Three years ago, Pratiksha Gupta started 1SpecialPlace – India’s first Online Speech Therapy platform -- to bridge the geographical barriers that exist between the consumer and service provider.
How it started
A certified Speech Language Therapist and Audiologist, Gupta shares that her husband is a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force and she has to move from one city to another due to the nature of his work.
She recalls how she had to close down her centre “Hear” n “Speak” in Noida for the same reason. But failing to find a good speech therapist in the city, her clients would often persuade her to return.
“Armed with my entrepreneurial skills, I was determined to reach out to those who need professional help. All this was instrumental in starting 1SpecialPlace. We initially launched an information-rich website and mobile apps to screen out speech difficulties in children. Next we came up with Online Speech Therapy. Now, we are an ecosystem where we also offer other online services like Occupational Therapy, Special Education, Counselling and many training courses to parents and professionals in our field,” Gupta shares.
1SpecialPlace has an international team of professionals and therapists as well as clients across the world. Gupta is driven by the pursuit of helping all those mothers who face the taboos associated with developmental difficulties in children.
There were some challenges Gupta had to grapple with. She cites acceptance and awareness among the target population as a barrier. Besides that, some problems like finding the best professionals/doctors, their training and supervision and enhancing the quality of their service have cropped up.
Technological advancement as a boon for the venture
“1Special Place is a Tech-Health start up and Technology is the core of everything we do. We are a completely digital ecosystem of providing intervention services to children and adults with special needs.”
She calls Internet the fuel which drives their services. It has also facilitated them in developing digital resources for speech and language enrichment in children.
Claiming to have helped thousands of families across the globe, the team has recently reached the milestone of conducting more than 2,000 online procedures.
"Entrepreneurial journey is like a tornado of long hours, high risk and uncertainty. It is not about running a business. It is about making things happen! So think Big, Hustle and let NO one stop you!" - Pratiksha Gupta
Use of online tools and services
She called Online Speech Therapy a dynamic procedure in which they make use of various tools and resources. “During evaluations, we use standardised testing procedures. A typical online speech therapy session entails usage of digital books, worksheets, flashcards, puzzles, games, videos and other interactive tools customised to each client to meet his/her therapy goals. We also include a lot of hands-on activities in our sessions to keep them engaging and interesting.”
Advice to other women entrepreneurs
According to Gupta, "You need to find that ONE passion which can drive you through any storm without a frown. And once you discover that, your sheer zest will motivate you to reach your dream. Entrepreneurial journey is like a tornado of long hours, high risk and uncertainty. It is not about running a business. It is about making things happen! So think Big, Hustle and let NO one stop you!"
“I envision 1Special Place to be the number one choice for anyone looking for Speech Therapy. I want it to reach even that individual who is unable to receive any help due to lack of professional expertise in his locality, be it in India or abroad,” she says.