In a time where the importance of mental wellbeing is paramount, we have had the humble opportunity of working alongside Anshul Kamath, a dynamic young entrepreneur, to build Evolve – a mobile application that is focused on making personal growth simple and joyful. Evolve provides users with a mobile experience on iOS and Android devices that takes mental wellness head-on by addressing a user’s emotions and then walks them through the process of managing their emotions effectively. In this article, we share Anshul’s thoughts and the core offering of the Evolve application.
Meet Anshul KamathAnshul has had a bit of an unconventional career path so far! He studied Economics in the UK and started his career working in Finance in London for one of the world’s largest companies. After 3 and a half years there, he decided to quit and move back to India. He always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur someday so instead of working for a large company, he worked for an early-stage tech startup for 2 years. He got hands-on experience seeing how startups are created, learning about technology, product, and data on his journey!. Through this time, he also became increasingly passionate about enabling people to be their best and for a few years, he ran a passion project called GreatToAwesome where he collaborated with leading psychologists, life coaches, and wellness experts. He conducted personal growth and mindfulness workshops for over 600 people and this grew into his current venture – Evolve “I’ve been passionate about this space for a few years now and through all the workshops I conducted, I got a first-hand experience of the challenges working individuals face today with respect to their mental wellbeing and growth. I saw the need for an accessible product that helps people manage their emotions, especially stress and anxiety. Once we started doing our market and user research, we got a lot more insights and all of that led to Evolve as we know it today.” shares Anshul.
One of the many workshops that paved the journey towards building the foundation of EvolveWhile the last 10-15 years have seen a surge in the physical health segment with gyms, personal trainers, and dieticians, Anshul feels that over the next 10-15 years, people are going to care about their mental wellbeing to the same extent. That’s the world he set out to build Evolve for.
So what is Evolve?The Evolve app is all about mental wellbeing and personal growth a simple, accessible, and joyful experience. At the heart of it, it helps users do 2 things:
- Balance: Anytime someone feels out of balance (for example, they’re anxious or stressed or they can’t sleep), Evolve helps you come back to a state of balance within minutes through guided exercises using various meditation and scientifically proven techniques
- Grow: Evolve has taken some of the most important skills today (self-awareness, empathy, managing your energies, etc) and made them accessible through interactive growth journeys. They’ve also teamed up with leading experts and life coaches to help you build new skills.
Users can pick between quick access Guided Audios, Videos and Interactive conversations or they can start goal-oriented journeysAvailable on both, the App Store for iOS and the Play Store for Android, Evolve takes a different approach to serving a user’s mind. While there are a lot of apps in this space and it’s only growing. Evolve sets itself apart as an authentic and unique product for a few reasons:
- Keeping it simple and joyful for the user. The team has been very careful to make the product extremely simple to navigate and make it cheery and joyful for the user. Most apps have a lot of content but it’s hard to find what you need and at a time when you’re anxious, the last thing a user needs is difficulty finding content or an app that feels intense.
- Very contextualized to a user’s day. The content is built and crafted keeping very specific scenarios in mind. For example, if at 2 am, someone is struggling to sleep after binge-watching Netflix, Evolve has a 20 minute guided sleep audio specifically to help one sleep. Or if someone is craving sugar, the app has a guided exercise to control the craving. While a lot of apps have more generic meditation, Evolve has been careful to build some extremely unique and contextualized content.
- Interactive. Most other apps in the category are very one-way communication. Something the Evolve does differently with growth journeys is that it has made them interactive, allowing the user to engage beyond just listening. Users can introspect and engage with the app in ways that are unique to the Evolve product
Evolve provides users with an immersive content consumption experienceIn Anshul’s own words
One of the biggest needs Evolve is solving for is helping people manage their emotions. As trivial as it sounds, I think it’s one of the biggest problems in the world that from college students to CEOs, almost no one is unable to manage their emotions and mental wellbeing, particularly negative emotions such as stress and anxiety. This has a negative impact on all aspects of our lives from our health to the quality of our relationships and productivity at work. And with our fast paced lives dominated by tech and social media, where people are leading isolated and work-centric lifestyles and now of course COVID, I see the need for Evolve only increasing.“The other need is the fact that the world is changing so fast that people are going to have to keep upskilling themselves to adapt and grow as individuals and leaders. For those who are interested in their personal growth, workshops are often expensive and inaccessible. Evolve makes these skills such as empathy and self-awareness accessible and easy to learn and integrate into your life.” says Anshul. He further adds that “COVID is a one in a century phenomenon and in a few months itself, it has changed almost everyone in some way or the other. But it’s effects are going to be felt for years to come. Suddenly people are waking up to the fact that our work-centric lives are so out of balance and also recognizing things like stress and anxiety. Anxiety disorder and depression are being spoken and written about a lot more and there’s an awareness COVID has created about the importance of mental wellbeing. Evolve will certainly play a role in helping individuals through this time by making mental wellbeing accessible. Once a user is on the app, they can choose from a wide range of guided audios and interactive exercises to deal with their stress and other emotions. Some of these exercises also simulate how a therapist or a life coach would guide you and this gives you a similar relief from the comfort of your home.“
Evolve is available as a free as well as a premium offering. While users can access a range of free content, Evolve+ offers users with more specialized and advanced content.“I feel the market has grown a few years in a few months. Over time, I see Evolve being the one app on people’s phones that helps them turn inwards rather than outwards and really help them manage themselves, introspect, and grow. Once we set up a strong foundation with this version of the product, I’d love to take it to different regional languages and look at partnering with organizations and even schools as the importance and need for mental wellbeing keeps growing” said Anshul
The SolutionWe worked closely with Anshul and his team to build every feature within the app, making sure that the user journey gets top priority. The goal for us was to build a lightweight mobile application experience that is powered by responsive web services and a scalable backend. A priority was to build the serverside application as a decoupled solution that is spread across multiple components for maximum scalability and performance. Under the hood, the Evolve platform has been built using a multi-tier, fault-tolerant architecture that comprises
- React Native for the iOS and Android mobile application
- Streaming Audio and Video
- Python for the backend and REST APIs
- Postgres & Redis as the database
- iTunes & Google IAB Subscription through Microservices
- Async Workers with queue brokers for quick processing