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Sunday, 29 April 2012 20:00

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch: Curo

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Founded: 1977

Location: Grand Rapids
Top executives: Lina Kalvyte, owner and president
Founded: 2009
Primary business: Provider of pharmacy services to health care facilities
Employees: 20 in 2011;  28 expected in 2012

Curo provides pharmacy services to long-term health care providers such as rehabilitation centers, retirement communities, adult foster care homes, nursing homes and assisted living centers. The company’s business model combines technological investments with old-fashioned attentiveness and personal service. A pivotal moment in the company’s history occurred when its largest competitor abruptly went out of business, which resulted in Curo’s clientele quickly increasing by 50 percent. Although this put a strain on its systems and staff, CURO was able to recruit additional personnel and obtain more office space to meet the challenge. The company enjoys strong growth and projects a revenue increase of 30 percent for 2012.

How have you managed to grow your company?

From the beginning, we simply have not accepted failure at Curo – not on big things or even little things. We refuse to disappoint a customer. I think this rule has created a very positive internal culture at Curo and made us very popular with our customers. They’ve rewarded us with more of their business, and we were able to quickly grow our business with new accounts as our reputation spread. We’ve responded by bringing in several of the leading professionals in this area. The company’s directors have been able to step back and strategize Curo’s growth, instead of being sucked into crisis management, which seems to happen at many startup companies.

How did you survive the recession?

Honestly, we just ignored the recession. The economy was at its lowest point when Curo was just getting started, so we had nowhere to go but up. I have a strong personal drive to succeed and have no intention of letting any circumstances derail that dream.

What’s the biggest challenge you have in your business?

Our rapid growth has posed our biggest challenges. That’s a good “problem” to have. But when you more than double your business in a short period of time, like Curo has, you do have to figure out how to quickly scale up your company in time to deliver the same quality of services to a large number of customers as what made you successful in the first place with a much smaller clientele.

What’s your biggest opportunity?

Our biggest opportunity is to expand into other markets, serving long-term care facilities with the model that’s making us successful in Michigan.

What’s the best entrepreneurial advice you’ve received?

Be true to yourself. Follow your gut instincts when making decisions. And battle hard. That’s what I learned from my mentor, Regginald Hartsfield, president of The Manors Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers Advantage Management Group. And I’ve tried to make these principles my own.

How do you innovate in your company?

We start with a core idea, which for Curo is increasing the ease, efficiency and economy of pharmacy for long-term care facilities. Then we just keep looking for new protocols or technologies or anything that can help us do that even better. Innovating this way not only improves our service to customers, it improves our own profitability. It’s important for us to keep innovating now when times are tough so that we’ll still be on top of things when conditions hopefully improve.

Read 1626 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:14

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