Thriive Art and Soul is India’s only state-of-the-art digital wellness portal that showcases and registers a verified network of alternative healers and therapists from across 150+ alternative health modalities. Team Optimist spoke to Pinky Daga, who established this unique portal in 2016. Excerpts…
Team Optimist: Is there any specific event, or idea that motivated you to create Thriive Art and Soul?
Pinky Daga: I am a Ph.D in English Literature with a Masters degree in Journalism and a minor in theatre. I’m a scriptwriter at heart. From 2005 to 2016, I ran a children’s entertainment company.
Over time, I realized that children’s entertainment began to merge into the mainstream entertainment market. That’s when I realized that I needed to do something more. On the first day of our last show, I woke up and thought, ‘What now?’. Fortunately, I met Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sadguru and Master ChoaKok Sui, to name just a few, who inspired me on my journey.
People around me were all inclined towards spirituality and, deep down inside, I knew that I, too, was meant for this larger goal. I took the plunge and look where I am today.
Team Optimist: How’s Thriive Art and Soul looking to bridge the gap between traditional allopathic and alternative medicines?
Pinky Daga: Thriive literally works on the principle that healing takes place from within. While allopathic medicines work on the effects of an illness, I believe alternative medicines work on the symptoms and root causes of the ailments. I see a huge market in alternative healing, simply because everyone wants an alternative solution to the same stagnant problem.
Team Optimist: What are the wellness services that Thriive Art and Soul is concentrating on at present? Is there any option of participating in, or curating, wellness workshops?
Pinky Daga: Thriive Art and Soul is India’s only state-of-the-art global digital wellness platform that showcases, and registers, a verified network of therapists from across 160+ alternative health therapies. Its 1,000-plus-strong therapist community is growing daily.
- Giving users seeking solutions to any ailment the facility to connect with the right therapist through various options that include phone, personal consulting, video call and online chat
- On-boarding/adding maximum verified therapists across different therapies
- Educating users through wellness-related articles by top wellness experts
- Curating wellness events and workshops
Events & Workshops
- We conduct a set of workshops each month, such as the Moon Magic workshop. This one is scheduled every fortnight — on full-moon nights to tap into the high energy of the full moon and the new-moon day to sow the seeds of a fresh beginning. We’ve also formed a community of loyal meditators
- We’ve built a Sacred Whirling Community with Zia Nath, too. Whirling is a form of dance and meditation. This workshop takes place once every 4-6 weeks and is widely popular in Mumbai.
- We’re also conducting the 12th Global Festival of Spiritual Science, India’s one and only ‘soul’ festival, from September 28, 2019 to October 2, 2019. At this festival, the audience can explore the wonderful world of wellness with profound thought-masters, yogic experts and soul artistes in the line-up and scrumptious, wholesome meals at the scenic and serene Pyramid Valley International in Bengaluru, which houses Asia’s most powerful pyramid, the hub of a 1000+ like-minded community to come together and celebrate the spirit of humanity!
Thriive also offers a plethora of wellness services — yoga, meditation, art therapy, sound healing, colour therapy, dance therapy, self-healing and Reiki, among others. It also hosts an impressive roster of wellness workshops and events globally and houses an exclusive library of guided meditations and talks.
Currently, our focus is to get the maximum number of therapists on board and that many numbers of users to opt for their services. We also put forth a lot of carefully curated content for users.
Team Optimist: What’s your experience of this B2C mode where users interact with therapists?
Pinky Daga: User requirement for each therapy is different. By building the right technology on our platform, we allow therapists to cover all options for consultation — whether one-on-one, over phone, or online — and even home visits. We’ve implemented geo-location, which allows users to find someone close to their residence. A lot of therapies can be done online, over phone or distance healing that users can choose from according to their comfort levels.
Team Optimist: What hurdles did you face initially? What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs in this segment?
Pinky Daga: I took the tech aspect of our start-up too casually. I assumed that tech experts would take care of all the nitty-gritty and I just needed to sign the cheques, which was a big mistake. In a start-up, there isn’t any aspect of work you can avoid being involved in — whether tech, creative, or marketing. It’s your baby and you must know, and do, everything to keep it healthy.
Team Optimist: Does alternative healing have a future in India? Any specific avenues where it can be the most useful?
Pinky Daga: My assumption was that everyone was looking for an alternative health solution alongside general allopathic treatments. I wanted to teach users that they could use a combination of therapies to achieve the optimum health results.
So, my ideal user is the person who is looking for a deeper answer to anything they identify as a problem — health, wealth, career, relationships — and who knows that there’s so much more out there than they can do to drastically improve all areas of their lives. He or she is a true seeker, and we have all the answers at our fingertips. We have 10,000 + registered users who fit this bill.
I see a huge potential for alternative therapies in India. Today, most people are looking for an alternative to pills. Even I, as a parent, make sure my children aren’t taking allopathic medicines.
Team Optimist: Are you looking forward to providing certifications to interested individuals as therapists? Is there any specific demand for this?
Pinky Daga: Our prime objective is to connect users with verified therapists for now, but we may plan to have our own certification system in future.
Team Optimist: What are your plans for this unique healthcare tech start-up?
Pinky Daga: Finding the right, trustworthy alternative therapist is difficult. So, Thriive, as a platform, has a list of alternative therapists who are verified through a 16-step process by our therapist relationship management team. Our platform allows users to connect with verified therapists in 150+ disciplines through different communication modes.
If current estimates are to be believed, the wellness industry will grow at a CAGR of approximately 12% for the next five years and reach an estimated high of Rs1.5 trillion by 2020. These stats have been projected by such reliable sources as Ernst & Young and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).