“Mindvalley [is] growing as a movement, as a lifestyle, as a community of people who support each other” and is continuing to expand, says Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani.
In today’s world, where fiercely competitive rivalry reigns supreme, our modern generation has increasing pressure to not only hone in on existing abilities but also to learn new ones.
Furthermore, with the rise of internet usage amid lockdown, many educational portals and self-development workshops that concentrate on offering online classes have sprung up in response to the need for constant self-growth in the era of the internet.
One of these companies is Mindvalley.
Mindvalley, a self-growth company which has been around for many years, now operates from high-rise offices in Kuala Lumpur and Estonia. They have received “two awards from the president of Estonia – one for being a start-up of the year … and there was another award for being the most democratic company,” explains Mänd-Lakhiani. “We are a world-known company in different aspects of our office in Kuala Lumpur; design and the atmosphere.”
Due to the pandemic, which led to an increase in remote working, people face deeper existential questions about life that they can’t run away from, unlike before. Anxiety, depression and even suicide are all on the rise, according to research. As reported by KFF study “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use,” (January 2021) 41% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely stable since spring 2020. More suffering is surfacing, especially problems that people could escape more easily when the environment was open.
To cater to these, Mänd-Lakhiani says Mindvalley has started to “offer education in personal growth and transformation in life and understanding how to live a happy, fulfilled, healthy life.
“We also offer fitness and nutrition, relationships, business and financial courses. A lot of people have what they need now.”
Focused on lifelong learning, this large tech educational company was started by Vishen Lakhiani, who can be considered a modern-day guru of self-development and spiritual growth. Mänd-Lakhiani was born in the Soviet Union and is the wife of Lakhiani as well as the co-founder of Mindvalley. She believes that even as a supporting role to her husband’s start-up business, she doesn’t believe that “a supporting role is any less valuable or essential.”
The business began as a side project and was never a means to earn money. Instead supporting Lakhiani’s meditation programs as a tool to draw learners to his studies was an afterthought. Initially, there were three people part of the business, living fast-paced career-centric lives. Mänd-Lakhiani adds that “after a few years, it started taking more time to run and brought us some money to afford to give up our full-time jobs. That’s when things started getting more severe. Then we moved to Malaysia, hired people, got the office and things kind of took off from there.”
Mänd-Lakhiani believes her creativity is a driving force for her. “Creativity happens from space, in a vacuum of sorts. So, I like my mornings to start peacefully and quietly with my routines and rituals: hanging with my children and having my peaceful breakfast and having my quiet meditation or whatever way is essential for me in that particular moment. I have a lot of a variety of things that drive me in my life.” Mindvalley’s mission resonates with her personal mission, which is essentially “to help people to deal with everyday life emotionally.”
Mindvalley comes from a diverse ethnic tradition. “We used to come to work and have parties and holidays,” Mänd-Lakhiani says. “In Malaysia, where Vishen grew up, he faced exclusion because of his ethnic minority heritage. That is why being international was something we carefully considered. Inclusion and global diversity have always been important to us.”
It may seem as if this business is more Lakhiani’s then it is Mänd-Lakhiani’s, given that Mindvalley was his main passion and he is the one “who was deciding the direction and giving the values.”
“[There are] three cultural definitions for businesses,” explains Mänd-Lakhiani. “Envisioning – coming up with new things, solving the problems. Transformation – something that Vishen always valued, and it is how the company started. Unity – we recognize our unity. It is essential to have an environment where diversity is celebrated.” Mänd-Lakhiani emphasizes that “everything comes from Vishen’s journey and 100% describes him.”
In a hyper-competitive and saturated industry, MindValley must maintain and grow their presence in the market. “How you sell yourself changes over time,” says Mänd-Lakhiani. “Then you will only keep changing. Especially now, if you’re ready to change, you will succeed. That’s it.”
With the personal development industry continuing to thrive, MindValley has undeniably carved out a spot for themselves.
With a university, learning platform, meditation courses and numerous books under the MindValley umbrella, Lakhiani and his team of more than 300 have helped transform the lives of millions around the world. According to him, “We know that one day this number will exceed one billion and are aiming for one billion.”
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