Raj Neravati had a high-paying job and a comfortable life in the US. Having spent 17 years in the IT industry, Raj was the Chief Operating Officer at Cigniti Technologies.
However, the Nirbhaya incident in December 2012, which shook the entire nation, pushed Raj to leave it all and look into women’s safety in India.
Initiating his startup plan in 2013, Raj realised early on that a mobile app would not be of any use during such situations. The need was to have something handy, and by January 2014, Raj had funded a team to build a solution. Six months into the project, he left his job to join the project full time.
Focussing on the lifestyle category, Raj and his team settled on creating a smartwatch, and Hug Innovations was founded in October 2014. Explaining the logic behind the name, Raj says that it came from the need to give the brand a positive and affectionate name, rather than one that highlighted fear. Raj, Founder of Hug Innovations, says,
We wanted to give a message that Hug as a brand was there for everyone, every day, almost like an extension to their lives. But the idea was to make it different than a smartphone.
According to Raj, the three functionalities that differentiate the product from a smartphone include personal safety, IoT gesturing, and integration with nutrition, health, or fitness regimes.