“All it takes is a great idea to reach heights in the corporate sector.” All of us have been hearing this in some or the other form ever since. Entrepreneurs need to be very innovative in order to do well for themselves as well as their business/start-up. I present here a case study of such an innovative entrepreneur, who took a destructive risk while entering the industry her start-up now functions in – pet luxury. Just one in a thousand people can think of entering such an industry in the first place in India because it involves a lot of uncertainty related to buyers of the products offered.
Rashi Narang, an LSE alumni and a young Indian entrepreneur founded her very own company known as Heads Up For Tails back in 2008. But due to some reasons, she had to shift to Singapore for around 7 years soon after the inception of her brand new start-up. In the meantime, the industry started growing a lot as many copycat brands started scaling up. In 2015, Narang returned to India to tend to her start-up and within these two years, it has shown a magnificent amount of growth.
After understanding the pet business and its growth in India. Rashi launched Heads Up For Tails after a year of research. Forming a team was the biggest task that was posed in-front of Rashi. Initially the business was completely managed by Rashi on her own. It raised $1,000,000 on Feb 2016 and $2,000,000 on Jan 30,2017 as its seed funding.
Heads Up For Tails (HUFT) is an online store that sells pet products, mostly for dogs. Be it clothes, collars, leashes or bowls and feeders or bedding products, medicines, toys – there’s nothing which is not available with them. HUFT operates from the national capital, Delhi itself. Currently, around 50 people work in HUFT in India but the USA operations are held by a few more additional employees.
The firm has been able to budge a total investment of $3 million since 2016 in two rounds; one seed of $1 million being sowed in 2016 itself and another one of $2 million in January, 2017. HUFTs investors have a versatile profile as they belong to different countries such as India, Singapore and the US. Rashi recalls that she often visited pet shops in order to buy suitable and much needed products for her dog but everything was quite underrated. As a result, she started designing things on her own which eventually took the form of a start-up idea. She wanted to come up with things that weren’t just being sold for the sake of earning revenue but things that actually were design centered and of course, pet-centric as well. Due to this, the prices of her products started to skyrocket. Products that were being sold in the markets for 100 bucks were offered by her for five times the price. It was mainly due to this very reason that her products got rejected by about 200 stores.
But as they say, an entrepreneur either has to find a way or simply make one; Narang rented a small kiosk in the infamous SELECT Citywalk Mall of Delhi’s Saket and began her operations. Little did she knew, an overwhelmingly positive response awaited her way which would eventually pave a way to online retail.
Today, HUFT has evolved itself a lot and according to Narang, it earned revenue more than six times of last year which it intends to double by the end of the current financial year. It not only sells its own products online but even sells products of several third parties. Over the years, HUFT has covered up for the slow growth during the seven years of the founder’s separation, has beaten all copycat firms and has maintained a good name for itself in the pet product industry and will keep on doing the same in future!