GENZUM LIFE SCIENCES

Los Angeles

BUSINESS: Generic pharmaceuticals

FOUNDED: 2010

TWO-YEAR REVENUE GROWTH: 1,528 percent

2013 REVENUE: $8.6 million

Responses from Chief Executive Chris Achar:

What did you do to achieve the company’s growth? The No. 1 thing is supporting the business, primarily by paying attention to our partnerships and the relationships we have across our ecosystem. If the idea is to keep the momentum going, managing those relationships and executing on everything within the partnership is key. Ultimately, that combination of us, them and our end product is what creates tremendous value. That trifecta really attributes to our growth over the past couple of years. It’s a combination of those things and more.

How did you manage the growing workload? For example, did you have to add space or move into new facilities?

We’re product-by-product based. Every time a new product comes into the pipeline we rely heavily on our internal development teams and external ecosystem partners to execute on that new product. As far as the growing workload is concerned, it’s about having the right people on the inside and outside to see a product through the development cycle.

What was the biggest challenge for your staff?

Execution. Being in the highly regulated pharmaceuticals industry, expectations are high. There’s not a whole lot of room for error, so the emphasis on execution is both a challenge and a high priority. We’re focused on having a good routine of touching base with one another regularly via project updates, statuses, etc. Having the discipline to adhere to that routine is key and after that are finer adjustments on a product-specific basis.

Do you plan on continuing a fast-growth path or has the time come to slow down a bit?

We definitely plan to continue growing. The timing is right, and in the industry there are a lot of partnerships and collaborations happening right now. Big pharma is working with smaller companies like us, who can move fast, are experts in our domain and willing to co-invest in the space. We want to capitalize on that while the iron’s still hot.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned over the last three years?

Managing expectations is very important. It applies to shareholders, investors, commercial partners, vendors and employees. If you can figure out the expectations part, it’s infinitely easier to integrate all those areas into forming a company. You take an approach of underpromise and overdeliver – that works quite well.

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