Podcast: Hard Truths by Vertex | Series 2 | Episode 9 - She dropped out of Harvard to change the lives of 600 million women in India — Achitha Jacob

Elise TAN | 05 Mar 2024

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, and part of our annual Vertex Female Leader Series, we are sharing beautiful, untold stories of our female leaders overcoming the odds and obstacles to build businesses that are disruptive, yet transformative to the lives of many. Today we are proud to feature Achitha Jacob, founder of Proactive for Her.

In This Episode

Wanting to change the lives of women in India, Achitha Jacob dropped out of Harvard to pursue her passion and founded Proactive for Her (PFH). PFH is an omni-channel women's health clinic providing confidential, personalized, and judgment-free healthcare solutions in India. Her story is an inspiration for those who want to follow their dreams

Join us as we delve into the journey of Achitha Jacob, the founder of Proactive for Her. Discover how Achitha's passion for women's health led her to build a platform empowering Indian women to prioritize their own well-being. From overcoming challenges to fostering a thriving company culture, Achitha's story is a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of putting oneself first.


00:00 | What is Proactive For Her?

05:28 | Why did I drop out of Harvard?

06:54 | What were the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey?

13:28 | Online or offline business?

17:37 | How has the journey with Vertex been?

18:49 | How did I build education and awareness in this space?

22:41 | Are women willing to invest in their health?

25:52 | What does it take to be successful as a sole founder?

29:38 | What's the difference between being a leader and a manager?

33:46 | How resilience helped me get through the difficult times

39:37 | Closing

Tune in here:

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/hard-truths-by-vertex/id1659392336?i=1000648045752
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3r6TPcbcH83Gp23l3G2A9B

(Click here for the transcript)

Our Guest, Achitha Jacob's Bio:

Achitha Jacob is the founder of Proactive For Her. Proactive For Her is an omni-channel women’s health clinic offering judgement-free, personalised, and confidential healthcare solutions. They address the health concerns of Indian women across their lifetimes – from puberty to menopause and beyond. Their services are available online, at home, and at their Bangalore clinics. Be it spreading awareness about annual check-ups to include pap smears and cancer screening, cervical cancer vaccination (HPV vaccination), STI/STD screening or helping women take that leap of faith and book their first gynaecology consultation, they want to empower every Indian woman to take charge of her own health and wellness journey.

Proactive has helped 50,000+ women learn more about their sexual and menstrual health and access quality medical care. Young and old(er) women love that Proactive is able to provide them a safe space to address their sexual, menstrual & reproductive health concerns. They have done extensive work on extremely niche and taboo topics like vaginismus, a condition which is not very well understood in India.

An alumnus of IIT-Bombay, Achitha dropped out of Harvard Business School to build Proactive For Her. She has previously worked with Fortune 500 healthcare companies and healthcare startups.

Website: https://www.proactiveforher.com

​Celebrating women founders is close to heart for Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India. Since our first few funds, we have been leading the most number of investments into women led startup companies in the Southeast Asia region. For our 4th fund, 35% of our invested companies are women led ones. In our latest fund [5th fund], we raised US$541 million, out of which we have a co-investment envelope of US$50 million that will co-invest alongside the main fund in startups led by women founders. This #VertexFemaleleaderseries is part of our ongoing support for women in tech. Watch the video below for more.

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Your Host

Elise Tan is the Director of Communications and Community at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. Prior to joining Vertex, she has had extensive experience in investor relations and partnership at global venture funds and accelerators with more than $100m in AUM. Elise also currently runs a Southeast Asia-based startup community of nearly 800 entrepreneurs called the Asia Startup network and actively supports their startup journey through panels, meet-ups, and mentoring programs.

Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India is a pioneer in investing in tech start-ups in this region and has helped to build a number of unicorns. In this podcast, we seek to share and uncover the Hard Truth - raw, unfiltered insights and venture capital knowledge from across Southeast Asia and India. Tune in to learn from leading founders, innovators, venture capitalists, and industry experts in the region and to gain industry insights from those in the know.

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