This woman entrepreneur’s startup helps you pamper your furry friends the right way

Mumbai-based A Petter Life is a two-month-old brand and a marketplace for pet products that simplifies pet parenting and helps you make guided purchases.

Sachin Shetty and his wife adopted a malnourished pup during the lockdown last year. However, pet parenting proved to be more challenging than anticipated and turned to Anjali Kalachand, an entrepreneur in the pet industry for guidance. Right from the dog’s diet to maintaining energy levels, they found solutions for all their questions. The couple were constantly trying to understand what the right way to raise the dog.

Anjali is no stranger to the challenges of a pet parent. There were times when her pet would just stop eating and Anjali used to feel so lost on how much to feed or not. An Economics graduate from the University of Nottingham with a master’s in international securities investment and banking from the University of Reading, UK, Anjali pursued certificate courses on animal nutrition from the University of Illinois. 

Anjali Kalachand and Sachin Shetty, co-founders of A Petter Life

Taking the entrepreneurial plunge

In January 2020, she founded Nutriwoof as a health and wellness hub for pet animals that also sells relevant pet products. While the venture operated solely on Instagram, Anjali teamed up with Sachin and founded A Petter Life, a marketplace as well as a resource on pet parenting for various breeds of dogs. 

Anjali says, “Today’s urban setting is so polluted with little space to run around that it compromises the pet animal’s quality of life. Our aim is to promote pets’ longevity and their quality of life.”

A team of five, the startup wants to make pet parenting simpler by researching and curating information on various breeds of dogs - common ailments and health issues, development stages, nature and characters and the general dos and don’ts.

Focussed on dogs at the moment, the startup provides everything from pet food to essential oils, toys and daily utility objects that are free of chemicals and preservatives, priced between Rs 300 and Rs 2,000. 

This includes a mix of homegrown brands like For the Love of Dog, Happy Puppy Organics, Papa Pawsome, PetVeda, Mutt Of Course, Pawffles, Woof Ministry, Barker’s Dozen as well as international brands like BecoPets, Trixie, Nylabone, Kong, M-PETS, Nina Ottoson, Earthbath, among others. Products like fermented vegetables and toys manufactured by Anjali’s brand Nutriwoof are also available. 

Entering the thriving pet industry

Anjali says that after a decade of working in the finance and banking industry, she found her true calling as an entrepreneur in the pet care industry, one of the fastest growing markets in India. According to Petex India, the pet food market alone is expected to reach $310 million by 2022 with the pet care industry valued at $490 million.

At the same time, competition has increased with more players in the industry.  “There are a lot of platforms where one can just click and buy or even purchase from physical stores but there is a definite lack of information regarding the purchase. A certain comb wouldn’t work for a certain breed and this kind of guidance sets us apart from the rest,” she explains.

Entrepreneurship has not been one without challenges. For Anjali, the first was to navigate social media channels. She did not have an Instagram account prior to starting a business on the platform. 

Leveraging the growing pet content and community on social media, the founder says it plays an important role in engaging with clients and getting honest reviews. 

Although starting up meant not having a single day or the weekend off, Anjali says it has been a very challenging but fulfilling journey. 

Declining to comment on financials, the entrepreneurs say that they are looking to raise funds after gaining some growth and traction and turning profitable. “It is a competitive market and only when we have some value proposition to show will investors be interested to infuse funds,” Anjali adds.

Moving ahead, the startup is looking to cater to parents of other pets like cats after proper research and information is in place. Focused on pan-India growth at the moment, the Mumbai-based startup is also eyeing the Mauritius market.

Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan