A carnival for pets and pet lovers, Pet Fed is a festival with numerous activities, workshops, and stalls dedicated to bringing pets and their owners closer.
In a country where we tend to celebrate even the smallest of things which bring us joy and happiness, pet-owners, and pet-friendly people didn't have a place to celebrate their relationship with their furry friends. Looking to fill this void, Akshay Gupta (25) decided to launch Pet Fed in 2014.
Akshay is a Delhi University alumnus, a graduate in BSc Electronics from The Hindu College. During his college days, he was a part of various cultural and social events. The experience made him believe that he would do well in a similar field.
Harbouring the passion to scale things, curate and magnify unconventional ideas into reality, his research established that there were no events for pets in India. The success of similar events in western countries boosted his confidence to start one in India and thus, the idea of Pet Fed came into being.
“My first challenge was my lack of knowledge on pets or events. I started Pet Fed with my savings that I had accumulated over the years of school and college - it was a total of eight lakhs. The funds were insufficient funds, so I asked for help from friends and pet-lovers who believed in the concept.”
He adds: “My second challenge was while looking for sponsorship, a lot of brands didn’t take me very seriously. I was straight out of college, very unsure of what I was doing and it showed. It took me a while to make them understand that age is not a factor one should be judged on and that even though the concept was new, it was worth its while.
“I am extremely thankful to two mentors Rana Atheya, the founder of Dogspot.in and Deep Bajaj, the founder of Pee Buddy. Rana taught me everything there was to know about pets and the pet industry and connected me to everyone he knew and helped me work around failures. Deep, on the other hand, taught me about event management. Without these two people, I wouldn’t be where I am today”, says Akshay.
Started on November 1, 2014, Pet Fed’s first event was at Dilli Haat INA, Delhi, followed by one in Kolkata in March 2015 and in Delhi again in December 2015.
Till then, the events were fairly small and non-ticketed and team Pet Fed was still testing the waters to gauge what worked and didn’t. All the experience mounted up to their first big event in 2016 at NSIC grounds in Delhi where the revenues soared to almost a crore.
Pet Fed sees more than 25,000 pet lovers, 3,000 pets and 100 brands spread across three acres of green land. Activities like Security Dog Show, Pet’s Got Talent, Good Dog Programme, Pupper Parade, World Record Attempt, Pet Fashion Show, Temptation Alley, a dedicated Cat Zone and an Off-Leash Zone for pets are crowd pullers. Free tickets are issued for anyone who comes with an Indie. The event also hosts adoption camps run by Friendicoes, People for Animals, World For All, SPCA, and more.
Team Pet Fed has five members besides Akshay who work from their office in Model Town, Delhi. They organise monthly pop-up events which are attended by 150 people and 50 dogs, and are concentrated majorly on pet socialisation.
“It is needless to talk about the success of Pet Fed. However, as a close acquaintance I have seen Akshay build Pet Fed from scratch. It's been a tough ride. Akshay and his team do not concentrate on making money but providing the best of experiences.
Pet Fed is an event that caters to a niche market, with the pet care industry growing at 26 percent CAGR.
The aim is to have a platform where pet owners can find everything they require for their pets from pet food to pet-friendly cars to spreading awareness about maintaining pets in Tier-II and Tier-III cities that can take place through the event and a TV show.
This year, the fourth edition is taking place on December 2 and December 3 at the NSIC Grounds, Okhla, New Delhi followed by, for the first time at MMRDA Grounds in Mumbai on December 16 and 17. The event will also be expanding to other cities like Bangalore and Pune in this fiscal.
This year, a new programme called Good Dog Citizen Program is all set to be introduced, that aims at teaching people and their dogs on how to be perfect citizens at a park or any public place, so that India can move towards being a much more pet-friendly country.
Pet Fed is planning to its open doors in Hyderabad in the coming year.
“Pets change our lives by adding positivity and unconditional love. Due to our busy schedules and non-pet friendly nature of Indian infrastructure, we are unable to reciprocate this love. Pet Fed fulfills this very need which allows people to dedicate two complete days to their beloved pets,” says Akshay.