Thomas J. Watson, American businessman and former CEO of technology giant IBM, once said: ‘To be successful [in business], you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.’ For Dr Logeswari Nallathambi, former consultant haematologist and now CEO of, these are words to live by. Except that her vision is not of a market-dominating multinational firm like IBM, Apple or Amazon. Instead, she envisages a platform whose success extends beyond its own boundaries, strengthening local entrepreneurs at a time when market monopolisation threatens to tip the scales beyond reach.

Dr Nallathambi’s unlikely career transition was inspired by a combination of observation and concern for the transformation of local enterprise. She recalls being 'taken aback' by the swift rate at which local high-street shops were closing down, an impression which pointed her towards further research. After six months of investigation and inquiry, she had identified several major contributors to the challenges facing modern-day local businesses. Chief among these were the dominance of multinational companies such as Amazon (boasting an e-commerce market share of 30% in the UK in 2019) and a severe lack of training in basic marketing and technology-oriented skills, particularly for female entrepreneurs. In fact, the ratio of female to male entrepreneurs in the UK is an alarming 1:5, another statistic which Dr Nallathambi remains determined to equalise.

And so OurLocalOnline was born, aimed towards fulfilling key objectives for local vendors:

1.  List your product or service on a simple online e-commerce platform

2. Market your listed products to the right audience through physical and digital means

3. Promote the right products at the right time of year (e.g. during Easter)

4. Network the relevant local entrepreneurs to encourage synergy and collaborative learning

5. Upskill yourself in areas that may not be your expertise (e.g. making videos)

Dr Nallathambi’s commitment to ‘keep the hearts of our communities constantly beating’ has proven invaluable to more than 60 local businesses, from Definite Chocolate in London to A Little Blossom in Addiscombe (which I wrote about in November last year). She also hosts free Zoom events to educate vendors on the strategies needed to grow and thrive, including upcoming talks on the importance of digital marketing competence and business networking.

But her visionary thinking does not stop there. Dr Nallathambi firmly believes that the strongest hand of all must come from the younger generation. In light of this, she plans on starting up MillionMindsPower, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of local businesses within the younger demographic. ‘No one person can change the situation’, she says, ‘we need a million minds to change it.’

As an aspiring medic myself, I find it uplifting to see medical professionals like Dr Nallathambi take such an active role in the wellbeing of our community beyond the ward. She attributes her longing to help others entirely to her time in medicine, a message which sets a warming precedent for my own journey in the near future.