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Name: Shivi Kapil  

Business: Empathy Design Labs  

Location: Bangalore, India 

Industry: Healthcare, Wellness & Fitness 

Reason for starting? I have an Electronics Engineering degree and a Master’s degree in User Experience Design from the National Institute of Design here in India. My skills and interests include leading user research and interaction design for healthcare and medical technologies. I have 6+ years of work experience in medical technologies and healthcare research. I have worked with Philips Research, M4ID-Finland, WHO, and UNICEF. I have been an IDDS-MIT D Lab fellow. I always wanted to design solutions for Maternal and Elderly people. I got this opportunity when I got selected as a BIRAC SIIP Fellow last year which was designed for Maternal and childcare. I developed my idea further and started my entrepreneurial journey. Now, I am the founder and director of my healthcare start-up – Empathy Design Labs Pvt. Ltd. I am working on innovative solutions for pregnant moms, which can avoid the risk of stillbirth in India and other developing countries. 

Related: Read about another Healthcare entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? Let your actions define you and not your words. I am a believer of practicing empathy and hence am driven by a user centric mindset. Success to me is my happiness after a productive day. Success is when you don’t give up. Success is when you go out, enjoy an ice cream and laugh about your failures. Success is when you find happiness everyday because of your work. 

Biggest success: I believe that life gives you one chance everyday – just take it. Take that risk and give it your best. I took mine. I feel successful when I see my growth in past years. My biggest success is that I feel happy because I do what I love. I feel happy more than successful when I see somebody coming to me saying, “I love your work, I want to do what you are doing.” I dream of a world without any maternal and neonatal death. Birth is a beautiful event of nature and I want it to be safe and successful for every pregnant mother and every baby waiting to come to this world. 

I want to earn money by making meaningful solutions in healthcare. I want my solutions to be User-centric so that they don’t mind paying for them. 98% of 2.6 million stillbirths occur in LMICs. We are driven by the design thinking process to solve bigger issues. After completing early clinical studies and we will introduce the product into the Indian market in late 2018. We plan to use funds to develop proof of market demand and adoption in 10 Indian states. We will have reached 15,000-20,000 mothers within the two year grant funding. Within 10 years, we hope to be the standard of care for Antenatal foetal monitoring having protected 20 million pregnant mothers and babies from stillbirths cumulatively and 7 million per year thereafter worldwide. 

Related: In the Business of Women’s Health 

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Learn things by doing. You need to try things before you make assumptions. You need to work every single day for your idea/product/service whatever it is. Being entrepreneur is not a cake walk but it not as bad as people think. You need to give it a try every single time.  

Who is your most important role model? My role model is that nurse in a rural hospital who leaves her family early in the morning and treats patients with a smile on her face for an 8-12 hour shift. She never complains. She is my role model because I learn from her everyday. Nurses save people. I wanted to work in healthcare because I believe in innovations and simple solutions which can make their life, nurses’ lives, easier. I want to make healthcare solutions easy, effective and user centric so that technology can become meaningful and not another burden on them. 


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Edited by The Story Exchange