INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Driving Disruption in the Midst of the Pandemic
We talked of Elle Quan Co-Founder of Medhyve, an intelligent online medical marketspace raising efficiencies and lowering costs for hospitals with AI-led insights and here is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Elle Quan: I’m actually doing this virtual interview from the Covid Isolation facility in Singapore, recently discharged from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. This journey has given me a new perspective on how the pandemic affects individuals, families and nations.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Medhyve.
Elle Quan: I’m a B2B event professional with expertise in Healthcare and Life Sciences. Seeing the impact of technology and innovation in the provision of healthcare, I found a gap in medical supplies procurement in developing markets. After validating the idea with different stakeholders, I assembled the founding team where I was joined by very young and energetic co-founders.
How does Medhyve innovate?
Elle Quan: We immerse ourselves in the world of our hospital buyers and tune in to their wants and needs. With the feedback we receive, we quickly process internally to come up with better ways of doing things. Sprints help the team come up with clear and logical frameworks in addressing current challenges and innovating to get us to our set goals. We keep our ears on the ground and our eyes on world news, Covid updates and regulatory changes. We leverage technologies available to make processes more efficient and made use of available channels to communicate internally despite the distance.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Elle Quan: The digital push brought about by the pandemic worked well for our business model. Hospitals are forced to digitalise operations including procurement. This helped in our messaging that Medhyve is the better and more efficient way of medical supplies procurement. Even big pharma and medical device companies have started to see our value in the digital world. All these helped to increase our GMV and keep it consistent in the past few months.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Elle Quan: We learned that even in the midst of a crisis, some people may look for ways to benefit only themselves and not the team or the community the company serves. We’ve since tightened our hiring process and worked towards strengthening the core team.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Elle Quan: We’ve had to communicate to the level of our customers. Hospitals in our market are typically family-owned and have been doing things their way for decades. Getting them to consider online purchases and do away with manual calling, paper forms and cheque payments have taken a big chunk of our customer engagement. We’ve had to complement our tech-driven platform with the human touch of calling, texting and visiting hospitals to build relationships.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Elle Quan: No.
Your final thoughts?
Elle Quan: Medhyve is a business with a heart and a mission. If we can provide quality, low priced medical supplies and make medical supplies procurement more cost-effective and transparent, hospitals can focus on what they do best which is to provide healthcare.
Medhyve provides access to innovative products to smaller hospitals. This leads to a better quality of healthcare, eventually bringing down cost and benefitting us and generations after.
Digitalization and Technology are more than hype, these can be used for good. Digital is here to stay and Medhyve is in line with this future.
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