Fertility Dost: Story of India’s first infertility based startup

हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए, यहाँ जाएँ

Problem prevailing in society

Infertility is the inability to reproduce by natural means. There can be a number of causes of infertility – many of them can be treated. It is no different from any other disease like malaria or diabetes, for which people seek a GP or Doctor’s advise. In India, 1 in every 4 couple in the country is now facing a problem in conceiving a baby. Most of these couples just accept that they could not have a child, and never bother to see a doctor. In a country that is chained in religious and social prejudices, infertility is far more dangerous than just a disease and allow society to tag women by the withering tag of infertile.

Fertility is not a woman problem. The woman cannot make a baby alone. Almost 30% of the fertility impediments are caused by a malefactor, equals to that of female factor, while 40% of cases are either caused by both factors or something that cannot be identified.

About the company

infertility-dost-logo-e1496171659195.jpgFertilityDost.com, founded by Gitanjali Banerjee, is an Indian social startup to address rising issues of infertility in India. As the name suggests, it extends friendship to couples undergoing infertility treatments or planning a pregnancy with expert advise and support. Assist them in making right choices and tell them that they are not alone in this journey. It pledges to spread awareness and provide a solution through various packages. It aims to create an environment where women are not tagged as infertile, and couples don’t hesitate to ask for help.

The inspiration behind the idea

Based on her personal pain experience, Gitanjali founded InfertilityDost in August 2016. Through her startup, she lends a helping hand to numerous other Indian women cherishing motherhood dream but struggling with similar problems. 

Gitanjali says, “I got into arranged marriage at an early age of 23, simply because you must get married when you reach a certain age and when your parents say. After one year of customary honeymoon, it was time to hit the next milestone – motherhood. And, with this began the 10 long and grueling years of fighting infertility. Post 5 miscarriages, 3 molar pregnancies, 1 failed IVF, a brush with ovarian cancer and finally successful pregnancy on second IVF attempt- I stand here in front of you to openly talk about my Infertility journey.”

Solution provided

It provides an online platform where people can come and find a solution to all their infertility and IVF problems. Below are some of the services offered by them:

  1. Find a Doctor: Using this option one can easily find and rate IVF and infertility specialist available in their cities and towns. It also lists down the featured IVF clinics giving international standard of services. Choosing the right doctor and service can be pivotal to the favourable outcome of the treatment.
  2.  Expert Talk: Answers to the most sought queries about infertility can be found here. Topics such as “what diet one should follow to back-pedal infertility”, pregnancy yoga, Ayurveda treatment, Acupuncture or Naturopathy as methods of treating infertility could be really useful.
  3. Discussion forum:  Online discussion forum where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages around topics related to infertility. One can easily reach out to such forums to seek answers to their queries.
  4. Events: From time to time, they conduct talks and workshops on infertility across different cities in India. Various points on infertility and IVF problems are discussed openly is such events. Recent events organised are:
    1. Talk On Infertility, Rishikesh – Oct 2016
    2. Sensitising Society Through Open Talk On Infertility, Delhi – Jan 2017

Challenges Faced

The major challenge lies in creating awareness among people and making them come up openly to talk about the subject. One can easily believe that problem does exist but in a rural population where people are illiterate. Ironically, it is more significant in urban areas where the majority of inhabitant boast to be educated. Couples feel discriminated and often bombarded with unwanted questions, misguided opinions and advice, so they try to escape such scenes and gets socially boycotted.

Channelling the message through the strategic audience, reaching the right people, and market analysis of whether citizens of India are ready for this change were major challenges faced in her entrepreneurial journey. Since Gitanjali is working from her personal experience, it took courage to come out and connect with people facing the same issues.

About Gitanjaliinfertility-dost-gitanjali-banerjee

She has more than 10 years of professional experience in content writing with MNCs. She is also a passionate travel blogger and owns a blog Travel By Karma where she shares her tell-tales about offbeat destinations and experiences.

Combining blogging skills and burning desire to share the pain of people facing infertility issue, Gitanjali turned into a social entrepreneur.  She is also the winner of the CEO 2017, organized by CashKaro.com.

Gitanjali is honing her entrepreneurial skills through a six-month program with IIT Delhi-WEE (Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment) foundation which commenced in April 2017. The program is focused on nurturing women entrepreneurs through classroom training, mentoring and industrial experiences.  The major take away’s for her include formulating a stable business plan, measuring user orientation, analyzing customer base, improving the overall experience for users taking services, global exposure and pitching idea to prospective investors.

Nitika Garg
Entrepreneur | Senior Content Writer | Technical Writer | Startup Writer She is a software engineer by education and content writer by passion. She has 8+ years of overall experience in the industry. She has written 300+ articles in different domains. She has graduated from “Iron Lady Corporate Leadership Program for Women Leaders” which is recognized by TISS, Mumbai.