“Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky."– John Grogan, Marley & Me.
Understanding the need for all pet lovers and pet parents, Balaji Ramesh, Prachi Gupta, and Dushyant Rao came up with the app called TailsLife. The app helps all pet owners with their pet’s tending and parenting needs. Balaji says that the idea is to allow pet parents to focus on raising their pets more easily than ever before.
The idea came to Balaji when his sister presented his wife and him an English Cocker Spaniel. Balaji says that the struggles and the happiness of taking care of him, visiting vets, grooming parlours, boarding spaces, hunting pet friendly restaurants in the town, became a part of daily life.
Balaji says he started learning more about dogs and finally started reading a lot and meeting people for professional help. Based on all these factors, Balaji decided to develop an app for pets – where people can address or visit places with just a click. The idea was then discussed with a couple of friends who gave a positive feedback. "Then I spoke to my wife, my parents, and to two other friends who were kicked about it," says Balaji.
Developing the idea
Balaji soon started speaking to a few friends who were good at product UX/UI and then to a few developer friends who might be interested. He adds that designs changed, ideas evolved and a lot more happened during the course of time. Balaji was soon joined by his close friend Dushyant who just returned to India after studying in New Zealand. His wife, Prachi, left her job and started to help with the database.
"Both of them helped in forming the company, legal documentation, bank setup, and much more. The journey was about eight months long. Finally, the app has been launched. After validation from those closest to me, we eagerly await validation from the market now," adds Balaji.
The app has clearly demarcated tabs with listings of verticals like – vets, grooming, boarding, pet outing options, pet supplies, tips and tricks. This will enable users to call, review, and locate the place to go ahead with. Balaji also says that you can do so with a simple click to dial the respective listing entry. "At the moment, our app boasts of an extensive database from Bengaluru and Coimbatore," adds Balaji.
During the journey of forming the company, the team got chartered accountants who liked the idea and did the company formation for free. Designers who liked TailsLife helped in the initial UX for free and a lot more people helped in getting the database. There was a lot of help from everyone and thus came to forming a team.
The initial team, Balaji says, is built of friends and ex-colleagues who have proven excellence in different areas of work. The common factor is the passion they share for animals.
"We will always give preference to passion over skills alone. With passion, skills can always be acquired," says Balaji. Couple of things the team looks for are love for animals or pets and a love for the chosen vocation of any candidate.
Funding and future
"As fragmented and disorganised as the pet industry is as of now, we believe that it really needs a player to organise this industry and we are well poised to do so," says Balaji.
Currently bootstrapped, the team is aiming at creating a sustainable business and not simply look at raising VC money. "Only after we capture the home market will we look to raise funding in order to grow to other key markets," adds Balaji.
The team aims to be the one-stop app for every pet requirement. They also want to take this ease for pet parenting from the home market, of Bengaluru, to the rest of India. Launched on October 4, TailsLife has had over 50 downloads till date on the android platform and has a ranking of 4.9.