What is a platform to share your feelings?
Platform to share your feelings
Today, we have with us Drishti Gupta from Now&Me. She, along with Bani Singh, started Now&Me, providing a free platform to encourage catharsis and break the associated taboos.
How they managed it, what challenges they faced, and where are they headed are few of the queries we had, and Drishti cheerfully answered them. Talking about their motivation to start Now&Me, she said, “People talk about their happy stories, but nobody talks about their struggles and mental health openly because of the persisting stigmas. That’s when we knew that we want to create a platform where people can come and talk about their issues, be their true selves, express whatever they are going through, share their feelings and emotions without the fear of judgement, and connect with other people who might have been through similar things.”
Read ahead to know more about Now&Me!
Who all were there in the founding team, and what was your motivation to start
Now&Me started while we were in Lady Shri Ram College. Bani and I were classmates studying statistics. That’s when the idea of Now&Me came about, and we started working on it. We realised that people talk about the good parts of their lives. They talk about their happy stories, but nobody talks about their issues, struggles, and mental health openly because of the persisting stigmas. That’s when we knew that we want to create a platform where people can come and talk about their issues, be their true selves, express whatever they are going through, share their feelings and emotions without the fear of judgement, and connect with other people who might have been through similar things.
How do you segment your market? Whom do you consider your target customers?
We are looking at the young population, which is having mental health issues right now. In India, there are about 200 million people who are going through mental health issues right now. And according to WHO, only 30 million of them end up seeking mental health care. We target the remaining 170 million people who don’t even accept that they have mental health issues. We are trying to integrate the concept of mental health in their lives in a simple and easy to understand manner through peer-to-peer support. Peer-to-peer support comes naturally to people, and there is no stigma attached to it. People can talk about their issues and their problems freely with the option of anonymity on the platform. We feel that through this segment, we can target and capture a major market share that other solution-focused companies cannot do.
What is Now&Me’s Go-to-Market Strategy? Is there any difference in your approach and your competitors’ approach?
Primarily, we look at organic reach and marketing. So, a lot of content marketing is what we look at because we want to build a community here at Now&Me. We need to engage with our users, followers on social media platforms and provide them with valuable content. This way, along with capturing the users, we can provide them value and spread awareness about mental health, self-care, and mental well-being in general. So, content marketing is one thing, and then organic search engine optimization is what we look at when acquiring users. If you Google ‘I have no one to talk to’ or ‘Share my feelings online,’ Now&Me comes on top on Google’s first page. So, we are targeting through content marketing, SEO, partnerships, and PR.
All the sales/ marketing would be online only, right?
Yes, it’s all digital as of now.
Now&Me is free right now. So, do you have any revenues from Now&Me? If yes, then what portion of it is spent on sales and marketing?
We are spending no money on marketing. All acquisitions and marketing are organic. Currently, we are in the pre-revenue stage and not generating any revenue right now.
Being from a statistics background, sales/ marketing must have been something entirely new for you. Did you face any challenges in sales/ marketing?
Not really, as such! We are attached to the product that we are building, and we feel a connection with the people we are targeting. We feel that being young, we can understand our target market, which is the young people, the millennials, and the Gen Z. We can connect and relate to the problems they go through, and we can provide them with the content and the value we might need ourselves.
One of the challenges, I think, would be in trying to find the same passionate and ambitious team members who would help take Now&Me to another level and work with us in this mission.
Are there any other competitors or any other substitute services that customers can cater to instead of Now&Me?
In India, nobody is providing peer-to-peer support. All the platforms that are there are solution-focused. Either they are targeting only therapy, or they are targeting meditation. They have specific target areas in mental health. We are looking at peer-to-peer support and community support, which none of the companies is focusing. So, we don’t have direct competition with any other companies.
Do you feel that there is any technological change that has helped Now&Me in any way?
After COVID-19, media publications are talking a lot about mental health. They feature a lot about it in PR and news and people are promoting it a lot. They look at Now&Me as a resource, and they end-up promoting that as well. That is something which has helped us in the past couple of months.
Do you have any growth plans for Now&Me in the future? Where do you think that the industry is headed in the future?
We are at that stage where we want to build Now&Me to be the one-stop solution for mental well-being and not just a community. We want to provide content resources and counselling and get people on-boarded on the platform through a simple peer-to-peer support service.
Insellers’ View on Now&Me
Now&Me aims to be a one-stop solution for mental well-being. It provides a platform to share your feelings online and get peer-to-peer support from the online community that it has built over time. It majorly focuses on organic marketing and SEO and does not have any direct competitors as of now.
Data Privacy to be invested upon and this point is to be marketed.
One of the key factors for the success of any early-stage venture is the presence of committed founders who are driven for a cause. In the case of Now & Me, its founders are not the conventional business-oriented entrepreneurs but are empathetic individuals who are passionate about helping those who are experiencing mental health issues.
The aim has been to create a conducive virtual environment where people support each other in achieving mental well-being. Instead of focusing too much on marketing and revenues, they have spent most of their initial efforts on perfecting their offering and making sure that the prime focus of Now&Me remains on making a difference for its users. This approach with genuine concern for its users has made all the difference, and Now&Me has been able to make a mark in such a small time, mainly leveraging organic digital marketing.
But as any venture grows it becomes imperative to create certain revenue streams in order to become sustainable. It can either be through finding innovative ways to increase the share of wallet or through increasing one’s user base by additional sales and marketing activities.
In the case of Now&Me we feel that the core service should always remain free so that more and more people can get support but going forward there can be an addition of certain benefits which people can avail at a nominal charge, be it innovative mental well-being related events or certain solution-based offerings with the help of experts, the users can be given an option to get more out of the platform at a fair value.
Ads are always a possible revenue stream in case of digital platforms as they scale out but Now&Me can also become a great platform for the mental health professional to interact with people who need their assistance; instead of the users, these professionals can also be asked to pay a premium in order to utilize Now&Me as a platform where they can interact with a larger audience who are in need of their services and support.
For marketing, it would be a good idea to organize/sponsor focused events so that the target audience becomes more aware of the platform, we also hope to see Now&Me roll over to different platforms so that the users can access its services across all devices even more conveniently, this will increase their reach and help generate positive word of mouth. Apart from a rollover across various platforms, we also feel that robust data protection policies will also be crucial for Now&Me as they expand, but as long as Now&Me remains true to its core values they should easily be able to sail through such challenges
With the help of Now&Me we just have tried to give indicative pointers to those dynamic minds who are looking to create a sustainable digital platform. Now&Me is already quite ahead in this journey and we at Insellers wish them all the success. We also hope that Now&Me soon becomes a ubiquitous name making it easier for people across all spheres of life to share their issues and find the support they are looking for.
We wish Drishti Gupta and Bani Singh good luck for the future and hope they accomplish the targets they have set for Now&Me.