Our plan is to continue geographical expansion: Naresh Khatar
Our plan is to continue geographical expansion: Naresh Khatar

With a target in mind of opening around 100 stores by the end of current fiscal, Me n Moms (Baby and mother care products brand) is on the verge of exploring tier II and III towns, along with offering international quality products at affordable prices. Acknowledging the fact that the overall awareness to use safe and hygienic products for babies and mothers is very low in India compared to international markets, Naresh Khatar, MD & Founder, Me n Moms Pvt. Ltd. spoke to Indianretailer.com while adding that baby care industry in India is growing at an equalant pace with the population growth of 17.5 percent annually in India.

What are your future plans of widening your stores network to further capitalise on ever growing parenting and baby care products market in India?
We are currently a PAN India company present almost across all parts of the country. Our plan is to continue geographical expansion and reach out to multiple cities throughout the country. Our vision is to ensure that each Indian parent is able to experience the joy of parenting.
With 60 operational stores and almost 15 stores in pipeline, we are targeting ‘100’ stores by this financial year end. These stores will be both company owned and franchised.

Which cities you are planning to explore for these stores?
These stores will be in metros like Mumbai and Bangalore and in tier II and III locations too, like Itanagar and Jhansi.

What will be the investment and the area per store?
A franchisee requires around 800 -1000 sq. ft. carpet area with initial investment budget of Rs 25 lakhs. We offer full support to our franchisees, starting from facilitation of property, site survey, store design and layout, staff recruitment, training and much more.

How are you focusing on better consumer experience?
We have a parent friendly layout. Our products are displayed as per the baby activity i.e. all feeding accessories are placed together, same goes with bath products and accessories. This is done to ensure customer’s hassle free buying experience. Our customer loyalty programme allows the parents to earn points worth 2-5 percent of the shopping value. There are special birthday offers as well.

What are your plans of revamping your eCommerce presence?
We already have a widespread presence across all major ecommerce portals like Amazon and Flipkart. With our eCommerce portal we are in the process of revamping it and will be launching a parent friendly user experience website in the upcoming months.

What is the ratio of offline and online buying?
Our online revenue is very dynamic and growing at a rapid pace. However, we have realised that majority of parents in India still like to check the products – for quality, feel, features andusability  -  at stores and then purchase. We have noticed that customers are buying convenience and daily consumption products online.

How do you observe the demand and growing consumer awareness for your products in tier II to IV cities?
Indian parents are becoming highly aware about the need of nursing and baby care products. They are realising that it is important for the overall growth and safe development of the child. The demand for specialised products and products with innovation have increased. These products include, compact breast pumps for working mothers, heat sensor spoon, nail clipper with magnifying glass, squeezy silicone feeder, unique finger brush with cover for babies, unique forehead thermometer for babies and one way nappy liners to keep away babies from rashes. With our inhouse brand Mee Mee, we offer international quality products at affordable prices across India.
Overall the awareness to using safe and hygienic products for babies and mothers is very low, as compared to international first world markets. In India, a mother in a small town is not aware of the benefits of breastfeeding her baby and follows traditional advice in case of any problem. Also, high prices of specialised products keep them restricted to the upper echelon of the society.
However, right from the start when a mother is expecting, till her child is 3 years old, we cater to each and every requirement by providing products for the needs of both.

How do you find the competition in market and what is your market share?
We have been providing products to Indian mothers from over 25 years. We understand their needs. Our inhouse brand Mee Mee’s products are made keeping in mind the Indian sensibilities of providing international quality products at competitive prices; and we are loved by Indian mothers.

What is your current revenue and what is the future projection?
Today, we are a Rs 200 crore brand available in 3000+ baby stores and chemists across India and aim to reach out to more and more parents.

According to you what is the market size of baby and mother care products in India?
Well, India is world’s second largest populated country after China and the population is growing at the rate of 17.5 percent as per the data of 2016. In a way, parenting and baby care industry too is growing at the same pace.
On the other hand, though there are so many players in the market, nobody is offering international quality, along with affordability and reach like ours. Staying true to our vision, we are catering to every Indian parent and baby’s needs. Our target audience is very dynamic and we cater to our consumers for a limited number of years.

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