Shipra Dawar is the CEO of ePsyClinic.com, India’s leading online mental health care provider. With zeal to help people who have to deal with stressors and mental disorders, she founded ePsyClinic.com. Shipra has done MBA from Australian National University with distinction in Leadership & International Business. Compassion and determination are two of her qualities that keep her going through thick and thin. She has been an active member of an NGO and contributed to other acts of peace and harmony.
ePsyClinic.com offers various services pertaining to age Group, Life Stage, Personal Context and Debilitating Issues. As the founder of ePsyClinic.com, she looks ahead to make scientific and world class therapy, counseling, positive wellness focused psychiatry & psychology services available to maximum people. Read the complete interview to learn more about her endeavor.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
ePsyClinic.com is India’s leading & largest completely Online, positive emotional and mental well-being mega clinic. We are here to make people truly happy and in complete state of well-being using scientific and world class therapy, counselling, positive wellness focused psychiatry & psychology services. Anybody facing major stress in life due to work, relationships, care giving, loss of loved one, parenting, sexuality, pregnancy etc. and/or facing anxiety or depressive symptoms can consult and avail complete online management of the issue from India’s and World’s top mental healthcare providers at the comfort of their own locations and in a completely private & anonymous setting. Our Providers are intensively trained in-house by ePsyClinic.com for delivering positive emotional and mental wellness. ePsyClinic.com only cares about one bottom line and that is complete well-being of its clients/patrons.
Speaking about technology for delivery of our mental & emotional wellness services, ePsyClinic.com has instant one click & later online consultation through secured & in-built video call, audio call, text chat & in-mailing service along with proprietary & exclusive real-time shareable online planners, thought diaries, record and alert system to manage client’s complete wellness process! We are improving and doing R&D in house for making our further video call service also available on lower bandwidths, keeping focus on connectivity issues that our clients in India face especially in Tier II, III and IV cities. We are also introducing automated & one click telephonic consultation facility. ePsyClinic’s android & iOS app development is nearing completion and will be launched by last week of June, 2015.
What inspired you to build the above product/service?
The inspiration was the staggering gap between the demand & supply, the exceptionally high need for “an all acceptable, accountable & accessible” structured mental & emotional wellness service designed for today’s India and yet a near vacuum at the Supply Side. Today, over 50% of all working people in India face chronic Stress. Over 42% people working in private sector face depression or anxiety. India also has the maximum number of people who have suffered at least one major depressive episode. About 80% of all Indians at least once go through a major life stressor that often throws them off balance emotionally and leaves them in a prolonged state of unhappiness. Yet less than 5% of people facing these issues seek help. Apart from stigma, there are three supply side reasons for this.
First & Foremost, the Providers of mental health care are speaking the language of symptoms to generate awareness. Nothing wrong here as this is fairly the regular practice. However, in issues of mental & emotional wellness, the knowledge of the symptoms alone is not enough, because the person facing these issues often cannot understand that he/she is experiencing these symptoms. For mental wellness & emotional health, therefore, there was an evident need to speak and reach out in a language that the person can connect and identify with, thus driving acceptability of the issue at hand along with need to seek professional help/guidance/perspective. Second, there was a gap for accountability for positive mental wellness outcomes. Third gap was of accessibility.
People often wish to consult and work with a mental wellness professional in night/early morning, while they are at home or at work and that too in a private & completely confidential setting. This Triple Gap formed the basis and the inspiration for developing and launching ePsyClinic.com. We at ePsyClinic.com speak the language of not just symptoms but also of life situations, triggers, emotions that the person can easily connect with. We train extensively our providers for positive health outcome delivery, research extensively on issues of our target audience to devise services, thus making our mental wellness services accountable. We are Online with all possible modes (video, audio, text chat, telephone) so we are accessible at any place, at any time in a completely Private & anonymous setting.
What are the major problems that people approach ePsyclinic for?
People approach ePsyClinic for variety of emotional & mental stressors and issues that they are facing. These have been issues/stressors at work, in relationships, of sexuality, caregiving & parenting. But ePsyClinic.com is not only a place to get help for problems, rather we are a mental wellness brand. So we have positive services for helping a client strike the right balance in life based on his/her unique needs. We have structured a pregnancy phase holistic mental & emotional wellness program, professional wellness program. So people approach ePsyClinic for these growth & positive emotional & mental wellness focused interventions & services as well. Going forward, our approach will be to create more positive & growth oriented programs that could be easily availed online.
What is your life mantra?
Need – Led Innovation & honest prayers always fructify.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The biggest challenge was to attract the “right” talent. This was critically important for ePsyClinic as in our services, real value is delivered by the doctors/psychologists working for ePsyClinic. It was somewhat challenging initially to find doctors/psychologists who are not only exceptionally talented and experienced but also open to learn, to be extensively trained for a new concept and a new model of service focused at wellness and not illness; and deliver service through a technology platform. We kept reaching out, used multiple channel strategies, and had numerous discussions, meetings to form the right founding team for ePsyClinic. It was a tedious and a challenging process but looking back, I am glad that we took these efforts as ePsyClinic.com shaped exactly the way it was planned for. Also, providers who approach to join us today are professionals with exactly same values and this has saved us a lot of time and effort in ongoing Talent Hunt.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are bootstrapped until now and this had been planned intentionally. We wanted that the ePsyClinic brand should be structured on a core belief system of being a positive, de-stigmatising, accountable & accessible emotional & mental wellness service. We did not want any dilution or diversion from this. Now that we have successfully achieved our goal of structuring every aspect of ePsyClinic.com’s service around the core belief system, we will be actively looking for investments from larger PE funds & institutional investors who can join us as partners in this noble and commercially rewarding venture, and stay with us for longer term & bring in their expertise for scalability & growth.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We have three main processes to control attrition of Talent and attrition of Ideas.
Soft Practices: We are a very Lateral Organisation. Every provider, employee, software developer, marketing professional can pitch in creative ideas and I and other people in leadership positions help implementing these if they are feasible and value adding. We give power of innovation to every individual working for ePsyClinic. This freedom to create and innovate is a great motivator and helps control attrition.
Hard Practices: We have a very strict hiring policy both for part time & full time providers and other employees. Our company does not allow anyone working for us, to work for another Online/app based service or business.
Organisationally embedded practices: All the knowledge that we have developed, be it in the form of processes, programs, trainings, interactions, creative cycle processes are organisationally embedded. It does not sit with one individual. Even if I break away from ePsyClinic, I may not be able to create another ePsyClinic. It’s very difficult to pull out one idea from ePsyClinic and implement it in a different organisation.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
– Creativity & Imagination
– Ability to Learn, Improve & Pivot
– Teamwork & Leadership Abilities
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Focused and Goal Oriented hard work is the key. Set a challenging yet realistic goal and work really hard towards it. Success will follow.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
The biggest mistake for an individual is to stop trying. Keep working towards your goal. You may need to change a few strategies, but never fall in the trap of inaction!
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Openness to learn and improve is essential in life. One should be open to learning from anyone who has knowledge, irrespective of their position in a team or society at large.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
To make our mental wellness and healthcare services reach each & every Indian who needs it, whether living in India or living Abroad.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs