We talked to NIRAV DALAL on how PsychOnline, an innovative telehealth platform that increases practitioner productivity and improves patient engagement and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
NIRAV DALAL: We are coping as well as we practically can. We are ensuring we behave responsibly when we step out. Luckily we all have been safe and sound by taking the necessary precautions.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded PsychOnline.
NIRAV DALAL: I have been passionate and involved within the healthcare sector for over 15 years now and specifically in how technology can disrupt healthcare. My career started out as an engineer and since then I have involved within the healthcare sector either as a consultant with Deloitte; post my MBA at MIT Sloan or as an entrepreneur within telemedicine and now at PsychOnline where our goal is to help make the practitioners’ more efficient and thereby helping them treat more patients than what they are used to. Everyone is focusing on the patients; but what about the practitioners, how do we help them cope with patient care more efficiently? This is our goal at PsychOnline and that is what drove us to found this company.
How does PsychOnline innovate?
NIRAV DALAL: We are a truly process-driven company with our focus being on reducing the time it takes to treat patients. We innovate through removing in-built process in-efficiency and leveraging data to help reduce the time it takes to treat patients. Ultimately it is about changing the status quo and bringing the practice of healthcare more in-line with the expectations of what users see in other sectors.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
NIRAV DALAL: Likely any other business we have seen our ups and downs due to the pandemic. While there is more interest in the telemedicine component of our product, but the sales cycle for institutional sales and decision making to sign a customer has lengthened. All in all, we would say given what we are seeing in the world around us, we feel we have navigated the pandemic well with overall some impact but not a major impact.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
NIRAV DALAL: We have decided to look long term and while it would have helped to do some cost-cutting, we have decided against it as ultimately our staff is our strength and we are expecting long term exponential growth. It’s important to us, we retain the brainpower that has helped us so far and will continue to help us grow in the future.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
NIRAV DALAL: We continue to rely on CRM tools like salesforce etc. to manage our sales cycle. Ultimately we did not change much during the pandemic on this front.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
NIRAV DALAL: We did get the minimal benefit due to the PPP loan.
Your final thoughts?
NIRAV DALAL: The pandemic has allowed us as a company to start thinking long term vision vs. thinking in a quarter to quarter manner. This has helped us go back to the traditional ways of looking at a business, but all in all, I would say individually the pandemic has allowed us as humans to revisit what matters to us and what really matters.
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