In just 3 years, BabyChakra Founder Naiyya Saggi has become a well-known name in startup circles. Having studied law at National Law School, Bengaluru, business management at Harvard Business School and having worked in the public health domain at the likes of McKinsey as well as NGOs, she was always surrounded by sharp minds and innovative ideas. The desire to effect change that can impact generations together, kept getting stronger. But entrepreneurship finally came to her from a personal experience.
The Birth of BabyChakra
Watching her sister struggle with the new journey of motherhood – depending on unreliable online information and hear-say, experimenting with different doctors and day-cares and turning to Google for all parenting concerns – led Naiyya to believe that the field of childcare can do with a disruptive tech-enabled platform for new parents and in particular expecting and first time mommies!
“I realized that there simply wasn’t enough reliable information out there for new parents. It was clear to me that there was an immediate need for a technology disruption in childcare. This led to the birth of BabyChakra and the start of my entrepreneurial journey,” says Naiyya.
She founded the platform in 2014 and today, BabyChakra’s core team comprises top talent from institutions like INSEAD and Harvard Business School and companies like InMobi, Snapdeal and Knowlarity.
The 3 Cs of Content, Commerce & Community
BabyChakra is using these 3Cs to create something unique that aids mothers on their new journeys. All elements of the platform are personalized to each mother, based on life stage and location and BabyChakra offers products, services, relevant content and advice as well as a networking opportunity with peer mothers at similar stages, in a seamless fashion.
Naiyya says, “Our brand partnerships actively began in December and our marketplace piloted in March. In the short time since then, we have gained significant traction and growth in the parenting space. Another milestone we have reached is that we have around 1 million mothers come to visit the platform every month. User generated content on BabyChakra is increasing at 150% every quarter.”
The Revenue Model
BabyChakra has two main revenue streams – brand partnerships and an online marketplace. It works with a number of renowned brands in the maternity and childcare space like Johnson & Johnson, Palmers and Sanofi as well as emerging startups that make high quality products. The online marketplace works on a commission-based model – with services fulfilling a plethora of local needs like prenatal and lactation support, birthday party planning, doctors, photography etc. while the product marketplaces offers a curated selection of food, clothing, jewellery, early learning supplies and more. Naiyya believes that this huge diversification is what makes BabyChakra unique.
“We want to cater to all the needs of a mother – her needs are diverse so we build our childcare services around her. BabyChakra is a one-stop shop for all things maternity and childcare so diversification is important for our strategy of becoming the go-to platform for all parents in India,” she says.
With over 1 million mothers coming to explore the BabyChakra platform every month and over 20,000 specially curated services on offer, Naiyya’s vision is well on its way to being realized. Although BabyChakra is yet to break even, it is projecting double digit sales revenues for this financial year.
Hyperlocal Services and Vernacular Content
BabyChakra is extremely hyperlocal in its approach towards offering services. Mothers can book services specific to their needs and locations in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru but its content crosses all boundaries. The user generated content on the platform comes in the form of questions, comments, posts and answers from mom communities, bloggers, mom-preneurs as well as in-house content experts.
Naiyya says, “In fact, many mothers abroad have downloaded BabyChakra, such as in the US, Singapore and Dubai, and have requested for us to launch in these localities. This shows that there is a real need for BabyChakra not just in India, but worldwide.”
Going forward, the company aims to tap tier 2 and tier 3 markets by offering vernacular content and taking every expecting mother in its fold, leaping over location or language barriers.
The Z Factor!
“When I met Mark, I was astounded by his understanding of the Indian context and his ability to go both broad and deep into an issue. This is something that I personally have taken away as a learning from the meeting and a quality other entrepreneurs can emulate for success,” she says.
Earlier this year Naiyya was one amongst just 10 startup entrepreneurs from around the world, chosen to meet Mark Zuckerberg for a one on one session at the F8 conference held at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, USA. Naiyya was invited to share her experiences of building scalable connected communities in India and came back with valuable insights to accelerate the growth of BabyChakra.
“My dream is that BabyChakra becomes synonymous with parenting, globally, like Uber is to transportation, Amazon is to commerce and Airbnb is to vacations. We want to be the one platform that parents around the world trust and turn to. From the moment a couple is trying to conceive, they will think of BabyChakra as the companion to help them on their parenting journey – whether it be to find information, buy products or become part of a wider community.”