Founded by Richa Singh,Puneet Manuja and Prakhar Verma, YourDOST is an online counselling and psychological support system where users can anonymously seek support from psychologists and other trained individuals. As the pressure of home and work lives increase and Indians move to a more nuclear family set up, their support systems begin to disappear and startup,YourDOST has created a platform where individuals can seek guidance in times of need. We chat with Richa about the venture. An excerpt from the interview: What made you start your venture? The idea took birth out of a personal experience and therefore it is not just a business for us. When I was at IIT Guwahati, my hostel-mate committed suicide due to anticipation of bad placement. But none of us had any clue of her suffering before she took the drastic step. I think this could have been avoided. Even though we had counsellors, psychologists in the campus but hardly any one was seeking their support/help. When I started working, people around me were stressed due to job pressures and relationship issues. However again, most of these people were not willing to talk about their problems fearing social implications and for the fear of being called mentally ill. Today, we have so many ways to connect but we feel lonely than ever before. We want to make sure we are connecting to connect and not just to upvote and like but share our emotions With this belief, we started yourdost.com – an emotional wellness platform What has been the key to your business’s success? Team – We have the people who believe in the vision and are passionate to make it big. Problem Statement – We are solving a basic human need and it will exist as long as mankind exists. We are social animals and need someone to be with us through our ups and downs. The new India has rising aspirations and expectations, our natural support system is vanishing, hence we need YourDOST to help us in our everyday things to be the best version of ourselves What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them? Culturally there is so much stigma in our society around discussing about mental health that it requires a lot of education for people to truly believe that seeking support is not a sign of weakness and mental well-being is as important as physical well-being. Our approach has been to spread awareness, to tell people it is ok to be human, it is ok to be vulnerable. Through our hundreds of content, we try to share the stories of people who went through difficult times and a lot of educational content on various topics to spread awareness about mental well-being. Today we have 90+ experts consisting of life coaches, psychologists, career coach, life coach and other experienced people, so our customer always have a rich list of people to select from based on their experience, speciality, language and other factors. We promise anonymity to customers, which encourages them to share their feelings with experts without the fear of being identified from anywhere and at any time of the day. It can be accessed through our web portal YourDOST.com or through our android app bit.ly/YDandroid. Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business? We are fortunate to get a good set of mentors in the form of investors or otherwise. We regularly meet and take guidance of Sanjay Anandaram, PhanindraSama, Bharati Jacob etc. in terms of business. They have built or helped entrepreneurs build huge businesses and we learn a lot from their experiences What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion? We ask for customer feedback after every one to one interaction. > 90% of the customers have felt better after the conversation. For the rest 10% we try to understand the gap and take corrective actions. In terms of strategy it is simple, we really care for people and that can be felt in every interaction users have had with YourDOST What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Hard Work