Rabitat, a homegrown parenting brand, was founded with the aim to enhance each parent’s life with its innovative and safe solutions. The products are built on the perfect harmony of safety, design functionality and fun for kids between the ages of 0-6 years.
Rabitat grew from the realization of a big void of a homegrown, premium quality Indian parenting brand. The idea first struck Sumit Suneja, Managing Partner, Rabitat and Siddharth Suneja, Associate Partner, Rabitat when they realized that friends and family were constantly asking them to carry back goods for their babies whenever they heard of them or anyone they knew travelling abroad.
The founders wondered why after all these years of liberalization, they couldn’t find a local brand that they could trust wholeheartedly for their children.
“We did our research and decided to first get a good understanding of the market by launching Merlin Brands Private Limited with the purpose of reselling renowned international baby product brands pan India in 2016. We became the official distributors for some of the best international brands for young children like Skip Hop, Comotomo, 3 Sprouts and Pearhead. As time went by, we realized that the products weren’t always up to the mark in spite of costing a bomb. Taking lessons from the mistakes of the ‘Gods’ in the market, we decided it was time to launch our very own brand Rabitat in May 2019,” state Sumit Suneja, Managing Partner, Rabitat and Siddharth Suneja, Associate Partner, Rabitat.
“We started by launching 2 products - the hooded towel and SnapLock sipper bottle. With our experience in distribution, we were able to hit the ground running, retailing on all major online and offline platforms and our own e-commerce website very quickly. We took into account all the customer reviews and complaints that the international brands had received to ensure that Rabitat’s products were much better and actually filling those gaps for customers. Today, we retail 20+ lines that include feeding bottles, loungers, bottles, swaddles, stainless steel sippers, insulated food jars and towels in 8 adorable Smash characters,” they add.
Keeping safety and sustainability at the heart of what the brand offers, all of their products are internationally certified by the European Commission, The Global Organic Textile Standard and are BPA free.
The brand lives by the philosophy that little things matter and are therefore, very focussed on innovation. It works hard to perfect even the minutest detail in the products, so it can simplify the parent’s life by taking away any unnecessary stress and of course want the child to be comfortable and safe.
“One example of this is our all weather organic cotton quilt that has a 5 inch scoop design near the neck to prevent any chance of the quilt going over the baby’s head. This small innovation not only helps the baby sleep more comfortably but also allows the parent to sleep without any worries,” they share.
One of the major gaps the brand saw in the Indian baby products market was the lack of easy accessibility to premium, high quality products. Consumers either had mass market brands that are not necessarily the best quality, international brands that are very expensive and not easily accessible or smaller boutique brands that again are very niche, expensive and not readily available.
“At Rabitat, our focus is not just on offering outstanding products at great value but also building a robust distribution network that allows our customers to shop for our products anytime and anywhere they like. We retail through our own website, Rabitat.com and have partnered with all major online channels like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, FirstCry and Nykaa. We have a strong physical presence in children’s stores like MotherCare, Hamleys, Iconic Kids as well as a huge network of unorganized mom-and-pop stores,” they reveal.
The brand has also recently expanded into international markets like Australia, New Zealand and Dubai and is aiming to continue tapping new markets.
Impact of Pandemic on the Brand
The pandemic did have a huge impact on Rabitat’s business especially since the brand was just launched in May 2019 and was planning first ‘Back to School’ campaign for their range of bottles, sippers, school bags and lunch bags in their signature Smash Characters.
“We had huge stocks of all of these items and suddenly in March 2020 as we were ready to launch our marketing campaigns for these products, schools shut down and showed no signs of opening anytime soon. Also, with shops and e-commerce being closed for the most parts during the lockdown, we had to rework our business strategy to survive and grow. During the national lockdown, we worked hard to strengthen our own platform www.rabitat.com to boost our e-commerce sales and compensate for the opportunity lost in physical stores. We grew during this period despite all odds as we delivered our infant range to new moms at their doorstep keeping with safety and sanitation norms for COVID-19. This became a turning point for us,” they state.
For the back to school collection, the brand started by focusing just on one product, their stainless steel tumbler that comes with a lid for kids to enjoy drinking their beverage at home from. They received a great response for this and then encouraged people to complete their collection of Smash Characters which led to them purchasing the bags, sippers and other merchandise.
What Future Holds
The brand will continue to focus on expanding and entering new categories and markets like the Middle East and SouthEast Asia. It will also soon be launching personalization of goods which is something that all parents and children love.
“We are keen to focus our marketing efforts to continue generating awareness about Rabitat and getting more and more parents to try it for their children. We want to build the Rabitat community and have therefore initiated a platform on our website called ‘Meet the Mom’ which will host podcasts with experts, interesting posts on relevant topics and a forum for moms to connect with each other. We want ‘Meet the Mom’ to be the 4:00 am friend that a new mom can turn to with her questions, anxieties and frustrations. We seek to become the one stop platform for all parents with our premium products and relevant, trustworthy content,” they conclude.