Cloth diaper is creating its niche in the baby care market and is walking towards the success path.
The baby care market is burgeoning at a fast pace with new entrants penetrating into the market. From the concept of baby spa taking over the entire spa market to the recent trend of using cloth diapers in lieu of disposable diapers, the market is evolving, thereby the scope for entrepreneurs to start off with their ventures is widening.
Cloth-diapers are not new to the Indian people. Traditionally, cloth nappies, widely known as ‘langot’, were used to cover up the babies while today’s cloth diaper seems just like a modern version of it. Despite the fact that our commonly available disposable diapers took a long time to get acceptance from the masses as well as classes, cloth diapers are more likely to get recognition because of the ‘nostalgia’ as well as its environment-friendliness. Either way, cloth diaper is creating its niche in the baby care market and is walking towards the success path.
In conversation with Franchise India, Ms Pallavi Utagi, Founder and CEO, Superbottoms, shares with us the insights about the changing consumer behaviour she has observed since the inception of her own cloth-diaper brand and a lot more.
Baby Steps towards Creating Awareness
The rising population is one of the most emergent factors that contribute to the growth of cloth diapers. As the number of babies rises along with the increase in affordability, the demand for cloth diapers also increases.
In addition to this, a rising level of literacy, surging growth in the number of working mothers, and the use of aggressive marketing techniques have also given a fair share into the change in consumer behaviour that lets mothers of the infants and toddlers to use cloth diapers rather than the traditional indigenous alternatives.
“Often when a new baby is born, parents begin by using the traditional nappy. They are aware of disposable diapers, however, avoid using them because of skin issues caused by them and also the prohibitive costs of disposable diapers in the long run”, says Utagi when asked why cloth diapers are creating a niche in the market.
People like the convenience of disposable diapers but are still looking for a more skin-friendly and economical option to diaper their babies.
“Consumers understand the skin-friendly nature of cloth diapers and are slowly warming up to the idea of long hour’s absorbency and dry feel to the baby with these diapers. Since it is a new category, awareness is the first challenge that needs to be overcome,” adds Utagi.
Plastic Ban in India paves the way for Growth
Another thing that pushes the growth of cloth diaper is the recent ban on the use of plastic across India. Each baby uses 5 diapers/day for about 3 years (1000 days) which is 5000 disposable diapers/child. Each diaper takes 500 years to degrade which is a lot of garbage in landfills! As disposable diapers consist of plastic, even the ban on plastic seems to favour the cloth diaper market.
“Being completely washable and reusable, a child needs just about 15 diapers until he is toilet trained. What's even better is that the diaper can be used for more than 1 child. Cloth diapers are a very sustainable solution to the ever-increasing problem of plastic waste which is compounded even further by disposable diapers”, opines Utagi when asked about how cloth diapers are reaping the benefits of this plastic ban.
Entrepreneurial Opportunity for Mompreneurs
Many a time, it’s the inconvenience towards a particular issue that triggers an entrepreneur to create a change in the situation. In the case of diapers and nappies, they have always been among the biggest concerns of mothers of infants and toddlers.
Sharing her story of the inception of her brand Superbottoms, Utagi shares some personal instances that prompted her.
“When I saw the first diaper rash on my baby when he was a newborn because of using disposable diapers, I got really concerned. Also, my husband and I were getting very uncomfortable with the number of disposable diapers going into our trash bin every day. Using traditional homemade nappies was very inconvenient to change in the long run. That is where our journey in search of alternatives to disposable diapers began,” says Utagi.
The story of Utagi can inspire so many mothers out there who are looking to start off with their entrepreneurial venture in the diaper market. As every Indian mother goes through this scenario, it becomes even more easily understandable concept for them and hence they could be encouraged to go maximise their efforts towards creating an entrepreneurial opportunity. As brands move towards franchise path, another arena opens up for aspiring mompreneurs.
As mentioned above, franchising in the cloth diaper segment opens new doors for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially mompreneurs.
It is the cost-effectiveness of the business model that really makes franchising promising for entrepreneurs. Even an independent business like Superbottoms was built in an investment of Rs 25 lakhs. Some sources reveal that owning a franchise business in this category requires just an investment of Rs 2-5 lakhs. For mompreneurs who might lack money to start up with their ventures could opt for a franchise and earn profits.