Helping professionals achieve career goals: Q&A with Tigerhall’s Nellie Wartoft

Tigerhall allows users to learn directly from the top management of established brands in the region.

Image from PR Nellie Wartoft. CEO and founder of TigerHall.

Singapore-headquartered edtech startup Tigerhall recently expanded to Malaysia, a mere eight months after its launch in February.

Unlike many existing ed tech firms in the market which typically provide online tuition to students seeking long-distance learning options, Tigerhall is a knowledge sharing platform that aims to help professionals achieve their career and life goals by learning directly from the most successful people in their fields. If anything, it is akin to TED Talks.

Via the Tigerhall mobile app, users gain access to bite-sized podcasts and short reads by successful experts from some of the region’s most renowned brands, among them Facebook, Google, DBS, and Grab.

Aside from mobile learning, Tigerhall also organizes networking events ranging from private dinners and exclusive lunches, to closed-door events for users to have one-to-one interactions with experts in various fields.

KrASIA recently spoke to Tigerhall founder Nellie Wartoft to learn more about this young company and its upcoming plans.

KrASIA (Kr): What was the inspiration behind Tigerhall? 

Nellie Wartoft (NW): Tigerhall was inspired by stark knowledge gaps that I identified back when I was a practice lead at Michael Page.

From my conversations with businesses across the region, I found three key knowledge gaps in the workforce that needed plugging: soft skills, as well as leadership, and commercial skills. These observations were compounded by findings reported by the World Economic Forum that at least 54% of all employees will require upskilling or reskilling by 2022. I felt that we needed more effective ways to learn and equip professionals with the tools to excel in the 2020s.

I also found that most of the professionals I had helped to place had certain life goals or aspirations that they were looking to realize. However, they did not have access to the people who have already done what they dreamt of doing, let alone the ability to learn directly from them and their success.

I thought that it would be a good idea to connect them with successful people who have insights to share the mistakes they’ve made, how they maintain their success, and the key action steps professionals need to take today to get closer to their goals or be better at their jobs.

Kr: So what is Tigerhall in your words? 

NW: It is a 21st-century university in our pockets that teaches us actionable ideas that are actually relevant to our lives in today’s business landscape. In this university, all the professors are the current numero unos (the most important in a group of people) in their respective fields.

Kr: What are your user demographics like?

NW: Our core users are primarily professionals between the ages of 27 and 40 years old. They work in regional mid-level managerial roles within realms such as sales, finance, marketing, digital, and tech.

Apart from this main demographic, we also have a small number of students and senior executives who use Tigerhall to tap into the minds of Asia’s most successful people.

Kr: How did you get senior executives and experts onboard to share their knowledge?

NW: Our expert relations team approaches senior business leaders who we feel can add value to our users and help them progress. The experts that you see on our platform resonate with the Tigerhall way of learning and are very encouraging towards helping our ambitious users.

Kr: Who are your biggest competitors in Malaysia and Singapore?

NW: We do not have direct competitors as the Tigerhall way of learning is unique. Outside of China, there are no platforms that offer access to a bank of content and experts on-demand like Tigerhall does.

What we are competing against, however, is the time and attention of consumers. From that perspective, we always aim to stand out from media publications, free podcasts available on audio streaming platforms, and other digital content providers.

Kr: What makes Tigerhall stand out among the competition? 

NW: Firstly, all the content that we curate and events that we organize for users are with experts at the top of their industries. If you have a look at our app, you’ll find leaders at the helm of organizations such as Facebook, Google, Netflix, Deloitte, Air Asia, Grab, and DBS Bank. This access is hard to find anywhere else.

Secondly, the insights provided by Tigerhall’s content and events are highly actionable. At the end of every podcast, power read, private dinner and workshop, users will be able to takeaway three actionable points that they can apply in their jobs and lives as soon as the next 24 hours. Tigerhall members have provided feedback that this format is a breath of fresh air compared to the learning programs currently provided to professionals that are typically lengthy. These programs leave learners disengaged, and unsure of the next steps to take.

Thirdly, Tigerhall is also a one-stop learning platform where users can access a wide variety of relevant content on-demand. Our app allows users to access specific content whenever they have a need. For instance, a sales manager looking for pitching tips before a new business meeting can digest a seven-minute power read by the managing director of Accenture during the cab ride to the prospective client’s office.

Kr: What is your strategy for the Malaysian market versus Singapore? 

NW: It is a similar strategy, except that the content that we are curating and the events that we are organizing in Malaysia will be more localised and market-specific. We have brought in experts who are based in Malaysia and have the nous and insights from decades of experience of succeeding in the country.

Some of the experts are AirAsia’s head of brand, Rudy Khaw; Uniqlo’s former COO in Malaysia, Jocelyn Ng; Fave’s CTO, Arzumy MD; Kellogg’s chief marketing officer of Southeast Asia, Sanjib Bose; and 7-Eleven Malaysia’s former CEO, Gary Brown.

Kr: What are your plans for the Southeast Asian region for the next three to five years?

NW: We see Southeast Asia as an important market for us but we are still currently focusing on the Singapore and Malaysia markets.

Kr: What new product features can Tigerhall users look forward to in the coming year?

NW: Our team is working hard behind-the-scenes to ensure continuous curation of content. We want to provide users with even more personalized and tailored content to help them achieve their goals.

At the moment, we cater to nine goals that we identified during our conversations with today’s professionals: master marketing, close every deal, make more money, succeed at work, live a healthy life, widen my world, influence people, talk tech, and be a better leader.

We are looking to add more options and continue being a valuable learning partner to our users.

We are also looking to incorporate artificial intelligence that can enhance user experience, such as providing users with content recommendations based on their past consumption behavior and habits.