values and Principles
At Paracelsus Recovery, clients are treated to feel like a part of a family and are always at the center of business. According to Gerber, their values are as follows: “Clients and their needs ALWAYS come first”, and there is “never a no for an answer”. Moreover, their guiding principle is “humanistic pragmatism” and they are non-dogmatic in their approach.
When it comes to the center’s services, they make sure to meet every client where they are at and work with them to attain the best possible outcomes considering their given circumstances, abilities, and motivation. That being said, in order to consistently deliver this degree of service, Gerber makes sure to recruit staff with the key criterion to have their heart at the right place; along with an excellent track record in their field. Paracelsus Recovery intends to create a different journey for different clients by deploying resources to individually tailor treatment programs. Each and every program is customized to serve the client’s preferences and needs. For instance, the treatments can be conducted around an individual’s commitments like board meetings or even TV appearances.
“We welcomed an investor last year, the renowned German Group “Limes Schlosskliniken” and together we plan to grow quite a bit while making our offering even better,” affirms Gerber. With that roadmap in mind, he also plans to incept more companies in the future. Over and above, with Paracelsus Recovery being his priority, he plans to entail a few more clinics in various fields under the Group.
“True entrepreneurship is passion,” states Gerber. He stresses how money should never be the key aim or the driving factor for entrepreneurs. He reflects on statistics reports showing 4 out of 5 startup companies being a failure within 5 years of their inception. He also adds how an average entrepreneur will be earning less than what they will be getting if they were employed somewhere else. Thence, he encourages budding business leaders to nurture the zest to create, build, inspire, branch out and do things better.
For Gerber, the most important insight and value as a leader are to invest in people. He reminds to be generous with the team and to make them feel valued since the core factor for a venture’s success is its people. He impels to share responsibilities, delegate, and not to micro-manage. In addition, he also points out that only a great and loyal team can help to achieve the ultimate aim of a company – customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, Gerber prompts young entrepreneurs to never let opinions discourage them and at the same time to have the sagacity to realize when to pull the plug on their ideas. He urges upcoming business leaders to find the courage to go forward despite the failures till they find success. He depicts his entrepreneurial journey as an example where he failed with his first three companies and finally found success with Paracelsus Recovery. “You will get better at the founding, starting, and building a business with practice, concluded Gerber.