14. Mridula Pore, Founder of Peppy

Company: Peppy

Website: https://peppy.health/

 

About Mridula & Peppy

Peppy was founded in 2018 by Dr Mridula Pore, alongside her co-founders Max Landry and Evan Harris.

Peppy is a digital health app on a mission to support employees through some of life’s most natural, yet most underserved, health journeys. Areas of healthcare supported by Peppy range from major health conditions and events (such as going through menopause, struggling with infertility and having a baby) to building healthy habits through exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing, to everyday questions and concerns.

The Peppy app enables employers to give easy-to-access, personalised support to the men, women and LGBTQ+ people in their organisation. Crucially, Peppy is available free of charge to the end user, funded by their employer or private medical insurer.

Today, there is more emphasis than ever before on employers’ duty to support their teams’ health and wellbeing. Peppy is an affordable, easy-to-implement and highly-accessible tool which empowers employers to give personalised support to their employees, and empowers their people to take control of their health.

What sets Peppy apart are the human experts at the heart of every app interaction. Peppy connects users to real health practitioners – including menopause specialists, infant feeding experts, fertility nurses, counsellors, urologists, personal trainers and nutritionists – via one-to-one chat, virtual consultations and live events. Peppy’s experts are accessible from morning until night, Monday to Friday.

The Peppy app also includes a library of on-demand articles, explainer videos, exercise classes, wellbeing programmes and audio toolkits that users can access whenever and wherever they need, on their mobile.

From the start, the biggest challenge faced has been the stigma and ignorance surrounding certain health journeys, particularly in the workplace. Take menopause, for example – it’s a natural life stage that every woman will go through, and yet until recently no one was talking about it. Men’s health is a similar story – despite 1 in 5 men dying before the age of 65, outdated concepts of masculinity have meant individuals and employers alike have ignored the problems, rather than face them head on.

Much of Peppy’s work since 2018 has been on raising awareness of these health issues and their impact on people experiencing them first-hand and on their workplaces. They have been on a journey, educating boardrooms of male business leaders about menopause and fertility and changing the way traditional employers think about health benefits. 2022 has been a turning point – progressive employers are inspiring others to follow suit, and we are seeing formerly-taboo health issues become more mainstream.

Internally, the greatest challenge has been keeping up with the demand for our services, and growing the team at pace in a way that maintains company values. Peppy will always be a remote-first workplace that champions flexible working, but the priority has been to build a culture of openness and recruit people who are not only fantastic at their job but also who have that extra something that makes them ‘Peppy’.

They have big plans for this year, and beyond. This starts with the launch of the newest support area, Women’s Health, which will deliver support to all under-served areas of health for women and people who menstruate. This includes practical and emotional support for periods, common female cancers, fertility conditions like endometriosis and PCOS, weight management, body dysmorphia and much more.

In January alone, the team grew by more than 30 people and the pace of growth is not set to stop. This year Peppy will be launching with many more employers, expanding into new geographies and partnering with more benefits providers and insurance companies.

They are proud to be diverse company – in fact, they recently scored 9.7 for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion as part of our B Corp certification. But there are some women of Peppy without whom we would not be where we are today.

Firstly, co-founder and co-CEO, Dr. Mridula Pore, who looks after the fundraising and strategic direction of the business. Mridula has a PhD from MIT and an MBA from MIT Sloan, but at Peppy she wears many hats. Her passion for driving innovations in healthcare to make it more accessible and more affordable has been key to our drive and success.

Secondly, clinical leads: Kathy Abernethy (Director of Menopause Services and former chair of the British Menopause Society), Francesca Steyn (Director of Women’s Health Services and chair of the Royal College of Nursing Fertility Nurses Forum) and Helen Lake (Director of Men’s Health Services). Kathy, Francesca and Helen are leading experts in the areas of health that Peppy supports. They oversee teams of practitioners, create in-app content and ultimately are responsible for delivering life-changing support to thousands of users.

 

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