065: Boston Speaks Up with Moment Founder & CEO Aisha Chottani
Aisha Chottani is a former McKinsey consultant turned thriving entrepreneur. After a stint at Harvard Business School, and amidst a pandemic, Chottani founded her company Moment, a natural botanical and adaptogen beverage that aims to bottle the feeling of meditation in a can.
Chottani is a heart-driven leader on a mission to help people more easily achieve mindfulness. At no additional cost to consumers, Moment provides content and interactive programming to help people meditate more, gain mindfulness, and ultimately, improve their overall wellness. Moment also donates one percent of revenue to help at-risk youth.
We had an opportunity to speak with Chottani as she was preparing to celebrate Moment’s one year anniversary. You can listen to our podcast discussion embedded below or on any podcast platform you prefer (SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play):
Enjoy an abridged written version of our interview with Chottani below.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I spent most of my childhood and early youth in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. I then moved to Pakistan to do my schooling. I then spent some time in Europe and decided to move to South Africa and kicked off my professional career at Maersk there. Living in multiple places has taught me the value of different perspectives.
How did you end up in South Africa?
I started off my career in supply chain and logistics at the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk. Whilst at Maersk, I got the chance to spend two weeks on a container vessel docked off the coast of South Africa, and upon disembarking in Cape Town, immediately fell in love with the continent. I would move to South Africa a year later, where I would later meet my husband Faheem.
What led you to the United States and how did you evolve upon arriving?
I came to the U.S. to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. It was at Harvard that I first started experimenting with meditation. I would continue to practice when I started with McKinsey and found that it was incredibly helpful, not just for managing stress, but for increasing focus, enhancing creativity, and improving my overall performance. It brought out my best self.
How much has your experience meditating driven the direction of Moment?
Very much so. We started Moment because we wanted to make that meditation feeling easy to access for anyone out there and a portion of our proceeds goes to supporting kids in their mindfulness journey.
What is Moment?
Moment is a botanical beverage which uses natural ingredients, including adaptogens, that have been shown to replicate the feeling of meditation, helping you reset, reduce stress and find clarity. We’ve evolved into a wellness company that offers content and promotes activities such as meditation.
What are adaptogens and how did you discover them?
Adaptogens are herbs that provide health benefits unique to each individual. I grew up with adaptogens in my life and they helped me through particular stressful times. I’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impact they have on your mental anxiety.
What is the mission of Moment?
Moment is a gateway into mindfulness. The broader idea is to encourage everyone out there to take regular breaks and ground themselves so they can be the best versions of themselves.
What’s your fondest memory of living in Boston?
The 5 days the city shut down during the 2015 winter. I love Boston, in spite of the winter. There’s no other place like it.
What’s something people might not know about you?
A big constant in my life has been giving back to society. I’m continuing that now and Moment donates 1% percentage of proceeds to help at-risk youth.