By Priyanka Kaushal*
India made pet products are being manufactured in different cities today. They are growing slowly but surely making their presence felt in the Indian Pet Market. To understand the scope and challenges they face, Creature Companion magazine decided to organize the Indian Pet Industry Dialogue on ‘Pet Product Manufacture by Small Business Owners’, a webinar held on 29th May, 2020. Various industry leaders and entrepreneurs attended this webinar. It was moderated by Rashee Kuchroo, founder of ‘Doggie Dabbas’ and a successful entrepreneur herself.
The panelists for the day were as follows:
Ashwin Kashyap, certified doggo-holic and founder of the ‘Bow Chow’ Fam
Dhrishti Brahmania, founder of India’s first brand of organic grooming products for pets, ‘Happy Puppy Oraganics’
Swagata and Sundeep, founders of ‘Canine Craving’ and proud pet parents of ‘Cassius and Bailey’
Preeti Sharma Sood, founder of ‘Poochmate’ and an internationally certified groomer
Srishti Bhatia, founder of ‘Fresh for Paws’
The learned panel dwelled upon various challenges that small business owners face in the Indian pet industry and strategies that they can devise to overcome these challenges. During discussion, a special reference was made to the current pandemic situation.
With sudden outbreak of Coronavirus, pet industry was busted with several hurdles, which considerably affected the small business owners. They faced severe issues such as dearth in availability of workers and delivery persons, loss in production capacity and logistics, and consequently, supply could not be proportionate to demand.
Speaking about the growth in Industry excluding Coronavirus episode, majority of our panelists agreed that having own website and directly building rapport with customers is the best distribution model for small business owners. Building trust… (Pls compete this) Moreover, they feel that good product appeals for itself and spreading word of mouth helps them reach maximum number of people in a constructive way.
Regarding Indian products competing with foreign brands, our panelists agreed that people are biased towards International products due to their higher availability and low prices. However, the concept of ‘Vocal for Local’ is becoming relevant in present times. They observed that visibility of Indian products is increasing gradually, and their quality is attracting people’s attention. One of our panelists emphasized on the ‘game theory’, wherein all the Indian manufacturers should form collaboration, maintaining the quality of their products and services; this can prove to be the best strategy to compete International brands.
Discussing about the migrant labour crisis, our panelists were of the view that stocking up of resources and products and focusing on fast selling products can be a workable strategy in this situation.
Speaking about the limited budget strategies for marketing their products, our panelists emphasized on maintaining the online presence and directly engaging with the customers. They also mentioned that small business owners need to be innovative and creative to grab attention of potential customers. Collaborating with the influencers can be another way of promoting their products.
In the end, our panelists concluded with an observation that though currently, international brands dominate Indian pet care market, but in terms of ‘quality’ Indian brands will thrive slowly and steadily. Small business owners need to collaborate and grow together in order to compete international companies.
*Editor – Creature Companion Magazine