03 February 2023 22:53



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Gytree.com announced its first round of fundraising, led by Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Rainmatter Investments, Ajay Srinivasan former CEO of Aditya Birla Capital, Anubhuti Sharma of San Francisco-based Millie Clinic amongst others.

Gytree.com uses technology to provide women with an intelligent dashboard, world class experts and personalised journeys for better health outcomes.

“We need to build female first products in health and for way too long India has ignored that,” says Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson of Biocon, India’s largest biopharmaceutical company. “Gytree.com fills an important gap in using technology to solve for personalised health needs of women through products and services. I am delighted to lend support to Shaili and her team on this purposeful journey.”

Shaili Chopra is an award-winning entrepreneur who earlier set up Asia’s largest platform for women, SheThePeople (backed by Anand Mahindra). The demand for women’s health solutions and gytree.com emerged from within that 20 million strong community. “What Indian women need is a 360-degree approach to care, due to inter-related symptoms and outcomes. India’s current health systems do not provide that. Gytree.com offers a patient-centric team to bridge this gap across all life stages, from menstruation to menopause,” says Chopra.

The data on women’s health shows, a platform like Gytree is the need of our times. Almost 60% of working women in India quit the workforce due to health related issues. According to the National Health Portal of India, more than 32 million women in India suffer from incurable conditions ranging from PCOS to endometriosis, and infertility, and they lack the necessary handholding to manage this effectively. Gytree.com would be the first platform of its kind to provide assistance at every step: symptom identification, timely diagnosis and long-term management.

The Rainmatter Investments team said of their investment in Gytree, “Helping people make healthy choices has been a priority for us at Rainmatter. Of all the health issues in India, the lack of focus on women's healthcare has to be the biggest. This is why we're excited to join Shaili and the team as they tackle this pressing issue by building a comprehensive and exclusive healthcare ecosystem for women.”

A new generation of women are demanding better healthcare, and Gytree is answering that call. The platform is built by a core team of women who understand the needs of those who identify as female. Chopra (a Stanford and Aspen Global fellow) possesses more than 20 years of experience in media, content and community having successfully established women-focussed startups and through this journey deeply understood what gaps women want fulfilled and personalised. Chief Product Officer Swarnima Bhattacharya has worked with women’s health and gender-based policy for over a decade with the UN, WHO and others. Dr Sudeshna Ray, with over 30 years of Ob-Gyn experience from India’s top hospitals is the platform’s medical director.

Investor in Gytree and former CEO of Aditya Birla Capital, Ajay Srinivasan said, "I am excited by femtech as a sector and believe solutions targeted at getting women to lead better lives will scale up and drive growth. Usage of tech can help make solutions more affordable and universal, something India's 600 mn plus women need immediately."

As part of its go to market strategy, Gytree will be directly available to consumers through the easy to use web-app, but also to corporations who prioritise female workforce and their health.

The virtual platform gives consumers services wrapped around the core offering of gynaecology that includes mental health support, nutrition counselling, and regular digital health checks linked to their primary needs. Patients get access to at-home lab tests curated for women and round the clock patient care and virtual check-in options. “At Gytree we have several benefits for women seeking such support. They not only get access from anywhere, anytime, but are also able to discuss personal and intimate health details in a safe and discreet environment,” adds Chopra.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023 00:00

Increase in readership because of TikTok

TikTok, which was initially a dance video-sharing app, has evolved over the years to include short and long videos spanning various genres and topics. Ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, TikTok birthed yet another trend called BookTok. BookTok, which revolved around the reading and reviews of many hidden gems and forgotten treasures in the literary world, among current releases, boomed in a short span of 2 years and is here to stick around. Readers and TikTok subscribers simply cannot get enough of BookTok and are always on the lookout for new releases in the romance, fantasy, and thriller genres, among others. So much so that BookTok has surpassed conventional publishing tactics and boosted the sales of several authors and publishing houses like Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, and others. BookTok has even revived the love for print amidst the sweep of digitisation and digital books. Let’s traverse through the journey of BookTok, the consequent increase in readership enabled through TikTok, and what it means for book enthusiasts.

Tiktok made me buy it

Those days when authors only had to rely on publishing houses or newspaper publications to make their books get noticed are behind us, if not completely obsolete. With TikTok in the game, publishing houses have reported book sales going over the roof. Official stats from the company NPD Bookscan indicate that TikTok was responsible for the sale of around 825.7 million books in 2021, a big leap from the numbers before 2020. For many authors, this meant being recognised and getting massive sales. Take the example of US writer Colleen Hoover who made young adult fiction fans gaga with her novel “It Ends With Us” and her recent sequel (Volume II) “It Starts with Us”. Hoover was at first a self-published author who started acquiring a dedicated fanbase on TikTok for her extremely compelling books that tugged on readers’ heartstrings. Now, Hoover has been signed with a reputed publishing house, and her books have sold over 20 million copies, thanks to TikTok.

LGBTQIA+ and minority representation

One of the best things that TikTok and the hashtag BookTok did was shed light on the brilliant stories of underrepresented communities in the world of literature. Through BookTok, readers were able to source books from authors of different genders, races and sexuality. The LGBTQ+ community felt heard and seen, especially thanks to the heart-warming books Song of Achilles and Heartstopper. Song of Achilles, written by Madeline Miller in 2011, caught the attention of the BookTok community of readers because of its riveting plot. The novel showcased a fusion of Greek history with elements of romance between Achilles and Patroclus. The book is written and narrated from the perspective of Patroclus, which is a fresh change from literature revolving around Achilles. Heartstopper too portrays a coming-of-age love story between two young male protagonists. It became an instant hit with audiences, so much so that it got picked up by Netflix for a Netflix series.

The influence of BookTok on cinema and future readership

BookTok has not only influenced numerous readers from GenZ but also caught the eye of online OTT platform giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime, among others. These include coming-of-age plot lines like ‘The Summer I turned Pretty’, which was greenlit by Amazon Prime and Heartstopper, which was selected by Netflix as a Netflix series and is in the running for season 2. The cinematic portrayal of these TikTok fan favourites only steered the spotlight towards the changing trend of BookTok finds. Readers got to see their favourite characters come to life. Other TikTok hits that are being adapted into movies or web series include ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid, ‘It Ends with Us’ by Colleen Hoover, and ‘They both die at the end’ by Adam Silvera.

Wrapping it up:

You might think that TikTok has played a huge role in influencing GenZ to become readers; however, it was the other way around. GenZ, in fact, influenced their fellow GenZ and millennials to grab onto books by expressing their love and reviewing their current reads through compelling video content. When it comes to India, we know that TikTok is banned here. But through Instagram reels, Indian readers are still able to find TikTok bestsellers and purchase them easily. This goes to show how powerful TikTok has been in increasing global readership.

Written By Tanya Jain, Writer and Design Strategist 


The Effie Awards is just 4 days away and this year has seen an unprecedented number of entries across all categories. Professionals from marketing and advertising have spent hours selecting the winners. And these six industry stalwarts chose the Grand Effie.

Here's what each of them had to say.

Abhishek Lodha, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Lodha Developers

Really enjoyed the open-minded discussion with some of the best marketing brains in India. We came to our decision on the GE basis the larger impact on society and how to inspire India's amazing creative houses to do cutting edge and impactful work.

Suparna Mitra, Chief Executive Officer, Watches and Wearables Division, Titan Company Limited

The Effies are among the most prestigious events in the world in the field of marketing and I'm honoured to have served on the Grand Effie Jury this year. All the entries were rare gems- case studies that have become the stuff of lore in the marketing world in India. Each case was crisply presented with real insights leading to outstanding creatives and landmark results. My best wishes to the winners and the shortlisted entries!

Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & Managing Director, Nestle India Limited

“The Effie’s Grand Jury was inspiring, questioning, provocative, respectful and wise! We brought out the best possible arguments and arrived at the winner unanimously. Privileged to be part of this distinguished group”

Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive- Foods Division, ITC Foods Ltd.

‘The Effies have always been about celebrating truly effective work, be it through their categories, the rigor of entry forms, or the judging & scoring criteria, keeping brands honest to the agenda of submitting their most ‘effective work’.

This year however has been particularly delightful, the quality of the winning entries have demonstrated the evolution of marketing communications, keeping up with the evolving consumer motivations. True consumer centricity enabled by a prolific combination of human insights based creative ideas, media strategies, data and technology have been the essence, of almost all of the winning work.

May the best one win!

Neil George, Managing Director, NIVEA India Pvt. Ltd

“As a member of the Jury at this year’s Grand Effie, I was truly astounded by the quality of the entries. We found it difficult to pick the winners. But the ones that made the cut all stood out for the same key basics that help deliver great communication campaigns - powerful and compelling consumer insights, extra ordinary creative campaign ideas that have stood the test of time, ideas that are built around the brand promise & innovative use of Multi media and technology - all of this culminating in great results for the brand. My congratulations to the winners as well as all the brand and agency teams that participated in this year’s Effies.”

Rajeev Chaba, President & Managing Director, MG Motor India Pvt. Ltd.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process of judging- both solo and group discussion. The debate was very enriching with varied views. I learnt in the process too!!

The Type Directors Club (TDC) continues to explore the ways typography is used to form and transform creative communities and the broader culture, this time focusing on Latin America with Cha Che Chi, the upcoming edition of its Type Drives Culture conference series taking place virtually on March 3-4, 2023.

The name Cha Che Chi comes from sounds that echo across Latin America: chabona, chango, chava, chela, checar, chicha, chichón, chido, chimichurri, chulo, churro, salsicha, chimarrão, bochecha, pichação. Across languages, that common alliteration connects the cultures of the continent, serving as a thread amongst very diverse people.

TDC, part of The One Club for Creativity, will bring the dynamic range and rhythm of Latin American culture as it manifests visually, and typographically. The conference will look at specific design movements and styles that are prevalent in Latin America, explore how the connection to history and heritage manifests among Latin American diaspora, and showcase for the rest of the world on how Latin American typography and design exists and innovates.

The conference lineup was curated by Sol Matas, Berlin-based independent type designer originally from Argentina and a member of the TDC Advisory Board, and Laura Scofield, a Brazilian-born, New York-based designer, strategist, and educator who currently serves as senior design manager at The Atlantic Re:think. Both will introduce, and moderate sections, of the conference.

Other confirmed speakers include:

Julia A. Aguiar and Carlos Bocai, cofounders, designers, Anywhere, Brasília/New York
Marco Avilez, director, executive producer, Tipos, Santiago
Yani Arabena and Guillermo Vizzari, cofounders, directors, Yani & Guille, Buenos Aires
Tulio Cerquize, graphic designer, illustrator, São Paulo
Cyla Costa, graphic designer, lettering artist, Curitiba (Brazil)
Fer Cozzi, graphic designer, type designer, Buenos Aires
Tony de Marco, partner, art director, Meio Brazil; cofounder, editor, Tupigrafia, Sines (Portugal)
Fred Gelli, CEO, Tátil Design, Rio de Janeiro
Gustavo Greco, founder, creative director, Greco Design, Minas Gerais (Brazil)
Seb de la Hoz and Jason Guzmán, cofounders, type designers, Bastarda Type, Bogotá/New York
Ximena Jiménez, lettering artist, muralist, Bogotá
Azucena Cabezas León and Alinder Espada Camones, cofounders, graphic designers, Carga Máxima, Lima
Beatriz Lozano, designer, typographer, educator, Brooklyn
Susana Machicao, brand consultant, Visual Communications and Design, Machicao Design, La Paz
Alejandro Magallanes, designer, lettering artist, Mexico City
Laureano Menéndez, head of design, BBDO Argentina, Buenos Aires
Nubia Navarro, founder, Nubikini Studio, Bogotá
Eduarda Nieto, senior designer, AKQA Sweden
Daniel Sabino, founder, lead type designer, Blackletra Type Foundry, São Paulo
Rodrigo Saiani, founder, type designer, Plau, Rio de Janeiro
Oliver Siegenthalar, CCO, partner, S & Co., Bogotá
Julieta Ulanovsky, director, ZkySky Design Studio, Buenos Aires
Raphaël Verona, founder, Altiplano. La Paz/Lausanne (Switzerland)

“Cha Che Chi is a unique forum for the design and typographic communities to explore cultures that aren’t often gathered on the same stage,” said Sol Matas. “The scope of Latin American communities is enormous, and spread over a vast geography including the diaspora. This will be a rare opportunity to celebrate the abundance it has to offer.”

The conference will cover a range of topics, from amateur street typography to agency boardrooms. Presentations and discussions will include the behind-the-scenes of a logotype that dances to the beat of Rio Carnival, distinctive reinterpretations of popular Mexican imagery, Perú’s Chicha public placard and poster styles, the evolution of a campaign to raise women’s voices, and how lettering and politics mix in the famous distinctive style of Brazilian graffiti Pichação.

Conference branding was created by Nubia Navarro at Nubikini Studio in Bogotá. Encompassing vivid colors, rectilinear patterns, and constant movement, the brand is inspired by aguayo cloth, street lettering traditions, and the ingenuity of having to innovate out of limited resources — bringing together a clash of traditional and digital, old world and new.

Cha Che Chi follows on the heels of TDC’s Ezhishin, the first-ever conference dedicated to Native North American typography held last fall.

More information and registration for Cha Che Chi is available HERE.

Viacom18 to present SA20 in English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil

Viacom18 announced their expert panel for the inaugural season of SA20, South Africa’s premier T20 league starting January 10. The panel will be headlined by Suresh Raina, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha, and Aakash Chopra. Viewers in India can catch the action live on JioCinema, Sports18 – 1 SD & HD, Sports18 Khel, and Colors Tamil in four languages – English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

The Hindi feed on JioCinema and Sports18 Khel will feature cricketer-turned-expert Aakash Chopra, India’s highest wicket-taker of the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 campaign, RP Singh, former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and former England international Owais Shah.

Tamil viewers will be able to enjoy the voices of Tamil Nadu cricketers Abhinav Mukund alongside Anirudha Srikkanth on JioCinema and Colors Tamil. Telugu coverage will be headlined by former India international Venkatapathy Raju, who will be joined by Akshath Reddy, Sandeep Bavanaka and R J Hemanth on JioCinema.

The SA20 English commentary team has reunited the legendary Proteas with AB De Villiers making his debut as a commentator, joined by his former national team teammates Mark Boucher, Ashwell Prince, Shaun Pollock, Herschelle Gibbs, B Chris Morris and Vernon Philander.

The experienced Mark Nicholas will join former England internationals Kevin Pietersen and Darren Gough. In addition, the international line-up will include South Africa’s first lady of cricket Kass Naidoo, Urooj Mumtaz, Pommie Mbangwa, Mike Haysman, and former West Indies T20 World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy.

The SA20 starts on January 10 with Rashid Khan-led MI Cape Town taking on Paarl Royals, headed by David Miller. The match will be live on JioCinema, Sports18 – 1 SD & HD, Sports18 Khel, and Colors Tamil from 8:30 PM onwards.

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