Meet the Sheroes - Avani Parekh
Avani Parekh founded an interesting platform - LoveDoctor, a place where people across age groups can get some of their most personal queries answered. The site offers answers to questions people in India sometimes get conscious of asking. So why did she feel the need for a platform like this? Find out below!
What is your business all about?
LoveDoctor is a platform to get answers to your questions about relationships and sex in a confidential, personal manner. We have webchat, WhatsApp#, email, and a SMS portal that allows you to speak with a qualified expert on a one on one basis.
We realize that these subjects are hard to talk about and so wanted to provide a comfortable platform. Everyone has these questions - whether they like someone and want to know how to make a connection, or they need some information about the way their bodies are changing, or they are getting intimate with someone and have some questions about safer sex.
How and why did you decide to start this venture?
I decided to start this venture in December 2012, post the Delhi rape. One thing that occurred to me is for better or for worse the events of December 2012 shed light on what it was like to be powerless over our bodies in public space - and we began to talk about what it would take to make India better. At that moment I realized we were missing a crucial part of the discourse - what does it even mean to have healthy intimacy and a healthy relationship and love - even when we voluntarily enter into partnerships with people? So I decided to work on a place where those questions can be explored and answered - and hence in 2014, LoveDoctor was born.
I tried a proof of concept via sms (txtweb) email, and WhatsApp, and have recently lauched the webhat to reach even more people.
How is your business different from what similar columns in magazines or newspapers offer?
I like the fact that magazine and newspaper columns have such a wide reach. I love to read them. I think that all of us have questions we like to think through ourselves, and a service like LoveDoctor makes asking those questions easy because it is confidential and you know you won't be judged - AND the answer is personal and just for you. We hope to make the service real-time so you can ask and get an answer immediately.
What is your current target market?
I'd say youth aged 16 - 25 - but i have seen all types of age ranges! There are newly married couples asking questions about having better and safer sex, and even older people looking for answers to questions!
Where do you see the business / website in a few years?
I'd like to see this go global, serving millions of people though relevant content, partnerships with affiliated businesses and organizations doing great work on the ground, and our chat service and a new app. I'd also for us to be a safe place for people to buy things like condoms (especially female condoms!)
?and have them sent home vs feeling shy about buying them outside.