Made by Members: Susanne Dröscher
Digitization has been advancing for years. In general and in the care sector. However, the fact that many older people were completely left behind in the process is a problem that Susanne Dröscher wants to solve with her start-up CARU. A mission with a sense of purpose.
CARU offers a plug & play emergency call solution made completely in Switzerland. Patients can use simple voice commands to call for help, talk to their relatives on the phone or call up appointments. Susanne Dröscher tells us in an interview why she launched a start-up in this particular sector and what other features CARU offers.
Susanne, why did you and your co-CEO Thomas Helbling decide to enter this market?
It was important to us to do something meaningful. In the future, we will be faced with a shortage of care personnel, while at the same time people are living longer. CARU is intended to provide a solution to this problem.
Is CARU simply a classic emergency button?
Not quite. On the one hand, we were very careful for the design not to be stigmatizing, and that almost everything from manufacturing to support comes from Switzerland. You can also send voice messages to relatives, for example, to stay in touch between visits and phone calls. Soon, the care facility will also be able to remind you through CARU that there is a music afternoon on today.
So you’re also promoting social inclusion for patients.
Exactly. Safety, independence and social integration are the aspects that are particularly important to us. But care personnel can also benefit from the information provided by CARU. This in turn reduces stress and costs.
Did you struggle with many challenges at the beginning?
We talked to a lot of people who categorically did not believe in our idea, especially in the investor scene, and even wanted to assure us that the market did not exist. That was pretty tough, picking ourselves up again and again and still keeping going. I am very grateful that we have now found a great group of investors and supporters in general, and the market also shows that we are not far wrong with our solution.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I find it enriching when I see and feel CARU improving other people’s lives. When we receive positive feedback from users or even relatives who can experience closeness through CARU that would not be possible otherwise. As a team, everyone is passionate about our mission.
What is your team culture like?
Transparency and mutual appreciation are extremely important to us. For example, there is a fixed agenda item in every team meeting when we give each other kudos. It’s great to see how this provides visibility and recognition for even the little things that often happen in the background.
Another type of team is the family. How do you handle the work-life balance?
I think you can always learn in this area, and I’ve changed some things since I’ve become a mom. For me, it has become much more important to separate them clearly and focus on one area at a time. The guilty conscience of not giving enough comes up from time to time. But it is getting better.
Was it always clear to you that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I gained insights into entrepreneurship through my father. Then, when I worked in a start-up after graduating, I became fascinated in how to build up a company. Of course, as an entrepreneur you are always challenged, but you learn a great deal. About business, about our users, but also about ourselves.
And what has been the most important learning so far?
That meaningfulness in the job is an incredible motivation for me. But also that enough sleep and rest are essential – even for female entrepreneurs. Oh yeah, and that being on the road isn’t really my thing.
That’s where you get some support, right?
Exactly. The American Express Platinum Card offers are particularly attractive to me, as they make traveling easier and much sweeter too.