In Conversation With Neeraj Kumar

Neeraj Kumar is the co-founder of Peakmind, a digital platform that aims to empower teenagers

Q1. A stress-busting helpline number for all your examination needs! This is surely a brilliant concept. Could you tell us more about this, your vision mission, and what propelled you to have these services?

Exam stress is a reality of every student’s life. An optimal amount of stress is good to keep the student alert, but if it exceeds beyond and overstays, it harms the performance and long-term health. There is even a big rise in the number of students taking extreme (self-harm, substance abuse) steps. And this must stop. While most students and parents realize this, they keep ignoring it. This is majorly because they don’t have the proper knowledge or any credible, easy-to-access professional solution.

PeakMind’s vision is to empower every child, parent, and educational institute with the right knowledge, skills, and systems to deal with such challenges and unleash their true heroic potential.

Q2. India is a country where stress is still taboo and mental health is not taken seriously. How do you plan to break those barriers as parents won’t want their children to talk to a stranger over call on something they deem not to exist at all?

That’s a crucial point. It’s an ecosystem-level need that has to include parents, educators, industry, society along with the child. The pandemic has created strong awareness about mental health. Staying at home all the time with their kids, parents have started realizing the need for children’s well-being, and educational institutes have started taking initiatives in that direction. So, awareness remains one of our top focus areas. We are getting very encouraging responses from institutions as well as parents.

We have worked with 10000+ students, and I would say that they have really appreciated our guidance (4.82/5 rating). The key here is to learn to understand their needs in their language and engage them in a manner that excites and suits them.

I would also like to highlight a critical point that we don’t look at mental health from a problem’s point of view like you have to be sick to see a doctor. Our solution helps students to develop all the skills they need to perform and live well. That ensures positive mental health for them. We help them to achieve their goals; hence they are extremely comfortable engaging with our experts without any taboo.

Q3. A major issue for NEET and JEE aspirants is that some have their phones confiscated till the exams. How do you plan to reach out to this segment of your audience?

Yes, that’s a challenge, but we are trying to address it in the future. The parent’s support is a critical factor in this mission, and we have focused programs to make them aware and be an inclusive part of it. Additionally, our new mobile app will be launched soon that will take care of parents’ concerns about mobile misuse while using our solution.

Q-4 Do you have plans to expand your target audience and maybe consider that mental health issues in all age groups might benefit from this?

It’s a basic human need and applies to everyone. We have worked with adults in the corporate and maternity segments initially, and there is a huge need to address this. However, we have figured that this is a specialized area, and one needs to understand the user segment deeply to know them, their needs, language, motivations, mindset, behavior, challenges, etc. Hence, we have fully focused on the children (students) segment as this is entirely unaddressed. This itself is a huge global segment for us to cater to.

However, we consider a child the main center of the family and education system. Interestingly, they all have a common goal of the right development and growth of the child, but they have their own experiences, biases, beliefs, and judgments, which creates a big gap and friction. We have a comprehensive ecosystem-level approach that includes everyone. We work to empower them with the right knowledge and skills to achieve their common goal - the child's holistic development. In that process, they also learn and start caring for their own mental health.

Q5. You mentioned that this helpline service is free of cost, so what is in store for the experts? Are they working just out of goodwill, or is there a compensation scheme?

Currently, all our experts on the helpline are our salaried employees, so they are compensated for the work. This ensures the intense focus on quality and reliability any customer deserves, irrespective of it being a free helpline.

Q6. Tapping into this industry might have been a hassle. How did you manage to overcome these challenges?

Building a new category is exceptionally challenging. Developing the right awareness and understanding around a need from “nice to have” to “must have” remains the biggest challenge from the market's perspective. Additionally, there are a lot of misconceptions, ignorance, and lack of knowledge as added challenges.

Initial results and quality are the biggest influencers to win customer trust, so we kept our sole undivided focus on that for almost 1 year. We identified and invested in all the critical building blocks like the right team of experts, training, research, user discovery, solution frameworks, technology, trial & improvement, credible customer success stories to name a few. We have developed many industry-first proprietary solutions. We are obsessed with quality. It’s very intense work.

Also, credibility of early customers plays a huge role here. We got our early believers in Industry leaders like Mr. Abhishek Maheshwari, CEO @Aakah Educational Services, Mr. Ujjwal Singh, CEO @InfinityLearn and Mrs. Sushma Bopanna Director @SriChaitanya Educational Institutions. We are working on our big expansion currently and getting very encouraging responses.

Q7. A lot of students also have post-exam stress, anxious about their results. Do you cater to them as well, or is it just pre-examination services?

That’s right! We are witnessing extensive inquiries post exams like JEE and NEET, where students are expressing their feelings of being disappointed, demotivated, stressed, and anxious about their future. We provide full support on that. Understanding and dealing with post-exam setbacks is the biggest factor in a student’s growth and mental health. This is also a crucial area for their future readiness. We empower them to deal with such situations by building critical skills like resilience, mental strength, grit, hope, and optimism.

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neeraj kumar Peakmind


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