When Pravina Pindoria graduated from BSc Child Nursing in 2004, little did she know that she would later launch a start-up that would improve the work-life balance of many! Here she tells us how Tallyfy is set to change complex routine processes ‘into an easy-to-follow checklist’.
Can you tell me about your time at City?
I really enjoyed my practice placements across schools, wards and clinics at prestigious institutions in a vibrant multicultural area. There were plenty of opportunities presented to network with the brightest professionals in healthcare and education. This taught me one of the most valuable skills – the ability to communicate with and relate to anyone. The course was well balanced to enhance our critical thinking skills in the workplace to make sure we came out asking why for everything that was done in our professional life.
What happened after you graduated?
For the first 10 years, I worked at London’s leading hospitals, carried out international clinical trials abroad, and trained health care teams in rural Africa. I noticed a common pain point and decided to try and fix it by starting my own startup – Tallyfy. Tallyfy is simple, yet powerful workflow and process management software for teams who want to automate and track repetitive tasks. Tallyfy is now headquartered in the US after we received funding from Silicon Valley. Tallyfy is being used across many industries – pharmaceutical companies, universities and nonprofits to track and improve customer onboarding, implementation and approval processes, so that people can focus on their real job roles. I hope we’ll be helping people in the NHS very soon!
Throughout my journey of bedside care in hospitals, working at state-of-the-art research facilities and teaching in under-resourced areas, I noticed one common problem – bureaucracy and paperwork came in the way of professionals trying to do their job – whether it was caring for patients, training employees or innovating. All the places were using badly designed, expensive and hard to configure software and creating workarounds with excel sheets and paper forms. In an age where people had smartphones at home with user-friendly apps to make life easy, I thought this simplicity must be available at work. So, I started working on Tallyfy, an easy-to-use web application that transforms any complex distributed process into an easy-to-follow checklist, so that everyone involved in a multi-step process can see exactly what they need to do, how and by when, and also track the progress of any process in real-time from anywhere in the world, without asking anyone.
What has been the biggest challenge with regards to Tallyfy?
Not getting paid is not fun. Funding is always a challenge for most early stage startups, especially in an expensive city like London. I realised that we had to validate the idea before we even got serious funding. So in the meantime we were looking to move to wherever the cost of living was low, where there was less competition to get a business to test Tallyfy and where we could get initial seed funding. I relocated to South America and the USA, as the first funding we received was $40k from Startup Chile in Santiago, Chile and $50k Arch Grants in St. Louis, Missouri.
When we started out, we were dead set on the technology being used in healthcare, but we quickly discovered that there was a lot of red tape involved in selling to this market and that it would require a lot of patience and custom development. We found that our solution gained traction in small-medium enterprises (SME) in other industries – legal, accounting, online service businesses for customer onboarding and implementation to improve customer retention. These customers had an obvious pain point and a small sales cycle and therefore we decided to pivot to serving this SME market to get initial revenue. We planned to target healthcare at a later stage. We are even thinking about entering the enterprise market around digital transformation.
I have not practised nursing for 3 years now as running a tech startup is a full-time job. I do miss working closely with children and their families, I’m still very passionate about the field.
What has been the most rewarding experience?
I love that what we have created with Tallyfy is improving the quality of someone’s work-life by making routine work simpler and faster to do. It’s wonderful knowing Tallyfy is also creating jobs for people where getting employment is difficult.
I believe that taking a risk and being an entrepreneur has exposed me to invaluable experiences that I would not have been presented to me otherwise. I’ve been invited to international trade delegations, spoken at gender equality and minority inclusion panels and invited to share my story and hopefully encouraged those students and professionals looking to start their own business.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
If you’ve studied for one career and ever thought you’d like to try something else, well you can! Your skills are applicable and valuable in more places than you probably realise. Never say ‘no’ to an opportunity that is presented to you. Say yes, apply for it, rejection may hurt but it’ll teach you precisely what you need to know and do to succeed the next time.
If you have an idea on a way to improve something at university or work, speak up about it, become obsessed with the idea and don’t let it go until you find a way to convince someone to join you to help you make it happen. Infect others with your ideas.
I was always the quietest and most shy person in class, I learned to network later in life. I’d say – learn to network from a young age, pull out your hand, smile and just ask a simple question. You’ll be surprised where it takes you. Always, always follow up with and stay connected with people you meet even if it’s to say ‘nice to meet you’, you never know when they could be helpful to you later in life. Surround yourself with people from different ages, backgrounds, interests and skills – great attributes from all these groups will rub off on you.
Finally, it’s the quick-fire question round!:
Favourite place in London: Brick Lane
Favourite holiday destination: Elqui Valley, Chile
Must-check everyday website: LinkedIn and Mixpanel (it’s for geeky user analytics)
Dream travel destination: China
Cheese or chocolate: Dark chocolate please