This startup offers virtual biz management in Oz healthcare sector

Sangeetha Sharaff

Sangeetha Sharaff


PractiSe Management provides dedicated virtual practice manager to Australian healthcare practitioners based on service level agreements

Globalisation facilitated by the power of the internet has opened new arenas for bright minds to say 'Yes, we can' through their innovative ideas.

A Hyderabad-born commerce graduate leads an all-women team dispersed over Australia and India, has started a virtual operations management service in the healthcare sector of Australia through her startup.

In an exclusive interview with The Hans India, Sangeetha Sharaff, Founder of PractiSe Management, dwells on her plan to introduce an AI-based software solution which offers all such services on one platform.

What is the idea behind founding your startup?

In 2016, I quit my full-time job as my family moved to the United States. While studying the local market in America, I was surprised to see that many activities that I was currently doing, staying on-site in Australia could be outsourced and that the practice managers do not have to stay in the premises.

Thus, the idea of outsourcing business administration of a dental practice came to light. However, as my family was travelling between the US, Australia, and India, I could not focus on the operations of the business right away. Later in 2019, I implemented my idea into a full-fledged business.

Tell us more about the service you provide…

PractiSe Management was founded to assist healthcare practices in Australia with virtual operational management services including digital marketing, SEO, IT upgrades, accreditation, human resources, among others. It is a woman-founded, woman-operated, and work-from-home-based business with 100 per cent women employees.

I operate as a sole trader in Australia and India. The startup is head-quartered in Sydney, and serves clients all over Australia. It operates with its staff working from the comfort of their homes in Hyderabad, Mysore, and Nagpur cities in India.

How many clients do you have onboard?

PractiSe Management is founded to help Australian healthcare practices with business management services, and as such, till date, we have served various clients from across Australia in the sectors of dentistry, medical, allied health and disability care industry.

So far, it has more than 20 service level agreements and a few short-term ongoing contracts for practice accreditation support and consulting.

How different is your service from the peers present in Australia?

Our competitors are individual dental consultants, who predominantly provide on-site services. They may also provide virtual practice management services, as a small part of their service. However, they do not offer an ongoing virtual service. PractiSe Management offers a dedicated virtual practice manager to all the practices based on service level agreements.

Could you tell us about your all women team?

PractiSe Management has over 25 full-time employees and 12 contractors based in India, and the team here looks after the operations, whereas the team in Australia does local marketing. In Australia, there are three members who help in sourcing us new clients and communicate with the local healthcare practices.

How did your collaboration with WeHub take place?

I joined WeHub two years ago during the Covid lockdown period that was in place in Australia and India, as well. After living in Australia for over 20 years, it was difficult to understand the working style of businesses in India. So, my intention behind joining WeHub was to get some insights on how to manage, market and operate the business in India.

We Hub team is amazing; they send me important invites on zoom for all the meetings they conduct which indeed is beneficial for my business expansion. Recently, I told them that I was interested in expanding my business in the UK and USA, so they sent me zoom meetings from their UK delegates which was insightful.

Is there any new offering in the pipeline?

Currently, we provide virtual practice management services to healthcare clients as a digital service. While helping clients with practice management services, I have noticed that these clients use various softwares to get their business operations done, such as Xero for accounting, Deputy for scheduling, rosters, and signing in, Canva for designing, Patient management software, Patient marketing software like Health engine, and others.

Here, I got the thought of why not offer private practices in Australia with an AI-based Practice Management software solution which has all the functions on a single platform, available at a nominal monthly subscription fee. This will rescue dentists and doctor's clinics from opting for multiple softwares to get their work done.

Are there any plans of extending your service beyond dentistry?

Although my work experience is in dentistry, PractiSe Management has already forayed into sectors such as medical, disability care and allied health. In the near future, our AI-based software will be ready for its MVP (minimum viable product) stage, so I am keen to get started with it.

Also, I am interested in starting a new web-based advertising solutions platform exclusively for Australian dentists where they can advertise any jobs, buy/sell, courses, practice sales, rentals, and others.This will create opportunity for professional women in India to manage operations from home.

Which countries and service segments are you looking to go strong?

Virtual practice management services are across all the healthcare sectors in Australia. However, we are not advertising much in the secretarial, surgical, accreditation and scheduling areas. The countries we are planning to make in-roads are New Zealand, UK, USA and Canada, which we propose to take up in the near future.

Can you lend insights into the financials of running PractiSe Management?

I have not been keen on raising capital for the enterprise at this stage, as the business model is feasible and the revenue model is profitable, while supporting the organic growth of the business, in a steady manner.

However, for further expansion of the virtual consulting model for Australian dentists, marketing and expanding the dental advertisements online platform, I might look for capital investments, the numbers for which aren't finalised.

By meticulous planning and budgeting since inception, PractiSe Management has earned revenue of Rs 60 lakh, and year-on-year, we have seen steady growth in the number of clients and the revenues. Currently, we have reached the revenue of Rs 1 crore and we look forward to growing it much further from hereon.

What is your take on, automation cutting down man power?

Automating processes may cut down on man power to a very small extent and not completely. On the contrary, we do need human resources to create systems and also manage them, on the delivery side. Many times, although we automate a few things, it still needs human support and maintenance.

This offers opportunities for people to develop newer skills, so they are equipped to create a better world where healthcare can be taken care of in a much more efficient manner with the help of advanced, cutting-edge technologies.

How open is the industry in India compared to Australia in virtual business management?

Post the pandemic-induced lockdowns, both India and Australia have been gearing up with the rest of the world to accept virtual services. In Australia, when I started PractiSe Management, I had very few enquiries but healthcare practitioners were interested and wanted to know more about the services and how/ if practice management can be done remotely.

Hence, we named it PractiSe Management (with 'S', which means Yes, we can!) as an answer, which is a better and positive concept. Business picked up in 2020, post pandemic, as many healthcare practitioners felt that virtual work was doable and there was not much of a choice.

(This is the fifth interview of WTC Shamshabad- WE Hub Startup Series, a collaborative effort of World Trade Center – Shamshabad and WE Hub, the incubator for women-led startups, to showcase startups founded by women entrepreneurs)

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