The idea of an alternative, natural medicine—an outsider challenging the medical status quo—is slowly gaining ground. When it comes to treating pain and chronic diseases, many doctors are turning to treatments like acupuncture and meditation, and are using them as part of a larger, integrative approach to health.
Bangalore-based healthcare startup, CureJoy, is taking the lead in pushing this alternative. A platform for natural health and wellness content and information, CureJoy was started in October 2013 to address common concerns of people in the existing healthcare system.
In conversation with Dishant Dave, Co-founder, about CureJoy being a therapy that involves not only the body but also the mind.
How did it all start?
I have been a serial entrepreneur. After my last venture, which was in 2013, Shrini (my co-founder) and I were contemplating about, ‘what next?’. Our background has been gaming – mobile gaming and social gaming, and we were thinking what else could we do if not gaming. We were going from our twenties to our thirties and a lot of our conversations moved around personal health and our family members’ health. It just happened naturally that we started developing interest around doing something around health. Natural health – health through natural remedies and processes – was something we wanted to work on. We were pretty clear we didn’t want to do anything around conventional health. My wife has been a yoga practitioner for many years and we had belief around these systems. This was the genesis of CureJoy.
We started building slowly around the business model and once we had some notion of it, the next step was to see if it was scalable. It pretty much could be an interesting area, but not many people are ready for it. We validated all these aspects and by the end of 2013, we formally incorporated CureJoy.
Define a usual day in your life.
It is fairly busy, but I love my personal time. My usual day starts with some form of workout, spending a bit of time in the morning with my daughter and then starting work. Work is spread across time zones because we have offices in New York and San Francisco. I try and catch up with west coast in the morning, and I may have calls and sessions thereafter. Apart from that I spend a lot of time dealing with people in office, and talking to them every day. In the evenings I catch up with the New York office and make sure things are in place; after everything, I come home, spend time with my family, watch a bit of TV, read books and that’s it.
If not this, what would you have been doing?
If not CureJoy, I would have still been in some area of problem-solving. Generally, entrepreneurship is about a calling. You don’t decide that you want to be an entrepreneur. You want to solve a problem and then you might join an existing company that is solving that problem, or if not, you try and do it yourself. I would have been looking for some problems to solve.
Is there any particular role model who has been consequential in your growth?
I try not to mould myself into an already existing mould;that allows me to think differently. Having said that, there is surely a lot of respect for a lot of people in various fields. It could be Einstein, Gandhi, or anyone from the current batch of startup entrepreneurs in India who have done extremely well.
Define yourself as an entrepreneur.
As a business leader trying to drive an organization, I have to like people to be able to work with them;that kind of comes first. That drives a lot of things that we do within CureJoy also. We see people like family and treat them with that respect;there is a lot of love. In the office you spend a lot more time than you would spend elsewhere. In that sense, it becomes important that you work with people who you like. I rely on the goodness of people, and believe, people given the right opportunity and treated with respect give their best.
What do you feel about the power of new-age content marketing?
Content marketing has always been there in various forms. Look at the editorial in newspapers and radio ads, it has always been effective. With the rise of mobile and social, the consumption of information has increased. Be it a brand or a voice, I think this is a very powerful way to convey your message. Content has been redefined, it is changing in terms of having elements like more pictures and infographics. It’s a very interesting stage that we are at right now.