In 2015, Naiyya Saggi came back to India after completing her graduation from Harvard Business School to realise the potential of products by women, for women. That’s what led her to start BabyChakra, a platform that provides products and services for making pregnancy and the decisions surrounding it easier for expecting parents. BabyChakra also has a community app where parents share and exchange their experience and knowledge on birthing, motherhood, childcare, etc. We caught up with the mother of a one-year old on her hustle to create something that brings impact to individual lives in India:
On a typical day:
“A typical day starts pretty early in the morning because I have a one-year-old. Ever since she came into our lives, the day starts at 6am, which is fairly early by my standards. Post 8.30am, it gets pretty crazy. I’m typically catching up on either work calls or the scrum for the day. It’s obviously topped off with 3-4 cups of coffee. That’s really what keeps me sane.”
On the best thing about being the mastermind behind BabyChakra:
We’re actually becoming a part of the families in India. On days when I feel like ‘what have I signed up for!’, I’d just go to our app and scroll through the community feed and see people sharing photos of their newborn babies in hospitals, thanking BabyChakra. It’s a very different level of individual impact. These are the moments that really keep me going.
On safe pregnancy and the taboos around the conversation:
I would say there is increased knowledge, but is there enough knowledge? No. I think we’re very cowed down by what we think is the right way forward vs knowing what is the right way forward for us individually. So I think we have a long way to go before we have enough knowledge and empowerment on birthing and pregnancy in this country.
On the one career advice that has stayed with her:
Play to your strengths. Growing up I was a really shitty student. I hated accounting and I didn’t give my ISC exam. I was an extremely stubborn and rebellious child and hated studying in the traditional way. Till date, my mother doesn’t believe that I went to Harvard on a scholarship.
One one rule to success:
I think everyone has their own journey. But I think one common thread is resilience and grit. A determination to see things through to a conclusion.
On a non-working weekend:
Define that for me, please! But, I think it would be watching my one year-old play at a park near Bandstand and attempt to play football with my husband, catching up on a really good book, and sitting with my husband to catch up on a movie in the evening. I never do any work on a Sunday afternoon, it is all about my family.