This Woman Entrepreneur Makes Parenting Easier
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An entrepreneurial journey involves ups and downs. Each day is a new challenge, with infrequent achievements more so for women due to subconscious biases.
Highlighting such biases, Naiyya Saggi, founder and CEO of BabyChakra, said that while she rarely faced any gender biases during her stint with McKinsey & Co., or during her studies at Harvard University, it cropped up when she was looking for angel investors for BabyChakra.
Speaking to Entrepreneur India, Saggi said during one such meeting with a potential angel investor, she was asked who would be responsible for running the company once she becomes a mother. “I was shocked with the question as my level of ambition was being questioned, but I might not have been questioned if I am contemplating family at any point as a man,” Saggi said.
However with growing awareness and development, things have started to change. More and more women are starting up their own businesses and also joining the workforce. Saggi is one of the greatest examples who is leading one of India's largest maternity and childcare e-commerce start-up and is helping new parents learn more about parenting.
Making Parenting Easier
Mumbai-based BabyChakra, founded by Saggi in 2015, is an online parenting platform which allows Indian parents to discover care and accurate information for their babies. BabyChakra also offers maternity and childcare marketplace for helping users purchase the right products for their babies.
Saggi said she has always been excited about the maternal and child care market. “Earlier while I was working with McKinsey, I was a management consultant and had to work in the maternal and child health space. I was working with multiple foundations on scaling their public health and maternal and child health initiatives. I was super excited to begin my start-up in this space because this would be a company with a transformational agenda,” Saggi explained.
According to Saggi, she realized that the maternity and childcare market segment has a huge potential owing to three main trends. Indian families are increasingly becoming nuclear and even if one lives in a joint family structure, the aspiration of bringing up one’s own child is becoming different than that of their own families. Apart from this, people who are becoming parents right now are well versed with the digital world. Thus, they tend to look for valuable information online.
While explaining the uniqueness behind the idea of BabyChakra, Saggi said the start-up is aimed at becoming a companion to parents. “To become a companion, you need to know the parents really well. You need to personalize extensively for them. In order to be relevant to parents, you need to understand their needs very deeply and then create products that address the requirements.” According to Saggi, the start-up’s core idea has never been transactional but has always been to become friends of parents.
According to Saggi, one of its main milestones in 2019 was the launch of services in multiple languages including Hindi, Tamil and Kannada. BabyChakra had also beta launched its services in Bengali, Oriya and Marathi.
As per the official website, BabyChakra serves more than 2 million families monthly. The company also claimed to record over 50 million monthly content views on the platform.
BabyChakra, as per media reports, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Seattle-based VC fund RoundGlass Partners in 2016. Following this the company raised undisclosed amount in its third round of funding in 2018 from corporate heads including Mark Mobius and Rajesh Sehgal-backed Equanimity Ventures Fund, former Facebook director Anand Chandrasekaran and former Lightspeed Ventures investor Maninder Gulati, among others.