Naveen & Sandeep Gulati, Founders, Hiraj

Team YS
18th Jun 2009
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Few things in the world bring as much joy as watching a baby grow. The first step, a spoken word, small moments that are special landmark events not just to the parents, but everyone around – friends, grandparents, uncles and who not. Helping keep track of a child’s early days, everyday growth and milestones achieved is Hiraj.com, a detailed online baby journal and diary for parents.

Launched in 2009, the portal is the effort of Naveen and Sandeep Gulati, UK based entrepreneurs who hit upon the idea when Naveen and his wife wanted to share pictures and other details of their baby with friends and family back in India and realized that all the current baby sites charged an online subscription fee.

Wanting to give parents a free platform to record memories of their child’s early growth and share it with people across the world, they put up a prototype in 2008 and asked several users to provide feedback. Based on the reviews, the revised site was put up in April 2009 and has since then grown consistently, adding members every single day.

Says Naveen, “We have incorporated several important features on our site which allow parents to not only write baby dairies and share pictures but also plot the baby’s height and weight on the World Health Organizations Growth Chart plotter, maintain dental charts, log milestones, add picture post cards or electronic frames to images and much more; for more than one baby at a time too.”

What catches ones eye is the wish list feature which enables parents to list desired gifts under the wish list section, thus solving the perennial question of ‘what to buy for a baby/new parent.’

Naveen goes on to elaborate that even with all that, the maximum has been done to enforce privacy options, enabling parents to control how much information they want to share and with whom.

With a reach that is surely global, Hiraj’s founders have clearly traced their audience to India and are working on capturing the maximum of them by having the site content in different Indian languages.

That apart, the other plans for the future involve incorporation of an online print feature to allow users to get their baby diary or photo book printed, either as a free PDF or a professionally printed hard bound book which can even be sent to friends and family as an electronic version.

Says Sandeep, “Our vision for 2010 is to become a community catering to complete baby needs for parents and are moving towards by it adding a resources section for parents with links to articles, parenting forums, product reviews, mummy and daddy groups and an expert panel that can answer questions related to bringing up a baby and much more.”

Having worked 9-5 jobs, the two believe that there is always room for development and the passion for a new concept and the opportunities to grow are factors that inspired them to take entrepreneurship.

Their journey hasn’t been without the usual share of hiccups. From locating the right programmers and designers to the money and time constraints. “We’ve even made mistakes like not getting contracts signed and taking people’s word for a lot of things. But simple and easy approaches have helped us get the concept right. We now always advice good research and having a good team before allocating any part of a project.”

Having been funded through personal savings, the venture seems to now be getting popular through blogs, online publications and reviews in print. The business model’s potential has already been judged a winner, with the team having received two Business Awards worth £2000 and £1000 each on behalf of Yorkshire Universities and has also been recommended for the Regional Yorkshire Universities business planning competition where they came 4th out of the 20 candidates.

Sharing their tips for a successful enterprise, the two say “It hurts to fail but its worse never to have tried to succeed. Believe in yourself, always expect the unexpected, be ready with solutions and act on them instantly instead of waiting till it’s too late. Also don’t be shy in asking for help from friends and family”

Hiraj Differentiators

Baby Names: You can search from a list of more than 6000 thousand baby names with meanings and their origins.

Birthday Reminders - Keep a list of Happy Birthday’s of friends and family, set a countdown and wish them automatically by setting up the date, so no more forgotten birthdays. Baby Book – You can create and send a personalised baby book to your friends and family with different themes, which allows them to see the daily upbringing of the baby.

Baby Resources – Making a parallel website (www.hepkids.com) which is getting launched next month which allows parents to check the latest contents on the childs development, parenting articles, latest deals and promotions, shopping directory and product reviews.

Personalised Baby Diary – Make a baby diary, choosing from a range of designs themes and write blogs with pictures of your baby. Hiraj.com is truly personalised around the child, letting you combine and arrange all their information in a single place. It is simple to use, easy to share and it's Free

Privacy and Security - The biggest feature of the website is its privacy controls and security features. We have tools on our website where parents can make the information public or private i.e. if parent don’t want to share certain pictures with friends and family all they have to do is click on private. This information will only be viewed by them and not be shared unless they make it public again.

Create multiple baby journal- Family members can share the growth of more than one baby at the same time. The multiple baby diaries of your childs could be shared between the invited users.

Timeline - Create a timeline, milestones and favourites from pregnancy to baby’s first birthday, including first crawl, steps, tooth, word and more.

World Health Organisation Growth Chart plotter - Parents can plot babies Weight & Height and can immediately see how the baby is doing compared to WHO standards.

Wish List- Create Wish list and Gift lists for your baby’s name Celebration, first Diwali, Eid, Christmas , Birthday or forthcoming festivals.

Health Checks - Record regular health checks and eating habits in the form of pie charts, write medical notes and keep list of the immunizations your baby had.

Family Tree – You can make a family tree with pictures, relationship and birth information about parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings.

Visitor's bookYour family and friends can write and leave wonderful messages on your baby's visitor book. It also allows you to view which family and friends has visited your baby's diary and gives them the opportunity to view your baby's diary.

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