It’s a busy Monday morning at the Prime Clinic, a thriving private clinic founded by Arman Alibai in the heart of Bishkek. Patients queue up to see one of 24 doctors, who provide services in 12 specialties, including pediatrics, neurology, otolaryngology, and even cosmetology.
In the Kyrgyz Republic, traditional state-owned clinics and hospitals offer outdated equipment, a lack of well-trained doctors, and inconsistent quality. Arman knew that private medical care was a growing market and that every year more people were choosing to pay for quality treatment.
A New Type of Healthcare Clinic
It took two years to get the clinic up and running. After researching operations all over the world, Arman modeled his clinic after the highly successful Open Clinic in Moscow. With access to Open Clinic managers, Arman gained valuable insights into running a business and established the Prime Clinic based on their best practices. Soon, he saw an opportunity to grow his business, create jobs, and expand the range of quality healthcare services available in the country. But Arman’s lack of investment capital prevented him from moving forward.
Entrepreneur Gains Key Skills From Business Acceleration Program
In February 2019, the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project launched a business acceleration program for early-stage and startup companies in the Kyrgyz Republic. This project, implemented by ACDI/VOCA, aims to increase the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises through end-market linkages, increased human, social, and financial capital, and an improved business enabling environment.
“I accidentally saw a call for applications to the USAID business accelerator program on Facebook, and I immediately applied,” Arman said.
Facilitators of the three-month program analyzed each of the 22 participating businesses through the lens of potential investors. They determined the maturity level of the businesses, the appropriate types of funding at their current stage, and milestones to advance to the next level of development.
“Initially, I thought that this seminar would teach me about business acceleration in the traditional sense. But I was pleasantly surprised when the expert from the United States taught us business pitching skills. . . . [We] don’t have this in local universities.” — Arman Alibai, a business acceleration program participant
Since opening in 2018, the number of patients enrolled at the Prime Clinic has grown to more than 2,600. The clinic uses client management software to make online appointments, manage patient accounts, offer standard patient examination protocols, and provide transparency of clinic development statistics.
Plans for Expansion
Upon graduation, the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project nominated four entrepreneurs with the best business plans to receive grants. Arman was one of them. With the grant, he plans to add a fully equipped ear, nose, and throat facility, where patients can receive a quick diagnosis and proper treatment. With new equipment, Arman will spend less on services and increase the volume of patients he can see.
“We plan to make this clinic one of the top clinics in the city in the next two years,” he said. “We will open an even larger clinic in three to five years, where we will offer more advanced services, including surgery.”
Within one year, Arman expects to double his income and increase profits by 25 percent.
Learn more about the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project.
Lear more about our work in the Kyrgyz Republic.