Ubasineke Achilike graduated from Rutgers Business School in 2017.

Business education fuels graduate’s success in growing home health care company

When Ubasineke Achilike graduated from Rutgers Business School in 2017, he planned to move to one of the nation’s logistics hubs and work in supply chain management. But Achilike had a change of heart, using his degree instead to help run his family’s home health aide company. 

“I wanted to get it where it needs to be,” said Achilike, who is co-CEO of WellCare Nursing & Staffing with his father, Prince Achilike. His sister, Ugoeze, is second in command of the company, which also trains home health aides to become licensed by New Jersey.

In 2020, Achilike launched Thorough Complete Inc., a temporary staffing agency to provide aides in health care institutions. The family businesses employ 45 people — twice the number they did in 2017 — and serve 60 elderly clients, he said. A third entity he is spearheading is already licensed by Pennsylvania and will soon provide in-home aides in and around Pittsburgh.

Achilike credits Rutgers Business School with helping him develop his business acumen. “What I learned shaped me,” the 31-year-old said. Seven years after graduation, Achilike can rattle off a list of Rutgers instructors who impacted him.

“They brought that industry feeling into the classroom. That kind of expertise is unbelievable,” Achilike said. “They helped me in my thinking; I learned to work through problems and to work in groups.” Through Rutgers, Achilike also landed a seven-month global data management services co-op with Johnson & Johnson in Piscataway. There he honed his analytical, project management and presentation skills.

At WellCare, Achilike has applied skills and processes he learned to streamline operations. That helped keep the business going during the chaos unleashed by the pandemic. 

“Other agencies were closing. There was a shortage of caregivers. We had to find masks and gloves and other PPE [personal protective equipment], and have caregivers tested regularly,” he said. “We had to adapt to all the new regulations that were coming out, keep adjusting.”

Getting through the pandemic “was a matter of staying focused, staying committed,” Achilike said. Home health care is a field that operates on a slim profit margin, which added to the challenges, he explained. While revenue stayed steady, the company increased pay to keep its employees.

Achilike’s family emigrated from Nigeria in 2001 and made Bloomfield their home. His parents became home health aides, and his father went on to become a licensed practical nurse. Prince Achilike started WellCare in 2003. 

Achilike first worked for the family business in 2012 as an assistant manager while earning his associate degree in business administration and management at Essex County College. He enrolled at Rutgers Business School-Newark in 2015, studying supply chain management. In the fall of 2016, he was awarded the Judith Fay Ross Memorial Scholarship. He has belonged to the Association for Supply Chain Management since 2016.

When the family decided to expand into Pennsylvania, Achilike again used his Rutgers Business School education to do market research. Philadelphia, he learned, was saturated with home health aide companies, but the greater Pittsburgh area “had a drought.”

“Going to RBS was a game-changer for me,” Achilike said. “It gave me a broader perspective and helped me build my family’s business.”

-Margaret McHugh







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