Founder: Cara Kirsten
Revenue: $2.2 million
Head Office: South Australia
Industry: Healthcare & medical
Cara Kirsten had to overcome more hurdles than most budding entrepreneurs in creating Sound Diagnostic Radiology, an Adelaide-based medical imaging company.
Building upon her experience in the sector, Kirsten raised $5 million in start-up funding, relying on a commercial loan and shareholder investment in her father-in-law, who holds 15% of the business, and launching the business in 2007.
The success of SDR, Kirsten says, is down to a focus on customer care that is lacking in other radiology units. Extra time is spent on consultations, leading to a 70% return rate for patients who need follow-up scans.
Barely a year into the life of the business, however, Kirsten parted ways with her business partner. The split followed a traumatic periods in which Kirsten prematurely delivered twin babies after undergoing a major operation on a twisted bowel.
Kirsten’s ethos to hands-on, dedicated management is evident in her ambitions for the business: “I don’t want global domination. We want three peripheral sites and one small hospital site. I still answer the phone and take x-rays and I can’t deliver that same model if I have 15 sites and don’t know who’s working for me.”