India’s baby care market is increasing because more middle-class families have more money to spend, and more people are becoming aware of how vital infant and child health is
The market is dominated by domestic and international companies that sell a wide range of products like diapers, baby food, baby skincare products, and baby gear. The market is expected to grow over the next few years, thanks to more people living in cities and more money in their pockets.
In India, more parents are becoming aware of the chemicals and ingredients in traditional baby care products, which has led to a rise in the demand for natural and organic baby care products. But these products are pretty pricey.
Akshat and Abhishek, two brothers from Bihar, had Shishu to deal with this problem. So they started the brand of baby care products intending to make many natural products from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and rural areas. Let’s take a close look at how the company got started.
Shishu – About
Most companies that sell baby care and personal care products use harmful chemicals. These chemicals are detrimental to the skin and have effects that last for a long time.
“Shishu” was born in 2022 to avoid all of this. It is the first brand in India to focus on tier 2 and tier 3 cities and rural areas.
Shishu: The Baby Care Business
According to information from Databridgemarketresearch, the Indian Babycare Market is worth about $ 11.5 billion right now and is expected to reach USD 39.54 billion by 2029, which is a CAGR of 17.40%.
According to information from Macrotrends, about 70% of India’s population lives in Tier 2, Tier 3, and rural areas, where 17.163 babies are born for every 1000 people. So, Shishu’s target market is worth about $7 billion.
Abhishek is younger than Akshat by two years. However, he wanted to get out of the traditional education system and do something more exciting, so he became the COO of the Shishu and went to Jain University, Bangalore, online to finish his education.
Shishu – The Beginning
The founder’s father was the main reason he decided to start Shishu. At age 14, he opened his own business. He used to work very hard and travel for business on top of the bus because he couldn’t afford a ticket. His hard work paid off, and now he is the biggest drug dealer in Sitamarhi, Bihar, where he grew up.
Since childhood, Mr Akshat Agarwal worked in the family business and went to school simultaneously. During his third year at St. Xavier’s University in Kolkata, he was back in his hometown and used covid to attend classes.
Over the next three months, he kept looking into different categories and their current market trends, brands on the market, everyday problems that consumers face, cost to produce and sell, and competition.
After thinking about several things, he stopped his search in the baby care category. In this category, his main point was that people tend to choose natural products over chemical ones.
But when it comes to baby care products, chemical-based products still dominated the market because natural baby care products were too expensive. So when they realised this, they decided to make natural and organic baby care products at the same price that most people can afford.
Next, they did a lot of research and development (R&D) to find a formula that meets all the requirements. Finally, after the formulations and dermatologist agreed on the final recipe, they did all the tests and approvals, such as dermatologist, stability, toxin-free, pH balance, tear-free, etc., on 30 pieces of each product to make a trial bath.
This led to the creation of Shishu, a brand of all-natural baby care products.
Shishu: Goals and Plans
Shishu aims to create a natural and organic baby care conglomerate for the mass market in Tier 2, 3, and rural areas. They will make different sub-brands for each sub-category of baby care.
They work towards a simple goal: to stop parents from choosing between what’s best for their kids and what’s best for their budgets.
They believe that all babies should get the best because they all deserve it.
Name, Slogan, and Logo for Shishu
They wanted a brand name that makes it easy for people to understand what they do. But we couldn’t think of anything else that was like it. So then, a freelancer Mr Akshat was working with suggested keeping the name “Shishu.”
“Caring like no there” is the slogan for Shishu.
When he struggled to talk to his mom, she said, “Even if you hurt me, I won’t hurt you back.” This is where the idea for the tagline came from.
Shishu – Business and Revenue Model
Shishu founders were in a way to build a mass brand at an affordable price range. But, with a direct-to-consumer business model and an offline distribution model, it was hard to ignore the rise of e-commerce and internet use. So, they made the D2D model, a unique business model that can be scaled up (Direct-to-Distributor).
When there weren’t as many online platforms, distributors of FMCG companies had the exclusive right to sell a specific brand in the area they wanted.
With those rights, no other company or distributor can sell the product in that area. The company itself can’t sell the product to other distributors. Because of this, their profit margin used to be only 2% to 3%, even when they bought goods from FMCG companies with an advance payment.
But since the online marketplace came along, things have changed. Now, customers, retailers, and wholesalers buy products online instead of from authorised distributors in their area.
To get around this, Shishu will hire a local distributor in each area to handle both online and offline sales. This gives them a quick way to do business with their customers, cuts down on RTO, ETD, and the cost of shipping, and gives the distributors an extra way to make money.
Products and Services from Shishu
Customers love Shishu’s products and give them great feedback. Aside from that, all of the products they sell are natural and not very expensive. Some of their unique features and new ideas are:
Shishu Natural Talc Free Baby Powder is India’s 1st Softest Talc Free Powder. The most common negative review about Talcum baby powder on the web is that it feels like sand or carrom powder. But on the other hand, Shishu has baby powder that is as soft as possible.
Shishu Natural Baby Soap is just 75 rupees for 75g and has a PH of 5.5. The shape of the soap is a patented design with a market selling similar soaps at 150 rs for 75 grammes.
Their products are made so that when a baby or child sees them, they feel like they belong.
Shishu – Getting Users
Shishu started expanding its business network by spreading brand awareness. The first 100 customers felt like old friends. They started marketing their products on the already available channels because of their family business. Aside from that, Mr Akshat, a co-founder, also used his mom’s friends to spread brand awareness.
Shishu: Problems The Had to Face
One of the significant challenges, or in other words, a great opportunity faced by Shishu, was the unwillingness to change the babycare product brand frequently. Parents generally don’t like to switch brands of baby care products very often.
Shishu’s team saw it as a chance because they thought parents might not switch brands as soon if they gave them everything they needed.
With a strong desire to give parents great experiences and work with them to solve their problems while listening to their feedback. They try to keep in touch with parents offline and online in the customer’s language to inform them about the brand, its natural ingredients, and its benefits.
Shishu – Awards and Recognition
Under the DPIIIT Startup India Initiative, the Indian government has recognised Shishu Brand.
Shishu – Competitors
In India, Shishu is up against global giants like Johnsons, Himalaya, etc., and on theOn the global front, they look to brands like Sebamed, Cetaphil, Mustela, etc., for ideas.
Shishu: Plans for the Future
Shishu will soon launch face cream, hair oil, etc., to round out their baby care line. They will then move into the baby hygiene category with cotton-based diapers and wipes and the baby accessories category with feeding bottles, nipples, and other essential accessories under different sub-brands.
In the next three years, they aim to reach more than 1,000 distributors in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other countries. Reaching 300,000+ retail outlets in Tier 2, 3, and rural areas and the deep rural offline market.