Editor: Welcome to our Editorial section! You have played an instrumental role in improvising your ideas to help would-be-mother during their pregnancy days. Please tell us about your start-up.
Answer: PregBuddy is India’s first peer-to-peer instant reassurance platform for expecting mothers. We provide them personalised information throughout their 40 weeks of pregnancy, as well as connect them together based in their trimester, location, vernacular language, and medical conditions As we worked more and more in this space, we also found out how there is a gap of the continuum of care between a gynaecologist and their expecting patients which is when we built our second product called Connected Care for Doctors.
Editor: What triggers you to think about making such a promising start-up?
Answer: It started back in 2016 when my cofounder – Sivareena’s cousin underwent a miscarriage in her 4th month of pregnancy. It is then when we realised how expecting mothers, especially in nuclear families doesn’t have the maa-dadi support system that used to be there before. We personally visited various hospitals in Bangalore and connected 220 expecting mothers on a WhatsApp group and let it run for 5 months. By the 5th month, the WhatsApp group was clocking 100,000 conversations/month. This gave us enough insights into space, and the problem to go full-time and launch PregBuddy application on Android. We’ve now helped over 60,000 expecting mothers, with every day close to 100 mothers delivering their babies after using PregBuddy.
Editor: How many people are working in your team?
Answer: We’re just a team of 5, including both the founders.
Editor: Have you planned for it since your graduate days at IIT Kharagpur?
Answer: I did have a stint of building a startup back in my college days at IIT Kharagpur. I had co-founded Flixstreet.in which was an IMDB for Indian movies. We built it from scratch to over 10,000 users, but we moved on after college. The entrepreneurial bug had me again when I came across this massive opportunity of bringing across a change in the maternal healthcare space in India.
Editor: How are you getting responses across the country?
Answer: PregBuddy is loved and trusted by expecting mothers across all states in India. We’ve mothers from metros, tier 2 & 3 cities use our product every day. On a daily basis, we get 10-20 emails of mothers sharing their photographs of them and their babies, and thanking us for being a wonderful buddy in their journey towards motherhood. The love of our users is hugely gratifying for our team and pushes us to do more for them every day.
Editor: How does it feel when women share their pleasant stories having associated with Pregbuddy ?
Answer: There is nothing more satisfying for an entrepreneur than the impact of their product. We’ve more than 18,000 newbies born which pushes us to make PregBuddy reach more lives and assist more Indian families. One of the most cherished moments in our journey was about an expecting mother who used PregBuddy on her delivery bed during her 30-hour long labour. She reached out to our community and got constant peer emotional support throughout her long labour. She delivered a healthy baby and was thankful to our community and PregBuddy for the support and reassurance. This was a very gratifying moment for me.
Editor: What are the recognition your team received across the globe?
Answer: We’re humbled to be awarded by actor Akshay Kumar for our work so far. We’ve been selected by Google for its Launchpad program & Solve for India programs, Facebook in their FBStart & SheLeadsTech programs, winners of ET Power of Ideas 2018 by IIM Ahmedabad, and globally by Asian Business Angel Forum.
Editor: How is Google imparting your ideas at the international level?
Answer: Google’s Launchpad program has been very helpful for us in our journey so far. They have constantly supported us with mentorship in the fields of technology, product, strategy, design, and marketing from industry leaders from India and abroad. Recently, they invited us to their global event – Google I/O 2018 in California.
Editor: Are you supported by Govt. of India for translating your ideas?
Answer: Yes, we’re among the winners Economic Times – Power of Ideas 2018. We had a week-long residential incubation at IIM Ahmedabad and received a grant from DST – Government of India.
Editor: What are your future vision?
Answer: I’m extremely positive about the technological impact on the Indian healthcare system. With PregBuddy, we aim to improve the lives of over 10Mn mothers throughout their journey of motherhood by 2020.
Editor: Being a student of Biotechnology, how do you find the scopes of a start-up in healthcare division?
Answer: HealthTech is among the top industries which have seen >300% growth in the last 3 years in India. Since I started PregBuddy, I have come across several opportunities where technology can help healthcare providers improve the provider-patient relationships, medical outcomes, give proactive care and more such areas. My experience with Product and Growth along with bio-technological background is helping me work towards enhancing the care delivery for maternal care in India.