Pets are an important source of love and friendship. It is also a well-known fact that pets are good for our health.
It’s obvious that we benefit from taking regular exercise when walking a dog. However, it is not commonly known that over the last thirty years, there has been increasing scientific evidence that pets can help to keep us fit and well – pets can even help speed up recovery after major illness.
A study at Cambridge University found that owning a pet produced improvements in general health in as little as one month. This continued over the 10 month study1. Pet owners were found to suffer fewer ailments, such as headaches, colds and hayfever.
Stroking a pet or simply watching a fish swim in an aquarium helps us to relax. Indeed, the mere presence of a pet seems to have the same effect, reducing heart beat rate and lowering blood pressure.
Research has shown that this effect is particularly marked in people suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension). The reduction in blood pressure is equivalent to that gained by eating a low salt diet or cutting down on alcohol consumption.
Preventing Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the UK’s biggest killers, yet it is another area where pets provide health benefits.
One study showed that keeping a pet significantly reduced levels of cholesterol and blood triglyceride (two factors believed to influence the disease). These effects could not be explained by differences in diet, smoking or socio-economic group2. This fact, combined with the reduction in blood pressure from being with a pet, may make pet owners less prone to heart attacks than non pet-owners.
Overcoming Heart Disease
Pet ownership proved to be one of the best predictors of survival from a heart attack, according to an American study. The study showed that those patients who owned a pet had a much better chance of surviving for more than a year after a heart attack – a difference which could not be explained by the extra exercise the dog owners enjoyed.
Pets can also offer a psychological and social boost to our lives:
- Children who own pets are often less self centered than those who do not.
- Psychiatrically ill people were happier as a result of looking after a pet.
- Pets provide companionship and promote a general feeling of well being, for example pets in residential homes improve both patient and staff morale.
Pets can lessen the feelings of isolation and loneliness and provide a sense of purpose elderly people. Having to make the effort to care for a pet on a regular basis provides a feeling of fulfillment.
But at the same time keeping a pet is a task of huge responsibility. One must take care of the pets like their own kids. Like humans also pet needs nutritious diet, they need grooming, regular vaccination and care. Unlike humans, pets can not talk and consult a doctor so it is we humans that need to take care of them, provide them good food, take them to vet for regular health checkups.
Today we are presenting an exclusive interview of one such startup which provides services for the pets. The best part is that they provide a healthy alternative to the Commercial Dog food by providing pets with freshly prepared food. Lets see what the founders of this startup has to speak about their venture and how this idea strike their mind.
1. What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
We are CuddlyCollars PetServices.
- Who is your target Audience/clients?
We serve all the three pillars of the Pet Industry – the pets, the pet parents and our own Indian Street dogs.
- Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & what are your geographical target areas?
We are based out of Bangalore, Karnataka at the moment. We will be expanding to Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai in the coming 4 months.
4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
We have meticulously picked up our products and services that would benefit the pets and the pet parents. We provide a healthy alternative to the Commercial Dog food by providing pets with freshly prepared food. We also have door-step grooming services which eliminates the need for a pet parent to take their pet(s) to pet spas in never-ending Bangalore traffic. Our home-based boarding facilities will ensure that the pets feel home away from home while the pet parents are on a vacation. We also help train the pet parents train their pets. We also want to solve a ground level problem of helping the street dogs (streeties) get access to food, shelter, water and most importantly love.
- Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
I (Ganapathi Subramanian) have a furry brother at home. Having graduated with a placement offer in one of the major IT giants, I had the ability to get what my pet loves the most – TREATS! I started discussing about how my pet loved these treats with a couple of my friends. We, then, researched on what exactly goes into the treats to only find out that these were not the ideal products for them. This was when we found out that there aren’t many pet parents who are aware about the products and services for the pets. Hence, we at CuddlyCollars PetServices brought different products and services like Fresh food, door-step grooming services, pet training and home-based dog boarding facilities. We strive to assure that we provide nothing less 100% quality to serve these purest souls.
6. Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Though we have a couple of start-ups that have similar services on their platform, they don’t ease the pet parenting much. We are very unique in terms of our offering.
7. How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your co-founder/s
The CuddlyCollars team comprises of an IT professional, Business Development freak, Marketing geek and an accountant. This is a close-knit team of friends who have one sole thing in common – our love for Dogs!
8. How did you hire your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
We are still a team of close-knit friends. We will be soon be growing bigger. We would ideally look for a couple of teams – the one that could serve the pets and parents, the second that could help the streeties. We would be looking for passionate pet parents with Marketing and Customer Relationship management skills. We would also hunt for content developers for our upcoming campaigns.
9. What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
CuddlyCollars would love to mark its presence in every single major city in South India in the 2 years. We aim to expand to our services to entire India in the coming 5 years. We also plan to have more services like pet sitting, dog walking and pet cabs integrated onto our platform. We plan to have a 100% safe environment for the street dogs with access to food and water everyday.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
We, at CuddlyCollars, want to be the Amazon of the Pet Industry. We should be able to serve every single pet parent or a street dog in every nook and corner in India. We have a very strict policy on not compromising on the quality of products and services we deliver.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
CuddlyCollars is expanding the services to 3 new cities –Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. We aim to find our perfect team in the coming 3 months for these cities and start our operations in the next 6 months. We hope to serve around 100 customers in each of these cities by the end of 1 year.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We haven’t raised any funding at the moment. We have been self-sustainable until now. But, with CuddlyCollars expanding to new markets, we are looking to be funded in the next 6-8 months to carry out operations in other cities.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
One of our key activities during the start was to filter out the right vendors who can partner with us to serve our CuddlyClients. We were very keen on boarding the partners who would serve nothing less than the best. It was, indeed, very difficult to filter out our partners.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
The biggest challenge we still face is to grow our family of CuddlyClients. We are still looking for potential people who could help us serve more pets and pet parents.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
I am 23 – definitely not married. I am neither single nor in a relationship. Oh wait, I would need an option called “It is Complicated”. Haha.
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I’m passionate about playing Table Tennis and I teach kids part-time. I spend most of my time researching about how I could make a difference in every pet parent’s life.
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
I would eat any food as long as it is vegetarian. I crave for Mumma’s super special home-made food and the special Masal puri I get in Hosur. I love biking on the hills. I’m waiting to explore the North-east as part of this year’s travel plans.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
I draw inspiration from another startup founder – Mr. Manjunatha. I’ve known him since the birth of his company – Royal Brothers. The amount of hardwork he has put to build his venture that is continuously growing is really inspiring.
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Entrepreneurs get the feel of satisfaction of following their heart. Though, they take a lot of time to become financially stable, their sense of satisfaction is higher than the ones who work for someone else.
20. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I love the work I do and would never want to change what we currently do.
- How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
My family initially did not approve of me venturing out into my own business. But, after seeing the sense of satisfaction in whatever I do, my mom has come up with her own startup. We now have conversations to brainstorm ideas that could help out each other.
22. Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
There are a few mistakes I had learnt from. When you have to validate an idea, concentrate on what problem you are solving. Make sure that every single module is fixed and finalized before reaching out to customers. You could have a couple of trial runs and even fail. But that helps you to revisit your hypothesis and come up with a better one.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I did my schooling from a well reputed school – Sishya School, Hosur. I graduated from one of the leading academic institutions in India – NIT Trichy. My dad worked with Titan Industries and my mom served State Bank of India. My elder sister is a lecturer based out of Sydney, Australia.
24. What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Integration of different services and products onto one platform is quite easy. But, helping pet parents find THE IDEAL necessities for their furry kids is one thing which we are proud about. We aim to make pet healthier and pet parents happier. We are the only startup who focus on caring about the street dogs.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
According to me, small startups need to be very unique in their offering. When they are unique and keep up their quality, everything would fall in place. Though financial stability takes some time, it would definitely be worth the wait.
- Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
No, I am not even close to being successful. And I wouldn’t want to be consider myself successful either. When success is defined, you stop innovating and I strongly believe only innovation can bring in a positive change to your business. There is never a method to measure success.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
Ganapathi Subramanian – Whitefield, Bangalore – 9843746979 – [email protected]
Bindhu Reddy – Whitefield, Bangalore -9039803389 –
Anusha – JP Nagar, Bangalore – 9962293026 – [email protected]