How My Pet Dog Became The Reason Behind A Successful Business
Be happy, don’t hold grudges, greet everyone with enthusiasm, loyalty is a virtue, protect loved ones, and love unconditionally. There is no end to what our pets teach us. Pets are devoid of all of the wickedness that people inflict on each other. Yet, some sick minds do not flinch to hurt these joyous creatures who can’t speak for themselves. Nevertheless, humanity in this era of rising insensitivity does exist and today’s story is a perfect example for that.
Rashi Sanon Narang is the founder and CEO of this awesome organization called Heads Up For Tails, which caters to luxury pet couture. Rashi had a fantastic time in London School of Economics, after which she worked in a multinational bank. But her passion for dogs, especially her pet Sara became the reason to break away and become an entrepreneur.
Now she owns India’s exclusive luxury brand of fun doggie dressmaking. As an entrepreneur and a mother, she has seen many ups and down and grown with every good and bad experience.
In an exclusive interview with KenFolios, Rashi tells us, “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!”
In 2006, a fur ball came into her life. Sara, a two-month-old Labrador, became the apple of her eye and filled her life with endless joy. But she failed in her quest to find quality products for Sara’s first birthday like toys, treats, a bedding, and accessories. Rashi was disappointed in products that even the best pet stores in the city were offering. So, she started making pet accessories for her dog who did not like the products available in the market. Showed them to her friends and their dogs liked them, too.
Rashi approached around 200 pet stores and pitched her idea but she was rejected by each and everyone one of them. The rejection from 200 stores did not discourage her, it only pushed her to take an independent route and that’s when she decided to start her own line of quality pet merchandise with a strong focus on design for pet parents like herself, who treated pets as family and wanted only best for them.
Rashi was venturing into an unknown territory, after lots of research and learning about pet friendly styles, patterns, fabrics, vendors and the pet market in India. She invested her saving of about Rs 2 lakh and after two months of planning, finally launched Heads Up For Tails (HUFT), in February 2008, via an online store with about 30 products. Forming a team was very challenging, and for the longest time, Rashi managed every aspect of the business on her own.
A year after Rashi started HUFT, her husband got posted in Singapore. During this time, she would commute back and forth several times a year to keep the firm running smoothly. “We were approached by several investors, both big and small, but sadly we had to turn them doen as we weren’t confident about giving them good returns to them. So, we bootstrapped for eight long years,” says Rashi.
After moving back to India, Heads Up For Tails raised seed round of funding from High Networth Individuals, and is now growing at 30 percent year over year. With nine stores-three in Delhi, four in Bengaluru, and one in Pune, HUFT serves more than 1,000 customers a month both online and offline.
According to Rashi, she has a fabulous all women team and she is very proud of each of them. The most important thing for her is that each of them love dogs, and are very passionate about what they do. Her team support every animal-related cause that they can. They donate merchandise, partner in events, help in finding homes for stray or abandoned pups, sponsor medical treatments etc.
Rashi inspires many with her work and her top three thoughts that she lives by will be enough to conclude this story. Live in the moment, if you believe you can achieve, and they say you become what you think. So, think big, think happy, and think positive.