Reshma Chugh left a career in banking for a fulfilling career helping people with their mental health and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.
What’s your story?
After university in the UK, I came back home and started my career in the banking field. After a few years, I realized that was not my passion though it ticked some of the boxes for my family. I returned to my passion for psychology and went back to my studies and started my career in counseling, which still makes me happy and I look forward to work each day. It fulfills me as a person.
What excites you most about your industry?
The mental health industry has been growing in Asia and I am so glad the stigma about mental health issues is slowly being broken and people are getting support. Being in this industry makes me feel and realize how every human being is so connected and how we all strive ultimately for the same thing: to feel whole, complete, loved and understood. It also allows people to seek help for more difficult issues, such as depression, anxiety and disorders, making people see that no one needs to tackle it on their own. We all need support in some area or another.
What is your connection to Asia?
I was born and brought up in Hong Kong. Apart from university in the UK for three years, Hong Kong has always been my home and is where my family resides.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
With my work, I don’t need to travel much, as my clients are in Hong Kong and I do online therapy with clients abroad.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”
I believe that it’s more important to believe in yourself and your value, and it’s not important how others see you, but how you see yourself that is important. Something I worked on myself too.
Who inspires you?
My mother inspires me as she has the most unconditional love to give to all humans. How she lets go and forgives and forgets. Her belief in me gives me the strength to tackle problems. And my path in counseling has brought more awareness of who I am and that I am always striving to be better.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
1) Learning boundaries and applying them to people and how liberating it makes one feel about themselves. Learning to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.
2) You cannot live a brave life without disappointing some people, which is ok, because the people who really care for you, the ones rooting for your rise will not be disappointed. The only people disappointed are the ones with their own agenda and their agenda is not aligned with yours. That’s how you make yourself brave, because those people who are rooting for you and your rise, they will be okay when you say “No”. – Oprah Winfrey
This gave me more strength to do what I needed to do for myself. Very liberating!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I believe everything I go through, good and bad, has taught me a lesson and was exactly what I needed at the time to teach me how to grow as a person.
In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.
How do you unwind?
Working in this industry of mental health does take a lot out of me. So I like to take naps, go to the beach and sink my feet in the sand which helps me with my grounding, and also listening and dancing to music.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket – I love the sun and sand. I love the beach massages listening to the waves. I love the food, the culture and the warmth of the Thai people.
Everyone in business should read this book:
There are many books in the mental health industry that resonate with different people. I prefer to recommend a book I read as a kid and it is still my favorite “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou. It is about racism and oppression. It opened up my eyes and perspective on life when a teenager and I feel it still resonates with me.
Shameless plug for your business:
I am very passionate about helping others and believing in mental health and breaking the stigma around it, especially in Asia. For me having therapy when you are not in crisis is like getting your car serviced rather than waiting until it breaks down. It feels liberating and allows you to truly live a life that you are meant to, the healing is painful but so is not healing.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.