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Dhaka Tribune

‘Everyone is entitled to rapid attention and high-quality mental healthcare resources’

Jahnnobi Rahman, co-founder of Relaxy, shares her views regarding the importance of mental health in this exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune

Update : 02 Jul 2023, 10:14 AM

With the rise in suicide cases recently, more and more people are falling prey to mental health issues. Jahnnobi Rahman, co-founder of Relaxy, has been included in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list due to her outstanding achievements in the field of mental healthcare.  She shares her views regarding the importance of mental health and also her journey to becoming recognized by Forbes with Dhaka Tribune's Ayon Roy.

What factors do you feel had a role in your being named on the Forbes list?

Beginning my journey as a student entrepreneur has turned out to be a significant factor that I believe has led to my selection in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list. The establishment of student entrepreneurship is quite rare, not only within the context of our country, but also in the South Asian region as well. 

Furthermore, my decision to get involved in the mental healthcare industry, which is marked by deep-rooted stigma and a reluctance to publicly discuss mental health, has contributed to my standout position. Recognizing the prevalent societal barriers and the apprehension around this critical part of well-being, I have opted to face these difficulties straight on. By addressing neglected needs and removing the stigma connected with mental health, I have paved the way for meaningful change in the mental healthcare industry.

How has this recognition influenced you personally, as well as Relaxy's growth as a company?

Personally, I found it rather overwhelming at first, However, I am deeply pleased to have been featured on such a prestigious list. Such recognition is a powerful source of inspiration and motivation not just for myself, but also for the hardworking team that has helped me realize Relaxy's ambition. It is a testament to their constant support and efforts in recognizing my vision, which has contributed to Relaxy's continuous growth and development. This prestigious award serves as a reminder of the importance and worth of the work we are doing, inspiring us to continue pushing for quality and innovation.

What prompted you to launch a GenZ-friendly mental health startup? 

One of the key motivations for establishing Relaxy, a mental health care institution, derives from my own personal experiences and difficulties during my student life. The early years of my life were defined by tremendous struggles, which shaped both the concept and methodology of Relaxy. Seeing my classmates struggle with a variety of mental pressure, as well as the prevalent lack of attention to mental health care, fostered a strong desire in me to act and provide support.

The combination of these circumstances served as an initial source of inspiration for me to launch Relaxy. This institution draws heavily on the deep insights obtained during my own difficult path, leading to the development of a comprehensive framework focused on treating many different aspects of mental well-being. Recognizing the need for a more conscious approach to mental health treatment, Relaxy seeks to bridge current gaps and provide a supportive atmosphere for persons dealing with mental health issues.

What is Relaxy's mission? 

Our major goal at Relaxy is to build an innovative and cutting-edge mental healthcare platform that offers accessible and inexpensive services to those in need. We are devoted to revolutionizing the way mental health is perceived in our society by eliminating stigmatized views.

Additionally, Relaxy aims to provide quick access to mental healthcare services by leveraging cutting-edge technologies along with a forward-thinking strategy. Our platform is intended to guarantee that individuals receive prompt assistance and support. We think that everyone is entitled to rapid attention and high-quality mental healthcare resources.

How does Relaxy's strategy and success fit within the evolving landscape of mental health entrepreneurs?

Relaxy is a distinct and prominent contributor to the constantly evolving and ever-changing environment of the mental healthcare industry. Relaxy is a customized, app-based system that leverages the power of data to provide consumers with unparalleled and individualized support. Our aim at Relaxy is to deliver high-quality mental healthcare services while maintaining client data privacy. 

Additionally, we place great priority on maintaining the highest levels of standards in mental healthcare service while we travel the route of innovation. This dedication extends beyond the technical aspects of our platform and involves the sensitive and empathic help we provide to our users. We are certain that incorporating technology into mental healthcare will improve the industry's overall development by providing more accessibility, effectiveness and tailored care.

What were some of the obstacles you faced as a young entrepreneur when creating Relaxy?

As an entrepreneur, I faced many challenges along the way, with one of the most crucial being my desire to become a better leader and creator. Recognizing the inherent limitations of individual efforts, I grasped the need of assembling a strong and cohesive team with a shared vision. This initiative, however, had its own set of difficulties. One particular challenge I ran into was creating team alignment and connection. Forming a team environment that is consistent with my broader vision and values took significant work and adaptation. It entailed successfully communicating and reinforcing shared ambitions, as well as ensuring that each team member knows and accepts her or his role within the corporation.

Furthermore, as a female entrepreneur, I experienced extra challenges in this industry. Unfortunately, the prevalent gender prejudices frequently reflected themselves in investor decisions with male entrepreneurs being preferred above their female peers. This attitude fostered a difficult climate for female entrepreneurs, and I personally felt the effects.

What do you think sets you apart from other entrepreneurs in the industry?

As a CEO, I believe that everyone provides a distinct set of skills and contributions to the industry. What distinguishes me is my ability to effectively manage a team of highly talented professionals whose experience exceeds that of us three co-founders. Relaxy has achieved outstanding levels of efficiency and productivity by using our team's overall strengths and capabilities. 

What truly distinguishes us from other industries is our distinct approach to emphasizing customer needs. At Relaxy, we prioritize knowing our users' needs, and aspirations. We are able to personalize our support to exactly match their needs and create outstanding value by truly connecting with their experiences. This user-centric approach pervades our business culture and drives our decision-making processes, eventually distinguishing us from other companies.

What are Relaxy's future plans?

Being featured by Forbes has certainly given Relaxy a lot of attention, which is appreciated and respected. However, it's worth noting that we had closed a pre-seed deal with Sajida Foundation prior to this recognition. This early assistance lay the groundwork for our future growth and development. 

In addition, we recently started collaborating with Psychological Health and Wellness Clinic (PHWC). This agreement enables us to make use of their experience and resources in the field of mental health, boosting our capacity to provide comprehensive support and services to our users.

Furthermore, we are delighted to have formed a partnership with Kaan Pete Roi, one of Bangladesh's leading emotional support and suicide prevention hotlines. This partnership expands our reach and effect, allowing us to provide instant emotional support and crisis intervention to those in need.

What is Relaxy's plan to prevent the increased number of suicide cases among students recently?

At Relaxy, we are taking proactive measures to prevent suicide incidents. Our platform has a mechanism in place that recognizes specific tags, such as "Suicidal Ideation," as well as keywords like "suicide." When such keywords or words are found in user posts, the system flags them and forwards them to suicide hotlines such as Kaan Pete Roi for instant aid.

Relaxy also functions as a community-based platform. This implies that when a user shares negative events or issues, other members of the community instantly reach out to them to provide support.

What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs?

While I don't intend to provide advice, I would like to share some key lessons I've gained on my career path that I feel young entrepreneurs could get value from. One of the most important lessons I've learned is never to quit. Perseverance is essential regardless of the obstacles you may face along the path. The Relaxy team recognizes the enormous responsibility that comes with offering mental health support to individuals who use our platform. Despite countless difficulties in my personal life, I have been able to overcome them and come this far solely because I refused to quit. I kept reminding myself that it is my responsibility to help people in need. 

Without a doubt, the route to entrepreneurship may be quite difficult, especially for young women in the field. There are no shortcuts to success; perseverance and hard effort are required. You have to work hard and earn and own your place in the industry. 

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