Wellness Franchise Opportunities

campaignApr, 02 2015

We are running exclusive gift box program in hospitals for new parents: Supam Maheshwari

To understand the growing rage of baby care products on eTailing, Wellness India talks to Supam Maheshwari, CEO & Founder, FirstCry.com who unveiled the brands exclusive Hospital gifting promotional campaign to congratulate new parents.

By Niharika Verma

Growing at a CAGR of 15-20% YOY, the lucrative baby care market in India has gained great exposure and FirstCry.com has made a niche for itself in the eTailing space, primarily in this category of market.


Elaborate on the product category offered by your brand for baby care?
Being Asia's largest online portal for baby and kids products, FirstCry.com has an inventory of more than 90,000 items from top notch national and International brands like Mattel, Ben10, Pigeon, Funskool, Hotwheels, Nuby, Farlin, Medela, Pampers, Disney, Barbie, Gerber, Fisher Price, MeeMee, etc.
    With more than 1200 vendors on board, FirstCry promises a great customer experience, amazing variety of baby care products at the most reasonable prices. We are strongly developing an ecosystem in the niche baby and kids segment. From maternity wear to accessories for nursery, diapers, clothes for kids till the age of 9, toys, school gear, prams, strollers, car seats etc, the portal offers so much more.

How much is the demand of baby care products online?
The online market is 5 per cent of the retail market and is likely to outpace organised retail especially in the infant and child products category. We see a huge scope in the online Indian market as parents have shown a great response towards online shopping and prefer this omni presence channel provided by us.

How much is the awareness of the online availability of baby care products in India? What marketing activities do you execute to lure and spread awareness about the same?
The baby and child care industry in India is massive with a large portion of it being untapped and unorganized. FirstCry.com works on a hybrid business model. We are present on web, mobile and offline stores. In order to reach masses, we run a unique programme wherein the brand reaches over 70,000 selective parents every month and give them a FirstCry Box.
        Under this programme, free gift boxes are given to each new parent across 6000+ hospitals in India to congratulate them on the birth of their child. The box contains basic necessities like diaper, lotion, oil etc from leading global brands like Mamy Poko and Libero. FirstCry has already delivered 3 lakh boxes across India and plans to reach 2 million parents by the end of 2015 via this programme.

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What is the present market scenario of baby care products in India? What is your position in this market?
Around 25 million babies are born annually in India and considering the high birth rate, rising income levels and increasing awareness in the country, the demand for baby care products is on the rise. The baby and kids industry has huge potential with a large portion of it being untapped and unorganised. There was a dearth of quality products and brands that were available in the market. Apart from that there was a huge gap in the access of quality baby products to the parents in smaller towns. We have been able to democratise availability and at the same time we ensured and created delight option s and variety for the consumers. We cater to the widest range of price points in each category for parents from all socio-economic profiles. The market, hitherto considered as a niche segment in the Indian perspective, is now ready for the metamorphism, into a highly potential and full-fledged industry.

Do you eRetail through other popular online market place like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal? If not, then don’t you think the consumer today prefer to check these portals on priority, then to a dedicated online market place like your’s?
No we do not e-tail through other portals. FirstCry has built itself to become the one-stop shop for parents. Being in the niche, we are specialists in the sector. Parents are very selective and careful when buying for their little ones. They would mostly prefer buying from specialists like us. In order to give our customer a holistic shopping experience, we have devised an omni-channel strategy, which helps our customers to shop from either of the online, offline or mobile platform.

In India, still a plethora of mom&pop stores are dominating the mindset of the consumers. What is your strategy to gain edge over this?
One of the key aspects of our marketing strategy is to keep online and offline integrated and provide an omni-channel service to the parents. A parent who shops with FirstCry.com should be able to get the same experience online and offline. Thereby, we look at making all parents, who shop with us, aware of all our presence. We have a strong e-mailing program through which we are able to send personalised mailers making parents aware of store openings, promotions etc.
         In addition, we have introduced a highly innovative concept of a ‘32” Digital Kiosk’. Installed in each store, these Kiosks allow parents to browse the large online variety and order what they like and delivered at the store. Moreover, as suggested earlier, we also have a FirstCry Box program wherein we aim to reach over 60,000 new parents with a complimentary gift box. Through this, we make them aware of stores in their area and also offer a gift coupon which can be redeemed online or offline shopping. Through a lot of such initiatives, we are able to ensure that we scale up our marketing plans with the highest ROI metrics.

What was your revenue in the last fiscal? And what is the number you are anticipating in the current?
We have grown over 100 per cent in last fiscal and aim to continue the similar growth.

What are your future expectations from the emerging market trends under baby care products category with growing online shopping trends?
The Indian baby care industry is emerging as one of the most lucrative market and has been witnessing phenomenal growth in comparison to the other emerging markets. Currently, the sector is highly unorganised and we see a lot of scope in building an ecosystem in this niche for the parents.  The large variety of brands and products and our close partnership with brands ensure that we have the best offerings in the market. Adding to the delight is easy access, whether at our local store or through timely home delivery, it’s a customer-focused recipe for success. The fully integrated and synergistic click-and-brick model, with a focus on tier II and III towns, makes our model strong. Apart from this, our dedicated awareness programmes, specially crafted to create awareness about the brand and products available on the site, ensures maximum access to the parents.
      Considering the high birth rate in India, rapidly growing Indian economy and the resultant increase in disposable income, along with the changing socio-economic status of women, will be the key factors deriving growth in the Indian baby care market. Along with this trend, various other strong fundamental drivers will enable this industry to sustain its upward growth trend in the coming years.
 

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