Open Talk @DSIM
An Interview with Tanushree Raj, Founder at PawtBelly.com
PawtBelly is a dog company that serves premium fresh food. We are driven by the sole intent of making the lives of our pets healthier and longer, at mass scale. We live by two things: Quality and Customer Service. Our customers and dog customers vehemently vouch for it!
Q1. Hi Tanushree and Welcome. How did you come up with the concept for “pawtbelly.com”? Why did you think of calling the venture, pawtbelly.com?
Ans. PawtBelly happened because of my dog, Django. I had recently closed down my last startup that ran great for 1.5 years and was in a phase when quite a lot of things seemed awful. Django helped me a lot to get back to my feet again. So you know how important this little guy is One day he suddenly stopped eating the processed dog food that I used to feed him.
Then I researched a lot and figured how dangerous processed food is for pets. It was just making him sick, just slowly. I started cooking for him at home and spent a lot of time researching on canine nutrition and trying out the perfect food that is balanced, as well as tasty for him.
That’s how it struck, and PawtBelly is a hit among dogs! The name came from a little thought into what would reflect happy well-fed dogs.
Q2. Interesting! What are the most effective ways for a company to promote itself online? What does digital marketing do for your business?
Ans. I think having a keen understanding of your market helps a lot. That is the only way you can generate content that adds value to your reader’s time. Your content should not be a pass time, but it must answer/resolve pain points for your potential customers. Not only should you generate relevant content but also induce user-generated content. I have not spent a single rupee on marketing, and yet all my customers come from online content, and we are growing fast!If you have a good product that has a great word-of-mouth spread, then digital marketing can become your lifeline, especially when you are bootstrapping like I did.
Q3. Tanushree, what were the challenges you had to face while setting up and scaling your venture?
Ans. Well, there are many, but ensuring the quality and great service that you started out with, is propagated as your team grows is very important. Multiple checkpoints and reviews ensure that when the final product is out, you can bet your name on it.
Q4. So, what about the future? Where do you plan on going from here?
Ans. I have just started! There are two things that I definitely want to achieve; one is to bring the pet food market incline towards fresh, then processed. Second, to make PawtBelly the synonym to fresh. Simple!
Q5. Tanushree, what are your views on the thought, that as compared to male counterparts, it’s harder and more struggling for females to make a mark professionally?
Ans. Well, we all women (if they doubt themselves) and men (if they doubt women) need to remember; that one needs only two things to be successful. First is grit, and second is brains. Contrary to popular assumptions, neither depends on what set of other organs you have. So to answer your question, I think it’s hard only if you think so. And that’s true for males compared to other male counterparts as well.
Q6. Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Ans. I recommend Shopify, Facebook and Whatsapp, they are working great for me.
Q7. At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to start a venture?
Ans. I always wanted to, but jumped in only when I was ready for the pain!I took the first step by working for a startup in its inception stage, ZopNow.com and then a well-established one, Commonfloor.com. It was a great experience before I took the plunge with Troublemakers Idea Labs and then now Pawtbelly.com.
Q8. Is it easy to maintain the work-life balance?
Ans. Honest admission: I am not good at it!
Q9. Tanushree, any experience or advice you would like to share with soon to be startup founders out there?
Ans. Choose your battles if you want to win the war, and please, do not go out with a product people don’t want to pay for. Also, respect your customers, even when you grow big.
“It was really nice talking to you Tanushree, DSIM wishes you luck for your future. Much obliged to you for giving the valuable time.”