As originally published in Synergyzer Issue 4 – 2018
Synergyzer talks to Amna Asif, Founder and CEO – Relivenow, about the inception, goals and journey of the social entrepreneurship startup.
What made you start Relivenow?
I have personally suffered from anxiety which got worse after I graduated. It was one of the most difficult times of my life and the only thing that got me through was the support of my family and friends. When I felt better, I realized how blessed I was to have someone to talk to, because not everyone has that.
What made me start Relivenow is the passion to help others who are going through what I went through.
How did you find professionals to join in your venture? What is your selection criteria?
We have a very strict policy on maintaining high quality and ethical standards of service which is why our directory consists of psychologists who were referred to us by trusted professionals. Our advisor is a clinical psychologist who has introduced us to many renowned names in this field in Karachi.
In order to ensure our directory lists only qualified professionals, we look at a number of things including their educational background, the number of counseling hours they have completed, their experience, and their own mental health because that is essential.
How does the process work?
Our process is fairly simple. Relivenow is a pre-paid tele-mental-health service that allows people to connect with qualified mental health professionals online from the comfort of their own homes. The sessions are affordable and convenient. There are three basic steps to avail our services: go to our website and register as a user, select a professional from our directory, and book an appointment.
When you started what was your intended audience? And how has your user base evolved over time?
Initially, we only planned to cater to people living in Pakistan. Since our services went live, we have not only catered to clients in Pakistan, but also from four other countries. This made us realize that we have a global audience who would like to benefit from our services.
Therapy usually requires some degree of personal interaction between the client and the therapist. Considering your venture does not provide this sort of interaction, do you think it is as effective as traditional modes?
We live in a fast-paced and competitive world. People do not have the time to do everything in person and thus prefer doing things at the click of a button; be it food, tickets, medicine or grocery. So why not professional help?
Technology is ever-evolving and online therapy is the future of therapy. In the next few years, it will become the preferred mode as compared to the traditional approach due to its numerous benefits such as saving travel time and cost, and its convenience. You can attend the session from anywhere in the world and have access to first-class professionals.
People create boundaries for themselves when they say that online therapy will not work. Everything is possible if you are willing to come out of your comfort zone.
How has the venture grown since you finished incubation?
It has been a great learning experience so far and The Nest i/o has played an important role in our journey. We have been able to increase our social media presence and get more clients onboard. Our website is in the testing phase now, and we plan to launch that very soon.
What is your vision for the future?
Our vision is to make Relivenow a thought leader that is globally accredited by psychology associations. We aim to provide multilingual therapy, counseling, testing, and evaluation to everyone, and to make mental health help accessible to all.