A High 5 to Young Entrepreneurship

Ayraah Lodha, a class 7 student of Ascend International School, Mumbai, has launched High 5, a food brand that caters specifically to women and young girls. CECILIA D’SOUZA interviews her to know more about her journey as a young entrepreneur.

May 16, 2021

Take us through your journey with High 5.
I am someone who wants her voice to be heard. When I started to think about day-to-day problems that women go through, it struck me that so many women aren’t allowed to enter the kitchen or temples during their menstrual cycle. I sat down and asked myself, why? There seemed to be no valid reason for this; just some old stereotypes that give women shame and embarrassment about something that is so normal and natural! Women are so caught up with the embarrassment and discrimination they face that they don’t even end up thinking about their nutritional needs at this point, and I knew I needed to do something about this. With the help of Young Entrepreneurs Academy, I started to do some extensive research about foods that would benefit women on their menstrual cycle. I sat down with nutritionists, chefs and health experts and created High 5 granola, which today is sold almost all across India.

Is there any significant reason behind the brand name, ‘High 5’?
The word ‘high’ means to elevate and ‘5’ stands for the days the average menstrual cycle lasts. Also a high-five is a universal symbol of positivity, which is what I want to spread through this product!

How does High 5 granola help women?
High 5 granola is filled with protein and fibre to help replenish the nutrients women lose during their monthly cycle. Each of the five flavours has its own special benefits. For example, the Ginger & Date flavour helps to reduce cramps, as ginger is a known natural cramp reliever. Dates are full of iron and that’s what women need.

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Rose & Fennel is another one of your flavours and is a very unique combination. How did you zero in on that?
Rose & Fennel is currently one of our bestsellers! I think I really went back to our Indian roots with this product. The flavour is derived from saunf, which is extremely high in fibre and potassium, and to add a twist to it, I added rose, which brings some natural sweetness. Rose is also a mood enhancer.

How did you go about understanding the nutritional needs of women?
I met a lot of nutritionists who advised me on the right ingredients for women to get their nutrients back. Chefs helped me finalise the flavours.

You call your product a ‘deconstructed granola bar’. Why did you decide to work with this particular product?
I thought it was something that was definitely unique, and I hadn’t seen it around in the market, especially for nutritional needs. I also thought that it was an extremely underrated product that can be tweaked to be made healthy. It is also an absolutely delicious item that can be eaten whenever one is hungry and can be enjoyed with yoghurt, milk or fruit and can even be eaten plain.

How is High 5 granola made?
Currently, High 5 granola is being made at a professional kitchen, with extremely high quality and nutrient-filled ingredients. It is a vegan product that is also free of artificial sugars and oil.

RobinAge Cover Story - A High 5 to Young Entrepreneurship

How did you go about testing your product?
Nutritionists and chefs helped us come up with healthy yet yummy combinations. For the sample testing, I sent the product to a lot of friends and family. Everyone enjoyed the product immensely and it worked well for them.

How did you go about marketing this product? Did you face any challenges?
I was extremely apprehensive at first as I was scared of what people would think about my approach to a taboo topic, but then I thought, that was the whole reason I was doing it, to break the taboo. During your research to create this product, did you come across any surprising facts? Yes! 100% of my target audience really needed this product and over 80% of them experienced mood swings and period cramps.

According to you, what is the kind of food girls and boys in their tweens and teens need to eat?
I think a good amount of healthy food, as this is a crucial age in growing up. Foods that are high in nutrients and proteins help the mind work well and keep the body healthy.

How important is the role of exercise in girls’ and women’s lives?
Exercise is extremely important as it helps maintain good mental health. It also helps maintain one’s fitness level and at a later age, will help fight multiple chronic diseases.

According to you, what is the best mood enhancer?
I think the best natural mood enhancer, food wise, would have to be dark chocolate as it is incredibly delicious and high in magnesium, potassium and iron. If not for food, then I think the best mood enhancer is to be in a happy environment and mindset and to spread positivity to everyone through the little things, like High 5s.

Tell us a little about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy programme.
Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) is a programme that guides young children on their journey of entrepreneurship through amazing, informative classes every week. It introduces young entrepreneurs to renowned guest speakers and teaches them the ins and outs of finance and everything else that is needed to launch a business. YEA not only helps nurture businesses, but also holds an investor panel. I am proud to announce that High 5 won the third place in this.

According to you, how can India raise more child entrepreneurs?
I think in India, academies like YEA would be extremely helpful. We also need more parents who are willing to support their children, give them confidence and have never-ending faith in their children. I think entrepreneurship can change you completely; it gives you so much confidence and promotes self-growth.

How important is it for parents to encourage their kids’ interests?
I think parents play a vital role in the success of their children, especially in entrepreneurship, as they are the ones who constantly support and encourage their children to achieve their dreams as well as give them a huge amount of confidence. Without my parents, I would not have been able to launch my products; they have helped me throughout this journey.

RobinAge Cover Story - A High 5 to Young Entrepreneurship

You can follow Ayraah Lodha’s brand on
Instagram @high5_snacks.

REFLECTION: Your Food Brand

If you had the know-how to create your own food brand, what product would you create and why?

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