Varun Sadana is a Co-Founder at Supertails.com, the first-of-its-kind platform that supports the ever-increasing pet parent community with trustworthy veterinary care and a one-stop solution for pet food and supplies. Varun is an MBA from IIM Lucknow and is armed with a decade-long experience in the FMCG and retail spaces. He has worked with brands such as Hindustan Unilever, Snapdeal, and IBM to name a few. His previous stint was as the Co-Founder and COO of India’s largest fresh meat brand, Licious.
The pet industry in India has seen a lot of growth in the past. And with the growing momentum of GenZ pet parents, the industry is destined to grow undaunted by inflation, recession & such market parameters. India has a pet population of 32 million with an annual growth rate of 12% every year. By those statistics, when we factor in the cost of raising a pet, a minimum of Rs.1000/month, India’s petcare industry has an opportunity size of USD 5 billion. Currently only 20% of this market is organised, pointing to the enormous gap that needs to be bridged.
At any nascent growth part of a segment, it’s the primary needs that make up a larger proportion of the market. Similarly the pet industry will have its Food and Healthcare segment, our pets primary needs, grow the highest. For instance, India has only 5-7% penetration of packaged pet food compared to an upward of 70% in the evolved markets of the West. Which will be the vacuum organized markets are bound to fill in the next few years. Pet Healthcare requires a major boost given the alarming statistics of 1 vet for every 5-6000 pet families compared to the USA where it’s around 1500. This is a marker of the fact that there is a 25-30% negative difference in the average life expectancy of pets in India. Therefore better nutrition and healthcare is an issue requiring immediate attention.
There is a similar story in terms of regulations around pet care in India as well. India does not have a separate regulation for pets and they are covered under the livestock regulations. Whereas in countries like the US and Singapore, they have gone ahead to the extent of having dog training as mandated by law, in addition to a registration of the pet with the law authorities. For now, India doesn’t even allow pets in various public places such as malls, parks and at times even areas inside a gated community. Due to the above reasoning, development of sectors catering to our pets secondary needs have been slow in India. Having said that, we at Supertails, firmly believe that pet training, grooming, boarding are essential services, in a manner similar to schools, critical for the upbringing of human kids. As the primary needs grow to their potential, these sectors will also get the push they require, especially in urban areas.
As we gravitate towards a larger pet population, it will also start with education of the pet parents, which will be a consequence as more commerce springs up in this space, wherein more brands will emerge in the Indian pet care market which then will eventually lead to regulations following suit and aiding the growth in this under-served category. Only then India will become a far more pet friendly country than today.
Coming to Supertails, we are very excited to be a proud part of this budding ecosystem. Our mission is very clear- To architect a dot-com universe to cater to every need of a new-age pet family and make pet parenting a joyous journey. With this single-minded goal, we work with our in-house experts of specialized vets to dog trainers, for designing products and services that help bring the promise of healthy and happy pets.
To bring down the vast gap in pet product penetration, we are laying a strong focus on building a platform with the widest assortment of brands. And building a community of credible information through multiple digital channels so that pet parents will find an effective place for information & content at the click of a button.Supertails talks back to young pet parents everywhere- it’s wise to keep in mind that these customers are digital natives who are demanding and worldly-aware. Over the last few months, our target has been of fulfilling 80% of our orders in Metro cities within a single day. We also assign ‘Pet Buddies’ to any incoming query for a personalized experience to our community. And this is just the beginning, our aim is always onwards and hunting for the next best way to create more avenues of delighting the customer. Its suffice to say that Supertails is built on the bedrock of solid customer obsession i.e obsession for pets. Because after all, we are a company that works for animals and not humans.