Pauv Chandavin is the co-founder and general manager of Health:D Cam, a digital health platform. Health:D Cam provides health and hospital information to Cambodians through its online platform. She co-founded this platform after hearing problems faced by her friends and co-workers. Before starting Health:D Cam, Davin has worked with non-governmental organizations in Cambodia for many years.
[Below is interview’s translation which is edited for clarity.]
Q: How are you doing?
Davin: I am a bit busy these days because I just start my business and work part-time. I create a digital health platform that provides health information to the public. We list hospitals on our website and offer hospital booking services.
Q: When did you start?
Davin: We started in June 2020. We launched our website in September 2020.
Q: Why did you start it?
Davin: It came from my observation and experiences of people around me. They told me their problems. I observe that Cambodians do not receive sufficient health information. Mostly they go to the pharmacy and buy medicines. Some people do not have hospital information. I come up with this idea because I want to provide information to Cambodian people. They can get enough information to make a decision.
Q: How did you start it?
Davin: I was an NGO worker. It was challenging for me when I first started because I had no experience. I began to find a co-founder. I met my co-founder when I asked him to create my website. We found our similarity after discussing this idea. Then, we decided to work together on this start-up. When I first started, I resigned from my job. I lost income, and I had to deal with my team. I faced many challenges. I received positive feedback from our users. I have the energy to continue running this digital platform when it is useful for people.
Q: How do you address your challenges?
Davin: When I quitted my full-time job, I lost my income. I worked as a freelancer to support my living. I couldn’t work full-time as before. I just wanted to earn a living so that I could work on my start-up. When I first started, we didn’t get profit. Some team members left us because of uncertainty. It depends on their views on this digital platform. Some members had not seen this start-up’s future, and some had new ideas for something else. When my team members walked out, I asked myself whether I wanted to continue or quit it. I try to tell myself that this is what I love, and it takes time to see whether it works or not. When this platform can help people, I keep doing it. It is not the end of the journey.
Q: What motivates you to keep going?
Davin: I motivate myself to follow my dream. I want to be an entrepreneur. I listen to my inner voice even though some people told me to give up. No matter what other people told me, I motivate myself to keep doing it.
Q: Did many people tell you to quit?
Davin: There were many people, including my family, friends, and co-workers. It is a new business model. It is different from selling a product in the market that you can know when you profit from your products. This business solves people’s problems, but we don’t know if people are willing to pay us. Because of uncertainty, many people told me to stop working on it. They told me that I shouldn’t waste my time on this business model.
Q: Do you regret quitting your job and work on this business?
Davin: I do not. I had analyzed the pros and cons before I quitted my job. I wrote down what I lose and gain if I quit my job. I only lost my salary when I left my job, and I gained more than just my salary if I start my business. I asked myself whether I can work as a freelancer and work on this business. I see it as an opportunity.
Q: If young women want to start a new business model, what would you tell them?
Davin: I will ask them what they want. They need to ask themselves what they want to do. Are they sure to work until midnight or early morning without getting profit? If they are okay with that, they can start. We need to know ourselves to think critically about whether or not we want to start a business.