Startups

#MyStory: How I Started Pet Fed and the Journey Ahead

I am a Delhi University alumnus, a graduate in B.Sc. Electronics from Hindu college and originally come from a business family. I’d never in my life wanted to do a regular 9-5 job. The passion to scale things and to curate and magnify unconventional ideas into reality is what drives me. I delve in ideas that others might not give much heed to and that’s how Pet Fed came along. I always took keen interest in my father’s business and worked in the family business throughout my college life and started Pet Fed soon after at the age of 22. But that was just not enough so I started searching for new and unexplored fields, I was thinking out loud.

My education is nowhere related to what I am doing now. But during my Hindu days, I was a part of various events in college and also did sponsorship for this. So, I wanted to do something in a similar field and I knew that I was decently good at it. My research led me to find that there were no events for pets in India though the ones in western countries were doing really well. That is how I came up with the idea of Pet Fed.

Started in 2014, taking inspiration from global event properties like Comic Con, Pet Fed is carving a niche for itself. We observed that in a country of 1.2 billion people with various passions, there was an event for every liking of a human being, be it food, music, fashion or comedy, but there wasn’t anything for people who love animals. With the aim to fulfill this very gap we started Pet Fed in Delhi which has now become India’s biggest festival for pets and pet lovers.

Pet Fed is an event that caters to a niche market, but this niche market of the pet care industry is growing at 26% CAGR. We are a unique event and being the industry leader is the simple strategy that needs to be followed here. Our first event was on 1st November 2014 at Dilli Haat INA. As we took a lot of inspiration from Comic Con, we did our first event at the same venue as they did. Soon after, we did one in Calcutta in 2015, which was a huge learning step. Next was one in 2015 in Delhi’s Garden of Five Senses. Our last major event was in Delhi’s NSIC Ground in 2016. People really liked what we did there and now we are going to have three more events in this fiscal at Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore.

Through and through, I faced two big challenges. One was that I didn’t know much about the most important parts of my business, dogs and events. So we did a lot of hit and trial. We went ahead with the things that worked for us and had to drop what didn’t. I had no coach who could teach me how the industry worked or even any monetary backing. I started the whole thing with my saving over the years of school and college as a kid and had to make do with whatever came at me. Because of lack of funds I could not hire a team, so I took help from friends and found pet lovers who related with the concept. Secondly, when I went to look for sponsors, a lot of brands didn’t take me very seriously. They thought I looked like a kid, straight out of college and not very sure of what I was doing. It took me a while to make them believe that age is not a factor one should be judged on. Moreover pets being such a new concept, it was extremely hard to make brands understand that it’s a worthy TG to engage with. Brands are used to sponsoring music and food fests but pets was and still is, something extremely new for them, so making them realize the importance and the size of this audience took me a really long time. But now we have brands like Amazon, Tata Motors, Daikin who believe in the concept.

The aim is to have a platform where pet owners can find everything that they would require for their pet related needs from pet food to pet-friendly cars and to spread awareness about pet keeping in Tier-II and Tier-III cities as well through the event and a TV show that can reach far and wide.

We have curated it as a festival which gives end-to-end solutions for every need of a pet owner and gives their pets a day where they are the stars. This year, we are adding newer activities like Security Dog Show, Good Dog Program, Pet’s Got Talent, Temptation Alley and many more, with the aim to help harness the bond between pets and their parents.


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