Sweden

Pär Svärdson, CEO, Apotea AB

Pär Svärdson was just 16 when he started his first business, borrowing US$5,000 from his father to start Svärdson Management Capital. It would later become Adlibris, Sweden’s largest online bookstore, which Pär subsequently sold.

Pär then used his expertise in e-commerce to expand a small online pharmacy with limited online stock, which he took over and renamed Apotea in 2012. Today, Apotea is the biggest online pharmacy in Sweden.

Pär spotted the opportunity to grow Apotea after the deregulation of the pharmacy market in Sweden. “When I started Apotea, there was no pure online pharmacy in the Swedish market,” he says. “I saw great potential in facilitating people’s everyday lives and sending medical products directly to the customer’s door.”

Apotea now has more than 650 employees, recently recruiting 100 more to deal with the huge demand for hand sanitizer, thermometers and pain relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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