How this bootstrapped eco-friendly baby care brand clocked Rs 22 Cr turnover in the pandemic year
Founded in 2016 by husband-wife duo Himanshu Gandhi and Rishu Gandhi, Mother Sparsh has registered 5X growth and maintained profitability over the last one year. The startup is on track to enter the elite 100 crore club by the end of FY '23.
Started with a personal investment of Rs 10 lakhs and two years of rigorous R&D, Mother Sparsh — a brand synonymous with plant-based, natural and eco-friendly baby care products — has achieved an annual turnover of approximately Rs 22 crore for the financial year 2021.
The brand had registered sales of approximately 3 lakh units in the fiscal year 2020, and a year later, the numbers surged to approximately 1.5 million units in FY’21.
In the current fiscal, the startup is eyeing a revenue of about Rs 50 crore.
“A key reason for the growth was the diversification of our product portfolio — from around 24 products a year ago to around 42 products as of today,” claims Himanshu Gandhi, CEO and Co-founder.
Over the past one year, the startup claims to have registered 5X growth and maintained profitability. With a customer base of 5 lakh people, Mother Sparsh is a pan-India brand, with a strong presence in 23 states across the country.
The brand’s official website has seen major footfall over the last three months, and the net percentage of entire sales is approximately 35-40 percent. Ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Firstcry, Flipkart and Nykaa comprise 50 percent of the sales, while retail markets, including baby hypermarkets in metro cities, contribute to 10 percent of incoming revenue.
Diversifying the product portfolio
According to Himanshu, the brand’s ethos and approach lie in innovation and thorough R&D.
“The cornerstone of Mother Sparsh has been to come up with only need-based offerings for babies and the current generation of millennial moms. This was the driving factor when we introduced one-of-its-kind eco-friendly unscented 99 percent Pure Water Baby Wipes.”
Research and Markets recognised Mother Sparsh as one of the first brands to launch water-based wipes in 2016.
“Following its success, we further dwelled into introducing innovative products in curative actions. For instance, we launched the After Bite Turmeric Balm after taking into consideration the delicate nature of baby skin,” recalls Himanshu.
In 2018, the company came up with a Natural Insect Repellent range for babies. The formulation consisted of all-natural ingredients like lemongrass, eucalyptus oil and citronella oil.
Also added to the product portfolio was a tummy roll-on with ingredients like hing and saunf oil for instant relief from colic, indigestion, and constipation.
“In 2020, we came up with our complete Plant and Pure baby care essentials and massage oil. The bouquet of products includes Plant Powered Baby Lotion, Plant Powered Baby Wash, Plant Powered Baby Face Cream, Plant Powered Baby Diaper Rash Cream, Plant Powered Baby Laundry Liquid Detergent and Plant Powered Baby Liquid Cleanser,” he says.
“Keeping innovation and R&D as the core of our product development, we recently introduced a few products that focus on post-pregnancy care for new moms. Because some mothers experience post-pregnancy ordeals like hair fall, we have come up with Hair Lep, a product specially formulated for new moms.”
“Furthermore, over the past year, we have diversified our product portfolio for babies and moms by nearly 25 percent. We now offer a wide range of Ayurvedic and Plant-Powered products too,” adds Himanshu.
Mother Sparsh has its R&D lab at Panchkula in Haryana, while the production units are spread over Sonipat, Baddi, Haridwar, and Amritsar, besides Panchkula.
Himanshu and Rishu hail from different states and professional streams. While Himanshu belongs to Rohtak and worked in the government sector, Rishu is from Yamunanagar, and worked as a Java developer with Infosys.
Married in 2014, the couple shared a common vision - of creating something valuable and unique for the society.
“I have always wanted to delve into the baby care segment. So, it came as a pleasant surprise when Himanshu expressed his interest in the field,” recalls 31-year-old Rishu. Driven to work together to realise their vision, the Gandhis began researching. “We wanted to provide new mothers with the best solutions. While identifying the gaps, we learnt a great deal about consumer behaviour.”
“We then took an informed decision to fill the gaps with nature-based organic solutions, and thus began the journey of Mother Sparsh in 2016,” says Himanshu, an engineering graduate from YMCA, Faridabad, who also holds an MBA from Fore School of Management, Delhi.
Himanshu spearheads the overall operation at Mother Sparsh, backed by an efficient team of around 45. He believes in providing an enthusiastic and optimistic work environment to employees so that they feel secure and motivated.
Rishu manages and leads social media planning, brand awareness and brand communication through various digital marketing strategies.
The road ahead
The brand is working on new product launches and an extensive retail strategy to aim for increased geographical and channel sales. The spike is also expected through website sales, says Himanshu.
With such exponential growth from quarter to quarter, Mother Sparsh is on track to enter the elite 100 crore club by the end of FY’ 23.
The Indian market for baby care products is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent between 2020 and 2025. While there are several established brands for baby products like Johnson & Johnson, Pampers, and others, there is a growing need and awareness in the market for startups that focus on chemical-free products for babies.
“One area that we intend to focus specifically on is raising awareness about the need for holistic brands, that offer unique solutions conducive to health and that are good for the environment as well,” says Himanshu.
“With regard to where we stand as a startup in the market, the data available on different ecommerce platforms suggests that our 99% Pure Water Baby Wipes are the bestsellers in the premium baby wipes segment,” he adds confidently.
Some of the other notable Indian startups that are already in the babycare space include Mamaearth, Priyanka Raina’s Maate, The Baby Atelier, and BumChum, to name a few.
Nevertheless, Himanshu is confident that his brand is unique.
“The foremost difference between other industry players and us is that we have always worked on a need-based proposition. All our products are engineered as per the specific needs of the babies and mothers, to fill the existing gaps in the segments. Also, all the nature-based ingredients, including Ayurvedic herbs and plant-powered components, are botanically sourced and developed in a form that is in sync with the modern lifestyle of babies and their mothers.”
Edited by Anju Narayanan