Meet the Expert: Tamanna Prashar, Chief Operating Officer
In celebration of International Day of Women + Girls in Science, we’re chatting with Tamanna Prashar, Chief Operating Officer of Hound Labs, for the next installment in our ‘Meet the Experts’ series.
Tamanna is an accomplished healthcare executive with significant experience driving operational scale, achieving supply chain efficiencies, and improving processes in complex global corporations. She has a successful track record of leading transformational change and fostering a culture of process excellence by creating a shared vision, bringing teams along, and delivering results through strong execution. She has been instrumental in building and growing multiple business functions across the supply chain, manufacturing, quality, distribution, and customer service.
Hi Tamanna, thanks for taking the time to chat. We’re celebrating the International Day of Women + Girls in Science. Can you please tell our readers about how you discovered your interest in science and technology?
My dad’s work with airplanes piqued my interest in science and technology at an early age. Seeing him spend so much time with these complex machines, including flight simulators to real planes on the production floor, fascinated me.
In school, I applied science techniques when playing individual and team sports. As an athlete, I always tried to improve my speed or optimize for better performance and greater output. That theme stuck with me and continued to build during my young adult years, ultimately leading to my interest in science and technology and my major in industrial engineering.
How important is the representation of women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, + Math) programs?
I’d love to see more middle and high school girls becoming aware of the real world of science + technology and the many options this field offers. For example, field trips can create awareness of various roles and functions across the value chain. This exposure can help drive interest and sustain engagement for women in STEAM, which is crucial for the long-term representation of women in these fields.
It is critical for women to have representation, as they represent half or more of the user base across multiple industries or sectors.1 Women can bring a unique and always valuable perspective, and it is the melding of a variety of inputs that always leads to the best outcomes.
Do you have any advice for women pursuing a career in a STEAM field?
My advice is DON’T BE SHY. Seek mentors, expand your networks, and know that no idea is a bad idea.
In the STEAM fields, women currently represent just 27% of the demographic in science and engineering.2 Due to this minority representation across academic institutions and corporate entities, many women tend to be shy about speaking up or sharing their opinions. Speaking directly to those women interested in STEAM – you need to know your opinion counts, and we need you to speak your mind, regardless of who is in the room or around the proverbial table.
Who or what inspires you in the science + technology fields today?
Today, very few products are standalone. When a product is developed, it is no longer just about the result it provides, but about the ecosystem it sustains across support and services.
For example, the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER is connected to our proprietary software, the Hound Labs Retriever™ database. Data regarding the donor and collected sample can be tracked in the Retriever™ results database. This requires software programming, secure data transfer capabilities, wireless connectivity, and a fully functional customer portal. Creating this ecosystem and delivering the maximum value for our end customers truly excites me.
What was your first job in the science + technology fields? How has your career evolved?
I started my career after college at Boston Scientific as an Industrial Engineer. It was our team’s goal to use LEAN concepts3 to improve the overall output of our manufacturing production lines. This opportunity helped me get on the production floor, understand the inputs and outputs in the manufacturing process, analyze how long each operation took, and then work with the manufacturing teams to improve our processes. Collaborating with the folks who built the products on the factory floors and applying engineering acumen to increase capacity, volume, and performance was incredibly satisfying. I soon realized that those LEAN principles and optimization skills could also be used in other aspects of the business.
These career choices have culminated in me joining Hound Labs, where I have the opportunity to design, clinically test, build, and deploy a game-changing recent use breath test to the market. The HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER will help empower employers to foster safe and fair work environments .
At Hound Labs, we’re focused on introducing a recent use cannabis breath testing technology. How exciting – and challenging – is it to be part of something groundbreaking?
With the legalization of cannabis in some states and evolving laws in others, employers need a solution that support safety initiatives while maintaining fair policies for employees. The HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER is a breath test that identifies only recent cannabis use. Aligning test results to use that surrounds the workday empowers employers to deter use and attract and retain employees.
The opportunity to bring such a novel product to the market is very exciting. The work invested in assembling a team, establishing the supply chain of raw materials, creating a manufacturing process, scaling production to meet demand, and distributing the product nationally is a privilege. Our goal is to produce an ultra-sensitive product to address this unmet need, and I am excited by the opportunity for such a large-scale impact across multiple industries.
Outside of work, what else are you passionate about?
Outside of work, I love to spend time with my family. I have two super active boys (7 and 10) who keep me on my toes and have my husband and me constantly juggling their many interests and activities. We love to travel, explore new destinations, and spend time with our respective families and friends.
I also love to learn more about my team. I spend a lot of time “managing by wandering,” as it allows me to get to know everyone professionally and personally while understanding the team’s challenges at all levels. I get excited when my team proposes doing potlucks, which helps us understand each other’s cultures better. It takes us one step closer to our work colleagues in becoming our work family.
MEET MORE EXPERTS
Check out our other ‘Meet the Expert’ blogs to learn more from Hound Labs’ leaders Sammie Dabbs, Executive Vice President of Sales, and Nina M. French, President of Employer + Law Enforcement Solutions.
About Tamanna Prashar
Tamanna Prashar is an accomplished healthcare executive with significant experience driving operational scale, achieving supply chain efficiencies, and improving processes in complex global corporations. She has a successful track record of leading transformational change and fostering a culture of process excellence by creating a shared vision, bringing teams along, and delivering results through strong execution. Tamanna’s expertise in multiple aspects of business operations, coupled with solid people leadership, has led to businesses achieving exponential scale, expanding capacity, and achieving operational flexibility while benefiting from gross margin improvements.
Tamanna holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. In addition to Tamanna’s academic achievements, her research and analysis work has contributed to five published journal articles. Tamanna has spoken at multiple conferences and has been an adjunct professor of business operations at the Keck Graduate Institute.
February 9, 2023
By CASEI MALONE