India is said to be home of around 50 million babies between the age group of 0-2 years and 304.8 million children in the age group of 0-12 years, offering immense opportunity to the sector to tap the growing market. As per the figures children products and services market in India is worth $ 20 billion, which is growing at a CAGR of 20 percent. Recognising the market potential, the young duo, Naiyya Saggi and Mitesh Karia founded Baby Chakra in 2014 to tap this emerging segment.
So what is this new venture all about?
Baby Chakra is an online platform for parents to discover care for their babies, making parenting a less tedious affair. The platform enable parents to discover and select local services like OB- Gyns, maternity hospitals, cord blood banks, pediatricians, play schools. daycares, activity centers, event managers and many more. With the help of their page, MomStar, platform recommends services and products to the users suggested by hundreds of moms and dads.
Recently, this startup has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Mumbai Angels, Patni Family Office and Singapore Angel Network. Currently the platform is witnessing over 2,500 visitors per day with 30 per cent being repeat visitors on a monthly basis. The company expects its revenues to grow 3 times year on year (YOY) for the next 5 years. They have forethought to launch an Android & iOS app in the next 6 months. Along with this they are also planning to launch a product discovery module in beginning of 2016.
Moreover they plan to scale up to 10-15 cities in India by 2017 and explore international expansion by the end of 2017.
Entrepreneur India caught up with Karia to know more about Baby Chakra and its services.
What inspired you to kick start Baby Chakra? When and how it started?
As a parent, your life revolves around choosing nothing but the best care, education and other activities for your child. Most parents today look for these services online, but due to massive information they are left even more confused creating the white space that existed. Coupled with the potential that existed in a market worth billions of dollars, led Naiyya, my childhood friend and Harvard Business School graduate and I to start BabyChakra in 2014.
What are the opportunities and challenges do you see in this industry?
Besides the massive opportunity of enabling moms to choose the right service for themselves and their children, we see an equally big opportunity in helping the businesses overcome the challenge of constantly having to market themselves to a moving target audience. We provide them with a platform where they are always getting discovered by young parents – thereby optimising their marketing spends.
The 3 main challenges that we face are a) hiring, motivating & retaining the best talent, b) maintain the relevancy and quality of information and c) consolidating our offering along with being agile enough to pivot our business model if required.
What are the types of queries do you receive from the parents and what kind of tips do you provide to them?
Which is the best playschool in my locality, which day care do I put my child in, can I hire a nanny for jhapa period, which play area do I take my child to, what are the latest events around town. These are the kind of questions we wanted to address when we started BabyChakra and we’ve been able to do just that!
Are these tips proved to be fruitful for parents? What are the feedbacks that you have received so far from the parents?
The biggest testimony to what we do is when moms write in from cities that we’ve not yet covered – such as Kolkata, Chennai, Pune & even Tier II cities – saying how wonderful it would be for them to read reviews on local services related to children, and when we plan to launch there.
Please share some case studies of parents who got benefitted by the tips of yours.
While we are present in Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore, we have mothers from all over the world write into us about how helpful BabyChakra has been to their journey as a young parent.
Mothers have written saying they realised the importance of breastfeeding through our articles. Mothers have written saying they realised a service such as lactation consultants exist and this helped them seek support when they were unable to breastfeed their child.
We’ve had parents write in saying they have been able to find great local doctors for their children and this has saved them from making 15 km journeys to the only pediatrician they knew. Mothers have sent us thank you notes (and birthday chocolates!) for organizing a birthday party much easier for themselves and saving atleast 8 hours in the planning process.
We’ve also had grandparents write in saying they are raising their grandchildren and BabyChakra has been an invaluable companion to them in a parenting process they had lost touch with. It’s been humbling to see appreciation and responses come in from places such as Asnasol, Bhubaneshwar, UAE, Hong Kong, Jamaica etc.
How does your business model look like?
We’re quite competitively placed to understand the needs of moms, what life stage they belong to, what they are searching for and in which locality. Our business model is to enable businesses operating in the mom and baby space to be discovered seamlessly through a combination of free-mium and commissions based model.