Around 27 million babies are born every year in India. If only 10 percent of parents spend a conservative figure of INR. 5000 annually on baby products, the market size and potential is huge. According to the players operating in this niche, the market size for baby products in India is estimated around INR 15-25 billion.
Parents are uncompromising and look for the most trusted brands. Yet, the baby products industry is underserved with a huge demand-supply gap, and products aren’t readily available in physical stores in India, especially in tier 2 & 3 cities. International brands are even more difficult to find, and if available, are offered at highly inflated prices.
Factors like wide variety, home delivery and multiple payment options are fuelling growth in this space. Headquartered in Mumbai with an office in New York, Hopscotch is entering into the baby products’ segment by introducing the International factor. We have seen players such as Hushbabies, BabyOye, Unamia and MyCity4Kids emerge in India and explore this segment but a clear winner is yet to emerge.
Hopscotch is founded by Rahul Anand and Lisa Kennedy, both of whom are Harvard Business School Alumni. Lisa worked for Quidsi (parent company of Diapers.com) where she was one of the early employees and EVP of eCommerce. She was instrumental in building the front end functions, including Marketing, Merchandising and Product Management. During her tenure, the company grew more than 10 fold before it was sold to Amazon in 2010 for $545m. While Rahul has experience in building strategic capabilities on the front-end business at Quidsi. He was responsible for on-site algorithm development to maximize profit and order size, analytics, and inventory management. He also led the post-acquisition integration, and worked closely with Amazon’s businesses. Prior to Quidsi, Rahul managed a manufacturing led business in Mumbai, and has an extensive background in Supply Chain management and optimization.
As the eCommerce Industry in India unfolded, Lisa and Rahul identified a white space opportunity. They observed a distinct shift in shopping patterns of savvy, smart and young parents-to-be travelling to New York, London, Singapore, Bangkok, or Dubai to access International products and brands. These, they observed, were consumers seeking high quality kids and maternity wear, something that was hard to find in India. Hopscotch wishes to address the Indian mom’s dilemma during shopping by offering access to the International brands at competitive prices. Bootstrapped earlier, the company has recently raised a seed investment details about which haven’t been disclosed yet.
“Moms inspire everything we do at Hopscotch, from the brands we pick to the service we provide. We will differentiate through selection and service. We are working with over 100 brands many of which are new to India. We have direct relationships with these brands enabling us to access exclusive, current season’s products at prices that are hard to match. These brands see Hopscotch as their launch partner for India — a market they view as strategically important,” says Lisa, explaining the underlying theme of Hopscotch.
They are planning to bring the International brands onto the website via a schedule of boutiques that will last for 5 days each. Boutiques are scheduled through the year and the more popular ones will be offered frequently.
“Not only do we endeavor to bring world class quality products, but we aim to provide world class service too. Everything we sell is stocked locally in our Mumbai warehouse and will be delivered to customers in 2-5 business days.Everything from our site design, to the products we hand select, to our customer care is a reflection of the desire to delight customers with every interaction,” adds Rahul.
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