At the time of Falguni's pregnancy, she was advised not to eat dark chocolate. Some of her relatives stressed that the caffeine in chocolate would be harmful for her and some said it would influence the baby's complexion. Even though Falguni had a sweet tooth, she somehow controlled herself.
Later, a few of her eldery relatives suggested her not to eat any kind of dark food. She was about to quit coffee and dates too but she was in doubt. However, she was living in village back then and was not in constant touch with any expert.
Falguni was at a loss, feeling confused and pressured with groundless opinions and comments on many things. So, she decided to make herself educated and started reading features on internet from well-known websites.
One fine day, in her suggestion list, she found a Bangla feature that was informative, reasonable and helpful.
"I was surprised to find such an informative feature in Bangla. And because of the language, it did not create any unnecessary confusion. I looked into their website for more information and found many articles covering a wide range of issues from pregnancy to parenting difficulties," shared Falguni Islam, executive of Panjeree publications Ltd.
The name of the website was ToguMogu, an innovative platform offering parenting guidelines and help. It has recently launched the first parenting app in Bangladesh which has been downloaded 13,000 times. Currently, it has more than one lakh registered users in their official website and app.
This is offering parenting guide, services and several options to source daycare and preschool for parents. In parenting guide section, it offers different articles from UK based parenting platform Baby Centre, written in consultation with UNICEF guidelines and revised by professionals.
In parenting service section offers a variety of services like counselling, nanny recruitment, children creative course and many more. Around twenty team members are working in the core team to serve their customers and make connection with clients. Cost of the services range from Tk1,000 to Tk20,000.
When ToguMogu initiated its journey, it was offering a very few services and also the market was not ready.
"We started our venture with a bunch of close friends after we also faced the same challenges in our personal lives. We understood that one must enjoy parenting thoroughly otherwise it feels like a burden. And, in Bangladesh we are always confused by many misinformation as habitually we are not fully dependent on doctors. Finding no solution in our surroundings at hand, we finally decided to act on our own. Hence, we came up with this to bring ease in life," said Nazmul Arefin Momel, cofounder and advisor of ToguMogu.
Since the beginning of its journey, many parents have taken services from ToguMogu. So far, around 20,000 parents have searched for daycare or preschool services from their website while half of them actually received. To make parents' decision easier, it gives rating to daycares according to its assessment tool.
For sourcing such services, many daycare, preschool and other organisations are connected with ToguMogu. If any client is not happy with the service, they can make a complaint to ToguMogu and it will take action as per its policy. To provide the services smoothly, it has initiated training sessions for nanny to teach emergency safety and communication.
Sharing ToguMogu's experience, Nazmul said, "Due to various social obligations and misconceptions, parents in our society still don't feel free to take counselling, even though it is online. Henceforth, we are going to let parents create anonymous profile so that they can share their problems freely with experts.
Among the services ToguMogu offers, nanny recruiting and children creative courses are the most popular ones. Creative courses are enhancing interaction between children and parents. And the creative books offered in these courses can be purchased from the website too.
"My baby was a YouTube addict. Since we have started taking this creative course, he is spending more time offline than screen. I also like their baby products as those are authentic; I can rely on those," remarked Falguni.
Baby photography is another hugely popular section of the app. commenting on the feature, Nazmul said, "Though, at first, we started it from business perspective, it has created a different sensation among parents. They are appreciating this very much as capturing the special moments of sons and daughters brings feeling of genuine pleasure to parents' minds."
Asked about their future plan, the ToguMogu advisor said they aspire to be the top parenting app in Bangladesh.
Informing that in Bangladesh, parents generally use foreign parenting apps, he said, "At present, we are the only native parenting app, securing the 16th place in the country. We are eyeing to expand our serving area in near future, educating parents outside Dhaka through our app. We also want to be one of the most popular parenting apps in South Asian countries in future."
To achieve this goal, it is going to be launched in different languages as well and promote customised services by 2022.