How a chance video call led to the birth of this profitable baby-proofing startup
The seeds of baby-proofing startup BabyPro were sown during a video call between Founder Rachita Agarwal and her friends in the US. Launched in 2017, the startup has child-proofed over 5,000 homes and pre-schools with kids in the age group of 0-5 years.
Rachita Agarwal was on a video call with her friends in the US, new parents at the time, when she noticed baby-proofing being done at their home. Around the same time Rachita’s niece, Kinaya was born, which piqued her interest in the subject of child-proofing and she began researching it extensively.
“I realised that no such products existed in the Indian market and people were getting them here through friends and relatives overseas. After deep diving into the subject, I saw a massive market in India and potential for growth,” says Rachita, who quit her job at KMPG, Bengaluru, in 2017 and moved back to her hometown, Kolkata, to start her baby-proofing startup BabyPro.
She shifted base to Mumbai in 2018 after getting married and now runs the pan-India operations for BabyPro from India’s financial capital. The startup continues to be registered in Kolkata.
To equip herself with technical knowledge of baby-proofing, Rachita successfully took the Home Hazards Test conducted by the International Association for Child Safety. After this, she personally baby-proofed more than 150 homes and pre-schools. Since inception, her startup has served over 5,000 homes and pre-schools with children in the age group of 0-5 years.
Keeping accidents at bay
Speaking on what exactly BabyPro does, she says, “We are a baby-proofing startup that helps make surroundings safer for babies and young children. Baby-proofing involves dealing with safety hazard points to prevent accidents and injuries.”
The startup offers various child safety products such as anti-slip strips, anti-fall furniture straps, corner and edge guards, electric socket covers, door hinge guards, finger pinch guards, faucet protectors, to name a few. Apart from its products, the startup also offers home audits to identify safety hazard points within the house. It aims to make parents aware of such points in their homes and help plug those gaps before an accident can take place.
BabyPro provides end-to-end solutions, starting with helping parents identify safety hazard points, sending customised safety kits, and finally helping install the products via videos. The company also provides 24X7 virtual installation assistance.
Is it expensive?
One of the biggest myths around baby-proofing is that it must be expensive, Rachita says.
“Being a concept widely followed in the West for over two decades, parents assume it to be expensive. BabyPro product prices start at as low as Rs 150. Each room is unique, with different sets of safety hazards. On average, a room costs around Rs 3,000 to fully baby-proof. This is much less than a visit to a hospital for a single injury,” she says.
Garnering celebrity clients
The startup has baby-proofed several celebrity homes, including cricketer Robin Uthappa’s Bengaluru residence and actor Neil Nitin Mukesh’s Mumbai house. The company has helped clients to not just make their homes safer for small children, but also for their dogs.
Even though Rachita is scared of dogs, she personally made TV actress Jaswir Kaur’s home safe for her two canines.
She reminisces, “During the installation, Jaswir had to hold on to both her dogs tightly and only then I would enter.”
According to Rachita, “There is no one in this space who is trying to create a change and offers baby-proofing services. There are few online traders on marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart who sell baby-proofing products (imported from different countries) along with other household items.”
When asked how BabyPro is different from Mumbai-based SafeBaby, another company that operates in the same space, she says, “We simply don’t buy and sell products... our products are customised for the Indian market and its climate. Also, we provide personal attention to our customers during and post sales.”
However, SafeBaby too, according to their website, conducts audits and provides a wide array of baby-proofing products, all tested for the Indian market. It also provide customised solutions.
An all-women team
BabyPro is powered by an all-women core team with Rachita in the lead as the founder and CEO, and her friends Gunjan Bhagchandani (operations), Divya Chugani (marketing), Bhakti Hemdev (design), and Shuchi Satija (tech). The women were all flatmates (except Gunjan) in Bengaluru while working at different companies.
Gunjan and Divya work full time with the company while Bhakti and Shuchi, who have day jobs in design and tech respectively, are on board as consultants.
Investment and revenue
BabyPro was started with Rs 50,000 from Rachita’s personal savings and remains bootstrapped. Along the way, her brother Rishabh and husband Prakash chipped in, as they are both great believers in the company’s vision.
However, the founder has plans to raise funding this year to finance marketing and product development. She is reticent about sharing topline and bottom-line numbers, but says that their revenue has been growing every month and they have been profitable since their very first month in business.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)