Carina Lukito

Carina Lukito

“Failures and successes are temporary. What is permanent is not having the courage to take the first step and the willingness to learn and improve.”

Company: Little Joy
Founded in: 2021

Malnutrition and stunted growth remains an issue of concern in Indonesia, despite the economic gains the country has made in recent years. Malnutrition contributes to more than 50% of children’s deaths, which has a massive impact on families, communities and the economy. 

Carina Lukito’s attention was drawn towards this problem when her seemingly healthy nieces were diagnosed with mild malnutrition. She realised that the widespread problem is not just the lack of access to nutritious food but also, knowledge on what is really nutritious food for children. The numbers also validated that. One out of three children in Indonesia are malnourished, which shows that many even in tier 1 cities are not able to meet nutritional requirements.

Carina set out to solve the problem with her three co-founders, along with in-house paediatricians and child nutritionists. She launched Little Joy, a digital-first holistic ecosystem focusing on the first critical 1,000 days of a child’s development in 2021. 

Before Little Joy, Carina founded five ventures, including a chain of coffee shops, a wellness centre, an event management company, and a corporate catering company. Carina also worked in her family’s budget hotel business across Indonesia where she managed over 400 employees on a daily basis and learnt a lot about setting up businesses and overcoming failures from her parents and grandparents.

“I have seen my grandparents and parents fail at important points in their lives. So I did think twice before starting off on my own. But what motivated me was the fact that if I have a mission, a purpose I believe in, I can solve the problem and improve lives. I’ve always wanted to give back one little joy to the people of my country.”

To help families combat malnutrition, Little Joy has created proprietary nutritious powders, meals, drinks, and snacks for pregnant women and children up to two years of age. The products are made with ingredients that are rich in essential nutrients and vitamins critical for the first 1,000 days to eliminate the risk of malnutrition. The powders can be mixed with food or water and can be easily consumed by mothers and babies alike. Little Joy currently caters to customers in 387 cities in Indonesia and has sold over 200,000 products.

“In the first year of developing products, we weren’t confident about reaching potential customers beyond Java. But within 10 months, we got 40K+ reviews from parents from Aceh to Papua about how our products improved the mother’s health during pregnancy, the quality of breast milk, and the babies’ weight, iron deficiency, growth, and development. It truly motivates us to work harder so that no one in Indonesia has malnourished children.” 

The average family in Indonesia has two to three children, so the potential to create meaningful impact in the lives of Indonesian families is truly large. Little Joy not just wants to lower infant death rates related to malnutrition but also aims to enhance quality of life by building a sustainable and interconnected tech-enabled ecosystem for a better Indonesia. With this, the Jakarta-headquartered startup is on a mission to become the number one brand in the mom and baby sector in Indonesia.