Joel Gujral explains how his personal experiences led him to start the mental health and wellbeing service, MYNDUP.
Tell us about your business?
Based in Epping Essex, I founded MYNDUP in February 2020 after I set out on a mission to help as many people in my situation as possible and to show the world that there is no single solution to mental health.
The business has grown significantly quarter on quarter, servicing over 50,000 employees from top global brands including Savills, Dentons, CVC, The Prince’s Trust and Avast. MYNDUP has been backed by CVC, LSEG and angel investors from Deutsche Bank, the London Stock Exchange Group and an ex-Microsoft Senior Exec.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
After tackling my own mental health battles brought on after I was in and out of hospital for eight months with an undiagnosed physical illness, I reached out for support within my company at the time, but those working directly above me didn’t know what support there was to offer. I was passed over to regional HR where they could only offer me counselling through occupational health support, but unfortunately, there were multiple more barriers to entry to receive this. The whole process was traumatic, and I couldn’t keep reliving my story with people that I didn’t know, so I paid for counselling privately. To my surprise this didn’t help, I found that it was very much focused on the past and what I needed at that point in time was something more future and solutions focused.
I came away feeling lost and just didn’t know where to turn to and I was fighting a losing battle. For weeks and weeks, I found myself researching what I could do to help and that is where I found a fantastic life coach online called Jermaine Harris, and he helped me to turn my life around. Because of this, I have set out on a mission to help as many people in my situation as possible and to show the world that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health as well as changing the way organisations deal with this.
How do you spread the word about your business?
Since the company was founded in February 2020, it has been a combination of networking, a strong support system, social media, B2B sales and investing in an external PR and marketing agency.
How has business been during the Covid-19 pandemic?
It has been fantastic because people have accepted virtual sessions more and more. I was the only full-time employee up until December 2020, but now we are up to a core team of nine. We started servicing The Office Group’s 400 employees across the UK and Europe in February 2020 and we are now servicing over 50,000 employees across 30+ countries with global brands like Savills, Dentons, Avast, CVC, and The Prince’s Trust.
What’s the hardest thing about running a business?
Hiring a great founding team has been difficult. It has taken a period of trial and error but now the core team is fantastic and we really have found the right people.
Have you received any financial support for your business?
In total, we have received £500k, which has been made up from investments and grants from Angel Investors, CVC and LSEG.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
For us, keeping up with the momentum of the business growth. The business has doubled every six months in terms of revenue and client base. Although this has been challenging in some areas, we have pulled together as a team, delegated and managed which has meant that we have achieved a 100% client retention rate. This is a proud statistic for me as it means we are helping more and more people every single day!
What’s the best decision you’ve made so far?
Hiring practitioners abroad so we can help more and more people on a global scale and offer 24/7 coverage on the platform.
What is the one thing that would make running your business a lot easier?
More fantastic team members. Now that we have raised our third round of seed funding, this is a top priority and we are actively recruiting.
What’s next for your business?
There is a lot still for us to do to make sure that we really put MYNDUP on the map. As well as recruiting more team members, a top priority for us is the global expansion to help more and more people across the world. We are also looking at implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities into the business to create a fantastic matching service that can pair you with a person and a specialism based on how you are feeling. Finally, we will also be entering into our series A funding next year once we hit our first million in revenue. There is a lot to do, but I truly believe that MYNDUP has the capability to open people up to a new world of being intuitive with our mental health and make this subject a normal everyday talking point as it should be.