Why Prashan Agarwal is turning entrepreneur again

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on July 20, 2021

Agarwal’s new start-up OMI looks to target the spiritual wellness market in India

Former Gaana CEO Prashan Agarwal has co-founded a spiritual wellness platform OMI in partnership with Aniket Lila. Agarwal moved on from Gaana in March 2021, after a five-year stint. Under his leadership, the music-streaming platform grew from 10 million MAUs (monthly active users) to 180 million MAUs.

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“The key reason for leaving Gaana was that I wanted to do something of my own. I’m already 41 and I thought, I have to start another start-up before it’s too late,” said Agarwal. His millennial-focused OMI recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Nexus Venture and is looking to target the $10-billion spiritual wellness market in India.

Personalised remedy plan

Agarwal believes that the playbook of making Gaana a household brand can be applied to OMI as well. “There are two important ingredients of building a large brand, one has to solve for reach and brand experience. The entire customer experience is what basically creates a large retention, and word-of-mouth over time. And, for brand resonance, one has to brand trust with customers so that they come back to you again and again,” he added.

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Starting out, on the OMI platform, users will be able to consult with Astro Guides (or astrologers) and get a personalised remedy plan, including activities like meditation, chanting mantras, affirmations, and journaling.

Choice of sectors

In the past, Agarwal has also founded the real estate marketplace PropTiger and car platform 19miles. Asked why all three start-ups have been in different sectors and how he decides on this, he said the idea is to never repeat a sector and always look for learning opportunities. The second major factor driving his decisions has been the target market size of his start-ups.

“First thing that you need to look at when you're starting up is to go after a large market, because then you know the opportunities are limitless in terms of growth. And that has also been the key driver for me, in selecting a sector. This should then, of course, be supported by the entrepreneur’s passion for the market and the strengths they bring to the table,” he added.

Applying this thought process to OMI, Agarwal said that spirituality is a $10-billion market in India and if we add e-commerce, and devotional market — it is a much larger market, estimated at around $40 billion. Over time, Agarwal plans to expand the offerings of OMI from a spiritual wellness platform to a holistic wellness platform including services like physical well-being, relationship counselling, and even mental health experts.

Published on July 20, 2021

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