Level Supermind is building a Nike for the mind: Harshil Karia
In 2022, if one had to build a version of what Nike did back in the 1950s for mind, what would that company look like today? Well the answer to that is really simple, a digital company co-founded by Beer Biceps’ Ranveer Allahbadia and Harshil Karia, Co-Founder, Schbang, along with IITian Aayush Anand – Level Supermind. While the focus has mostly been on the body, the next 3 decades are going to be around the focus on the mind, and that is where the idea of Level Supermind was conceived.
“We’re building what Nike did to the body. We’re building a Nike for the mind,” says Harshil Karia, Co-Founder of Level Supermind & Founder, Schbang in an exclusive interview with Adgully. He continued, “We knew that it has to be in a digital product form as a subscription based business and revenue model, because the mind is very intangible, that's where we looked and we said that the opportunity to really export India to the world product in the space of the ancient science around meditation that we have. We want to make it cool and relevant again, and that's why we built Level Supermind.”
Sharing about how it is the right time to launch this app, Karia said, “The pandemic has heightened the importance of self care, and at the same time the evolution of the Indian app ecosystem, as well as the payments ecosystem has made a business model like this very viable today because of the ability for people to pay for these additional products. I think the fact that right now is the right time to launch this is because of the increased focus on self care, increased focus on mental health, increased focus on preventive mental health, and taking care of your mind. Therefore, because of all these reasons right now is the right time to work on this and build this as a service, as well as the ubiquity of payments to make it a sustainable business model.”
Elaborating further on why is it the right time, he added, “The increased emphasis of GenZ on mental health is a very big reason to launch right now, because taking care of the mind to really nurse the mind, harness the mind, and unlock the superpower of the mind is a message that really resonates with GenZ at this point in time, working on your mind is more focused. There is a big pride around the India story and there's a big opportunity to also build a world-class app in the wellness space built out of India, because we just don’t have that yet. So, these two factors are the reason why right now is the right time to build a world class app in the wellness space based on the mind, anchored in meditation built in 2022-23 is the right time, because you know it is also India’s time on the global stage.”
Explaining about the model, Karia said, “We have a subscription based service currently priced at Rs 129 per month if you take annual subscription and Rs 169 per month otherwise. We have got close to 5,000-plus paying users right now and our revenue model is that it’s a subscription based service. We are in major Indian languages. We are doing guided meditation in major Indian languages. We started with English, the user feedback was that they needed a hindi meditation, so we have it in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, and we have the southern languages coming very soon. We have a very focused and India approach to deliver in multiple regional languages. We think India will be a strong catchment for us and once we've mastered the Indian market, we're taking it to global stages as well.”
Every venture has its own challenges, sharing about the challenges they faced for Level Supermind, Karia said, “The first challenge that we had is we had to undertake a product market fit exercise for a Level Supermind. Product market fit exercise is typically an exercise where we test a beta version of the product among consumers, and ask them that if the product disappeared, would you be very disappointed, somewhat disappointed or not disappointed at all, and out of 500 users that you put the Beta product in the hands of, 45% have to say they would be very disappointed. That’s when a product achieves product market fit. Our first product market exercise was somewhere around 35%, we had to really work and be very centric to the consumer and built the app to the needs and taste and preferences of what the consumer needs. That was really the big challenge to start with, really build the product in a technical way tailor-made to the consumer. A lot of our processes to build that tailor-made service, and that's what we are focusing on.”
About the marketing strategy, he revealed, “We are doing a fair bit of organic influencer marketing, Ranveer himself has a very large following on social media, so he is marketing the product, we have a couple of strong influencers tie-ups that we are doing apart from that. Influencers who are more in the space of mental health and mental well-being are the ones that we've tied up with to distribute the product plus we are doing a bit of performance marketing on Google Ads and Facebook ads download ads for the play store. And we are also getting very good organic traction on the play store because we are already in the top 10 Google play store and top 3 and the apple play store. So, we get a lot of organic traction as well.”
More than launching a brand, sustaining it is more important. Explaining how Level Supermind is adding value to people’s lives, Karia said, “We are doing a couple of very focused things. One is that we are building the largest and most diverse library of meditation content that there exists in the world. Second is that we have a very strong regional play, the fact that we are available in multiple regional languages makes us very tailor made and accessible to every part of the country. Third is that we are really solving for the habit building procedure of the meditation, as well as the mindfulness and the workout journaling and affirmation process. The fourth thing that we are doing is that we are currently in the process of launching a leader board in a product where you could create a leaderboard among groups of your 5 friends and see who wins. You also have a national Leader Board, you have a city wise leaderboard, and we are giving prizes for people who are most consistent within that. These are the things that we are doing to make sure that the app is very focused, and that Level Supermind is able to add value to the lives of millions of Indians from this perspective.”
“The other thing that we constantly do is that we are also working with the Government supported schools on driving meditation in State schools at no cost. Last year, over 3 months we worked with 15,000 kids and taught them meditation and we will only increase that in 2023. We want to make sure that the impact on the lives of even the kids who don't have access. While we are a commercial company, we have a very large social agenda around meditation as well, and we wholeheartedly believe in that, and we are here for the long haul. So, the fact that we are already cash flow positive is a very strong sign,” Karia concluded.