Jagah — The Year in Review

Sehar Dabur • Published on December 3, 2023

“Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you doesn’t mean you can, should or need to do it alone.”~ Lisa Olivera

An Exciting Year for the Jagah Community Project

Jagah is the place where founders can pause, reflect, and remember that they are more than just their startups. A safe haven for founders’ mental well-being.

The year has been eventful. We’ve welcomed over 100 founders into the Jagah community, with five of them generously providing financial support. The community has successfully concluded four Founder Mental Wellness Retreats and two Jagah Journeys Sessions since its inception in November 2022.

The Jagah Mental Wellness Retreats for Founders

Two of the four retreats (the 1st and 3rd) took place in the beautiful Kshemawana Naturopathy Center on the outskirts of Bengaluru. These retreats were jointly led by Aneesh Reddy, Capillary Technologies, Phanindra Sama, ex-Red Bus, Sameer Guglani from Supermorpheus and Kshitij Bhotika from Practo.

The 2nd retreat was organised in the peaceful Auroville campus in Puducherry. Sameer Guglani from Supermorpheus led this retreat, while the 4th and latest retreat (concluded on Oct 8 2023) was organised in the divine Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and led by mentor and author Rajesh Setty and NLP coach and founder Riti V. Srivastava.

The Four Jagah Founders’ Wellness Retreats

While the first three retreats focused more on inner peace and equipping founders with tools for mental and physical wellness, the 4th retreat explored the power of human connection and sharing while introducing inner peace tools briefly.

All four retreats left a lasting impact on the participating founders, with many stepping forward to contribute to Jagah with their time, knowledge and resources.

Jagah Journeys’ Sessions

Jagah Journeys is an initiative to curate intimate spaces for sharing stories, person-to-person, heart-to-heart. With Jagah Journeys, we’re exploring the age-old oral storytelling tradition. This tradition connects us all at a deeply human level, fostering empathy, understanding, and community.

For the first session of Jagah Journeys, a group of 8 founders got together, and founder Sunny Ghosh shared the mental and emotional battles of entrepreneurship he has fought over the years. All the founders spoke about their mental health journeys as startup founders, and the resonance with Sunny’s journey was evident. This session set the ball rolling.

Poster for the Jagah Journeys Session with Sharat & Sowmya

The second Jagah Journeys session was with Sharat Potharaju, who narrated his startup story, and Sowmya Jagannath, who offered a spouse’s viewpoint on this rollercoaster ride. The session was not the usual founder narrative. It was a rich blend of experiences that provoked thought and inspiration. The session was attended by ten hand-picked founders who could deeply benefit from the session.

The Jagah Research

To establish a strong groundwork for the Jagah community project, a dedicated team of mental health professionals, under the leadership of Pavitra Jayaraman, Founder and Director of the PARC, has been actively involved in understanding the requirements and anticipations of startup founders. Drawing insights from more than 100 founders through a combination of one-on-one interviews and a comprehensive 15-minute survey (ensuring anonymity), the team is currently in the process of consolidating these findings into a conclusive research report. The report will also have invaluable input from clinical psychologists and pertinent stakeholders and is expected to be published by January 2024.

The team creating the report has been participating in Jagah Retreats and sessions to fully grasp the impact and recommend changes to enhance the evolving formats.

A Heartfelt Thank You

We express our deepest gratitude on behalf of the Jagah Team and the entire founder ecosystem. Your support strengthens the community and shows your commitment to the well-being of the founders. The journey with Jagah promises to be even more exciting in the coming year. Thank you for being a part of this remarkable journey.

Written by Sehar Dabur