“Stay curious, be bold, and always act with integrity” – CEO Q&A with Cormac McKenna of online pharmacy app PharmacyConnect

By Business & Finance
15 November 2023
A photograph of Cormac-McKenna the CEO of PharmacyConnect smiles and holds a phone in his hand, suggesting the Online Pharmacy App innovation.
Pictured: Cormac McKenna is the Founder and CEO of PharmacyConnect.

Cormac McKenna is the Founder and CEO of PharmacyConnect, an Irish pharmacy app platform that is redefining patient-pharmacy interactions by shifting patient queries online resulting in an average 30% time-saving .

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

My priorities for PharmacyConnect revolve around sustainable growth, innovation, and customer satisfaction. The main goal is to solidify our market position by continuously improving our SaaS offerings, ensuring they deliver maximum value to community pharmacies and continue to delight patients.

What are your biggest challenges as CEO?

Balancing rapid innovation with robust, reliable service delivery is a significant challenge. Staying ahead in a tech-driven environment, while maintaining high-quality customer service and team morale, requires a keen focus on strategic planning and execution.

How do you keep your team/staff motivated? 

I foster a culture of ownership and recognition. Our employees are encouraged to innovate, and are recognised for their contributions. Regular team-building activities and transparent communication also ensure that motivation remains high.

What are the challenges facing the industry going forward?

The main challenges include keeping up with technological advancements, data security concerns, and adapting to changing consumer behaviour. It’s vital to anticipate these shifts and innovate accordingly.

What new trends are emerging in your industry?

There’s a significant move towards personalised customer experiences through AI and machine learning. Also, cloud-based solutions are becoming more prevalent due to their scalability and flexibility.

Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?

Increased collaboration between tech providers and end-users to create more user-centric solutions; and I’d like to see further advances in data protection and cybersecurity.

As an employer are you finding any skill gaps in the market?

Yes, there’s a shortage of skilled professionals in cloud computing and data analytics. We’re actively involved in training and development to bridge these gaps.

How has Brexit affected you?                                                                                         

Brexit has presented both challenges and opportunities. We’ve had to navigate supply chain disruptions and data transfer issues, but it has also opened up new opportunities.

How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your business/sector?                                   

It accelerated digital transformation and highlighted the importance of adaptable, robust online systems. Our sector has seen increased demand for digital solutions as a result, and indeed was the catalyst for us bringing the PharmacyConnect platform to market.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

Success is delivering value to our customers and stakeholders. Drive comes from a passion for innovation and seeing our solutions positively impact businesses.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

Stay adaptable. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and the ability to pivot and embrace change is crucial.

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

Successfully navigating the challenges of the pandemic and emerging stronger with a more resilient product suite has been a highlight.

What’s next for your company?

We’re expanding our reach into new markets and continuously refining our products to serve our customers better. We’re very excited about what the future holds for 2024 and beyond.

Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?

I envision our PharmacyConnect brand becoming synonymous with excellence in the community pharmacy/SaaS space.

What advice would you have to others starting out in business?                               

Start with a clear vision, be prepared to adapt, and focus on building a strong team. Perseverance and customer-centricity should be your guiding principles.

What is the best, non-business, book you’ve ever read?                                                  

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. It’s a profound reminder of the importance of integrity and empathy, principles that are vital both in life and business.

What is your favourite hobby?                                                                                            

Open water swimming. It teaches me about resilience, navigation, and the importance of adapting to constantly changing conditions – lessons that are directly applicable to business leadership. In 2018 I swam 45km around Manhattan island in just over 8 hours.

What is your mantra for life?                                                                                                         

“Stay curious, be bold, and always act with integrity.” This guides me in constant learning, taking calculated risks, and maintaining ethical standards in all my endeavours.


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