Navya Naveli Nanda: Looking Out For Women
Navya is the co-founder of the non-profit startup Aara Health and Project Naveli, also a non-profit.
Majority of companies start with an entrepreneur at the helm and then years down the line grow into a family business. From the smaller businesses to leading ones like Adani and Ambani these are all Indian businesses branching out of family tree. Every year at Entrepreneur, we set out our sail to look for new age entrepreneurs charting new growth strategies. Here's to the new chapter these entrepreneurs are beginning
To the common man, the easiest way to introduce 24-year-old Navya Naveli Nanda would be as the granddaughter of the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan.
But for the ones who know her and the life altering work she is doing, could serve as a lesson in how to use your power and influence to do good. Navya is the co-founder of the non-profit startup Aara Health and Project Naveli, also a non-profit. Aara Health is a women-centric health tech company focused on building, creating, and providing scientifically backed affordable healthcare products and services to women in India, while Project Naveli's objective is to build a gender equal world by providing women with access to resources and opportunities that lead to economic and social development.
Aara Health was started during the lockdown, born out of shared personal experiences with her co-founders of being young women in India, and having faced stigma when it came to women's health and hygiene. On the other hand, Project Naveli began for Navya as a result of the realisation that with privilege comes great responsibility.
"I have been lucky to have been given more than I deserve, and this fight for gender equality isn't won if only one of us succeeds, but when we all do, collectively," explains Navya.
Unlike what most people might believe, Navya grew up in Delhi, where business was the main profession in the house. Her father Nikhil Nanda is the third generation to be leading their family business Escorts Kubota, an agricultural machinery company. "I grew up listening to his conversations with my dada about the business, my dadi was an entrepreneur and businesswoman herself, my bua was working in the company too and my mother venturing to start her own career as an author and journalist at the time - I think the entrepreneurial mindset and gene is very deep rooted within me, and hence was an obvious career path," she says.
The result of all this were the two organizations she started for social good. While Aara Health is a platform that openly talks about topics that have always been considered taboo, at Project Naveli, one of the most significant initiatives she worked on was the menstruation campaign. For World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022, they painted a 15 foot wall mural in the middle of a busy street in Mumbai, to raise awareness and make public places more period friendly. A question she must be asked frequently would be the kind of impact her superstar grandfather has had on her. "There are far too many learnings and lessons that I take away from my nana, almost every day. The biggest one I have learnt so far has been discipline. He is one of the most disciplined people I have met in my life - I try to imbibe that and use it in my professional life. His hunger and motivation has no limit," says Navya.
Going ahead, Navya shall continue to innovate, disrupt and create solutions for consumers. Exploring healthcare services which can be offered to women and looking at the growing women's wellness market while aiming to become the ultimate end-to-end solution provider is what Navya's objective for the future is.