Poppy Pundits is a Bangalore based startup founded by Nikita Jaggi. Poppy Pundits is started with the vision to involve kids and provide them a theme based experience which helps them to explore their hobbies so that kids are willing to spend time playing more outdoor games and activities.
Over the last two years we have reached out to 1000+ kids via 20 unique and fun experiences. We work with individuals, residential complexes and corporate as well, says Nikita.
We got an opportunity to know about the startup, it is an inspiring story of the founder Nikita. Read her full story to know more about them.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Poppy Pundits, being an experience creator focuses on creating and providing fun experiences which triggers the creativity of little ones, teach them life skills, encourages them to take up new hobbies and have more playtime outdoors.
We create theme based events enabling the kids to learn, live and enjoy through different experiences. Our experiences are across a variety of themes including birthday parties, culinary events, residential club house events, fun-educational trips to mall, radio stations and music studios.
Over the last two years we have reached out to 1000+ kids via 20 unique and fun experiences. We work with individuals, residential complexes and corporate as well.
Our clients & partners include Embassy Group, Smokehouse Deli, UB City, Radio Indigo, VR Mall, Meenakshi Mangalam apartments and many more. All of the are extremely happy with the experiences we have created with / for them.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
When I became a mother, I started hanging out with other mothers and their children. Besides being fond of kids, being a new mother, I began interacting with and observing these kids from a different lens – a to be parent of a growing child.
What I realized was not unexpected, but still hit me hard. Most of these kids were were glued to phones and tablets and TVs and other gadgets which their parents had provided them. There was minimal outdoor play. I would ask them what their hobbies were and they were either clueless or rattle of names of shows they were watching or video games they were playing. This hit me hard. As a child, I always had some hobby. I wanted to do something about it.
After a lot of thinking and doing research, I started Poppy Pundits. Poppy Pundit’s aim was simple – create an experience based platform which could enable children to get real experiences. We wanted them to them think creatively, become aware of their surroundings, ask questions and live in and learn from, a life outside their devices.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Over the last thirteen years, I have worked in corporate communication, branding and events in the real estate, retail, radio and advertising industries. My role has largely been handling the marketing P&L, communication plans and media planning. My experience has helped me to not only hone my skills of communication, leadership and innovation, but also enhance my skills as well rounded Marketing & Communications expert.
In my last working stint, at with a real estate group, I spearheaded an employee engagement program – an initiative to promote work life balance in their Business Parks at Bangalore and Pune.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
It’s based out in Bangalore. I stay here and this is the city where unique ideas are accepted. Bangalore has a very cosmopolitan culture with a large proportion of nuclear families with two working adults. This segment of the population understands the value of exposing their children to new experiences. Poppy Pundits can deliver that value.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Well, as mother of a now two and a half year old son, I am not alien to being awake at night! On a more serious note, every time I see a parents, grandparents or a family member giving a digital device or encouraging more of indoor playtime to a child I feel I need to do something.
As a first time parent, I understand it is not always their fault. They are busy, tired and maybe more accurately, do not know that they have other options. My goal is that Poppy Pundits becomes that option one day for parents who really want their children to have new experiences.
Most of the nights, I am awake thinking of new concepts and ideas to create engaging experiences for kids.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
At this stage, honestly, I have not looked at competition. From what I have been told by parents I have interacted with, they haven’t come across another platform which provides such creative, unique and learning experiences.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
I have a toddler who wants all of me all the time. I can work or take long calls when he is at play school. Sometimes I do take calls when he is around but it’s taking breaks while talking on phone and managing him.
I go for meetings on weekends when my hubby is at home. Without his support, coming this far would not have been possible.
I have had some wonderful clients who understood when I took him along for meetings. They were quite fun meetings in more ways than one!
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
No. As of now, I am focused on solving the problem at scale with my own money. Poppy Pundits is profitable. My next investment would be in marketing and business development.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
More than misconceptions, the challenge I face is explaining the parents how a new experience can impact the child. A lot of them want to go for tried and tested ways. I am normally happy to co-create or build on my ideas with them depending on their child’s nature.
On the occasions, when I do that, the response has been amazing. I have stories where the child transformed completely and happier. It is just about trying a new thing. Children are open to that by nature. It is we adults who have to relearn that!
What gets you excited about this company?
Nothing excites me more than the fact Poppy Pundits is able to positively impact the life of these youngsters. I develop each experience with both heart and mind because I know valuable it can be for the child who gets involved.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like?
My day starts as soon my son is up @ 6 am – he is an unusually early riser! I have a cook who helps in the cooking while me and my husband play with my son. In between packing lunch for my husband and making my son eat breakfast, I squeeze in a social media post when possible.
My son is currently super excited to get ready for play school – more than actually going there!
After seeing him off in the car and waving good bye till I am out of sight for him, I go for a swim.
Now I get my first shot at proper work – responding to emails, sending emails to potential clients and talking to vendors and clients. Based on the projects I have I plan the second half.
My calls go on till I am at the school to pick up my son.
Once he is back home, had lunch, played, told me some really fascinating stories and slept off, I get back to all queries, costing for activities.
After my son wakes up and till he sleeps, I am with him and do any other household work – including cooking dinner (my husband does help with the cooking quite a few times). I try and keep calls to the minimum.
I am a night person and once both my son and husband sleep is when I do the creative part of my work.
If I am too tired, I take out my sketch book and doodle before starting for the night. Most of my ideas are conceived and developed at this time.
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