Sushi, Saddam Hussein and Antarctica: The other side of Babychakra’s Naiyya Saggi

By Devika Chitnis
As an intern with the International Bar Association in 2005, she saw judges receiving training for the trial of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Today, she runs a platform for new parents, Babychakra that is the go-to place for new parents.
There’s more – she has studied at the National Law School, Bangalore, and went to Harvard Business School on a JN Tata and Fulbright scholarship.
Naiyya Saggi
Meet the multi-faceted Naiyya Saggi.

When she is not making parenthood easier for new mums and dads, Naiyya loves a good adventure. And food.

Naiyya has a trip to Antarctica on her wishlist, and counts sushi as a good meal. On what she does during her free time, Naiyya laughs. “I don’t have any free time!”

“But I am making a conscious effort to make some time, and having a team that can function smoothly without me.”
Team Babychakra
Eat, read, experience
Nudge her a bit more and she says she loves to read. One recent read that changed the way she thinks is ‘The Hard Thing about Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz. “The book says - ‘Take care of the people, the products, and the profits - in that order.’ That’s a big lesson for most founders,” she says.
Naiyya and her husband, Sandeep Rao
And travel! Earlier, my husband Sandeep and I would go on big foreign trips but now, when there is a long weekend, we end up doing small trips around India. There is so much to see here,
Naiyya also confesses she wants to travel in a space shuttle.

We mentioned sushi earlier, but Naiyya says her love for food does not end there. “My mother-in-law is a Kannadiga - so idlis, dosas and appams are my favourites. Besides that, I love Japanese food. Sushi and Sashimi are a little difficult to get in India, so if you have any recommendations for a Japanese restaurant - let me know!”
Life lessons in entrepreneurship
“My biggest entrepreneurship lesson is that relationships matter - at home and at work,” says Naiyya. “I am constantly checking my app and website. I'm constantly on my phone. Sometimes, I am not fully there for family and friends,” she says, but is quick to add that she is making a conscious effort to change that.
Before I was Naiyya from Babychakra, I was just Naiyya. I am going back to that space with my friends, family.
A mentor in Facebook’s She Leads Tech programme, she says, “I have had the privilege of having some amazing mentors in my life - people who I have met at different phases in life, and picked up different skills and life lessons from.”

Some of her mentors are - Arihant Patni of Hive Technologies, Mandar Vaidya from McKinsey, Arun Nanda of Mahindra Holidays, “I am also deeply inspired by entrepreneurs like Ameera Shah of Metropolis Healthcare, Falguni Nayyar of Nykka, Katrina Lake of StitchFix among others. I am not sure if I am old enough to qualify as a ‘mentor’, but I do want to provide the same ability to listen, to support and to inspire.”
Naiyya at YourStory TechSparks 2018
An entrepreneur’s journey can be lonely, and just being available for a chat is all that’s needed at times. “Some candid and supportive advice from experience helps, and both people in the conversation learn what matters, why it matters and how to action it,” she adds.

If not an entrepreneur, what would Naiyya Saggi be doing? “I think I would be at the United Nations.”

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