Ayurveda for pets? This startup is winning India’s $347M petcare market with its organic products
Adopting a pet today is like one step towards nesting. It requires the same attention and care that one would put in if they had embraced parenthood – the best of healthcare, veterinarian-approved foods and medicines, and quality grooming and bathing products for your four-legged family members.
While most pet owners do keep the food and medicines in mind, what they tend to overlook is the grooming part. Ask any vet for that matter, and they will tell you horror stories of people using the same shampoo on their pets as they would use themselves. The truth is, it’s not all the same. Since animals (and even plants) are pH-sensitive, even baby shampoos could turn out to be acidic for your dog’s skin.
These and a bunch of other aspects where ignorance could result in drastic health-related issues dictate the need for comprehensive pet care – a concern that Gurugram-based Petveda is tackling head-on. The startup, which was founded in 2014 and started operations in 2019, combines the goodness of Ayurveda with modern sciences to offer a range of organic products catering to pet care and grooming.
“All Petveda products are pH balanced and use natural preservatives as approved by the US and EU standards,” says Dhruv and Kamakshi Kumar, the husband-wife duo behind the brand. “We do not use any parabens, DMDM Hydantoin, or any other ingredient that we feel may cause harm to the pet or the environment.”
A brand born out of sheer love
In 2010, Dhruv and Kamakshi established Terrai Natural Products, a company specialising in natural bath and body care products. In 2014, the duo decided to expand their horizon and moved into manufacturing quality pet care products, based on the ancient science and knowledge of Ayurveda.
This was the beginning for Petveda, a brand that is the culmination of Dhruv’s long-drawn, well-wrought vision. Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs – his father, Late Anil Khanna started an ayurvedic skin and hair care line, called Herbline in 1978, which manufactures to date at their factory in Bhimtal – Dhruv was no stranger to the ideals of business. And he was quite familiar with the healing properties of ayurvedic herbs as well.
Hence, venturing into the domain of organic, ayurvedic products for pets was a no brainer.
“Petveda, the name speaks for itself,” says Dhruv. “It defines the idea behind the line, which is an amalgamation of pet care and Ayurveda-infused goodness.”
“We have also avoided using harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances,” adds Kamakshi, “Instead, we use essential oil blends which, apart from providing fragrance to the products also incorporate the benefits of aromatherapy.”
Kamakshi, who has worked with KLM airlines for four years and at Mizuho Corporate Bank for nine years, got involved with the home-grown startup in 2017. Coming from a corporate background, she leverages her expertise for marketing and brand promotion at Petveda.
One step ahead of competition
A report by Euromonitor International, a market research company, pegs the Indian pet care market at around $347 million. Driven by urbanisation and an increasingly humanising attitude towards pets, the report also projects a 17 percent growth for this industry until 2024.
At present, pet ownership has made way for pet parenting. With this change in approach, the demands and the nature of this industry has also taken a different course, making room for businesses and startups with a business model catering to the health and well-being of pets.
Naturally, Petveda, which manufactures a range of grooming products, including anti-bacterial shampoo, coat strengthening shampoo, tick and flea repelling shampoo, anti-dandruff hair spray, tear stain remover, tartar control spray, and vitamin A and E nourishing conditioner, enjoys a favourable position in the industry.
“Unlike a majority of brands available in the market, we manufacture our products and thus, have complete control over the quality of products,” says the founding duo.
Petveda also claims to be the first Indian brand to introduce a line of sulfate-free, paraben-free natural grooming products. Using their years of experience in the field of ayurvedic products, the entrepreneurial duo behind the brand has further modified Petveda to cater to the current demands of the pet care market.
Says the duo, “This experience has given us an edge and we are ahead of the curve in terms of product knowledge and new product development.”
Expanding footprints to international shores
Bootstrapped with Rs 3 crore, Petveda is currently operational all over India. The brand retails its products through its website and is also available on popular ecommerce sites such as Flipkart and Amazon.
“Our customer base is around 4,000 with 30-40 percent repeat orders,” the founders explain, adding that the brand is currently growing at 25 to 30 percent on a month-on-month basis. “Our target audience are the people who treat pets as their child and think about their well-being.”
As a specialist in organic and natural grooming and pet care products, one of the main concerns for the startup, unsurprisingly, is quality products that meet international standards. But while maintaining the standard of the products itself, the founding team also puts special emphasis on the packaging of their wares and keeps it completely recyclable, keeping in mind the need to cut down packaging waste and the cost to the environment.
All this while keeping the price sensitivity in mind. As the duo says, “Petveda’s products are priced at a premium range, probably higher than any other Indian brand and yet the Indian consumer is happily accepting the brand.”
Their plan, moving ahead is to expand their footprint across newer geographies, and for this, the startup would soon be in the lookout for investors and mentoring partners.
“We are in the process of listing the products in the US market and are in talks with chewy.com, internationally and in Mumbai and Bengaluru, nationally,” says the founding duo adding, “Soon, we intend to have international brands like Burt’s Bees & Tropiclean as our competitors.”
(Edited by Suman Singh)