parenting

The Telegraph, 1 May 2001


The mother of all parenting sites.

Conceptualised and founded in May 1999 by Nirali Sanghi, IndiaParenting.com is an excellent destination for parents. Amrita Ghosh of IT@TT talks to and shares Nirali's thoughts about parenting online.

IT@TT: Did you have any special reason for a parenting site? Especially with your corporate background.

Nirali Sanghi: Yes, with an MBA in Finance and Marketing. And work experience in investment banking and management consulting, you could call it a hardcore corporate background. But I'd always wanted to start something of now own. The arrival of a baby was the perfect time for switching tracks. I needed some intellectually stimulating work with flexible hours. And the internet fulfilled both requirements. The first site that I thought of was on parenting. Because, I found that an Indian parent needs were very different from those of their western counterpart. And there were no sites dedicated to Indian parents. That is how IndiaParenting.com came about. Apart from health and parenting, we also have topics that one would never find on a western site. For instance, names for the baby is one of our most popular sections. In addition to searching alphabetically, you can also conduct an advanced search to select a baby's name following a Hindu "rashi", based on mythology, and is also pronounceable by foreigners. IndiaParenting helps inculcate culture and religion in children. You can teach your child Indian nursery rhymes, which is offered in seven different languages. Plus, we teach children prayers, bhajans and aartis with the help of audio.

IT@TT: What to you offer that parents can trust and value your suggestions?

Nirali Sanghi: IndiaParenting's goal is to make parenting an informed, fun and rewarding experience. To this end, we have close to 5,000 pages of content ranging from issues before conception, pregnancy, newborn care, toddler times, school-going issues and raising teens. Lively and active discussion boards allow parents to interact with other parents on sensitive issues like coping with infertility, to fun topics like summer camps.
Our e-shop hosts over 3,000 products including clothes, books, fun toys, intellectual games and puzzles, party wear, educational and story books for all ages, interactive CD games, baby equipment like cradles and car seat, and much more. It also has a special section dedicated to gifts. An entire section helps parents introduce their kids to the internet. Some of the sections include colour the picture, spot the difference, a bit about science, history and geography, and the great leaders of India.
Our credibility and authenticity is further enhanced by the large panel of doctors, who review our content on a periodic basis, write articles for us and also answer questions raised by our readers. These panelists are leading healthcare specialists in their fields and include gynaecologists, paediatricians, child psychologists, neurologists, orthopaedic surgeons, speech and language pathologists.

IT@TT: Why were you awarded the sixth Britannica Internet Guide award?

Nirali Sanghi: The criteria for judging was based on quality of content, site utility, design and navigation. I think we have fared well on all these parameters.

IT@TT: Your site stresses on content. Do you outsource it or is it done in-house?

Nirali Sanghi: Most of our content is developed in-house. Some of the content comes from doctors. And some from freelancers.

IT@TT: What types of parents and children does your content address?

Nirali Sanghi: Although we talk to expecting parents, parents of babies, toddlers, and school-going kids, the site is useful even for parents of teenage children.

IT@TT: How do you decide on the content?

Nirali Sanghi: Since the site has been live for close to two years, we've a good pulse on what readers want. We've also conducted focus groups of fathers and mothers to further understand their requirements. And of course being a parent certainly helps. (smiles)

IT@TT: Considering the ratio between male and female users, do you think parenting is moving towards an androgynous model or is it still considered the female's responsibility?

Nirali Sanghi: Yes, most definitely, parenting is moving from being a woman's concern. We get plenty of questions from sometimes concerned, sometimes curious fathers on various issues ranging from pregnancy to behavioral problems. Some of our Indian competitors only talk to mothers. But, we talk to both parents because, we believe, modern day fathers play an equally important role in parenting.

Nirali Sanghi: Apart from being a content producer, are you taking any offline initiatives?

Nirali Sanghi: Yes, besides being a media company, we are also looking at other parenting and family services. This will not only expand our product offering, but also provide us with a captive audience of parents and children. Currently, we're working on crèche services because unlike the US, there are currently no large or professionally-run crèche service companies in India that cater to corporate needs.

IT@TT: Has the US slowdown affected your company's progress?

Nirali Sanghi: Not really. We're in the media business that continues to gain popularity.

IT@TT: What's your vision?

Nirali Sanghi: We, at IndiaParenting, visualize ourselves as the #1 media and services player in the family space. And that's where we hope to be.

IT@TT: Finally, could you share with our readers some of your favorite websites and why do you like them?

Nirali Sanghi: I visit some sites just to be updated with the happenings in the industry. I like redherring.com because it is updated regularly and its focus. I also visit other parenting sites like babycenter.com and parenthoodweb.com because they're in the same area as us.
 
 



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