Namita Saxena started her career as an IT professional, and has experience across industries ranging from IT, ITeS, Non Profit to Corporate Foundation.
She has been conferred REX Kamranveer Charkra Fellow award and her endeavor is to incorporate the social innovation of Baby Essentials in health care centres, so that it reaches out to masses and protect with these millions of neonatal at risk of infection.
Tell us about yourself and your background
I was born and raised in a well off service class family, and am the second amongst four siblings. Whilst I was at school, my father started a business that dealt with baby products. Whilst it initially flourished, it later faced challenging times, which have held us in good stead today.
Everyone in the family began to support in whichever way we could. My mother, who had always been a homemaker, also provided support. I began taking tuition, A Level’s and eventually graduated. Soon after, I began working and joined the corporate sector. After around 15 years, I felt a kind of emptiness and decided to quit and do something of my own.
Tell us about the company you have set up – when did you set it up, what products or services do you provide, what is your target market?
Baby Essentials was set up in February 2015 as a sole proprietorship firm. After more than a year in August 2016 it was registered as a Private Limited Company. The company offers innovative products for newly born babies, which are made from a medically tested special fabric called, “Néonatale Tissu” which can prevent infections in a newborn. The engineered fabric is completely sterilised, disposable, degradable and simultaneously meets the essential requirement of stretchability, thermal insulation etc. The product line includes Gynaecology Delivery kit Néonatale Delivery Kit), a one stop solution for delivery needs,Newborn clothing set (Néonatale Infection Guard Kit) which takes care of the head to toe requirement of the Newborn, and innovative Newborn essentials (Néonatale Essentials) which includes first-ever products like absorbent nappies, carrying sheets, bibs, mittens, foot covers etc. All these products have been designed to ease out the stress of nursing mothers.
If adopted at the government sector, it might become a game changer and play a crucial role in helping lower India’s infant mortality rate, which is among the highest in the world. Only time to tell! the target market if one were to use this terminology is obviously hospitals, nursing centres, Government health centres and expectant & nursing mothers.
Why did you set up the company? / What drove you to become an Entrepreneur?
The reason why I jumped into the entrepreneur bandwagon was the time when I was pregnant. I was 24/7 worried about my daughter’s hygiene and the risk of infections was just all over my mind. I was less happy and worried all the time. Even after long conversations with fellow mothers and deep research of the market I couldn’t find a product which suited my needs. And soon, I realised that this was the necessity of every mother and mothers-to-be. And most importantly, I wanted to fulfill the long standing wish of my father who has recently passed away. He always wanted to do something for the newborn infants, so to that extent I am fulfilling his wish too.
And to state the fact, there is virtually no organised or unorganised player which provides sterilized clothing for new born. They have a huge risk of infection and high infant mortality in our country is a direct result of this. We, through our products intend to address this huge problem.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Unlike any other woman entrepreneur, my family was extremely excited about the idea and supported me throughout the challenging times. The initial challenge for me was breaking the ice with this idea, for the stereotypes in the health sector as most them are not in a habit of using a one-time use products. The challenge that came next was finding the right cloth which could live up to what we wanted and third and the most difficult of them all is right branding as we want the product to stay visible in the market. But I am sure just like other problems we will overcome this challenge on the strength of the products that we are introducing.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
The fact that I have been able to start off this venture, and be part of this social innovation, as I rightly call BabyEssentials! And can vision it to grow big, is my greatest achievement so far!
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My Dad has been my biggest inspiration. He taught us certain basic ethics of never compromising on quality and value of hard work and sincerity. This I think has helped me stand in good stead even in the most adverse circumstances. And also, my husband’s constant support and unconditional love have given me the extra boost in my endeavors.
How do you balance your work life and home life?
Dividing the hours into personal time (family time) and work time is what Secondly, I have a very supporting husband who helps me a lot with household chores and looking after our daughter when I am not around.
What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?
Till the time you respect yourself, no one will respect you. This involves sacrifices but, it is only worth it if you believe in what you do.
Can you recommend any organisations or networking groups that have particularly helped you on your journey?
BNI has helped me tremendously in helping move forward.
If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?
There is no one thing, but yes, reaching the government healthcare department, National health campaigns for procurement can really propel the business.
What does the future hold for you?
I am very confident and see bright prospects for Baby Essentials and my own self.