DR PRIYANJALI DATTA Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Mamaearth

DR PRIYANJALI DATTA: THE FORCE BEHIND TRANSFORMATION OF WOMEN’S  LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS- GLOBALLY

Magazine Women

“The fact that I can breathe life into something intangible and use my creation to help 100s of millions of women through technology & creativity is by far the most rewarding and fascinating aspect of entrepreneurship to me.”
Dr. Priyanjali Datta (CEO, Pinga)

While there’s been a flood of startups in the Indian ecosystem, there are very few dedicated to improving women’s lifestyle & wellness. Women perceive wellness across 7 dimensions- Better sleep. better mindfulness, better nutrition, better fitness, better sleep and better sexual health.  Having built four startups & three documentaries on women’s health & social taboos, Dr. Priyanjali Datta has nailed the role of being a creative entrepreneur committed solely to the cause of advancing humanity by making scalable solutions.

From her college days in E.S.I.C Dental College, Priyanjali had a strong urge to do something meaningful that could impact the lives of millions of people. Along with her peers, she would host & participate in fashion shows & spend all the gains on conducting public health awareness camps. 

Hailing from Meghalaya, she identified high rates of breast cancer in the North-Eastern states & felt that it could be treated if identified early. She realized that not just in the North-East of India, but women globally did not have any premium end-to-end affordable daily management tools for health & wellbeing. 

After recognizing this lacuna in women’s health, she decided to contribute to solving this problem and founded Aaroogya International, a global technology powered social enterprise, in 2017. This was Priyanjali’s first memorable step in the entrepreneurial & social impact space. 

With her Rockstar team and Aaroogya International, Priyanjali impacted the lives of more than 70,000 women across India, Africa and the United States. Amongst these women, the organisation was able to detect more than 20,000 cases of various infections and cancers at early stages of the diseases. The organisation worked with the structural framework of machine learning models and a data-science based application called MyHealthLine. This application was also instrumental in delivering high-end screening for more than 2 lakhs people in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Priyanjali took her efforts in contributing to the cause of health during COVID-19 by forming a global consortium of 24 organisations to deliver partnership led value to the cause.

Early cancer detection & cure was only one step in the journey of Dr Priyanjali. 

Priyanjali’s expertise lies in domains like fundraising, product development, and management of human-centric, tech-driven products; she has been able to create globally scalable products. She has raised funds from a diverse Indian and International institutional funders and awarded scholarships and grants from Mulago design thinking, OYW-Novartis, Birla fellowship, CISCO, Millenium Alliance- UK, Indian and US government-funded accelerator, HDFC startup smart up funded program & many more. 

PINGA- EVERY WOMAN’S PERSONAL DIGITAL COMPANION

Priyanjali utilized her expertise in innovative tech and built Pinga – an audacious product, which delivers a globally scalable solution in the form of a mobile application. 

270 million Indian women, which is 10 times Mumbai’s population, show poor emotional & sexual health leading to physical & emotional symptoms. Thus, 1 in 2 women suffers from this, daily. The expenses to rectify these multiply to 5x without early detection. This narrative is uniform across the world

Pinga is a smart application for women aged 18-45 years, helping them live better emotional and sexual lives. The app caters to every woman who wants to take charge of their emotional and sexual well being. It aims to reach every woman’s smartphone as their personal digital companion with robust management tools, self-assessments, a trusted community & a hybrid marketplace. 

HURDLES ENCOUNTERED 

From building Aaroogya International, to bootstrapping Pinga, Dr Priyanjali faced endless hurdles, but they were not more than her determination. 

The biggest hurdle she faced was finding a team of hustlers who were highly skilled, ambitious, and had the vision that resonated with the DNA of Pinga. 

Another pivotal part of her endeavour was to build a pioneering tech product which would deliver accurate assessment in an approachable fashion. Priyanjali mentions that creating a lean tech product without compromising on the robust framework & technology elements was a tough nut to crack. 

Since this was uncharted territory, creating a road map from scratch for a distinguished fem-tech product like Pinga was hard but worth the cause. 

While there are lessons to be learnt from existing players, Priyanjali expresses that they barely scratched the surface when it comes to female wellness. There’s a long road ahead and many milestones to be achieved.

PINGA’S OFFERINGS

After extensive research on 70,000 women, Pinga offers many reliable & accurate self-assessment tools for breast health, vaginal health, PCOD, Endometriosis, general health & oral health.  The app’s algorithm centres around hormones & their levels throughout the menstrual cycle, which impacts emotions of the user. These hormones, mood and emotions are managed by Pinga’s lifestyle management tools- like, Hormon-o-meter, Mood-o-meter & Sex-o-scale.

The app also offers communication tools like games for enhanced sexual health. Achievement badges & redeemable coins ensure retention rates & Daily Active Users. There’s also curated content from experts & influencers, for the users to peruse.

Pinga’s hybrid marketplace with hand-picked packages by industry wellness experts gives users end-to-end value. Pinga is set apart from its competitors by its deep-tech approach, architecture & their rockstar team is what sets them apart from competitors. 

THE CLIENTELE

The app currently offers services to 4 kinds of users- Free users, Premium users, Group users & Adjacent users. 

Free users can use the basic features of the app without monetary investments. Power users can avail unlimited benefits at a soon-to-be-introduced offer on a monthly basis. Group users include companies looking to gift Pinga memberships for the wellness of their female employees. 

Finally, adjacent users are the supply channels of the Pinga’s Shop O’Clock Marketplace, including wellness experts, medical doctors, products, service providers in the space of women’s health, hygiene, sexual wellness, and hormonal care. 

Pinga currently has more than 15,000 downloads, a global team from Harvard & Johns Hopkins University incubated with John Hopkins Technology Ventures & has raised funds from institutional funders. 

THE ROCKSTAR TEAM BEHIND PINGA

Dr Priyanjali loves to call her team “Rockstars” as it’s with their immense support, experience, hard work & sleepless nights; that they’ve been able to scale Pinga to such incredible heights. 

She has partnered with Stanford US-Asia Technology Management Centre and Johns Hopkins University. She has been able to crack unrestricted Government and institutional funding & support from various scholars, including the recipient of prestigious international scholarships from Mulago Foundation, and Novartis- One young world’s joint scholarship.

A part of the founding team includes a scholar & a maxillofacial surgeon from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Dhruv Kacker. Dhruv, a serial entrepreneur, is also a Co-Founder at Aaroogya International.

Collectively, Priyanjali & Dhruv bootstrapped Pinga and invested their scholarship funds, along with innovation grants from the prestigious Government of India, United Kingdom Government, USAID, FICCI & Facebook. 

Another vital member of the Rockstar team is Anirban Ghosh. Anirban, a Harvard Alumnus, has rich experience leading, managing, and executing high-impact projects across various healthcare, software, and consumer electronics industries. 

Industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs are joining the leadership team. They have demonstrated historical success in creating products for billions of users and creating billion-dollar businesses. The team holds International patents which Pinga will leverage to create differentiated solutions.

There are 26 members in the Rockstar team of Pinga & with a team like this, Priyanjali envisions taking Pinga to greater heights. 

PRIYANJALI’S VISION FOR PINGA

Priyanjali’s vision is to scale Pinga & reach every woman who owns a smartphone- to use the app as a friend that guides them on daily management and optimises their lifestyle in their preferred languages. She wishes that every woman on the planet can use Pinga to manage their lifestyle, perform self-assessments & have access to a trusted community & hybrid marketplace of experts, products & services.

Pinga is on a mission to give every woman on the planet the power to have a better life with end-to-end solutions. 

The long term vision for Pinga is to become a universal ecosystem for a new-age woman to achieve a better lifestyle and wellbeing.

HER PHILOSOPHY & ADVICE FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

Priyanjali believes that one needs to be the North Star for their team to be a successful leader. She believes that a leader should have a strategic intent to create the best product in the world. However, to implement such a strategy, the actions taken by each team member is what makes a company successful. 

She mentions that she & her Rockstar team are product Ninjas chasing customer delight every day, looking to create the perfect product-market fit. With this goal in mind, a leader creates a clear road-map at both macro and micro levels to bring this vision into fruition.

As a source of inspiration to innumerable females, she motivates young women entrepreneurs to join Pinga to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship in a high-growth & intense learning environment.

Related: THE ICONIC WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

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