While at IIT, Guwahati, Richa Singh’s hostel-mate committed suicide because she foresaw bad placements when it came to getting a job. Richa and other students had no idea that the deceased had been going through this trauma beforehand. And, even though there were counselors and psychologists in the campus, she didn’t seek any help. Richa observed the same patterns of stress in people when she started working, due to job related pressures and relationship issues. In these cases as well, not many people were willing to talk about it, either because of social implications or for the fear of being labeled “mentally unstable”.
Releasing the pressure
Clearly seeing that there were a large number of people going through stress, Richa discussed the idea of counseling people online with her co-founder, Puneet, who had faced similar issues earlier. Puneet had faced placement issues even though he was a gold medalist in his batch at NIT, Trichy. After brainstorming and refining their ideas, they conceptualized about creating a platform where people can anonymously seek support. Within less than 24 hours of sharing the idea to Satyajeet, another co-founder, he started the coding work to materialize YourDOST. December 2014 is when the idea finally shaped up to be the technology product, www.yourdost.com.
I have found very supportive people in times of obstacles. My belief now is that people are ready to help – it is more a matter of reaching out to them.”
Seeking help to help out others
However, since neither of the founders had a background in the field of psychology, there were a lot of hurdles that they faced before they could get YourDOST out of the ground. Therefore, the entrepreneurs reached out to psychologists for their opinions on how to go about building the business. To the entrepreneurs’ fascination, the psychologists were very helpful in shaping the business just a little better. Another problem Richa faced was in scaling the technology. As Satyajeet was located in the US, and couldn’t move to India, it was hard for him to work on the technology from afar. Luckily, the enthusiastic business woman was fortunate to meet Prakhar Verma, who immediately agreed to help them by taking their technology to the next level. Richa is very fortunate to have met the right people at the right time, and she says, “I have found very supportive people in times of obstacles. My belief now is that people are ready to help – it is more a matter of reaching out to them.”
Exponentially growing the company
YourDOST, after having overcome the obstacles, has grown exponentially. They began with a team of 2-3 people with about 300 users, to a team of 30 people plus 650 psychological experts with more than 6 lakh users. The company is going at top speed and is looking to focus on dominating the Indian market by cracking down the market completely. The funds they raised will help them scale to have a PAN India presence. Richa says, “We want to become a one-stop solution for people’s wellness, be it personal, professional or academic.”
Give it a try! The worst that can happen is you fail, which will lead you back to the life you had when you started out. But if you don’t try, you will never know about the success you could have achieved.”
Extending the help
Now a successful entrepreneur, Richa tells us that belief is all it takes for a person to become successful, and one must never refrain from trying. She goes on to say, “Give it a try! The worst that can happen is you fail, which will lead you back to the life you had when you started out. But if you don’t try, you will never know about the success you could have achieved.” Richa has marked her place in society by leaving a beneficial footprint that helps thousands of people who are going through stress, saving lives too, in a way. We honour the bold moves that Richa took with her career and hope her story inspires many more to do the same.