Post Of Positivity
“The concept of VC-funding wasn’t prevalent at the time we started”
Photo Credit :
The need for a ‘positive’ India, especially in its workforce, was one of the many drivers behind the launch of 1to1Help. By enabling individuals to make positive changes in their lives, 1to1Help looks to create a healthy work environment. “We want to create a culture of wellness for all our clients through interventions around mental, emotional and physical well-being,” says Archana Bisht, the founder and director of the employee assistance program (EAP).
According to the company, 1to1Help has been profitable since the second year of its inception. Currently it is self-sustained with healthy profitability.
1to1Help’s endeavours have prevented over 4000 suicides, completed 500,000 counselling sessions and provides services to 1.7 million lives. Its mission is to continue to be a key EAP player in India, bringing in global best practices.
The Entrepreneurial Journey
Before the inception of 1to1Help, Bisht used to conduct workshops for students. “Many students would reach out to us with their psychological and emotional concerns which, in many cases, also required counselling parents. On doing a gap analysis, I realised that there were several underlying reasons in India that needed to be addressed,” says Bisht.
She lists them as lack of professionally run mental health organisations in India. There was also lack of awareness coupled with huge stigma attached to seeking counselling. Mental health was, and still is, associated with mental illness so people are reluctant to seek help.
1to1Help.net was born as an experiment to address some of the above challenges. In addition to these, Bisht faced challenges related to the business as well. From lack of availability of trained professional counsellors to slow customer onboarding to funding — there was much on her plate to contend with.
“The concept of VC-funding wasn’t prevalent at the time we started. Hence, we had to self-fund through family and friends and consequently the scale of operations was limited by available investment,” Bisht adds.
To maintain its growth trajectory and the impact it has, one of the key focus areas for 1to1Help is to utilise technology to facilitate better user experience across various modes of counselling, derive intelligence from its operations and leverage it to address the changing trends.
It also looks to grow a mix of own and affiliate counsellors to augment its delivery capability. It intends to form global alliances with EAP providers with strict price and cost control. It plans to venture into services associated with employee wellbeing like prevention of sexual harassment, shift work lifestyle management, healthy maternity, diet, etc. to become a one-stop provider for all employee wellness related needs.