Thiruvananthapuram : Ganga Raj is the Co-founder and Chief Executive officer of I Love 9 Months, an app which provides support and care for pregnant women. I Love 9 Months is unique as it provides support through the period from conceiving till delivery. The app has received support from Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) as well as Kerala Start Up Mission (KSUM)and has now got huge financial support from a US based group and will soon be shifting base to United States of America. Ganga spoke to Bharatpost.news
I Love 9 Months is unique in that it is providing total solutions for pregnant mothers, tell us more about it and the concept?
I Love 9 Months has a unique three pronged approach and offers mobile app for accessible virtual support. We have Sahodhari( a birth companion programme) and premium health care support, the Breastfeeding Pod for public places and Lactation Pad for corporate offices. We are three women, Anjali, Myself and Suma Ajith who are the co-founders of I Love 9 months. Anjali is now pursuing her Phd in Warwick university and has multiple professional qualifications as a Lamaze educator, lactation educator, Yoga instructor and a diploma holder in hypno- breathing. I had run a successful fitness studio at Vishakapatanam while Suma is a highly qualified operations expert in the Australian health care system.
What are the main goals of the organization?
The main goal is to provide maximum accessibility and affordability and we decided to start I Love 9 Months with a mobile app. We commenced operations from Bangalore but we shifted base to Kerala after we were funded by KSIDC and KSUM. The team later split into Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad as we were incubated and accelerated by t-hub and ISB. The offline support system ,Sahodari and our latest product, Domatio ,the breastfeeding pod were launched in Kerala.
Who are your major customers?
We have users from across the globe and the majority of users from the first version of the app are from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and small towns. There are women who have started with us since pre-pregnancy and gone on until breast feeding.
How did you commence the operations?
We piloted the first breast feeding pod at a restaurant in Thrissur and since we installed the pod, the number of people reaching the restaurant increased and families with infants have become loyal customers. We did set up lactation pod at Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, where several blue chip companies and start up companies are having operations. The Technopark has a large number of working women professionals and the lactation pod was a major blessing for young working mothers. Working mothers can pump and store breast milk in refrigerators which are set up as part of the lactation pod.
What is your “Sahodari ( Companion)” project all about ?
The project is Sahodari or rather Birth Companion Programme and is now available in cities like Thiruvananthapuram ,Bangalore and Hyderabad. These are experts who cover breast feeding, diet, exercise, baby’s immunization and development and Ayurveda massage for mother and child. Since its launch in 2018, Sahodari has supported a large number of women with several opting for premium home care services. Domatio, the breastfeeding pod was an instant hit and after its launch we had a contract with Kochi Metro Rail services to set up breastfeeding pods at all the 16 metro stations in the City.
How about the revenue mode of the project?
We have been seed funded by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation(KSIDC) and Kerala Start Up Mission(KSUM) and friends and family had supported us to start with. Other than that many High Net Worth Individuals were a major source of support to us during the struggling phase. Now we have an US based investor and will be shifting base to United States and Singapore. I may not be able to divulge more details regarding funding and revenue.
Are there any other competitors in this field?
There are indeed several players in the field but they are not competitors. We are however the only start up that supports women through the complete journey towards motherhood from pregnancy period. We offers a lot of content free of cost and our revenue comes from premium services like expert consultation with doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, lactation experts, pregnancy exercise coach etc. We provide specific home care providers under our scheme of “Sahodari”. So we are unique and we don’t find any such competition in the field even though pregnancy and child birth is flooded with several players but major and minor. I Love 9 Months is a product of our vision and that’s a unique vision and we want every mother to enjoy her nine months of pregnancy and beyond.