The story behind The Moms Co. and its toxin-free products for expecting mothers

22nd Mar 2017
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Hygiene has become a priority for new-age expecting parents in urban India. People have come to realise that while maintaining good hygiene in and around expecting women is necessary, it is equally important to protect unborn babies from exposure to toxic substances found in toiletries like shampoo, body wash, etc. during pregnancy. In fact, the latter is considered as important for the baby's health as a healthy diet, stress management, safe exercise, and sound sleep are for pregnant women.

While there are a number of brands in the market that claim to sell natural, safe, and toxin-free products for newborn babies, the mom-to-be space is very nascent in India, typically with single product companies such as Bio Oil (for oil) or Palmers (for body butter).

Compared to these brands, recently launched The Moms Co. is hoping to provide a much wider range of solutions as a horizontal brand. Currently, the company has launched natural pre-natal care kit to aid pregnant women with the most common discomforts they face during pregnancy.

The kit includes four different products – natural body wash, body butter, body oil, and natural foot cream. Malika Sadani (34), Co-founder, The Moms Co., says,

"We will soon be present across pre-natal, post-natal, and baby care spaces, with forays into clothing and foods planned soon."

Genesis of the idea 

The idea for The Moms Co. came three years ago when husband-wife duo Malika and Mohit Sadani (34) moved back to Gurgaon from London. “Finding natural, safe, toxin-free product options for my daughter was so hard that I landed up relying on friends and families' travel plans to get my stock. On speaking to other moms, I soon realised there were others like me who faced similar challenges. It just seemed that there was no one listening to us moms and trying to solve our needs,” explains Malika.

That’s when the couple decided to start The Moms Co.

The trigger was when a friend of the couple travelling back from the US couldn’t get the products they had ordered. “It was snowing in Boston and he was stuck cross-country, so we were finally out of luck,” says Malika. That’s when the couple decided to really dig into the supply chain and see if products of such high quality can be made in India, and learn why no one else was doing it.

Prior to launching The Moms Co., Malika, a graduate of the Welingkar Institute of Management, worked as a banker with ICICI bank. Mohit is an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus and had stints at Mckinsey and e-commerce unicorn Snapdeal.

Rigorous quality checks

The company’s products are developed by experts across India, Australia, and Switzerland. All its ingredients are checked for toxicity against databases available around the globe. Once the products are formulated, they go through stability tests to ensure that they are stable across varied humidity and temperature conditions. Further, products undergo microbial tests to ensure they are free from heavy metals, mineral oil, microbial growth, etc. “We then send our products for dermatological evaluation to ensure that there are no irritants in them. All our products are also certified toxin free and made safe by Safe Cosmetics Australia,” adds Mohit.

To ensure manufacturing safety, The Moms Co. relies on contract manufacturers who have over 30 years of experience in building products across organic, ayurvedic, and natural product ranges. Mohit adds,

"We work closely with them to source our ingredients from only leading qualified suppliers and test every ingredient before using them to make our products."

Funding and price range

The Gurugram-based venture is backed by angel investors including marquee names from baby care space such as Shripad Nadkarni, Brand Mentor to Paperboat, Founder of FingerLix, former marketing head at Coca-Cola India and J&J; Nandu Doreswamy Nandkishore, who has over 25 years' experience of working in the mom and baby category across multiple countries as part of Nestle; and an unnamed senior partner at McKinsey.

Besides selling on its website, the company will soon launch across all major marketplaces where moms shop. The current product offerings are priced in the range of Rs 250 to Rs 700.

Size of opportunity and competitors

At present, mom-to-be and baby care collectively have a market size of about Rs 10,000 crore and growing at 20 percent annually. It’s also a category that is gradually shifting online, with moms spending a lot of time on research online and using marketplaces for their daily shopping needs.

The mom-to-be space is in its early stages in India. In the baby space, Johnson & Johnson is the market leader, but companies like Himalaya and Baby Dove are expanding their ranges in this space too.

Compared to these vertical brands, The Moms Co. has a horizontal approach. The company’s vision is to evolve as a one-stop destination for pre-natal, post-natal, and baby care spaces. It has plans to foray into clothing and foods soon. Malika concludes,

"We are already working on our next range of products for mom-to-be and baby, which should launch in the next few months."

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