Saloni Anand and Altaf Saiyed are the “couple-preneurs” behind the successful hair-care venture, Traya Health. Equal partners at home and office, the duo have carved a holistic hair-care platform that marries Ayurveda, dermatology and nutrition to reach the root cause behind one’s hair problems, including chronic hair loss. The dynamic co-founders talked to Tribune to share their story and the secret behind their success.
1. What got you both to start Traya?
About four years ago, Altaf was diagnosed with thyroid which led to rapid weight gain and significant hair loss, which was further aggravated by a super-busy lifestyle. He was advised to get on lifelong medication by doctors. Yet, there were no guarantee that this wouldn’t recur. As a research-oriented couple, we decided to go for in-depth analysis of his diagnosis. We realized that this condition was linked to internal health systems, chiefly his gut health. On further research, we reached the conclusion that we could create a preventive approach by combining Ayurveda and nutrition. We were able to help family members and friends. Eventually, we founded Traya.
2. What's your best advice for balancing your work and love lives?
We keep work and work-related conversations out of the house as much as possible. We try to stick to a schedule as well - no work after 10 pm unless we are dying. Most importantly, a fight at home is never carried to work and a fight at work is never brought home. We just switch. The golden rule - don’t sleep without talking it out because sorting it really helps.
Both of us like solving problems and that has been our approach in building this company. The plus side is that we are together 24*7, having fun whether it’s at work or a party.
3. What are the best and the worst things while working with your significant other?
The best part is that your co-founder knows the whole story and knows what you are going through 24*7, whether mentally, personally, or in the family. Hence, he is more empathetic and open to share the load when you are over-burdened and you will do the same for them. It’s like marriage vs. dating. Our commitment with each other is higher than the average co-founders, since there is more at stake here. We respect each other more than ever because now we also get to see how awesome our partner is at work. That has really helped us in our personal relationship.
The worst part is that I can’t be sure if I am taking a break or slacking. Am I doing this because my co-founder is my husband and I can take him for granted? Would I do this if I had a boss? This is my biggest worry and I try my best to not slack, but be my best self at being a co-founder.
4. How is your personal dynamic different from your professional dynamic?
Altaf is fun, nonchalant, carefree and a fun-loving person outside of work, but switches to the most meticulous and task-oriented guy at work. These kinds of changes are the dynamics for me.
5. What advice would you give to other couple-preneurs seeking to enter into the business world as partners?
Go for it. Even investors now are open to such companies. Build on your strengths instead of finding faults.
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