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Accessing mental health support; The nuances of startup funding

In Indian society, too much importance is given to what others would think or say if one goes to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. Concerns about potential marriage prospects also prevent people from seeking help from an expert.

Accessing mental health support; The nuances of startup funding

Friday October 13, 2023 , 5 min Read


A new market leader.

Discount broking platform Groww surpassed Zerodha to become India's largest brokerage in terms of number of active investors, according to NSE data. As per the exchange, Groww has 6.63 million active investors while Zerodha has 6.48 million as of September-end—up from 6.2 million and 6.4 million, respectively, last month.

In other news, Paytm Payments Bank is under fire from the Reserve Bank of India. The central bank has imposed a penalty of Rs 5.39 crore on the fintech giant for “non-compliance” with certain provisions, including KYC norms, RBI guidelines for licensing of payments banks, cyber security framework in banks, and securing mobile banking applications, including UPI ecosystem.

Meanwhile, India’s second-largest IT services company Infosys, which had offered jobs to roughly 51,000 freshers in FY23, is not going to campus for recruitments "at the moment", CFO Nilanjan Roy said at its post-results press conference.

The IT services provider also cut its annual revenue forecast, raising concerns about near-term demand for the sector. Infosys reported a 3.1% year-on-year rise in net profit with a 6.7% increase in revenue for the quarter ended September.

Last but not least, Stockholm will become the first major capital city to go electric. Starting 2025, 20 blocks of the Swedish capital’s inner city area will be restricted to only electric vehicle traffic. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Accessing mental health support
  • The nuances of startup funding
  • Selling chemical-free products

Here’s your trivia for today: How many time zones does China have?


Accessing mental health support in India

Mental health

According to estimates, there are about 0.75 psychiatrists for every 1 lakh inhabitants in India, while the recommended number is 3 per 1 lakh people. The shortage of mental health professionals in the country has led to a huge demand-supply gap, ultimately resulting in a heavy cost for patients.

Besides high cost, the stigma associated with mental issues, lower socioeconomic status, and lack of awareness and social support are some of the challenges that people seeking mental health support in India face.

At what cost:

  • For many, the high cost of mental healthcare is a big deterrent to seeking support.
  • In Indian society, too much importance is given to what others would think or say if one goes to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. Concerns about potential marriage prospects also prevent people from seeking help from an expert.
  • While free helplines and support groups, run by the government and NGOs, help address the issue of cost and encourage people to come forward to seek, they cannot replace the contribution of trained mental health professionals, say experts.


The nuances of startup funding


With the global funding winter still in full swing, a startup’s success—especially early on—often boils down to an entrepreneur’s ability to raise funding. As Onsurity’s Kulin Shah pointed out at the Bengaluru edition of TechSparks 2023, however, it isn’t just how much you raise but when, why, and from whom.

What to do:

  • Before startups can even begin to think about funding, explained Shah, they must first work on their product.
  • This was the approach that Bengaluru-based Onsurity—India’s fastest-growing SME-focused employee benefits platform—took. It was only after months spent fine-tuning their idea that Shah and his co-founder Yogesh Agarwal built a prototype.
  • As Shah explained, a lot of funding for Onsurity came from founders whose companies used the startup’s employee benefits platform.


A retail chain for chemical-free products

Gaurav Manchanda, Founder, The Organic World

The Organic World  (TOW)—established by Gaurav Manchanda in 2017—believes that better choices are not only possible but also essential for a healthier and cleaner lifestyle. 

Manchanda credits the bootstrapped retail chain’s expansion from a single store to 16 outlets to its loyal customer base. Notably, the Bengaluru-based company, which offers pesticide-free organic products, launched four new franchise stores in the past four months. 

Clean consumption:

  • From organic-certified fruits and vegetables, chemical-free everyday staples, and homecare products free of toxins, to cosmetics—the company boasts an inventory of approximately 3,000 SKUs.
  • The company's approach has predominantly centred on its brick-and-mortar stores, accounting for about 90% of its sales, while the remaining 10% is generated through online channels. 
  • The surge in franchise interest has spurred the company to plan significant expansion, such as reaching 100 stores by 2025, targeting southern Indian states. 

News & updates

  • Pay up: Microsoft is facing a hefty tax bill over historical accounting practices dating back nearly 20 years. In a filing with the US SEC, the company confirmed that the US Internal Revenue Service has arrived at a figure of $28.9 billion that Microsoft allegedly owes in unpaid taxes. 
  • Easing: India's retail inflation eased to a three-month low in September on the back of softer vegetable prices, but remained above a target of 4% that RBI has signalled would be key before easing rates. Annual retail inflation rose 5.02% in September, down from 6.83% the previous month.
  • Mania: Cricket fever has gripped Ahmedabad ahead of Saturday's World Cup group-stage clash between India and Pakistan. Quite a few of the hospitals have seen a sudden influx of patients booked in for check-ups involving a night's stay to coincide with the most anticipated match of the World Cup.

How many time zones does China have?

Answer: One—Beijing time.

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