We humans have come a long way in determining what’s good for our health. Following the same trail of knowledge, majority of the masses in today’s era have made a shift towards the usage of organic products in our lifestyles that are free from harsh chemicals. Not only in our individualistic lifestyle, we also try to deliver this organic packed goodness to all our loved ones. But then, why do we keep our four legged furry friends away from this puff of goodness, exposing them to the harmful chemicals and hence, cruelty? Petveda is a revolution that believes a complete healthy protection for those integral members of your family, whose love for you always remain unconditional. It is a certified company that celebrates the positive impact of organic goodness in the range of pet care products. These products are 100% natural, free from sulfate and harsh chemicals, made from essential oils and love for harboring a positive growing bond with our lovable pets.
Petveda is an exclusive brand aimed towards pet care, providing pet care products based on various studies of properties of plants, herbs and natural ingredients, as laid down in the ancient scriptures of Ayurveda formulations, using only certified organic ingredients. A brand that has been a recipient of APPA Recognition, one of the most prestigious safety certification. (American Pet Products Association promotes responsible pet care and advance the pet products industry. Founded in 1958, APPA is the leading trade association in the pet industry made up of more than 1,300 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers.)
Petveda was established on September 2014. We are publishing an interview with the two founders of the startup, viz; Dhruv Kumar – Founder & CEO and Kamakshi Kumar – Co-Founder.
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Please share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: In the past, humans used their own shampoos on their pets under the false belief that it’s all the same. The pH level of a pet’s skin is much lower as compared to that of humans. Even baby shampoos are too acidic for a dog’s skin.
The other problem which we felt of utmost concern was the usage of shampoos or grooming products that contain harsh chemicals. As per studies, it takes less 26 seconds for chemicals to get absorbed in our body through the pores of skin and hair. This was something that we faced on a personal level, as we have always had pets at home.
Petveda was created to solve day to day issues of our four legged family members. All Petveda products are pH balanced and use natural preservatives as approved by US & EU standards. We do not use any Parabens or DMDM Hydantoin or any ingredient that we feel might cause harm to the pet or the environment as a whole.
Q.: Please tell us about the founders
Ans: We are two founders of Petveda:
Dhruv Kumar – Founder of Petveda, comes from a family of Pet Lovers, where at one point they had 7 dogs at home. His father, Late Mr Anil Khanna, started his Ayurvedic Skin & Hair care line, by the name of Herbline, in 1978,manufactured to date at their factory in Bhimtal. Petveda, was his vision, as he was a firm believer in the healing properties of Ayurvedic herbs and always felt that Ayurvedic herbs would be extremely beneficial for pets as well. Dhruv has carefully developed each formulation and product using Ayurvedic extracts & essential oils, based on studies of properties of plants, herbs and other natural ingredients as laid out in the ancient scriptures of Ayurveda.
Kamakshi Kumar – Co Founder of Petveda, Wife of Dhruv Kumar. Coming from a Corporate background, worked in HR for KLM for a good span of 4 years & Mizuho Corporate Bank for 9 years. She got involved with the brand, when he participated in the first Global Pet Expo in Orlando in 2016. “I started taking an interest into Petveda only 2 years ago in 2017, when I felt the social media team we had was ruining the brand instead of making it” says Kamakshi. “I initially started looking into Social media for the brand on various platforms and from there began my journey of fully indulging into the business on every level. Today, Dhruv and I together work as a team wherein Dhruv looks after the manufacturing process & I look after the promotions & marketing of the brand,” Quoted Kamakshi.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: The USP of our brand is the name PETVEDA –which speaks for itself “Ayurveda for Pets”. While other parallel brands available in the market highlight only properties like Natural, Organic, Sulfate Free, etc, we have gone a step further and combined the healing properties of natural herbs & extracts with modern day science to deliver the best possible solution or products for our pets, which differentiates us from every other brand available.
The product range of Petveda includes, pet grooming and food products, as:
- Anti Bacterial Shampoo
- Coat Strengthening Shampoo
- Tick and Flea Repeling Shampoo
- Professional Grooming Shampoo
- Anti Dandruff Hair Spray
- Tear Stain Remover
- Vitamin A and E Nourishing Conditioner
- Tartar Control Spray, among others.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: So, initially when we entered the market, we didn’t put as much emphasis on the packaging as into making the product, as we felt that once the consumer uses the product, they would always come back irrespective of the packaging.
Most of the international brands available in the Market have packaging made to invite consumers to want to pick up the product. Over a period of time we learnt that the first buy or a consumer will stop and pick up the product only when they are attracted to the packaging. That’s when we decided to change the complete look for Petveda making it consumer “PRETTY”, for people to find it attractive enough to pick up and try.
Today, when people look at our packaging they find it so attractive, and we have people coming up to us and say that they have not seen such a concept in Pet grooming packaging anywhere. And now the people who have tried our products have loved using them and appreciate the quality we deliver. Customers have also approached us saying that they have never found any better smelling deodorizing sprays than ours, which are made with essential oil blends that have been personally developed by Dhruv.
There are a few customers, who started using Petveda even when the packaging was not what it is today. In fact our distributor in Gujarat has been picking up Petveda before we revamped, and has loved the products from day one.
Also, with the market trend changing, we feel that people now have become more aware of how important it is to use good quality & honest products on their pets. They don’t mind spending more and picking up a shampoo that will not cause harm to their four legged family members, who cannot speak for themselves.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: As Petveda initially was developed for the International market, our biggest failure as an entrepreneur was the lack of importance given to packaging. Even though people used & liked the products, the brand failed to meet the expectations in terms of perceived value of the Brand- as a premium one. Participation in international exhibitions gave us the much needed exposure and experience that enabled us to rethink our marketing strategy and rework the packaging along with the Brand logo to position the products in the right manner for our target customers. We went back to the drawing board and after extensive brainstorming with our team, we worked on redesigning the packaging and modifying the formulation, incorporating certain new products which then culminated into the Petveda products that we offer today.
As a result, today the products are priced probably higher than any other Indian Brand and yet the Indian consumer is happily accepting the same.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc,.? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Price has never been the determining factor while developing our formulations, rather they have been developed keeping the efficacy of the product in mind.
However, having said that, we do need to work within certain price barriers as well, because there’s no point in creating a product for which a consumer would not like to pay. We thus created our range, keeping in mind, a consumer looking for something different from what is available on the shelves today, something they can trust.
All this thought process went into developing our range and once we finalized the products, based on the cost of manufacturing, we priced them.
We classify the range as Premium, meant for pet parents looking to buy products based on their functionality and not the price that they are being sold at.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in detail.
Ans: Today our sales are over 500% of what they were at the same time last year. So, yes it definitely is a new benchmark for us from where we intend to move ahead only.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: To quote Steve Jobs “Design is not what it looks & feels like. Design is how it works.” This has been our inspiration from the very beginning of our startup. Petveda has always been about design & user experience.
It is our understanding that ultimately no matter what marketing stories a brand may give the ultimate success lies in the experience. We want the name Petveda to be synonymous with quality & trust. We aim to be a Global brand.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: We perceive any brand claiming to be Natural & Organic as our competition. The quality & experience that we offer is the factor that makes us different from others.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: Our goal for the next 6 months is to be known & recognized by our target audience.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Be honest to your consumers and create something that you would be proud to use yourself.
Thanks. All the best!