John Dupuy talks to Vishen Lakhiani who founded Mindvalley after discovering the benefits of mindfulness and meditation to help him cope with a stressful sales career.
Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Vishen Lakhiani founded Mindvalley in 2003 while he was living in New York, after discovering the benefits of mindfulness and meditation to help him cope with a stressful sales career.
Mindvalley in the beginning was just a small e-commerce store that sold self-help programs and courses. “I started Mindvalley with $700 and a beat-up laptop in Starbucks,” is often how Vishen would begin the Mindvalley origin story. But in 2004, after he struggled to keep his US Visa, he moved back to Kuala Lumpur, at the height of a national brain drain and years before the birth of the startup ecosystem in Asia.
And so, he made it his mission to build one of the best workplaces in the world in Malaysia, despite the odds. Today, Vishen leads a 200-strong team of over 40 nationalities under a multi award-winning company culture.
In the past decade, Mindvalley has garnered a global reputation for being a leading edu-tech company, specializing in modern learning experiences and content, launching online academies and digital platforms that publish personal growth education in areas such as well-being, mindfulness, relationships, fitness, entrepreneurship, and more. The company has also been recognized by the likes of Forbes, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Inc. Magazine. Yet Vishen built Mindvalley with zero angel investors, venture capitalist money, or government grants.
“Our mission is to empower people to live healthier and happier lives, and unleash their fullest human potential (our tagline is Be Extraordinary), by introducing them to tools and ideas that are currently missing from traditional education systems,” said Vishen, who is determined to help revolutionize the global education system. “Our goal? To launch a school for one billion people worldwide.”