How often you hear people pursuing their passion and converting them into a business opportunity? If you ask somebody, they would say this is the dream that they would like to realize. However, it is not easy to convert your hobbies into a business venture because hobbies are often weird.
We have somebody who has pursued her hobby of dog-rearing and converted it into a business opportunity. Now with a double zeal of passion and profession, Rashi Narang is able to infuse new spirits in her business.
She founded her business venture catering to various types of products revolving around dogs. Heads Up for Tails offers a wide variety of products ranging from collars, beds, bowls, apparel, and other items used for the grooming of dogs.
Q1. Genesis of your startup—how you started?
I grew up with dogs- Lots of them! And from as early as I can remember I wanted to do something creative and fun around them, perhaps open an animal shelter where I could always be surrounded by wagging tails and happy barks!
That didn’t happen and instead, I went on to study Human Resource Management at the London School of Economics and then to work in a multinational bank. Boring!
Then Sara came into my life. She was the first dog for whom I had real and full responsibility (earlier, it was always my parents who were incharge!). Sara was a fur-ball of love, naughtiness and a determination to break every rule that was ever made for her!
In my quest to make sure that she had the best of everything, I scoured the markets and was dismayed by the quality of products available in the local pet stores. That’s when I decided to start a premium pet products line, offering lots of fun and useful stuff for pet lovers like myself to pamper their pets from Head to Tail!
Q2. Business model of your idea?
I started in 2008 by launching an Online pet store. Unfortunately, the Indian market was very new to e-commerce back then and the online store was slow to pick up as people were still in the ‘touch and feel before purchase’ phase!
So we got a cozy kiosk at Select City Walk Mall in Saket, New Delhi and here, we began to grow.
We have just recently re-launched our online store which has been received superbly well, much to my delight! We hope to expand on our online store, along with open more physical Points of sale. We are also in the process of entering into partnerships with other online lifestyle stores to manage their entire pet section.
Q3. How you capture the market given that there is competition?
We were the first entrants into India’s luxury pet market, and have proudly played a large part in acquainting people with excellent pet products! We continue to be one of the the only players in the luxury segment.
While there is alot of competition coming in with hundreds of online pet boutiques opening up- I believe that what sets HUFT apart from the others is the passion for what we do!
Our team comprises of all pet lovers- and we work for the love of pets more than anything else!
We are also constantly innovating, designing and manufacturing new products made specifically with pet friendly materials. All our products are tested on our own dogs, given to customers for feedback etc before they are launched.
We embrace good design, excellent quality and constant innovation- and I believe that will always set us apart!
Q4. What type of innovation you have brought in?
We have introduced lots of new products:
Dog beds that are water resistance, and repel hair and doggie saliva. Also, we customise dog beds to fit in with people’s home decor.
Dog toys that are sustainable, and eco-friendly.
Fashionable dog apparel– Dogs need to be protected from the cold in cities like Delhi with severe winters. Why not have a fashionable jacket for your pet instead of the boring, ugly ones you get at the normal pet stores!
Products for pet lovers: Being a pet lover myself, we could never find enough products with the pet lover theme! We thus introduced an entire collection of products for pet lovers!
Pet shewani’s and tuxedo’s for special occassions: So you have a wedding in the family, and dressed to your best but what about your furry family member? We introduced customised sherwani’s and tuxedos for dogs to look their best! These are made in dog friendly patterns that are extremely comfortable and very easy to put on/take off!
And lots more- travel bowls, rainwear (since dogs have to be walked regardless of the weather), personalised collars and leashes with the dog’s names on them, a fabulous range of grooming products etc!
What was your first big success?
Our kiosk at Select Citywalk, New Delhi was fabulously received by customers! At first, people couldn’t believe that what they were seeing were pet products and were actually quite amused!
But over time, they have come to respect our products and quality. We have a huge percentage of returning customers, who have now become friends!
The business has also been extensively written about in the media!
What’s for future?
There are so many plans for the future- Bigger spaces, more stores, hundreds of more products, a bigger team of designers, lots more innovation, expanding in the online space and more and more…. YES, I’m an ambitious entrepreneur 🙂