Pallavi Utagi got really tensed when her baby got her first diaper rash. That was when she realised the negative impact of disposable diapers on baby’s skin and also how the diapers were extremely harmful for the environment with each diaper lasting 500+ years. That’s when she began exploring options for high-performance cloth diapers and found that there was a major need for products that combined the convenience of disposable diapers in the goodness of cloth. Thus was born Superbottoms, a brand of reusable and washable cloth diapers.
SheThePeople.TV spoke to Pallavi to know more about her venture, the response to her initiative and future plans
Charvi: What were some of the challenges you encountered during your journey?
One of our biggest challenges has always been about educating the parents about cloth diapering and its benefits. Also, post purchase use and troubleshooting. All of this, without having physical presence in stores and with a digitally native business was the key challenge.
Finding innovative ways to use technology was the key and that is what we did with Superbottoms wherein we:
● Created a Facebook group (today ~10k members) that helps parents interact with each other and seek authentic feedback
● Set up a WhatsApp helpline that could help parents connect with us, in their convenience time, and get specific information tailored to their requirement
● Provided post-purchase support via WhatsApp video calling for troubleshooting with parents especially with regards to product fit and usage.
The second challenge we faced was to stand up to the giants such as Pampers and Huggies in retail stores. It was a classic David versus Goliath story where we had to convince retailers to keep a small brand like ours, expend energies in explaining it to customers and more.
We decided to play to our strengths instead and thus leveraged the strong brand loyalty and love that we enjoyed.
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One of our biggest challenges has always been about educating the parents about cloth diapering and its benefits – Pallavi Utagi
Charvi: How do you balance motherhood with entrepreneurship?
Pallavi: There are a few things I have learnt over a period of time that has helped me do the balancing act:
1. I seek help. I have always been very open about asking for help in both professional and personal life. You would be surprised from where all the support comes from.
2. Build a team. Having a team has definitely helped bring in more hours to your day and you can thus do more.
3. Each day I also consciously decide how much of a mother I am going to be how much of an entrepreneur. Some days I am more of a mother and some days more of an entrepreneur. This planning has helped me prioritize my daily schedules.
Charvi: 5 suggestions for mothers looking to be entrepreneurs…
1. Take the first step. Just start somewhere and then keep taking the next step
2. Ask for help when stuck. There is a huge eco-system to help entrepreneurs today
3. Learn to delegate soon
4. Prioritize and plan your time
5. Learn to use technology/Social media to grow
Charvi: How has motherhood played a role in your growth personally and professionally?
Pallavi: Motherhood has been the single biggest catalyst for growth for me, both personally and professionally. At a personal level, it has brought in immense clarity and perspective on what goes into making a person. It has also taught me to extend myself beyond own self and has mainly taught me a lot about unconditional love.
At a professional level, it has made me much more efficient and conscious about the impact of my business and professional decisions on the society, because this is where my child is going to be growing.
Charvi: Can you share some milestones from your entrepreneurial journey?
In my entrepreneurial journey, we have had some sales-related milestones like reaching our first 100 sale to first 1000 and more.
Then there have been the more important milestones where we grew out team of mothers from 1 to 5 to 10. We also celebrated the milestone when we reached an average of 150 queries in a day.
Your mantra for life?
Live in the present, focus, and take action.
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