We are publishing an interview of Ms. Anamika Bhalla, Managing Partner, BabyMubarak Presents LLP.
About the founders
The founders, Pooja Bhalla and Anamika Bhalla are a mother-daughter duo who are the jacks-of-all-trades and experts at quite a few! Baby Mubarak started with the simple idea that the essence of things purely handmade is going extinct. But then baby births are never going out of fashion, with India having 250 births per minute! So why not revive the lost art of handmade things for tiny angels?! But this challenge was huge! People had gotten used to buying cheap Chinese clothes and handmade things cost more because the quality and work is extraordinary. Whenever you try something new or revive something long gone, it is surely a big risk. The founders knew it but took up the challenge happily and wanted to have fun seeing where this goes! Baby Mubarak has come to a stage now, where people are demanding these 100% Indian handmade marvels for their newborns, and expecting mothers welcome them for house visits. With a private Red Baleno station wagon, 0012 number plate zooming around Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur for little baby orders and visits, the name and fame that Baby Mubarak is garnering is worth the risk!!
P.S. – If you stop them on the road while at delivering orders, you receive a striking 10% off on your orders!
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
While on the journey to make Baby Mubarak successful, we realized that we are bringing about a huge change in women empowerment in India. While hand-working for our designs, the women in villages, cities and metros understood that this art of hand-making things which they carry with them since childhood can fetch them a good livelihood, better than their male counterparts, while still staying at home and carrying for their own families. With heart-to-heart conversations with village women, they expressed that before Baby Mubarak, they just had one seasonal means of livelihood, Farming. When the season was gone, they were left with nothing to ear, all these 20-30 years. “Suddenly,” they say, “You come in and make us realize we can earn all year! And that too with an art that we carry with us over generations!”
That is deep. And it moved us. Reviving long lost arts and changing women’s lives!
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
It is a 100% handmade and Indian clothing and accessories specialization for newborn babies, a marketplace which no other company in India has touched uptil now.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
We pay women to manufacture for our designs and sell those exclusive collections online. It is a Premium model therefore.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Consumers are the newborn babies themselves! And their parents are the buyers. No skin allergies are ever possible with our smoke-free, pet-free productions. Plus the modern and exclusive designs and patterns are going to bring a boom in the newborn segment too. Why should older babies have all the fun??!! 🙂
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
It has already started leading to bigger things in terms of women empowerment and revival of the lost arts of hand-knitting and hand-crochet. The concept started by focusing on empowering these women who do not have a market to sell their talent & yes we feel we’ve spread this concept when we see smiles and enthusiasm on the faces of these women.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
When we started off, we made sure we have a good database of women who would work for us. To fulfill this, we started off 6 months before the launch of the brand online. Luckily, we got responses from as far as Chennai. That being said, it was not an easy task to find them. When we found them, it was not an easy task to find the most talented and neat women, with equally neat houses to make those tiny marvels. But, we came out successful in the end. How people function in a brand is they look for orders, and once they get some, they run around searching for workers. We did not want to do that. So although we faced losses, we wanted to do first things first. We designed for some products, got them manufactured and then launched them online. Now the second problem popped in. People could not relate to the products easily because the designs were really different. Baby cotton and wool blankets, sets and accessories were not what people had seen uptil now. We think our products are 10 years into the future right now. So more than 60% of the people looked at the products, would send in inquiries as to what the products exactly are, get surprised but not order. Hence, the biggest dilemma..whether to tone down or modify the products according to what people are used to buying, or keep manufacturing with the vision you started off with for the brand.
When you want to make big changes in society, you need to stick to your vision no matter what. Game-changers never take another route. It has been proved time and again with a lot of companies that have made it big! So, we kept working with our defined vision of designs. Slowly, we started getting orders, and a good lot of positive feedback. That was the icing on the cake!
Spreading awareness of cotton hand-knits is also a challenge. People have no clue that you can have cotton hand-knits too! They look similar to the woolens also. For that, we have launched Baby Mubarak’s blog.
Whatever is new or needs information for, will be featured there!
Finances also took a backseat many times during this short journey and still does. But we never let it affect our minds. Minds and hearts run your business, not your statistics.
We still face issues of women leaving work without notice, as they are just simple women working from their homes and you cannot do much, no matter what MOU you sign with them. There are groups of women too, to whom we assign heads, who would take care of management in different states. But with women working solely, we are trying to figure out alternatives as to how to curb this issue. But as of now, from Kashmir to Chennai is the work den of Baby Mubarak, and we say that with a lot of pride, the pride coming from the falls to the ground we bore and got up again!
Any other information about your startup that you would like to share with us.
Yes, we envision to make it big and spread the reins of this concept all over the World. We’re already collaborating and tying up with people having similar synergies all over the World and spreading our concept.
Thanks Anamika. Best of luck!