With a host of startups catering to the needs of pets and their parents, the Indian pet sector is a evolving one with many women entrepreneurs running successful startups.
From food, healthcare, emergency, grooming to training - these women-led startups cater to the needs of pets and their parents.
With smaller families, increasing loneliness, couples deciding to not have children, better incomes and changing perceptions towards pets has led to the rise of pet parents in India.
It is no wonder then that the Indian pet care market is valued at $265 million in 2017 and expected to grow 13.9 annually to $430 million in 2020.
We look at some women entrepreneurs in this sector who have raised funding to grow and scale their startups as they cater to an increasing number of pet parents.
Rashi Narang, HeadUpForTails
Founded in 2008 by Rashi Narang, Heads Up For Tails is one of the early pet startups, which has now become synonymous with pet couture in India.
HeadsUpForTails caters to pets with a range of products with spa and grooming facilities. From beds, collars, toys and accessories to treats and grooming products, the startup has created a niche for itself with stores in more than 28 cities in India.
Rashi in an earlier interview with YourStory had shared that they were planning to expand their network to 50 cities by the end of 2020. In September this year, the company also raised $10 million in Pre-Series A funding round led by a group of family offices, HNI's, and existing promoters.
Rukmini Vaish, CollarFolk
Delhi-based CollarFolk was founded by Rukmini Vaish in 2016. A pet parent, Rukmini was familiar with the challenges of pet parents especially the desire of taking them on travels and vacations but not really finding the best way to pull it off.
CollarFolk does just that. It facilitates holiday planning and bookings for pet parents keen to travel with their pets. Rukmini started the company with an investment of Rs 10 lakh.
She has a BA degree in Economics from Delhi University and a postgraduate degree in management from IMT, Ghaziabad. Before starting up she had spent eight years in sales and marketing with global telecom and consumer durable majors.
Other than holidays, it also has an online store with pet products and also helps pet parents plan experiences with their beloved pets.
Devanshi Shah, PetKonnect
Devanshi Shah started PetKonnect after she lost her pet dog Hazel due to a critical health issue. With the loss came the realisation that the animal-care sector had multiple gaps, and this prompted her to start PetKonnect.
Based in Mumbai, PetKonnect is an online comprehensive community for animal caregivers. It has a social pet network to provide information on vets, groomers, trainers and also emergency services.
Shirin Merchant, Canine Can Care
A canine behaviourist based in Mumbai, Shirin Merchant founded Canine Can Care in 1998 to provide the best training to dogs in a compassionate manner. Canine Can Care also has dog products for pet parents and also trains dog trainers.
Shirin has also trained dogs for rescue, corporate training programmes where dogs are used to teach soft skills, and for relief work as well.
Anushka Iyer, Wiggles
Founded in 2018 by Anushka and her father, Rajh V Iyer, Wiggles is an online platform that caters to pet parents and is curated by vets. It provides vet on call, grooming services and pet healthcare and nutrition products.
In November, the startup raised $1 million in funding in an angel round from investors that included Nachikhet Deshpande, COO of L&T Infotech, Aparna Badkundri, Director, Dell Computers, Dr Sachin Phadke, MD of Vetbiochem India, Abhay Amrute, Senior Partner, IIFL Wealth Management Ltd, Satish Billakota, VP, Europe Cognizant, Rishi Tanduulwadkar, Founder Solo Stem Cell Clinic and a few more reputed HNI’s.
Anushka shared, “We have experienced 40 percent growth month-on-month once our products and services went live in June 2019 and have seen a 4x return on costs. Having started off our operations in a single city – Pune, we have now expanded our presence to Mumbai. We will soon be present in Hyderabad and Udaipur and are focussed on creating a brand with PAN India presence. We are determined and are looking forward to transforming the pet healthcare sector in India.”
Shruthi Nithin, FLOAP
Bengaluru-based For Love of All Pets (FLOAP) was founded by Shruthi Nithin in 2018. It is an online platform that provides multiple services to help make pet parenting easier for parents. Shruthi started up soon after she became a pet parent and realised that there were many challenges in the journey.
"Pet parenting is challenging at every step, especially with busy schedules that make it difficult to do everything by ourselves. With FLOAP, one can easily overcome the struggle of finding the right information, getting multiple references, and engaging in random social media conversations," she had told HerStory in an earlier interview.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)
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