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Position: Founder and president Company: ADVENT What it does: A medical practice that focuses on providing in-office sinus and snoring solutions. Career: Dr. Madan Kandula founded ADVENT in 2004 with his wife, Dr. Gwen Kandula, an audiologist, as an independent medical practice in Wauwatosa. It has since grown to include 10 clinic locations across southeastern Wisconsin, Appleton and the Chicago area. Kandula is credited with pioneering innovations in sinus surgery, including being the first in Wisconsin to perform balloon sinuplasty.
ADVENT worked throughout the spring and summer to open its new clinic, located in The Loop in downtown Chicago, when it ran into several obstacles along the way.
“We made the decision to build out on Jackson Street. There were hurdles right out of the gate because of COVID, getting permits, just simple things that you take for granted. … It was definitely an obstacle course coming right out of the gate, as in every single day here’s a new situation we weren’t planning on. Construction dragged out to almost a ridiculous end,” Kandula said.
“This was in the midst of the lockdowns and, as we got further along with construction, then came the civil unrest that was happening right at our doorstep down there. As we had just gone through some of the construction obstacles, there are literally thousands of people protesting on Jackson Street, in that area. That unfortunately devolved into looting, window smashing and all that stuff. This was all leading up to when we were planning to open, which was back in August. So, we’re coming toward the end of construction and they’re pulling up the bridges in Chicago. … How do you finish your project when you literally can’t get there?”
When construction was finally completed, on the night before ADVENT planned to open its new clinic, a boiler leak damaged the entire office.
“All that new construction, all the medical equipment, everything we had just put in there was ruined. We basically just had water dropped from the ceiling and it drowned the location,” Kandula said.
“Going through the things we went through to get to that point, you’re at the one-yard line about to walk in and then all of the sudden you get blindsided and you’re down. … What are you going to do there? This is true of our company: The more you go through together as a team, the more dedicated to the mission you become. So even though everything we had just done got ruined, it was obvious what we were going to do. We’re going to find a way to get it done. And we did do that. And, finally, in November we were able to open up that location and, lo and behold, patients are flocking to that location, which is awesome.”
“As we’ve gotten bigger, we have gotten resilient. Coming through this, it was a sense of purpose and mission … and part of it was optimism. From a business standpoint, even in the worst of times, there’s always a glimmer of hope. I know we are very capable but for me on the back end, coming through this, I’d say what I knew in my heart I know now with my eyes and ears because I’ve seen it firsthand (how we) respond to a challenge.”
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