'Identify the right business opportunity'

Sandeep Rana, TFW Bureau
Sandeep Rana, TFW Bureau Sep 29 2017 - 5 min read
'Identify the right business opportunity'

Having carved a niche for itself in the online segment, Firstcry.com has taken a big plunge in the offline sector also with its plans to open as many as 400 stores by December 2017. In a chat with Sandeep Rana, Supam Maheshwari, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Firstcry.com, shares how hybrid of online and offline stores is working wonders for them. Here are the excerpts of the interview…

Share your entrepreneurial journey.

Amitava Saha and I founded Firstcry.com in 2010. Eight years ago, when we used to travel abroad in our earlier jobs, we would pick up a lot of things for our kids because the quality of products available abroad could be trusted and more so, because the choices for baby products in India were limited. Looking at these lacunae as a business opportunity, we conceptualised Firstcry.com. Today, in less than four years, the company is number one in the online space for kids’ products. We will soon be at the top in the offline space as well.

Kids’ retail is a booming industry in India. Your say?

The baby and kids industry in India is massive with an estimated turnover of nearly Rs. 50,000 crore. With a large part of this being unorganised, the potential to organise this industry is immense. Moreover, the even more encouraging part about this industry is that it is ever growing. The high birth rate in India, coupled with the ever growing middle to upper income class will ensure that this industry keeps growing at a rapid pace.

You are planning to raise offline presence to 400 stores. It means there is a huge demand of branded kids’ products.

Yes, parents want the best for their kids. The demand for branded baby and kids’ products has always existed. However, very few players in the market actually provide solutions for parents at affordable costs. Firstcry.com has created a hybrid model of retail where a parent has the flexibility to buy either from our online website or from a physical store nearby. Most people would do both. We plan to extend our leadership position online to our offline stores as well. Also, the success of our in-house brand, Babyhug, would suggest that the power of a top quality, affordable brand cannot be underestimated.

Firstcry.com has carved a niche for itself in the online segment. Your comments.

Being Asia's largest online portal for baby and kids products, Firstcry.com has an inventory of more than 70,000 items from over 700 top International and Indian brands like Mattel, Ben10, Pigeon, Funskool, Hotwheels, Nuby, Farlin, Medela, Pampers, Disney, Barbie, Gerber, Fisher Price, MeeMee, etc. With more than 700 international and national vendors on board, Firstcry.com promises a great customer experience, amazing variety of baby care products at the most reasonable prices. From maternity wear to accessories for nursery, diapers, clothes for kids till the age of nine, toys, school gear, prams, strollers, car seats etc, the portal offers it all. Of course, our online success is only one part of the story. Our even greater success lies in the fact that we’ve managed to create a hybrid online+offline model to cater to the needs of all our customers.

So, any challenges?

The market is super big. Almost 8-10 billion USD, but there are lots of challenges in selling kids clothing online and we are innovating several strategies to win the trust of mothers for buying kids apparels. There are no challenges in kid’s retail. There are only opportunities. As mentioned before, the market is massive and largely unorganised. The only condition is that we need to keep innovating, improving and adding value at each step of customer experience. Staying relevant in the minds of customers is imperative.

Your experience with the franchise model of expansion..

At Firstcry.com, we believe strongly and completely in the franchise model of retail. A franchisee brings with him/her a great deal of local knowledge/understanding that is the key to retail. This coupled with Firstcry.com’s competence and expertise in products and retail in general, creates a fantastic combination that’s difficult to beat. In fact, all our existing stores are franchise stores and we intend to continue with that in the future too.

Advice to young entrepreneurs

Identify the right business opportunity, research well, plan well and then have the belief, courage and patience to see it through.

Franchise facts





Current outlets

Rs 3000/sq ft

1000-2000 sq ft

Right since inception



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