Meet the team: Lauren Nicholson

March 22, 2023
9 minute read
Cristian Halati

Our Chief Financial Officer, Lauren Nicholson, has been with Phlo for three years. We recently caught up with her to find out more about all the changes taking place in the Finance department, including team growth, a massive investment fundraise round and enhancements to staff benefits.  

We also find out more about Lauren’s background and her day-to-day role, her core values and why she enjoys working at Phlo.

Tell us a bit about your background and previous roles before joining Phlo

I’m a qualified Chartered Accountant having completed my ICAS training with an independent firm of accountants based in Glasgow. Since qualifying, I have worked with a wide range of companies from SMEs to large global PLCs.    

My last role was for one of the largest accountancy firms in the world, where I managed an outsourcing compliance department for SME clients - mostly high growth technology businesses with multinational presence. This was an operations role, and the experience has helped me shape operations here at Phlo. I’m an accountant at my core although I really enjoy operations and understanding how Phlo can scale while maintaining great patient experiences.  

How did you come to work for Phlo and what does your role entail?  

I joined Phlo informally through a friend. I was on the market for a role which offered something more challenging than simply finance and that gave back to the world in some way. I was introduced to Phlo’s CEO, Nadeem Sarwar, who was looking to build a finance function and the rest is history.  It was a very refreshing approach to hiring.  

My role as a Chief Financial Officer primarily revolves around internal finance, preparing accounts, forecasts, cashflow, payroll and HR. However, I like to help the rest of the team where I can; as we all do. No two days are the same which is great!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety in my role as a Chief Financial Officer and the autonomy we all have. The team is extremely diverse being made up of pharmacists, software engineers, designers, and marketing creatives; it’s been really interesting to understand how we all work and how we can all learn from each other.

What are your top 3 job highlights over the last 12 months?

It’s hard to narrow down as we’ve achieved so much in the past 12 months. At number one it has to be securing £10m of funding, especially in a difficult economic climate. It’s been a pleasure to have such a good relationship with our investors who are engaged in our mission. 

Notably within the Finance team, we rolled out our share options scheme six months ago. We learned a lot and are pleased to offer such a great scheme to Phlo employees. We want our employees to share in the success of Phlo. We also recently enhanced our pension scheme - another great perk for the team as we have moved into the scale-up stage. 

Scale-up businesses can be fast-paced. How do you manage changing priorities with day-to-day finance essentials?

We are an extremely agile business but that’s part of the fun! We have a small c-suite and as such we pivot on strategies as and when we need to. I personally find this refreshing, we adapt as we need to and decisions are made quickly. In terms of prioritising, our strategies and priorities as a business are clear, which drive how I handle my workload. I couldn’t do it without a supportive team. We all understand that as we grow some tasks may move to a later date and working together is key! 

What makes Phlo different from traditional pharmacies?

Phlo is the pharmacy at your fingertips you never need to visit. We’re focused on first class patient experiences and bringing the pharmacy to you, not just medication like other online pharmacies. We provide a variety of delivery options to our patients; some can get their medication much quicker with Phlo than going to their local pharmacy.  

Joining Phlo is a no-brainer for me. I see it as the pharmacy service that patients truly deserve - excellent customer service, complete control of your medication, safety, reliability, and no wasted time!

What motivates you, and what are your core values?

Having spent 12+ years in the corporate world, I really wanted to do something which gives back in some way. At Phlo we feel healthcare is too important to be difficult to manage and being part of the team driven by this vision really excites me. My primary core values are honesty, integrity, and dependability.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Travelling! I love holidays and over the last few years I’ve explored more of Scotland than I normally would, which has been great.  

I really enjoy interior design and I am always changing things in my home and starting new projects. I’m not an expert my any means, but it’s a real passion of mine.  

I also volunteer with a charity which supports elderly people through loneliness by offering a befriending service. One of the ladies I speak to is 84 years old and completed a Masters in mathematics last year. She is an inspiration and I can’t wait to be able to meet her in person.

Explore our careers page if you’re interested in finding out more about what it’s like to work at Phlo.

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