Yudara Kularathne is the Co-founder and CEO of HeHealth, an AI-enabled health and wellness company with a specific focus on penis health and providing STD care solutions.
Tell us more about yourself and what you’re passionate about, which led you to what you’re doing now.
I am passionate about revolutionizing men’s health and sexual health, as well as removing the stigma from sexual health, especially among men. This is after I’ve witnessed countless situations of misinformation about STDs in my line of work as a consultant emergency physician. This often leads to unfavorable outcomes like misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, which is very concerning. HeHealth started with the thought of preventing this and helping others to get the right information, and to diagnose and treat STDs easily, efficiently, and comfortably.
(Related: Driven by Passion - Henson Tsai, SleekFlow)
Turning something you’re passionate about into a viable business isn’t always easy. Walk us through your journey and the challenges you’ve met along the way.
Since HeHealth started, many people were skeptical about our project, and some even deemed it an impossible task or didn’t take us seriously. This has mainly stayed the same even with the current group of people we talk to. The difference is that now, we have grown accustomed to such comments. Despite the rejection, we keep our vision and belief in our mission close to our hearts – that all men should have a safe, available option to turn to, in case they are too embarrassed or are unable to visit an STD clinic.
It is a difficult journey. We spend days and nights in the office working with engineers and doctors to develop the HeHealth app, based on a large pool of medical data. I’m thankful for Mei Ling, my wife and the co-founder of HeHealth for being my rock in this whole process.
What are your long-term goals and what steps are you taking to realize them to ensure longevity and sustainability?
We want to create the world’s leading technology-driven men’s health ecosystem where men feel happy without stigma and shame. We want to be inclusive, especially to the LGBTQIA+ community, allowing for easy access to healthcare needs.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to ensuring the longevity and sustainability of a business. However, there are some key factors that can contribute to business success. An important one is having a strong business model that is adaptable and able to evolve over time. Another key factor is having a clear understanding of your customer base and what they want and need. Finally, it's important to always learn and grow as a business, so you can continue to meet the changing needs of your customers.
How would you encourage those who want to act on their passions and turn it into something more, but have no idea how to get started?
For anyone who's ever been passionate about something, but didn't know how to pursue it, these three tips will help get you started.
First, don't try to do everything at once. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're first starting out, but remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Break your passion down into small, manageable goals and work on them one at a time.
Second, don't be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of people out there who are passionate about the same things you are and who would love to help you get started. Seek advice from these people and learn as much as you can from them.
Finally, don't give up. Pursuing a passion can be difficult, and there will be times when you want to throw it all out of the window. There will be people who keep saying you can’t, and you won’t be successful. But if you keep pushing intelligently and work smartly, you’ll eventually reach your goal.
Define what passion is for you.
Passion is often seen as a driving force behind innovation and motivation. For me, passion is simply doing what I love. It's finding something that I'm interested in and excited about and pursuing it wholeheartedly. It doesn't necessarily have to be something that others find interesting or valuable, but if it brings me joy, that's all that matters. Passion is what keeps me going when things get tough and motivates me to keep learning and growing. For me, it's what makes life worth living.