Startup Mamaearth to focus on toxin-free baby-care products, plans offline expansion

Most startups are born from the ambition and dreams of the entrepreneur and some like Mamaearth, which focusses on baby-care products by the entrepreneurs experience. Started by first-time parents and first generation entrepreneurs, Varun and Ghazal Alagh, the idea for the startup was born with the birth of their first born, Agastya. Finding it increasingly difficult to source toxin free and harmless baby care products, 32-year-old Varun – an MBA who has worked with an MNC, decided to start up. However, 28-year-old Ghazal, with a degree in information technology and a trained artist from the New York Academy of Arts had some experience as she had her own startup earlier giving out customised diet plans.

According to industry estimates, the baby-care market in India is estimated to be around $1.5 billion and growing at a CAGR of 18 percent. This does not account for all categories of products in the pre-natal and post-natal stages. This is the niche area that Mamaearth wants to focus upon.

 Startup Mamaearth to focus on toxin-free baby-care products, plans offline expansion

Varun Alagh, Founder, Mamaearth, and wife Ghazal. Co-Founder.

Launched on December 5 through Amazon Launchpad, Mamaearth is run by Honasa Pvt Ltd. It sells 7 products online -- toxin-free body lotion, rash cream, hair-shampoo, body wash, diaper rash cream, massage oil, all natural bug spray and sunscreen lotion for babies in the 0-5 years age group priced at Rs 299 each. It expects to come out with as many as 18 products by the end of the next two quarters. “Our margins would be lower than the big brands as the idea is for consumers to experience it,” says Alagh. However, the company will price its products differently when it comes out with specialised products. It also has plans to go offline in future and expects to break even by mid 2017.

In a move to help Indian startups launch, market and distribute their products to millions of Amazon customers across the country and globally through a dedicated store, Amazon India launched its global programme – Amazon Launchpad in India on 5 December. Amazon partnered with the department of industrial policy and promotion’s (DIPP) Start Up India initiative, IT industry’s representative organisation Nasscom’s “10,000 Startup” initiative and Indian Angel Network (IAN), among others, to help identify and enroll startups. Globally, Amazon Launchpad works with more than 100 venture capital firms, crowd-funding services, and accelerators/ incubators.

The differentiator

Varun claims that Mamaearth's is the first toxin-free range of baby-care products in Asia/ India – certified by Made Safe - a US-based nonprofit organisation. All the products are clinically tested to be hypoallergenic and carries no toxins, dyes, artificial fragrances or anything which is even close to the word ‘unsafe’.

The Alaghs launched Mamaearth with Rs 20 lakhs of their personal savings and later secured a seed round from Fireside Ventures and a few angel investors.

“Unlike global standards for baby products, the only requirement in India is for the producer of baby care products is to understand that baby skin is 3 times softer than adult skin and make products accordingly. Hence, parabens for instance which are banned in European countries are to be found in baby-care products in India,” says Alagh.

The products are sold through Amazon and and the Alaghs plan to expand their target group in the future. “We will look at other ages as our son Agastya grows and may venture into teen products later on,” said Alagh.

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Updated Date: Dec 28, 2016 06:49:51 IST