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Thu, April 25, 2024

'We aim to expand not just our branches but the range of services we offer'

Preeti Pantha
Preeti Pantha January 9, 2024, 11:48 am
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Nikita Jalan

Co-founder & CEO, Pet Mama

Nikita Jalan, Co-founder and CEO of Pet Mama, transitioned from working in the corporate world to opening her pet care business after losing her beloved dog in a car accident. She was determined to make something out of his life and took a professional course on dog behaviour and professional pet grooming. On completing her training, she started out by helping friends and relatives deal with their pet’s behaviour and activities. When she realised there were more people out there who were looking for such help with their pets, she decided to set up shop. The first branch of Pet Mama was started in Jhamsikhel in April 2022. 

“Pet Mama was started from blood and sweat. I don’t come from a wealthy family, so I invested all of my earnings from my job and even had to borrow from my father on interest,” she recalls. However, setting up a business was not enough. Changing the mindset of people was her biggest challenge. “Even when we went to register ‘Pet Mama’ as a dog salon people were shocked. The legality of the process was tedious and confusing. And to add to it, I was showered with questions like: ‘Will it work?’ ‘Who will come?’,” she says. 

She learnt that not many people understood her business concept and even those who knew worried because it wasn’t common. “But resilience and adaptability got us through. The initial months were not easy but we chose not to be afraid of the challenges coming our way. We patiently continued to create awareness that pet care is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” she says. 

“Nepal is just an emerging market in pet care business but the global scene is advanced. It has reached a state of technology and innovation where they have e-collars for dogs and even GPS systems to trace a dog’s location. We are slowly trying to adapt and learn from these innovations as well,” she says. 

There are grooming services in Nepal, but Pet Mama offers a dedicated state of service and the tools they use are used only by the top professional groomers of the world. For example, everyone can use a razor but the system of how to cut the hair length in a way so that it’ll regrow better is carefully considered by Pet Mama. 

They take into account detailed study of the dogs brought to them ensuring customised service based on the dog’s needs. They also offer consultation services, recreational activities for dogs like pet yoga, and kukur bhoj.

“If you notice, all the colours we have used on our premises are blue and yellow. That’s because dogs are usually colourblind, they see red as green. They can see a little bit of black, grey and white. And when it comes to colours, they see blue and yellow as the brightest. So, we wanted to make them feel welcome and provide them with a wholesome experience,” says Jalan. 

“After starting Pet Mama, I have seen many other pet care businesses open up and this gives me immense pleasure as the market benefits when it grows. It also means that people are understanding pet care needs. Initially, there used to be just one or two brands of pet products in stores but now people are welcoming variations. Overall, the market is witnessing positive changes and pet owners are also embracing it,” she says. 

Not that long into business, they opened another branch in Baluwatar in May this year. They have also noted the demand for their business in other cities. “Now we aim to expand not just our branches but the range of services we offer. We have recently started daycare services for pets. If you are busy, you can leave your pet with us. Every few months we are introducing a new service. This month itself we started a new service named Pet Mama Bakery,” shares Jalan. “Likewise, we are building dog hostels. This is like dog onboarding. We are also planning a swimming pool as a recreational activity for dogs,” she concludes. 

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MARCH 2024

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