Ivy Huq Russell, a former venture banker, decided to start her own startup Maya,
with the dream to establish a useful platform for women. After experiencing her
first pregnancy and watching her mother suffering from breast cancer, she decided
to make it easier for women to seek the information they need, to communicate
with others who are on the same journey.
With this aim, she founded Maya back in
2009, with the aim to connect women in a whole community where they could
seek answers to their queries and learn about others as well. Maya exists to build a
a stronger community between all women and to improve routes of their endeavors
by providing them with Maya apa’s service.
This brave woman completed her graduation from the University of Warwick.
Although she had completed her degree in Finance and Economics, her constant
the thirst to do good for people encouraged her to leave the world of banking and
financing and move to a totally different one of helping people which she built
herself. Her passion gave her all the strength she needed to give up her job and
start on her own.
The idea of Maya Apa popped into Ivy’s head when she was pregnant with her first
child. During her pregnancy, she realized how useful it would be if women, in
general, could have access to a platform where they could fill their queries without
an appointment, the judgment of the society or even queue.
Back in 2009, Maya was a blog that was filled with high quality, informative
contents all aimed to bridge the gap between necessary information and women. It
has come a long way since 2009 and now it’s accessible via web, app, and mobile
sites through all kinds of phones. It has the tagline which states “ask Maya Apa
anything”. Users may type or record their queries and then send them to get
Although being the first one of its kind, it was hard for Ivy to convince people with
the abstract idea of Maya. Later on, it officially launched in Bangladesh in 2015
after receiving grants from Brac.
Bangladesh is a country where there’s taboo on a lot of sensitive yet important
subjects. People are not encouraged to talk about them and thus many of our
questions remain unanswered. In many cases, we do not even realize how much
there is to know. This initiative Maya has opened doors to so many questions and
made women more aware. Now that we have access to technology more than we
ever had, women are just one tap away from getting access to a very reliable
resource; all built by the Managing Director Ivy Huq Russel. She made all of it so