This brand of baby care products promises to be the last word in safety
Parents have always taken the safety of their babies as a matter of utmost importance. Now, even the government is catching on, as evident from their recent amendment of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules to ensure that babies stay safe while traveling on two wheelers.
One brand that has been ahead in this game from its initiation is Gurugram-based, as it manufactures exclusive safety products for babies and young children. Founded in 2016 by Tarun Kumar Bansal, this homegrown brand aligns its promise with its name.
“Our vision was to create a brand that helps to reduce preventable accidents in children between the ages of 0-12 years. In our initial days, we conducted numerous surveys, read various articles, consulted paediatricians and mothers, and found that millions of incidents involving children take place every year, many of which are life threatening, and a majority of these accidents are preventable with minor interventions, such as the basic concept of babyproofing. This led to the launch of Safe-O-Kid,” explains Tarun as he joins YS Weekender for a chat.
Starting as a hobby project
Tarun is a qualified biologist who chose to follow his passion of being an entrepreneur. He was awarded both the BusinessWorld 40 Under 40 and Times 40 Under 40 titles, which he believes is due to his ability to balance his work and personal life with social causes. Tarun also heads Sagacious IP, which is a global intellectual property research and consulting firm.
Speaking about Safe-O-Kid, Tarun says,
“We realised that there is negligible awareness of baby safety in India, made worse by the lack of products to safeguard children in their own surroundings. Through our research, we identified around 17 life-threatening risk areas for children, including burns and scars, falls, cuts and bruises, poisoning, drowning, and others, and came up with solutions to tackle each of these hazards, through a wide range of products.”
They also realised that most Indian parents choose baby products based on design or price, rather than how safe they are. This made them venture into manufacturing a variety of products including those for feeding, bathing, sleeping, and strollers, among others. The team studies the products sold in markets such as Europe and the United States, which follow strict safety regulations for baby products, and takes inspiration from them.
“We started Safe-O-Kid as a hobby project in 2016 but started paying serious attention to it only around 2019. Since then, it has picked up in pace and grown significantly. We are currently a team of 20 people,” explains Tarun.
Catering to a pan-India clientele, they also ship their products abroad, and are popular in the Middle East and the United States. Plans are in place to begin marketing in other Asian countries over the next year, especially in the ones that have similar mean incomes as India.
Identifying risk areas and products
Safe-O-Kid manufactures its own brand of products with one thing in mind - 100 percent safety of kids across all categories. Hence, each of the products adheres to a four-point agenda – they must be safe, easy to use and install, encourage the child’s natural desire to explore, and be visually appealing.
Their current product line-up consists of over 180 unique products in the baby safety segment as well as other categories of baby products. These include bed rails that safeguard kids from falling while sleeping, locks to help parents secure areas that contain dangerous items like chemicals or sharp instruments, corners and edge guards, knob covers to prevent fire incidents in the house, high-chairs, and cutlery for feeding children safely, bathtubs and bathing supplies for a comfortable bathing experience, cots that focus on baby safety, as well as audio and video monitors. Tarun points out these are but a few of the many selections available on their website.
Once Safe-O-Kid’s team identifies the risk areas, they explore the best products in the market addressing these areas. Then, their team reviews those products to determine how to adapt them to the Indian environment.
“If we cannot find appropriate products for any risk areas that are unique to India, we design those products ourselves,” adds Tarun.
They also look at products that are available and popular in India, yet don’t tick the box of being safe. These are substituted with alternatives inspired by similar products sold in developed markets that have high safety standards. Safe-O-Kid products are manufactured in China to maintain strict standards of safety.
Most of their marketing happens through word of mouth, through referrals or ecommerce marketplaces. Tarun is happy that they haven’t yet needed to engage any celebrity or undertake any specific marketing campaigns to enhance the recognition of their brand.
“As of now, our major share of revenue comes from marketplaces like, , , and others. The sales through our website are expanding too. We are also in the process of contacting distributors, retailers, and modern retail channels to distribute our products through brick-and-mortar stores,” he says.
As per data published in Data Bridge Market Research, the baby care product market in India is growing at a CAGR of 16.9 percent in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027 and expected to reach $5407.43 million by 2027. Rising nuclear families in India and changing family ideologies toward child upbringing is the major driving factor for the growth of this market. Companies like Safe-O-Kid are some of the key players involved.
As a bootstrapped business, they began with an investment of around Rs 15 lakh, which went towards creating initial product inventories and researching the risks they wanted to overcome.
Tarun says, “The growth has been phenomenal. On marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, and others, we are one of the fastest growing brands in the baby products segment and have fulfilled over 2.5 lakh orders. For this financial year ending in March, we should be touching average sales of around INR 5-7 lakhs per day. People like our products and rate us highly. Several of our products are top sellers on ecommerce sites in India.”
Their biggest challenge, feels Tarun, has always been to convince parents of the importance of using baby safety products. He highlights that in India, people still believe that children should not be mollycoddled with an excessively safe environment as it might hamper their natural tendency to explore.
To overcome this, they frequently publish materials and invite doctors to speak on the subject. Most importantly, by making their products easily available for purchase, Tarun believes that Safe-O-Kid has brought about a change in thinking.
“When customers share stories about how our baby safety products helped their children avoid critical injuries, it is an incredibly fulfilling feeling. I also love the fact that people recommend us to their family and friends,” smiles Tarun, signing off.
Edited by Anju Narayanan