This 5-month-old Start-up Runs A Network For Sharing Emotions, Eyes Rs 1,100 Crore Market

​Innovation doesn’t start and end with technology alone. Instead, innovation is all about touching life in a way that makes existence more fulfilling. Social networks have already proved that the stuff called human connects is a serious business. But here is, a 5-month-old social enterprise from India, which has gone one step ahead and started an ‘emotion-sharing’ network, along with a 24x7 tele-counselling service. Research shows that the Indian tele-counselling market focusing on mental health and emotional wellness could be worth Rs 1,100 crore, but very few companies have entered this niche till date. Here is a snapshot that captures the start-up’s vision and viability.

Who runs A team of four – all of them from IIM Lucknow. They are Sumant Gajbhiye, Gaurav Rajan and Ritika Sharma while Lima James joined the venture later. After working for 2 years in MNCs, the co-founders left their jobs and set up SRG Sharingdard Networking Pvt Ltd in Mumbai. The website went live in May 2013.

What inspired the venture: College parties, whether you believe it or not. “In those parties, we often shared our experiences. Those heart-to-heart chats helped us open up since all of us came from different backgrounds but needed support during emotional turmoil. That’s when the idea struck us – why not start a website where people can share all their problems anonymously, without facing any social stigma,” says Sumant.

What’s the pitch: At SharingDard, a parallel world is created where you can share your Emotions, Feelings, Grief, Secrets, Your Dard (pain)… Without your identity!

How it works: Users can put their life stories under a suitable category as you have 7 sections there – right from Jobs and Career to Family and Social issues, Love and Relationship trauma, Social Taboos, Matrimony Search, I Feel Lonely and Other (for miscellaneous posts). You only need to input your e-mail ID and birth date to register and no other information is required. Visitors to the site can read the posts but if they want to post their views, messages and encouragement in an effort to help, they need to register as well. Another plus, you get loads of language options on the site.

Claim to fame: Traction and stickiness. Last we checked, the site had 37,088 registered users globally (the numbers change fast) and according to Sumant, it gets NRI hits from around 80 countries. Its Alexa ranking in India on Oct 15 stands at 22,811 while the global ranking on Alexa is 192,659, up 162,057 versus the previous 3 months. On an average, each visitor spends around 15 minutes on the site.

Show me the money: Unlike most digital businesses that essentially chase advertisement revenues, this company is eyeing the mental health & wellness space. Its current business model includes a pre-paid tele-counselling service ( for adolescents, conducted 24x7 by 16 fully trained professionals. Going forward, it will come up with web counselling and also target the NRI segment. Bootstrapped till date, the start-up is also looking for funding and is in talks with angel investors.

Biggest challenge: Not funding, but positioning the business in the Indian context. Many people who need help live in denial and emotional trauma is often swept under the carpet. SharingDard is a bold concept – now we have to see if it can rake in the moolah.
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