Grooming pets with love
Hyderabad-based Hima Gowri makes one-stop solution for your pets right from providing grooming service to matrimonial services
Her love towards pets and zeal to do something for them has made Hima Gowri to come up with pet service on wheels.
Quitting a full-time job at TCS, she pursued to do something that catered to the grooming, vet and other services that made the life of every person who has a pet at home easy.
Sharing her story and how she got the thought of pet service on wheels she speaks in detail in a freewheeling chat.
Tell us about yourself.
I have done my B Sc (Agriculture) and then I have pursued my MBA. I have been working for the TCS and later I quit the job for the startup PetGully.
How did you get the idea of pet service on wheels?
It was there since a long time even when I was doing the job. It was there in my mind that I have to do something for the pets as I am very passionate about them.
I knew I could not go ahead with an NGO and keep saving them, I had to do something that is a self-sustainable model and at the same time serve them and provide them food and a comfortable lifestyle.
There is a loop hole when it comes to pet services, there is no such company which can provide all the services at one place. So, what I realised is that if we need any pet services it is very difficult to get.
The customers also face problems in terms of finding services for them, I thought there is a lot of need for providing services for pets and I started doing a lot research and then I came up with the concept of pet service on wheels.
What is the concept of pet service on wheels?
The main aspect of PetGully is to be there on every street and gully, wherever you want to search for any service of pets we are there at your doorstep and that is the reason we came up with PetGully.
We are trying to become one stop solution for pet services. Initially, we started with pet grooming because we are new in the market. Then we thought we need to come up with something unique so that we get easily recognised in the market.
We started with pet grooming initially, it is like a grooming sophisticated setup inside the van. You have a grooming table, bathtub, hot water facilities, dryer and we have wide range of shampoos and also the drainage system setup so that we do not mess up the colonies wherever the van is.
We do not have to take lot of pain for marketing as the van itself does the marketing for us. We send the trainers to the home and get the pets trained.
We have a 60-day programme where the trainer trains the pet accordingly. We are also with matrimonial services where we provide intercourse of the pet.
How many years of research have you done?
It took nine months to come up as a product. Each and everything has to be measured. We also had to check how much of weight can the van takes. So, all these took us around nine months.
What were the challenges did you overcome?
We had to find employees as it was a major concern. We had to find good groomers on whom we can rely. It is important for the customers as to how the groomers handle the pet.
So it was our primary focus and a challenge that we had to face initially. We also have the maintenance problem with the van and also we have to maintain the operating costs which are very much higher.
The van has to start from Manikonda and then go up till Nizampet which was a long distance and we have to plan the logistics. The back-end plan to line up customers is very difficult initially.
These are the major challenges and now we have our own website which made things a bit easy and very soon we will be coming up with the customer app where they can book slots from their phone.
How did you customers approach you before you developed the website?
Initially we took this concept as free service. We also posted it on Instagram about the concept.
We would also send the van across necklace road so that people notice it and book for a service.
How did you manage your finances?
We had to put in from our savings. We had to support our employee and for about four months. Since the beginning we were financially equipped.
How did your family support you?
My family has given immense support, so today if I am doing this it is because of my husband and I who started this concept. People said that this would not work and there were a lot of negative vibes.
He was very supportive and my husband's family has also been very supportive for leaving a job and working on this for full time is not an easy thing. It is difficult to convince people.
Did you have the fear of stepping back?
Yes. Because whosoever spoke to me were already experienced in this filed.
They have been there in other areas of pet service. There was no question of stepping back, but there was a thought in my mind if I was doing the right thing.
How many employees are working in your company?
There are around 12 people and all of them are men. I wish there are women who join this work for grooming.
We really want women to enter into grooming rather than sitting in the office. If you are passionate about anything I think you need to give it a chance.