The Babycare Boss: Pallavi Utagi

SuperBottoms figured out a solution to a problem that many new moms face – the diaper rash which led to the start of a cloth diaper revolution in India

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By Saptak Bardhan

Pallavi Utagi, founder and CEO, SuperBottoms

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An alumni of Government College of Engineering, Pune, Pallavi discovered her passion for building brands and making a purposeful impact motivating her to pursue an MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. When she came across the problem of rashes, she spoke with other mothers and discovered it was very common. After making the first few sets of diapers, Pallavi distributed them to her friends and family. When she told the mothers there was an alternative to disposable diapers, they were intrigued. They noticed fewer rashes and were pleased that they were helping the environment as well.

SuperBottoms figured out a solution to a problem that many new moms face – the diaper rash which led to the start of a cloth diaper revolution in India. During the research, Pallavi came across international brands that were flourishing. However, the products were not suitable for the Indian market and Indian babies since Indian babies are often smaller. American brands do not prioritize dryness which became an issue as Indian mothers are particular about diapers keeping their kids dry. SuperBottoms has closed the gap while staying true to its vision of being a dependable and valued parenting partner that develops eco-friendly, high-quality products for mothers and infants. SuperBottoms also expanded into the market for female wellness and hygiene with the goal to help women of all ages who experience unnecessary stress as a result of menstrual hygiene products that aren't up to par. We developed and launched India's most absorbent period underwear which offers full coverage 8-10 hours of dry comfort and absolutely zero leaks. They are also ideal for protection from postpartum bleeding.

According to research estimates, more than 1 million tonnes of textile waste are dumped in landfills in India alone. Sustainability is at the core of the company. SuperBottoms upcycles used diapers and does not use plastic for packaging or transportation. Pallavi reached out to moms via Facebook and WhatsApp groups. She wanted to establish a space for people facing similar problems and for spreading awareness about the solution that SuperBottoms was providing.

As per SuperBottoms findings, cloth diapers emerged as a growing segment with a size of INR 2700 crore in India, projected to reach INR 3300 crore by 2025. The growth has been primarily attributed to new parents who are increasingly choosing safe and sustainable options when it comes to baby care products. Disposable diapers cause rashes on babies' skin and pose many environmental hazards. In addition to being sustainable, cloth diapers are more comfortable and better performing if compared to conventional use and throw diapers. Apart from Diapers, the toilet training pants domain is at a nascent stage, but is a fast-growing segment, with a category size of INR 640 crore, expected to reach INR 780 crore by 2025. Overall, the baby products market is a burgeoning segment that occupied a market size of INR 8,000 Cr in CY21; projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent to INR 12,500 Cr by CY25.

In spite of the global pandemic, SuperBottoms showed an impressive growth of 2x year-on-year over the last four years. SuperBottoms is at a INR 60 crore annualized run rate.

"As a startup working to create a whole new category in a highly involved market dominated by giants like P&G and KC, we faced numerous, unique challenges. So, we focused on building a community around a great product in the smallest pockets of the country for strong organic recommendations. One of the biggest challenges we faced was the learning curve. In order for cloth diapers to be adopted, we created the world's simplest cloth diaper after 100s of tests. It also was difficult to bring a great team together being bootstrapped. A unique team was built out of our customers who were on maternity breaks! This got us immense First Hand, Real-Time feedback from the team," said Pallavi Utagi, founder and CEO, SuperBottoms.

The company aims to provide parents with a trustworthy, comfortable, and safe brand that they can trust for their baby, worry-free. The company is keen to add branded kiosks will help spread awareness more quickly for its novel products, especially for its flagship products like cloth diapers. SuperBottoms has launched its first kiosk at Ghatkopar's R-City Mall adding four more kiosks by the end of the year.

Over 60 per cent of SuperBottoms' workforce currently constitutes of female employees. SuperBottoms provides income, employment, and empowerment to a notable chunk of women across India and aspires to continue down the same path.

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