The BabyChakra co-founder plans to build an offline network as well as use artificial intelligence and machine learning to expand the reach of its online platform that connects Indian parents to the best services for their babies.
"Everything we do starts from the needs of parents—typically young moms,” says Naiyya Saggi, Co-founder of BabyChakra, an online platform connecting Indian parents to the best services for their babies.
An MBA from Harvard Business School with a law degree from NLU, Naiyya has, through BabyChakra, created quite a mark in the startup world.
Naiyya started her entrepreneurial journey in 2014 after watching her sister, a smart and independent corporate lawyer, having a hard time as a new mother—spending copious amounts of time listening to random advice, browsing on Google, and experimenting with different doctors and daycares. In an age where we find all the answers online, she realised that there simply wasn’t enough reliable information out there.
Naiyya’s realisation that there was an immediate need for a childcare platform in India led to the birth of BabyChakra.
There has been no looking back since then; not only has she managed to scale up BabyChakra but also raised funds from investors like Mumbai Angels, Arihant Patni’s family office, and Singapore Angel Network.
This week's fixture on the Conversations at YourStory platform, Naiyya spoke about the challenges she faced while starting up, her advice to budding entrepreneurs, and future plans for BabyChakra.
People these days prefer to have fewer children so that their care and concern is concentrated on one or two children. In today’s nuclear families, parents feel what they can offer to their children is limited, and therefore want to be sure that they’re providing the best they can.
All this gives rise to the need for a one-stop discovery platform for parents, especially for new mothers, to help them provide the best all-round experience to their babies.
By building an online community of mothers so that they can offer each other advice, recommendations, and support, BabyChakra has managed to win the trust of parents.
“We, at BabyChakra, are absolutely committed to ensuring that we help parents be the best parents they can be.”
Building the BabyChakra brand
Building a brand is not an easy task and you need to keep up with market demands, changes in technology, and offer a better customer experience. Naiyya shared what’s been happening at BabyChakra and how they have been introducing new tools for parents.
- Growth tracker tool: For parents to measure their child's height and weight on the go.
- Vaccination tracker: Helps parents track their children's essential vaccinations and sets reminders accordingly.
- Improved application interactions: To ensure each parent finds a highly personalised BabyChakra experience—the right community, content, and services/products to buy for themselves and their families.
- Online marketplace: The only marketplace of its kind where parents can buy both curated services and products for their little ones.
On taking the startup road
“Focus and prioritisation is key to success.”
Entrepreneurs do not have it easy. They experience the highest highs and the lowest lows while building their startups. As the founder of a successful startup, Naiyya has some great advice for young and emerging entrepreneurs.
According to her, an entrepreneur should be prepared to completely shed all ego; constantly question the status quo; and always be willing to learn new skills whilst keeping a sharp eye on the money. Optimisation of one’s team is another very important requirement.
Besides, every entrepreneur should have the following things in their pitch deck:
- Opportunity/ problem statement.
- The size of the opportunity in terms of market size, TAM, and revenue potential.
- Your solution.
- What makes you different from other existing solutions/operating models.
- The team you have and why you can win this market.
- Initial projections on growth and revenue: at the very early stage could also be your go-to-market strategy: your choice of phases and prioritisation of areas/segments to solve for give a strong indication of your focus as an entrepreneur.
- Unit economics.
- What next?
“Try winning in one segment and then you figure out the formula for winning overall.”
Naiyya has been greatly inspired by entrepreneurs such as Ameera Shah of Metropolis, Manisha Raisinghani of LogiNext, and Aswini Asokan of Mad Street Den and loves their problem-solving styles.
She recently had the chance to meet Mark Zuckerberg. About the meeting, she says:
It was a real privilege to have the opportunity to talk to him and tell him about BabyChakra and the opportunities/challenges we are facing in India.
Praising his problem-solving skills, she adds, “He has this incredible quality of being able to get into the depth of discussion points and approach problem solving from a very grounded perspective.”
Need for digital detox in this digital world
None of us can deny the importance of ‘me’ time and Naiyya too greatly values it. To prepare herself for the year ahead, Naiyya makes sure to take a two-week-long vacation with her husband to a place with no internet connectivity. On a more regular basis, she tries to keep herself off the phone every Sunday evening to clear her mind.
Future of BabyChakra
“In five years, we see BabyChakra as the trusted companion to every young parent.”
- Building an offline network:
Owing to the fact that a large chunk of Indian mothers do not avail of online facilities, BabyChakra is working towards organising a series of offline events on child nutrition and breastfeeding across the country. This will be in the major metros but also in tier-2 cities like Nagpur.
- Introducing AI methods:
BabyChakra plans to bring on board advanced technologies like machine learning and natural language processing to help reach out to hundreds of millions of more parents in a highly personalised way and in a context that is relevant to their child's overall development, geography, language, and socio-economic factors.