Brand Makers

#ShareTheSpotlight: 'There is no harm in being a vulnerable leader. It’s a sign of strength,' says Mindpeers' Kanika Agarwal

Mental health is not a once-a-year trend. Mindpeers founder Kanika Agarwal talks about being a vulnerable and empathetic leader and shares the spotlight with CashKaro’s Swati Bhargava.

By  Indrani BoseMar 22, 2023 12:38 PM
#ShareTheSpotlight: 'There is no harm in being a vulnerable leader. It’s a sign of strength,' says Mindpeers' Kanika Agarwal
MindPeers' Kanika Agarwal (left) shares the spotlight with Swati Bhargava (right) from CashKaro for the latter's grace with which she leads the company culture and her positive attitude.

Note to readers: Storyboard18's Share The Spotlight aims to highlight inspirational stories of women who continue breaking barriers and setting the precedent for other women marketers, entrepreneurs and communication specialists.

The initiative aims to kick off a movement where people from across these communities step up and share their spotlight with other women. They could be women in their team or any other team, a new group or previous one, from a past workplace or the current one.

Share The Spotlight calls on us all to come out and share words of praise and encouragement for each other, appreciating and acknowledging the contributions of so many people who make businesses, brands and workplaces better. Learn and understand how to face challenges and seize opportunities while bringing along others on the path to progress.

This is just the beginning of a long journey to spotlight individuals who are empowering others and bringing change and growth for all. Together we rise.

“I had let my anxiety seep into my professional life in 2017 and I had no understanding of how to tackle both my mental health issues and leadership at that time. I lost some of my key employees at that time because I was unable to be vulnerable. I learnt to maintain boundaries but also deal with teams with empathy. There is no harm in being a vulnerable leader. Rather it’s a sign of strength,” shares Kanika Agarwal, co-founder of MindPeers.

MindPeers, a Delhi-based startup founded in 2020 was recently in the news for appearing on reality TV show Shark Tank India. The startup received an investment of Rs1.06 crore from the sharks.

"I was told women can’t be good CEOs but just making that happen humbles and motivates me every day," Kanika Agarwal, co-founder of MindPeers

In India, there are only three therapists for 1000s of people who need help. And that is what led to the creation of MindPeers – a digital platform that has been built and backed by the concepts of neuroscience. It offers therapy sessions, self-help tools, and fun games, among other services, to promote mental health. According to Agarwal, mental health is not a once-a-year trend or buzzword, it is here to stay forever.

What differentiates Agarwal from most leaders is the fact that she is not only accessible but also not hesitant to be vulnerable publicly as well. Post Shark Tank, she has been organizing 'Situation Saturdays' where every Saturday, strangers and Agarwal herself gather over a video call and discuss one life situation, in their pyjamas, and give each other solutions.

However for Agarwal it was not Shark Tank but something else which happens to be the biggest professional achievement for her. “As a solo founder building a multimillion business, exiting and starting another one. I was told women can’t be good CEOs but just making that happen humbles and motivates me every day.”

Storyboard18 asked Agarwal to share the spotlight with another woman whose story she felt needs to be told. She nominated Swati Bhargava from CashKaro for the grace with which she is leading the company culture is inspiring to Agarwal. “She recently went through a kidney transplant too and did all of it with such a positive attitude,” shares Agarwal.

Know anyone you’d like to share the spotlight with? Join the movement, give them a shout-out on LinkedIn and tag Storyboard18 so we can take it forward.

First Published on Mar 21, 2023 11:16 AM