From Java development to selling baby wipes, Rishu Gandhi banks on sustainability in businessRekha Balakrishnan
Mother Sparsh claims to be India’s first eco-friendly, 98 percent water-based baby wipes that are soft and gentle on the baby’s skin.
Sparsh means “touch”, and parenting is all about being gentle with your baby as she grows up. In that sense, baby care companies focus on products that are safe and soft, just like your feelings for your child.
With this in mind, Rishu Gandhi launched Mother Sparsh one-and-a-half-years ago, a baby care product that is gentle and safe for little ones. She claims this to be India’s first eco-friendly water-based wipes, and it is 98 percent water wipes, made of 100 percent biodegradable material with zero polyester.
It is interesting to document Rishu’s journey into entrepreneurship. After completing her engineering degree, she joined Infosys as a Java developer. But the itch to start up on her own, especially her keen interest in following and learning about consumer behaviour with respect to new products and innovations, led to the birth of Mother Sparsh.
“I always wanted to do something in the baby care segment and when I shared my thoughts with my husband, he was elated and supported my decision. I realised that the baby care market in India needed freshness in terms of products and marketing. Mothers are always looking for safe and organic products for their baby’s health and well-being,” she says.
Rishu recalls she entered the market at a time when most players were trying to reduce the cost of products by compromising on the quality.
“We felt the need for a product that is really gentle and best for a baby’s hygiene. Therefore, everything from fabric to formulation is well monitored, and we are happy to provide only the best,” she says.
Mother Sparsh, according to her, are water-based wipes made of natural plant-based fabric, purified water, and are velvet soft. “The Indian market majorly consisted of polyester-based wet wipes, which causes redness, rashes, and even allergies. Most baby wipes leave soap residue on the skin after cleaning because of high lotion content, but Mother Sparsh wipes do not leave any such residue,” she adds.
Available on all ecommerce websites, Mother Sparsh was recently the fastest-selling product on Amazon and FirstCry in this segment. “Baby wipes segment has a buying pattern on the basis of cost, but in the last few months it has been seen that consumers are moving towards organic options irrespective of the price. It is clearly evident that hygiene has higher importance in terms of preventing rashes and allergy, and so our products are scaling with consistent growth as we have managed to position well for cotton-like cleaning. Being an environment-friendly product, which generally has a higher cost than regular products, Mother Sparsh is positioned well among the competitors with respect to both the price and value proposition,” says Rishu.
Presently self-funded, Mother Sparsh plans to look for investment and funding as it grows and escalates to the next phase.
The company’s future plans include the launch of more variants in the baby wipes category with the inclusion of baby wipes for sensitive skin, which will specifically contain bamboo fabric. Moreover, the plan is to also provide more options in terms of packet sizes.
“We have created a niche for organic and skin-friendly baby wipes in the market. Our communication is very strong as far as the brand strategy is concerned. We are continuously working towards creating awareness about the product through a focused campaign and have been successful so far. The segment is still new for the Indian market, and with the emergence of a few new players, there will be a bigger push for eco-friendly products in India,” she says, signing off.