Carlos Orellana Aguilar
After several years of work in investment banking and private equity, Carlos Orellana Aguilar decided to apply what he had learned in the world of high finance to a business of his own. One that combined business acumen with a social mission: restoring people's sight. In 2012 CNN Expansion, a top Latin American business magazine, named him Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2014 he won the "National Entrepreneur Award" offered by the President of Mexico.
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- For-profit Social Enterprise
- Latin America; Mexico
- Areas of Impact
- Latin America, Mexico
Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed type of surgery globally. Success rates are over 95% and total recovery time can be less than one week, with some patients recovering vision in as quickly as a few hours. But in Mexico, people with cataracts had few options for surgery. In 2011, government hospitals offering free cataract surgeries were unable to accommodate the volume of patients and waiting times could be as high as a year. Patients with other pathologies, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, had even lower access to care, leaving 70% of glaucoma cases undiagnosed and up to 7% of diabetic patients blind.
salauno was founded to create a cost-efficient, high-quality solution to this growing problem. salauno's mission is to eliminate needless blindness in Mexico by providing affordable and accessible eye care services to patients of all income levels. In the first five years since its founding in 2011, the company has provided eye care to over 230,000 people and grown from one surgical centre in Mexico City into a network of 10 mid-sized diagnostic centres with a staff of over 300, offering a range of services throughout the Mexico City Metropolitan Area and the broader Valley of Mexico. salauno focuses on: operational efficiency; patient-centric care; excellent clinical outcomes; and accessibility.
With estimates that 80% of people with lower incomes in Mexico have a smartphone, in 2016 salauno began a large-scale effort to integrate digital and mobile solutions and pursue an omni-channel strategy. salauno thus aims to be Mexico's leading surgical eye care provider, treating 500,000 patients and performing 25,000 surgeries each year. salauno also sees the potential to replicate its business model and thus expand its impact across borders. The company continues to tap into partners that can help it to innovate, adapt new technologies, and pursue its objective of ending needless blindness in Mexico.