Getting to Know: Nikhil Jagga

Founder of Habit Insights

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has become an especially important tool in combatting mental health disorders, suck as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or eating disorders — however, it has also become a tool to simply help people better manage their day-to-day life, and the stresses that come with it. As a form of physchotherapy, CBT helps develop skills and strategies to maintain balance and mental health, and focuses on goals and problem solving. Nikhil Jagga, founder of Habit Insights, knows CBT’s benefits all too well, saying, “I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression myself and once I started getting better, I knew I wanted to help others improve their own mental health.”

Nikhil carries on to say, “We’re helping people with anxiety and depression improve their mental health by building a wrist counter in support of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy technique. The technique helps you become aware of and reduce the number of automatic negative thoughts they have.”

Although he’s already found success with Habit Insights, Nikhil notes that the importance of mental health expands beyond his company, but also into his everyday life. “The emotional and mental barriers to doing what you know needs to be done but avoiding those activities because of things like the fear of rejection and failure,” he says. “Developing even more self-awareness and getting used to the process of having my assumptions challenged is going to be key in my journey.”

While failure is a small part of any growing business, Nikhil has yet to let it get him down, saying, “I’ve reframed my thinking about failure. Previously, I saw things in a black and white manner, success or failure. Now I see meetings, networking opportunities, emails, etc. as opportunities for feedback rather than a success or failure.”

As for advice Nikhil has for new social entrepreneurs? He says, “Be careful who you solicit feedback from. If you tell the average person what you’re doing, they’re likely going to say whatever you’re working on sounds like a great idea because it’s doing social good. No one will ever tell you you’re idea sucks because your working on a social cause which feeds your ego but could run you out of business. When I talked to mental health professionals, I got the harsh feedback that I really needed to hear in order to actually move my business forward.”

As a start-up, Habit Insights is in the process of building their inventory and products, which will ideally include a hardware engineering firm to design and get product ready for manufacturing, so if you’d like to find out how you can support Nikhil and his cause, you can reach him via the Twitter (Nikhil Jagga, on LinkedIn or via email (

Story written by Erin Ashley

Nikhil is a participant in the Hook It Up program delivered by Socent7. Hook It Up is a support program for young social entrepreneurs in Ontario. Learn more at

**END OF PROGRAM UPDATE** Nikhil utilized Hook it Up support to build a variety of prototypes of his offering, including a smart watch edition. His message to other young social entrepreneurs: “Cold calling isn’t as scary as people make it out to be. If you have a strong enough value prop, people will gladly speak to you.”