The prevalence of chronic diseases pertaining to respiratory, brain, and cardiovascular conditions is increasing. The increasing geriatric population along with the sedentary lifestyle is further facilitating the incidence of these chronic diseases. With the rising number of cases, the demand for diagnostic imaging systems is expected to grow as these systems help in early detection of the diseases.
Cognizant of this fact, CURA Healthcare delivers affordable, reliable and confident end-to-end solutions for diagnostic imaging, cardiac and critical care segments through a wide range of product portfolio. Established in 2001, CURA holds a strong presence in South Asia and emerging markets of Asia and Africa. As an established brand in Diagnostic Imaging, CURA has the most comprehensive suite of Imaging products ranging from X-ray to MRI to mammography to Ultrasound, Imaging Accessories.
With a state-of-the-art indigenous manufacturing facility in both Chennai & Chandigarh, and an R&D facility in Chennai, are the two major platforms that are driving CURA’s plans to become a large medical equipment player with emerging market relevance. Over the past few years, CURA has grown by 6 times in scale and improved in its value chain from the best-in-class after-sales service provider to a manufacturer and an innovator. CURA has an employee strength of over 400 and has installed over 10,000 diagnostic imaging and critical care units across India along with its after-sales service support of 97.5% uptime, which is at par with global standards.
CURA has received multiple accolades in the area of Diagnostic Imagining. It has received the prestigious Product Innovation Award from Frost & Sullivan for their Digital Radiography equipment and Service Excellence Award from Brands Academy. Moreover, the company has also been awarded multiple Quality council awards and Innovation awards and Export promotion awards from Govt. of India. CURA is ISO 13485 certified company and its key products are CE certified by TUV, Germany.
Leading with Excellence
Balasubramaniam M, the Chief Executive Officer of CURA Healthcare from 2014 and been the driving force in turning around CURA Healthcare into one of the fastest growing Indian Imaging company. CURA Healthcare has grown by over 6 times in the last 3 years.
Before taking the leadership role in CURA Healthcare, Bala was the Region Director in GE Healthcare based at Singapore and was responsible for the P&L of ASEAN region. He also led the Global transformation initiative for the Asia Pacific region of GE Healthcare. Before moving to Singapore, Bala was the Vice President, South Asia in Wipro GE Healthcare. He has also lead several senior leadership roles in his long career with GE Healthcare and has expertise in managing P&L’s in emerging markets of APAC
While many factors influence culture, the single most important one is what leaders do and say on a daily basis. “A crucial step to maintaining a winning culture is to build a cohesive leadership team aligned around a common vision and expected behaviors with the determination and willingness to make culture a top priority throughout the growth journey without compromising on value & compliance,” says Balasubramaniam.
Rising above Challenges
Started in 2001, CURA has now grown to more than 400 employees, with a management team that represents some of the most experienced professionals in the healthcare industry. “As any company of our size in the MSME sector undergoes a lot of challenges in multiple areas and as a team we have to overcome these challenges with limited resources,” says Balasubramaniam.
The biggest strength of CURA as claimed by the company are their employees. “They are the most passionate bunch of people who truly believe that they are part of a chain of “saving lives”,” asserts Balasubramaniam. This relentless pursuit of excellence by the team is aiding them in facing everyday challenges with smile and positivity. “One of key-value we drive in our team is to “Aspire for excellence” and bring your best to achieve these ongoing challenges and meet the rising customer expectations,” adds Balasubramaniam.
Innovative Products and Services
CURA recently launched an innovative product, which they truly believe will be the beginning and hopefully an integral part of diagnosis to one of the most deadly diseases for women, the Breast cancer. While early screening can prevent and save lives, the currently available method of breast screening are intimidating women with pain, fear of radiation and its side effects, and not to mention the embarrassment of exposure.
CURA took up this challenge 4 years back and identified the best technology to address this unmet clinical need with a solution, which women would find friendly with no pain, no touch, and no radiation along with dramatically improved accuracy. They launched this innovative product Illumina 360 Digital Robotic Breast Thermography System – 1st of its kind in the world; later awarded for best innovation in Healthcare this year by Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
Illumina 360 was granted a US patent for its women-friendly design, which can make the invisible early breast tissue changes visible. Illumina 360 is designed and developed in India. CURA was also highlighted at the Arab Health 2018 by Khaleej Times as “ Top 6 innovations to watch out” globally. They believe that Illumina 360 Breast Thermography system can revolutionize the way breast health is being screened today in India and all other emerging markets of the world. CURA has plans to launch many more revolutionary technologies in imaging diagnostics and critical care segments. CURA is also betting on investing in core technology in Imaging.
CURA is an institution-driven and professionally managed company that places a high focus on driving strong customer relationships by delivering lower cost of ownership and maximizing the lifetime value. They cater to the growing needs of their customers with a breadth of high technology, high performance & cost effective solutions of “Affordable Luxury” delivered through their own design and development at their state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and by collaborating with global medical technology corporations and leading research institutes.
At CURA, they strongly believe that India will follow the same path as China wherein many local manufacturers of medical equipment have emerged over the past decade and has built business of large scale & global presence. With the Indian government focusing to boost manufacturing sector in India and with CURA’s strong management team who have worked in large MNCs and executed in global markets, and with a strong distribution and best in class service infrastructure, CURA is well positioned to capitalize this lifetime opportunity.
Expert’s Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs
“One of biggest advice I got when I was managing a large business and also when we started the entrepreneurship journey, is to focus on Execution. Many times, we get carried away by great ideas. While Great ideas are important, success happens only on execution and 70% of execution failures are due to execution by leadership. No matter how good is your idea, if you don’t execute well, you have wasted the resources,” advice Balasubramaniam.
Balasubramaniam believes that while execution is the most critical success factor, most leaders take it as subservient to strategy and they feel it is best delegated to next level of organization. Simple steps and building blocks of execution for the leader is to stay closer to reality, focus on top few priorities and deliver, Insist on outcomes and not an activity, time is an important dimension, communicate and communicate, get the right people for the job, coach & reward, manage stakeholder expectations. Build trust and it is all about execution to be the winner.
Putting the Right Foot Forward
CURA is expected to grow at 40% annually and they have plans to be an INR 500 Cr company in 3 years. In such a high growth environment, managing the culture is absolutely critical for sustained growth and employee engagement. Balasubramaniam emphasizes the following from his leadership team. One of the key factors of leadership is to demonstrate “Walk the Talk” and “Transparent Communication”.
At CURA they believe that communication is an important aspect as it’s extremely critical that all employees have a holistic view of the business in its current state and future vision. As they have grown through acquisitions and new teams coming on board, it became necessary to implement more formal communications vehicles to reach all of their employees who are located in over 23 locations in India & abroad.
Furthermore, they have initiated bi-monthly company-wide teleconferences “Let’s Talk” sessions to keep employees tapped into the company’s pulse and informed about the bigger vision. These engagement opportunities provide a good outlet for celebrating success, share best practices across the company, as well as an excellent platform for getting employee feedback & suggestions.