CEO INTERVIEW: Tigerhall: Reach your career, business, and lifestyle life goals faster
New Success Stories - Asia
NELLIE WARTOFT - CEO, Tigerhall
Please share with us briefly what you do.
I’m the founder and CEO of Tigerhall, a knowledge-sharing platform headquartered in Singapore and used across Asia.
What were you doing before this?
Before Tigerhall I led the sales and marketing mid-level recruitment practice in Singapore for Page Group (formerly Michael Page International). I placed over 200 executives in regional roles, was the youngest Senior Consultant to ever be promoted at the firm worldwide and was consistently ranked in the top 3% of revenue generators at group level. This is where I saw the big skills gap that led me to start Tigerhall. There was a big difference between the skills and knowledge candidates had (and believed they needed to learn) and what businesses actually needed their employees to know and learn. So, I decided to build a knowledge-sharing platform that could solve that problem. I raised $1.8m USD in funding and launched Tigerhall.
Describe your product. How does it work?
Tigerhall gives you access to Asia’s most successful business people and their knowledge. In whichever way you prefer to learn – either listening, reading, meeting or even over dinner. We have you covered with in-person workshops, private dinners, mentoring sessions and in-app exclusive and original podcasts and Power Reads. Tigerhall allows employees to get closer to their professional goals, build their cross-industry networks, and learn both the soft and technical skills needed to perform at their very best.
What are the key benefits?
Let’s say you are trying to become a better manager. There are hundreds of thousands of sources on leadership available online. But working out the value, relevance and accuracy of the advice as well as getting the whole picture (which is difficult when you don’t know what you don’t know) can be an absolute chore. We solve that by providing an easy app experience that people love to engage with and provide them with exactly what they need to know – nothing more, nothing less, directly from the people who are at the very top of their corporate game.
Therefore, instead of learning academic leadership theories through long and boring eLearning courses or unreliable online articles, you can learn actionable steps and leadership knowledge that can be applied in your job immediately, from people who have already succeeded in it – and succeeded in it in Asia. Learn from the likes of the Head of Global Strategic Initiatives at Alibaba, Head of Digital Marketing at Facebook APAC, Head of People and Business Partners at Grab, VP of Marketing at Honestbee, Data and Machine Learning Scientist at Microsoft, Head of Technology Innovation at Panasonic and Regional Managing Director at DBS, to name just a few.
Who are your closest competitors?
I’d probably say Masterclass. We both strive to offer the very best people to learn from, in an entertaining way, however, there are some big differences. Tigerhall is built for business professionals and offers a diverse range of mediums to learn via, including both online and offline. Whereas Masterclass focuses on creative/arts and hobbies, and only via video materials.
Who is your first customer and how did that happen? What were they using before this, and why did they switch?
We’re a consumer-first product so we have a vast number of individual subscribers using Tigerhall. But one of our first large corporate clients was one of the US social media giants. Just like all our corporate clients, they are a very forward-thinking organisation in general but especially when it comes to learning, and I was very impressed with the way they viewed employee development and access to individual learning. They use a variety of tools and platforms, since different tools suit different employees, but have found big success with Tigerhall as it speaks to the individual as a person (rather than as a professional) and thus has much higher engagement levels than corporate eLearning options. Tigerhall is especially successful with engaging the millennial workforce who prefer to do everything in life on the go and through mobile apps.
What motivated you to start this business?
The world is a very competitive place, an incredibly fast-changing place, and a rather unequal place. Putting these three factors together, it’s difficult to get ahead the way you used to be able to in the past.
Over the past 200 years, a university degree has pretty much set you up for success. That’s not the case anymore. With more people attending university, coupled with slow-moving education systems struggling to keep their curriculum up to date, you need something more to set you apart and succeed in life. I believe that critical factor is access to successful people and the knowledge they have. That’s why I built Tigerhall – to give people the access to precisely that knowledge, from the people who are at the top of their field today.
Describe a typical workday
My day usually starts off with meeting a potential expert, today it’s the ex-president of AirAsia, Kathleen Tan. We’re discussing an actionable leadership podcast she is about to produce with us, disseminating her incredibly successful career into something others can put into practice in their workplaces. Then it’s on to a meeting with the community team at DBS who have purchased Tigerhall subscriptions to give to their online community to help them with the financial and career aspects of their lives. Next, it’s lunch with the team and a few calls to Malaysia and India which are the two markets we’re expanding to in the second half of 2019. I then brief our engineering team in Sweden on product updates. Then I’m off to meet with Nisha, a new Tigerhall member, to understand her ambitions and needs better and see what Tigerhall can do to add more value to her. Finally, I’m head over to 1880 to host one of our private dinners with Gareth Nicholson, Head of Fixed Income at Bank of Singapore to discuss big data in finance with 10 Tigerhall members.
What has been your proudest moment in the history of your business and why?
Every time a user shares with me what they learnt on Tigerhall and then implemented it in their daily lives and the impact it had on them.
What’s one productivity hack you can’t live without?
Podcasts. When I can use my commuting time for learning and listening to the latest international affairs, I can free up many hours every week to spend meeting people or planning for the business. I love being able to put otherwise wasted time to good use.
More about Nellie:
First job: McDonald’s
Favorite book: ‘The Social Animal’ by David Brooks
Favorite Music: EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and tropical house
Favorite author: Tash Aw
Last holiday: Tuscany in Italy
When you are not at work, where can we most likely find you? In a bookstore or at an event at 1880
Check out the links below :
Download on the App Store
Download on Google Play