Ninja Focus Platform Aims Mindfulness Benefits to Kids

by Praveen Mamnani

Founded in Spring 2019, Ninja Focus is a mindfulness SaaS platform designed for kids age 3–12 to improve sleep, enhance focus, regulate emotions and encourage positive behavior. Our mission is to have kids around the world be mindful and become more compassionate at an early age. We want to provide a tool for parents in helping their kids self-regulate emotions and drive positive behavior. The Ninja Focus platform promotes healthy screen time using audio content designed by development experts, behavioral pediatricians, parents and mindfulness experts. 

To bootstrap the SaaS platform development, we leveraged Gate6 (a leading digital software technology company led by my brother, Manish Mamnani, for more than 20 years) mobile and user experience engineering resources. Our head of engineering, Sushil Pandey, has played a pivotal role in building a scalable, customizable cloud platform providing flexibility to roll out features and fixes within days. 

Because Ninja Focus is centered around mindfulness content for kids, it was imperative to have a lead domain expert who has worked with kids in the area of mindfulness. We brought in our other co-founder (Kamala Alcantara) to compose organic content, including bedtime stories, binaural music for deep sleep, mindful eating, positive affirmations and pep talks to drive positive behaviors for kids. Alcantara has an amazing voice and storytelling experience that resonates with kids. 

We have spent the past 12 months building the platform foundation. Finding the product-market fit continues to be a key challenge and we are spending a lot of time with parents in focus groups to refine the problems we are solving and build a product that would keep kids engaged on the platform on a regular basis. To drive adoption with users, we are providing free content to parents. 

The most valuable advice I have received is that one must test hypotheses on the problems being solved at an early stage with real end-users before investing a lot in building a solution. Our team applied this principle early during the development phase and we elicited end-user feedback with an agile and iterative product development model. However, it’s an ongoing challenge and we have to keep listening and engaging with end-users, especially as we scale up and add a diverse set of users from different regions, cultural backgrounds and countries.

Mindfulness Inspired – The Story behind Ninja Focus

My brother Manish Mamnani (founder and chairman of Ninja Focus) and I grew up in India where we were surrounded by Eastern philosophies and rituals at home for meditation during prayers. I have been practicing meditation and mindfulness for the past 10-plus years. However, meditation is not only difficult but very frustrating for most people. As we become adults, we find that our brains are pre-wired with repeated habits and it’s extremely hard to calm your mind and self-regulate emotions. 

Over the years, my brother and I discussed the possibilities of introducing mindfulness education in schools — similar to physical education. It was an audacious goal that would have required working at the state and county level to pilot and test the idea. Besides, directly engaging with schools is a high-touch sales engagement model requiring major investments. 

Given our backgrounds in business and technology, we decided instead to build a platform for kids. After conducting primary market research and competitive analysis, it was apparent that existing products in the mindfulness space were built for adults with a focus on sleep and meditation. 

We believe the mindfulness and meditation space is still in its early days, with tremendous opportunity to raise awareness with parents and drive growth globally.

Praveen Mamnani is CEO of Ninja Focus.

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