A doctor by profession but an entrepreneur at heart, Dr. Bhavi Mody is dedicated to the cause of tackling mental health issues in the country. Having already been involved in setting up Vrudhi Research Foundation, a non profit organisation to that effect, she co-founded Edupsyche, an institute that bridges the gap between Mental Health professionals and those seeking Mental Health Services with facilities like Online Treatment and Teachers training modules. Having worked extensively with children suffering from learning and other mental disabilities, hers is a humane approach to holistic healing. In an interview with Ria Das, Dr. Mody shares her journey spanning over two decades, from clinical practitioner to healthcare entrepreneur.
The Doctor who turned Entrepreneur
After completing my DHMS in 1994, I got married in 1995. Like every other doctor – my husband and I settled down in our clinical practice. We had our bit of aspirations always wanting to grow out and do something better. With my interest in technology, I was looking at opportunities for the same.
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Got an opportunity in 1999 with Shreeji Exports and E-com, my first experience as an entrepreneur. That unfortunately lasted only till 2002 as most IT companies in US were going through recession. But that experience didn’t deter me, and in 2003 I ventured into the It space with Shreeji Software Solutions.
With my husband having trained in US for Psychiatry and managing children with Special needs we set out on a mission of ‘Sculpting Minds Shaping Future’. Thus was born Vrudhi Research Foundation. My role here was to provide homeopathy and with my keen interest in Dietetics and Nutrition, researching on role of food as medicine for children with ADD/HD. Establishing this venture had its own challenges. At a time where schools and parents were not receptive to the idea of Learning Disability, we were fighting for inclusion for these children. On the other hand, gathering a team in a place for these children was also a challenge as it required a multispecialty approach for assessment and therapy for them. Gradually our reach expanded to 55000 children annually across city of Mumbai, with the following four domain expertise; Academic, Behaviour, Career and Developmental. Our center provided various services under one roof.
Having worked for mental health, we realized the importance of outreach. IT was the only way to expand nationally, and with my IT experience, Edupsyche and I as Entrepreneurs were born.
Through our various initiatives in city of Mumbai, in association with Department of Education Govt. of Maharashtra, Kendriya Vidyalay and other private schools, we have been working with over 55000 children. This is in alignment with our objective with Educating, Evolving and Empowering individuals.
Having worked for over a decade for mental health through our various initiatives at Vrudhi, we saw a growing need to ensure mental health delivery system. Edupsyche was thus born with the prime objective of ‘Remoulding Redefining & Refining Mental Health’
With a huge gap between mental health service providers and those seeking services, Edupsyche took up the following challenges associated with Mental Health:
- De-stigmatise and Decatastrophise mental health.
- Imparting right Skills and training to mental health professionals.
- Bridging the gap between Mental Health Professionals and those seeking Mental Health Services.
Starting at the grassroots level, we introduced Edukonnect – a mobile application for schools to connect with parents. The app provides parents with a lot of mental health information to support Academic, Behavioural, Career and Developmental needs of children.
Our mission here is to make Mental Health Available, Accessible and Affordable to All.
The challenges of healthcare entrepreneurship
Finance, Marketing and reaching out have been our biggest challenges.
To create Awareness and Acceptance towards Mental Health has been hard times too. The above increases handle towards marketing and financing our projects as well.
The digital is a great way to outreach
A lot needs to be done for ensuring digital outreach across the country, although we have come a long way since 1999, when I started. Today Digital India is the information gateway that will change how people think and feel. It will bring with it a lot of change in attitudes and create a lot of job opportunities too. It is going to open avenues that were not thought of in the past, making the world a global village.
With over 75 million out there in India with mental health issues and only 4000 psychiatrists and a few thousand psychologists, it goes without saying that getting connected digitally is the only solution, both as a professional and as an entrepreneur.
The strength of the successful woman Entrepreneur
Women, I feel have an innate ability to multitask. They value Relations and are better communicators and Listeners. They can understand the opposite persons view better. They are more receptive and open to suggestions. They are more grounded and will not hesitate to seek opinions from the team just to make sure that nothing goes amiss. They have long term goals and are not overambitious. They have a natural ability to judge people. Their instincts more often than not prove to be true.
A country of a million women entrepreneurs
I feel extremely proud of the fact that more and more women are getting into entrepreneurship and running successful business. We are making a mark in an area which was predominantly considered a male dominated. I am very glad that even the government is doing its bit and encouraging more women entrepreneurs. This, I feel is the best time for us as entrepreneurs. More Power to Women!
Advice for young entrepreneurs
Believe in your abilities and strength. Each person has qualities that can make a difference. Be the change you want to see in others. Have a positive attitude in life and never give up. Believe in yourself, move on. We are a revolution waiting to happen.
Just remember the three P’s to success—Patience, Persistence and Perseverance.