This Pakistani entrepreneur is breaking gender stereotypes by making it to the Forbes Next 1000 list

This Pakistani entrepreneur is breaking gender stereotypes by making it to the Forbes Next 1000 list

October 25, 2021 0
This Pakistani entrepreneur is breaking gender stereotypes by making it to the Forbes Next 1000 list

“I was an object, with no friends and a diagnosis I didn’t fully understand”, Eesha Sheikh describes her life at the young age of 8 when she was diagnosed with clinical obesity. She recalls it as a time of deep distress as she tried every remedy to lose weight, from milkshake diets to lemonade fasts. Her classmates ruthlessly bullied her, calling her mean names like, “the human jelly donut” which resulted in her resenting her own body. She did not feel human since every moment in her life revolved around her attempting to lose weight and being reminded of her obesity. 

Although she managed to lose around 65lbs of weight by the time she was 10, the cruel process left its scars. On the outside she was a thinner version of herself but deep within only she knew how bitter the journey had been. As she grew older, Eesha vowed to herself that she would not let another young child experience what she had gone through and this inspired her to work with digital health tools. 

Her education in chemistry helped solidify her stance and after graduation she decided to use her knowledge to touch the lives of those who are afflicted with health issues like obesity. Eesha took part in a study on gamified health with John Hopkins, Underarmour & Aetna in 2015, 2016 & 2017. This study focused on the effect of gamified health on behavior change and it gave her the tools to make her dreams a reality. Thus, it was through Eesha’s sheer determination and echoes of a difficult childhood that Keeko was born, “I thought why not channel my rage against my bullies into something that could positively change the lives of other children like me!”

Keeko is a 2D combat shooter gaming app that showcases the main character Keeko trying to save the world from her arch nemesis The Human Jelly Donut. One remarkable idea led to another and as Keeko was modelled into reality there arose the question of how this gaming app could continue to contribute to people’s health and wellbeing. That is when Playpal was born and it was created to have a metamorphic impact on people’s lives.

Playpal is a digital web and mobile platform that offers users an advanced method of monitoring their health by tracking and analysing data from mhealth apps, games, devices, IoTs and other third party integrations. In this diverse app all your health data is in one place and it allows you to compare your health progress overtime. Eesha believes that every individual should have access to healthcare that is smart and straightforward so that it encourages them to control their susceptibility to disease from a young age, rather than it seeming like a chore.

Eesha understands what struggling with an illness is like : “Playpal is a part of the very fibers that make me, it is a literal representation of my struggle and what I’ve had to overcome”. Her firm resolve and ability to empathise has led her to prodigious success and it is an instance of deep pride that she has made it to the Forbes Next 1000 list. 

Minahil Malik
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