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6 Moms Who Found Gaps In The Baby Care Market And Grew Giant Businesses

These women entrepreneurs in the baby care space dared to enter a category dominated by giants - and find their own footing in it brilliantly.

These women entrepreneurs in the baby care space dared to enter a category dominated by giants – and find their own footing in it brilliantly.

Children are not a distraction from most important work. They are the most important work. – C.S. Lewis

As the quote above reflects, children are precious to their parents – and that reflects increasingly in what parents will spend, when it comes to giving their children the best!

The baby care category in India is estimated to reach $ 26.35 billion during 2021-25, progressing at a CAGR of over 11%. Increasing levels of disposable incomes, the rising number of nuclear families and growing access to information enable new parents to explore constantly for their little ones.

Beyond the traditional segments of baby food, bath, skin care and apparel, several sub-segments like baby proofing, travel gear, furniture, bedding and fashion are emerging. Though several global players have developed the category for Indian consumers over the decades, in the past few years Indian women entrepreneurs have transformed the space with their unique ideas. 

“The moment a child is born, a mother is also born” goes a famous quote. A mother’s quest to give the best care to her child is never-ending and often involves choosing the right products. While most mothers are facing this dilemma in making the right choices, some of them set out to develop better baby- care products for their special ones. And soon realized the business opportunity in serving the needs of the growing segment of new mothers.

Here are the stories of some women entrepreneurs who developed unique baby-care products, starting from their own experience but going on to challenge the big companies and legacy brands in the country. 

Ghazal Alagh – Mama Earth

Ghazal Alagh started searching for chemical-free products for her baby as a new mother. She soon figured out the lack of options in Indian market and resorted to buying expensive imported products which were difficult to source as well. She realized this as an emerging need gap and co-founded Mama Earth which provides a wide- variety of ‘toxin-free’ baby care products. 

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Over the years, they have expanded beyond the baby care range into personal care and beauty products which contributes to 80% of their business. Focussing on millennial consumers, targeted digital marketing initiatives and celebrity endorsements have put Mama Earth on track for exponential growth.

Mama Earth was estimated to touch revenues of Rs.500 cr. for the financial year ending in March 2021. Currently they are looking to raise $80-100 Mn from the existing investors which would put their valuation at around $350-400 Mn within a span of 5 years.

Ghazal Alagh’s business was built from a real and upcoming need for toxin- free products which has enabled this meteoric rise amidst Indian consumers. 

Rishu Gandhi – Mother Sparsh

Rishu Gandhi was an IT professional who comes from a business family and had always aspired to start something on her own. But the right moment came when one of her colleagues shared her motherhood experience on how low quality polyester wipes resulted in rashes on her child’s skin. Rishu soon started research on the baby care market in India and realized the opportunity in catering to the needs of parents seeking eco-friendly and organic baby-care products. 

Mother Sparsh was launched in 2016 from Mohali as a bootstrapped business, but with a strong first, offering India’s first eco-friendly and biodegradable wipes with 98% water. This was soon followed by a range of baby-care products with ayurvedic goodness and the proposition of being skin-friendly making them the best choice for delicate skin of babies.

The Mother Sparsh range of products are available across e-commerce platforms and their own website contributes to 35% of revenues. They touched revenues of Rs. 22 Cr in financial year 2021 and are eyeing to enter the 100Cr club by 2023 with aggressive plans to expand their range and presence. Rishu’s vision to develop unique eco-friendly baby- care products has resonated with young parents and today the brand has potential to expand into other categories. 

Malika Sadani – The Moms Co

Yet another player to watch in this space is Malika Sadani whose business venture started from her personal experience of searching for safe and natural baby-care products for her daughters. The erstwhile banker’s return back to India after spending time abroad was met with disappointment when she realized the difficulty in finding good quality, natural baby-care products that were safe and effective. She ended up importing products and understood that more mothers were doing the same or stocking up by requesting family and friends to purchase during their trips abroad. 

Malika set out on her entrepreneurial journey which resulted in launching The Moms Co. in 2017. The brand caters to the needs of new mothers and moms-to-be with a range of products from prenatal to baby care. The baby care range has products like tear-free, soap-free baby washes, shampoos and diaper rash cream with 15% zinc oxide – all aimed at being hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. The pregnancy care range consists of products for stretch marks, swollen feet and skin dryness.

Currently the range has 35 products across categories which are dermatologically tested, certified toxin-free and Made safe. In September 2020, they raised Series B funding of $10 million led by existing investors DSG Partners and Saama Capital. The Moms Co. is gearing up to cross the Rs.100 Cr revenue mark soon with stable 5 million consumers. 

Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik- Slurrp Farm

Double-income households and nuclear families have become a norm in recent decades. Though the need for a nourishing diet in the growing years is critical – whipping up a variety of healthy, tasty foods on a daily basis is a challenging task. Two Mothers went behind this emerging trend to ease the parents’ ordeal in providing healthy food options for their babies.

Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik quit their careers to start Slurrp Farm in 2016 with a range of cereals and cookies made from traditional ingredients. They set out to provide healthy food alternatives when they could not find high-quality packaged food for their own children. 

Slurrp range was initially launched across 50 stores in New Delhi and was available on Amazon, Big Basket, BabyChakra and First cry. Their products were made from better quality ingredients like millets, raw sugar, no preservatives, no artificial additives or colors which resulted in widespread acceptance amidst parents. 

Meghana and Shauravi started their journey from their own savings but in June 2018, they received $1 million pre-series A funding. This fuelled their growth as the brand expanded their portfolio and availability beyond the domestic market. Currently Slurrp Farm has a range of 25 products including porridges, cereals, puffed snacks and cake mixes which are available in India, UAE and Singapore. The brand has reached 7,00,000 consumers over the years and has a promising 40% repeat rate from E-commerce portals.

Slurrp farm achieved 300% growth rate in the last 6 months of 2020 and aims at growth at the same rate. In December 2020, Slurrp Farm raised $2 million Series A funding from Fireside Ventures. Meghana and Shauravi have struck the right balance in providing healthy and tasty food products to the growing demand of new-age parents. 

Pallavi Utagi – Superbottoms

When Baby food and skincare are high on parents’ radar, can the little one’s bum alone be ignored? Baby diaper market in India is estimated to be $800 million with disposable diapers being the biggest segment. Several MNCs have forayed into the market with the growing need for convenience as parents have evolved from traditional nappies to disposable diapers.

Despite the convenience involved and perceived hygienic benefits, mothers are becoming more cognizant of the side- effects of disposable diapers on the baby’s skin. Here is the story of one mother who set out to find a solution that is best for her baby’s bum!

Pallavi Utagi was a seasoned marketer whose search for the perfect diaper for her son resulted in the launch of Superbottoms in 2016. Pallavi found a business opportunity when she designed cloth diapers to replace the disposable ones which gave rashes to her baby and shared the discovery with her close network. From the encouraging response she received, she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey which just started in a room in her house but has expanded over the years. 

Currently the brand sells close to 30000 diapers on a monthly basis while educating new mothers about the benefits of cloth diapering which is still a new concept in India. Pallavi strongly believes in the need for educating that cloth diapers can function like regular disposable diapers in providing the dry feel to the baby and be eco-friendly at the same time. Understanding the uphill task involved, she has set up a strong Customer service team composed of mothers who used Superbottoms and wish to enable others to adopt the eco-friendly cloth diapering. 

By November 2018, they received $.1.6Cr funding from Titan Capital and recently in April 2021 raised $2 Million Series-A funding from Saama Capital and DSG Consumer Partners. Pallavi has created a business venture from her personal experience keeping in mind the environmental impact. In the sea of big companies selling convenience, she has managed to garner the attention of young mothers who are willing to go an extra mile for their loved ones and their future environment. 

An old African proverb saying “It takes a village to raise a child” – for the collective experience of the community is needed for growth and development in initial years. In today’s scenario, the new mothers have access to knowledge and experience as they embark on their motherhood journey. But few women entrepreneurs didn’t just stop there, but they returned the favour to the larger community while setting up their business and becoming role-models for other ambitious women! 

All images from the founders’ respective social media profiles, or company websites

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About the Author

Aarthee Suriyakumar

Electrical engineer turned into Marketer. From heartland of Tamilnadu but almost Mumbaikaar. read more...

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