Interview by Divyasri Nair
Today, we talk to Dr. Kanika Sharma, mother to Smart-tots and also to two adorable kids Dhruv and Suviksha. As an MBBS and MBA professional, Dr. Kanika has blended her love for child development and healthcare with her entrepreneurial spirit.
Dr Kanika says “As a doctor, I totally understand the importance of stimulating a curious mind, triggering curiosity and developing the brain through tactile and sensory play in early childhood. It is their innocence, imagination and intense energy that finally gave rise to an innate desire in me to create a brighter, safer and happy childhood for them. Being a Mother, it was easy to realize and understand the deeper needs of a child. I feel you can contribute a lot to children’s upbringing with the introduction of the right products at the right time with the right motto at the right age”.
You being an MBBS, what inspired you to start your own business?
Since childhood, I have always been passionate about children. Being from a joint family I have grown up with lots of kids around me. My parents used to limit the kids time like how we limit screen time for kids of the new generation. Back then there were only two career options a Doctor or an Engineer so I decided to become a pediatrician. While doing my internship, I decided to do something more than just treating diseases.
So I did my MBA, worked in Hospitals for a few years and then took a sabbatical after my son was born. I did not want to lose the precious time with my kid and at the same time not being able to get back to work was frustrating me so I decided to work on something I love and spend quality time with my kids as well. I tried working on lots of concepts but could not execute many, being a strong headed person I did not give up and finally Smart-tots was born.
Can you introduce our readers to Smart-tots? How did you come up with the idea?
We believe that all children deserve a brighter, safer and positive future. We live by this credo by providing innovative, meaningful and one-of-a-kind learning products which are engaging and fun. We believe in introducing your little one with Right products at the Right time with the Right motto at the Right age.
I always knew whatever idea I work upon, it has to be around kids. Being a mother of two lovely kids made me do lots of reading. I used to make lots of creative stuff for my son and that’s when my creativity got combined with my passion and I named it as Smart-tots.
Can you tell us a bit about the product line? Which are the top-selling ones? What all age groups does it cater to?
Our core values are Child safety and Sensory development. We focus more on preschoolers as those are the formative years of early childhood. Our top selling products are “My Little wonder kingdom” (A touch and feel kit) and “Be Smart Be safe” (A simple book to teach your little ones about Safe touch and Unsafe touch)
There are many toy brands available in the market, what makes your brand better than your competition?
Smart-tots deals in one of kind educational products. What makes my brand better is its products. Such kind of products is not available in the market.
You are an entrepreneur and a mom, how do you balance life and work? What is a typical day look like for you?
Being a mompreneur is not an easy job but being passionate about what I do makes it a little easy for me. Thankfully Multitasking is women’s forte and with time I have become good at it. I am quite particular about my kid’s schedule because of which I get my dedicated working hours at ease. My day begins at 7.
- 7 – 8:15 – getting my son ready for school
- 8:15 – 9:30 – Settling younger one and getting ready for work.
- 9:30 – 12:30 – Working time
- 12:20 – 2 – Lunch time
- 2 – 4 – My kids take an afternoon nap and I work again
- 4 – 5:30 – Evening snacks and making my son finish his homework
- 6 – 7:30 – Kids playtime
- 8 – 9 – Dinner
- 10 – put them to sleep and work if I have the energy left or else go to sleep
Lastly, one thing you want our Bangalore readers and parents to know?
Every day we read some news about child abuse in the paper, it’s very disturbing. Child abuse is a harsh reality of our society, we as a community, as a parent can stop such incidences. It can only happen when you communicate with your child. Educate them about body safety rules, Privacy, consent, and resilience. Do read my Book “BE SMART BE SAFE” which will help you teach your little ones about body safety.
To learn more about Smart-tots, visit the website https://www.smarttots.in/