Meet Shiti Rastogi Manghani, Co-Founder & CEO of Breathe Happy

Shiti Rastogi Manghani


We recently caught up with Shiti Rastogi Manghani, Co-Founder & CEO of Breathe Happy. In this Q&A Shiti shares advice, tips and tricks and her career highlights so far.

How did you get into tech?

I started my career in the media industry 13 years ago with a reputed national player. The online business was in a fledgling state. As a young intern, I got to work on the set up of their online arm and helped setting it up right from scratch – market scoping, segmentation, price point, market research, product dev to launch. The perks of being in a new industry – you get to experience the full value chain even with no prior experience! But, it exposed me to the possibilities of tech as an enabler. Suddenly the speed of news multiplied exponentially and information was democratized to masses.

What is it about tech that you love?

It helps you unlock new doors. Taking the example of media, we could now reach at never-before speed, in a variety of formats tailored to the needs of different populations. It even disrupted the way news was sourced and not just how it was distributed. The speed of change is the most fascinating bit about technology. It is hard to digest the fact that the phones in our backpocket carry more computing power than the rockets that carried the man to moon! Last 100 years have changed the face of human history in a way that previous 10,000 years didn’t. And now, our wildest fantasies can not even begin to capture what’s going to happen in the next 50 years – that’s the bit I love about tech!

Close up of a hand using a laptop in the garden

What’s been your career highlight so far?

I have spent a decade working across US, UK, Europe and India in various roles launching products and led global teams. I even managed business with revenues of £175mn. But the highlight has got to me the last one year sprint of founding Breathe Happy. I am driven by mission to use tech4good. In a span of year, we’ve built a loyal user base from scratch, seen our logo next to United Nations, built partnership with national players, won InnovateUK project and even featured in top50 in UK. This journey has led me to even be nominated for WomenTech Global Awards 2020.

What challenges have you faced as a Female Founder?

My founding journey overlapped with the once-in-a-lifetime event of a global pandemic! So things just got extra spicy with my startup-journey. One of the most challenging bit for any founder is networking (for recruiting, fundraising, customer growth etc) especially when the internal compass pulls them away towards product and tech. I need to solve for balance between them.

On a more positive note – what tangible advice/guidance would you give to aspiring female founders?

To not think of them as female founders. They are founders. Period.

What does career success look like to you?

Achieve our KPIs on social impact and consumer growth.

What did you imagine your life as a Female Founder/Entrepreneur to be like, vs what it’s actually like?

One of the biggest things that has hit me is chaos. But not in an unpleasant way. My life has never been this adventurous before. Every day comes with a new possibility. And with it a newset of challenges to be solved. Task lists are just redundant.

Woman reading a book at a desk covered in books, laptop and a phone

Tools, resources, organisations that are useful and helpful?

Post-its. Jokes apart, I rely on whatsapp (vs slack) for communication and Excel for just about everything else! For new founders, attaching with known accelerators is a good way to start (but making sure not to get caught up and keep hopping from one to another). In our case it was BGV (Bethnal Green Ventures)

What things should companies do to ensure women are represented in the workplace?

More women need to be in senior positions to bring in systematic change.

What’s the most exciting thing about tech right now in your mind?

It’s possibilities to impact lives at scale. And the speed with which you can achieve that impact.

Lightbox with the words 'Think outside the box' displayed standing on a chair

3 lessons you’ve learnt throughout your career?

→ It’s important to enjoy what you do, but not necessarily to only to do what you enjoy

→ Work in days. Think in weeks. Plan for months. Dream in years.

→Two types of people are essential in life : F & F – Ferment and Fuel. Identify people who will listen to

you( let you ferment your ideas) and people who will fuel you (inspire/motivate you). Choose wisely.

What would you tell your younger, more junior self – with hindsight?

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years. Compounding is a superforce.

If you weren’t in tech, what would you be doing instead – and why?

Be a writer probably. I like the power of ideas and impact at scale (that tech enables). Writing not only achieves both, but it time travels as well!

Do you find that non-technical skills are ever helpful in your role? If so, how?

100% yes. You can learn technical skills, it’s more difficult the other way round. No two human beings are alike and being a founder means persuading exceptional people in a variety of situations right from working with you to funding you. They need to enter your reality distortion field and believe in your vision. Technical skills alone won’t be of much use there!


Discover how Capco's #BYAW movement is revolutionizing workplace culture, empowering individuals to embrace authenticity and driving innovation through diversity and inclusion.
Sabina Molka, Director of People Engagement & Development at DocuWare, shares her insights on navigating the path to leadership for women.
Explore the achievements and contributions of these inspiring women driving innovation, diversity, and positive change across the tech industry.
Kamakshi Narayan, Director of Product Management at SnapLogic, discusses strategies for women to advance in the tech industry despite gender disparities. She emphasizes seizing opportunities...