Started with Rs 20,000, this bootstrapped baby care startup clocked Rs 20 Cr turnover in FY21
Parents want the best for their babies and have a plethora of products to choose from. However, most companies use artificial fabric or elements, which make their products harmful to tender baby skin and often lead to skin problems.
Aware of this problem in the baby care segment, Shish Kharesiya, 34, in January 2013 launchedunder parent company Baby & Mom Retail Pvt. Ltd. He began the company with an initial investment of Rs 20,000.
Back then, most brands that operated in the baby care segment were international – a fact that also propelled Shish to create homegrown products that were “safe, effective, and affordable”.
The Gurgaon-based startup decided to develop alternative solutions made up of organic and skin-friendly elements, and launched their first product - BeyBee dry sheets - in January 2013.
The startup launched baby wipes in 2016 and then launched an entire baby care range, including soap, oil, powder, sunscreen, bedding, diaper bags, educational toys, and more. BeyBee currently offers 40 unique SKUs.
Seeing the enormous growth and traction for its baby care products, Shish forayed into personal care products for adults with the brand Newish in August 2018. Newish, which has 40 SKUs, offers skincare and hair care products and essential oils.
Shish says, “Since inception, we have observed an impressive retention rate of customers at about 97 percent, which means almost every customer who buys our products – especially dry sheets - comes back rather than going for other brands. We have also managed to reduce our customer acquisition cost by 50 percent as compared to industry standards, which has helped us maintain a positive growth trajectory in the evolving baby care market.”
The brand has received Australian Certified Toxin-free Certification, a certificate issued by Safe Cosmetics Australia, for “natural and made-safe products”. Its products are available online at Amazon, ShopClues, Snapdeal, Ebay, FirstCry, Paytm, Hopscotch and Flipkart web stores.
“Our dry sheets are made up of natural fabric and colours that are safe for the baby's skin. Currently, BeyBee dry sheets are one of the brand’s most popular products,” Shish says.
The founder says that the startup takes to manufacture products without chemicals, parabens, or alcohol.
“We strongly believe in the nominal pricing of products so that they are within the reach of maximum people so babies can be protected from allergies, infections, and other harmful effects of strong chemical products.”
With a five million-plus customer base, Baby & Mom’s target audience include young mothers from Tier II and III regions of India. The products are priced between Rs 300 and Rs 1,200.
Business model and revenue
Eco-friendly and organic products have become popular alternatives to commercial and mass-produced products.
According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the baby care products market in India is poised to grow by $26.35 billion during 2021-2025, progressing at a CAGR of over 11percent during the forecast period.
BeyBee, which has a total employee strength of 70+, has been able to capture a total market share of about 5 percent at present, Shish says.
The company has three operational warehouses in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, spread across 18,000 square feet. Apart from these facilities, BeyBee also has a corporate office in Gurgaon.
It has in-house manufacturing facilities for most products, but sources some offerings like oil and soap from third-party manufacturers and delivers.
The startup’s in-house quality control team ensures quality checks and works on new product development.
Shish says BeyBee contributes to 80 percent of the revenue, while Newish has contributed to 20 percent of the company’s revenue from 2018 onwards.
From clocking Rs 6 crore revenue in 2018 to Rs 12 crore in 2019 and Rs 20 crore in 2020, Baby & Mom is now expecting to maintain its current financial run rate at around Rs 40 crore in FY22. The founder has big plans, aiming to reach Rs 100 crore in the next three years and Rs 250 crore in the next five years.
This year, startup has expanded to international markets, including the US, Mexico, Canada, and the UAE through Amazon.
The road ahead
BeyBee competes with other homegrown brands like MamaEarth, MotherSparsh, The MomCo etc.
The pandemic acted as a catalyst for the brand’s growth, helping it gain more traction.
“We recorded a jump of almost 100 percent growth during this phase that majorly came from online sales channels. This can be attributed to the growing number of people who switched to online shopping due to the fear of contracting the coronavirus. India recording the highest number of 60,000 births has also added to the overall growth that we achieved amidst the ongoing pandemic. ”
With an aim to capture mass audience, the company is looking forward to expanding its operations in India by foraying into the offline retail market and eyeing cities like Delhi-NCR and Kolkata.
It also plans to launch a special category for mass audiences - an even more affordable range of baby products – along with its D2C portal.
Edited by Teja Lele