Yash Malhotra and Shevantika Nanda are the Co-Founders of Mimblu. Mimblu is Mumbai based mental healthcare startup that offers asynchronous text-based therapy on its app from certified therapists.
WHO estimates that the burden of mental health problems in India is 2443 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 1,00,00 population; the age-adjusted suicide rate per 1,00, 000 population is 21.1. The economic loss due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is estimated at USD 1.03 trillion.
Amidst the pandemic and lockdown, the founder Yash Malhotra started suffering from anxiety and other health issues. He was a big proponent of therapy and felt a huge positive impact after using it. He spoke to his friends who have been facing the same mental health issues and advised the same. The denial nature of people to go to the therapists prompted him to think that accessibility to the therapist was not the problem but taking the first step was the real problem. This led to the birth of Mimblu.
Mimblu is Mumbai based mental healthcare startup that offers asynchronous text-based therapy on its app from certified therapists. Mimblu enables users to consult mental healthcare therapists through either chat, by sharing voice notes, or via video calls—which can be scheduled as per convenience and availability. It is a clinically proven format of therapy.
“The therapy is very comfortable for both patient and the therapist. The text-based format of therapy makes it very easy especially for beginners. The patient can access the app from anywhere without needing additional private space as you may need for video sessions (where everyone can hear you and see you). Additionally, it’s great for therapists as they can give more time or handle more patients in a given time”, adds Shevantika.
Most of their target is Gen Z and millennials. Mostly Gen Z and slightly lesser millennials. They have made the format more approachable as compared to the traditional way.
Prime USPs of Mimblu
Yash informs, “Nobody in India or in the mental health space uses asynchronous text-based therapy which differentiates Mimblu from its competitors. Text-based therapy is quick, convenient, and easily accessible – you don’t need a private place or a specific time.”
“Mimblu is trying to build a therapist-driven community. Therapists of the platform also get opportunities to upskill and learn more. They can share resources, discuss cases and support each other and grow together”, shares Shevantika.
Statistics show that 1 in every 5 individuals suffers from some form of mental health illness symptoms. 50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. Mental illness can be triggered by multiple factors. Some of the factors are long-term acute stress, biological factors, drug abuse, and overdose, cognitive behavior like constant negative thoughts, low energy, etc, and social problems like financial problems, breakdowns, isolation, etc.
Yash mentions, “Text is the easier format of communication for our audience. Thus, adoption got absolutely easy. The great thing about Gen Z is they have a lot less stigma, and are more willing and accepting of mental health as a conversation.”
Yash emphasizes, “Mimblu doesn’t practice psychiatry on the platform nor provides medications. Mimblu focuses on behavioral wellness for stress, anxiety, and depression.
The customer base of Mimblu
Yash says, “We already had over 10,000 chat conversations on the app since inception.”
India has just 43 state-run mental health institutions across the country. 3800 psychiatrists available as against the requirement of 11,500; 898 clinical psychologists as against 17250, 850 psychiatric social workers as against 23000, 1500 psychiatric nurses as against 3000. That means there is only one psychiatrist for four lakh Indians and only 1,022 college seats for mental health professionals are set aside in India. Insurance companies do not provide medical insurance to people who are admitted to hospitals with mental illnesses.
“When you seek mental health, it can be for any reason ranging from something serious like anxiety, depression, or peer pressure to just needing somebody to talk to. Mimblu is all about behaviour wellness, it can be for some people who are not struggling at all but want to improve their quality of life. Maybe they want to build better habits or want to keep mental health in check. We have people facing different challenges like relationship issues, family issues, work-life balance, and stress management along with the problems that require clinical treatment on our platform, “she adds.
The startup is bootstrapped.
Expansion and future plans
On being asked about management, Yash replies, “Shevantika has taken up the heavy role of not just onboarding therapists but designing the SOPs for therapists, upskilling them, and providing training so that we get the right folks on our platform.”
Yash emphasizes, “We see Mimblu as a global company coming out of India within the healthcare space. The quality of therapists can not only serve the people of India but other English-speaking countries also. 20% of our users are coming from outside India without any marketing. So, we are very confident that we can target other country’s markets also. We are building an Indian organization for the world.”
Mimblu solving the problem of shortage of mental health professionals
Mimblu is trying to bridge the gap as there is a shortage of mental health professionals in our country. Mimblu is doing this in two ways. With Mimblu, people can seek expert help sitting anywhere in the country. Mimblu enables you to seek an expert opinion anytime and anywhere. Working remotely or with telehealth, therapists can provide their service to a larger population at a given time. This can be of great help in curbing the problem of a shortage of mental health professionals.
The India Mental Health Market is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR of 15% from 2022-2028. The India mental health market is expected to grow on account of the higher prevalence of mental disorders in states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, among others.
Piece of learning
Keep learning as you go. While working for something big, keeping discipline in mind is very important.
(Edited by Renu Gupta)