Meet Mompreneur Pallavi Utagi, CEO and Founder of SuperBottoms, India’s no. 1 Eco-friendly reusable baby cloth diapers.
About Pallavi Utagi
Pallavi Utagi, the CEO and Founder of SuperBottoms is the forerunner in creating cloth diapers as a category in the baby care segment.
Her key interests lie in sustainable, zero waste living and gentle ways of parenting. An engineer and marketer by education, her previous major contributions to the industry have been launching the brands i-can, i-pill and i-sure and working as the category manager for World’ no 1 Feminine Hygiene Wash brand, Lactacyd.
As a person, Pallavi defines herself as a life-curious person who loves to explore the various facets of life and places immense importance on ‘doing’ things She best describes herself as an analyser, optimist, doer and open-minded. Her hobbies include reading, travelling and exploring new places to eat.
Tell us a little about yourself
My schooling happened in Nashik till 12th standard. I did my bachelors of Engineering in Electronics and Telecom from(Insert college) and MMS from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies.
I worked with Infosys as a software engineer for 2 years after my BE. My first stint in the field of brand building was in 2009 when I joined a Pharmaceutical company, based out of Bangalore to launch their India brand division.
I also realized brand building goes beyond the marketing right into the production, supply, operations and more.
As of now, I have about 11 years of experience in Brand Management and have managed and launched sensitive products in the past in the female care sector.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
6 years back when I had my baby I knew two types of diapers – the regular disposable diapers and the traditional cloth langots.
I was tired and needed some rest and using the langots all day was not possible for me. I tried disposable diapers but it gave him a rash and I realised he had a sensitive skin.
Upon checking with other mothers, I found out that this is a very common issue faced by a lot of babies.
Also, me and my husband were really upset with the number of diapers we were throwing in the dustbin every day.
I started looking for an alternative. Cloth Diapers were already becoming popular in the US. I got a few from there but they were not very well fitted for Indian babies.
I decided to follow this idea – make cloth diapers which were suitable for Indian babies and have Indian prints which were quirky and cute! Soon, I gave a few to my friends who had new babies and they loved it! Before I knew it, it started selling like hot cakes and here we are now!
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
SuperBottoms is a leading and award winning cloth diapering company. A brand of reusable high performance cloth diapers, they make them for babies from new-born till the child gets toilet trained.
They are a skin friendly, eco-friendly and economical alternative & providing the goodness of a cloth and functionality of a disposable diaper for babies o.
SuperBottoms also makes other baby hygiene products like organic cotton nappies and padded underwear for toilet training of babies and other accessories related to diapering like waterproof cloth bags, diaper backpacks.
What is unique about your business?
We are the leading brand in India to make 100% cloth diapers. A five year old brand, SuperBottoms has developed a very loyal base of customers since its inception and aims to make cloth diapering a new category and mainstream in the Indian market.
How many employees in your organization?
We are about 30 of us in the team. During the COVID times itself we have recruited about half the team.
The larger part of our team was working from home right from the inception of the company so it was easy for us to transition to the work from home scenario and expand the team as well.
Work from home was designed for our company so as to give opportunities to well qualified women who are looking for a balance between their family and job responsibilities after having a baby. Our customer support team is based all over India.
What’s your company’s goals?
To make cloth diapering a new category and mainstream in the Indian market.
How do you build a successful customer base?
A great product which goes even beyond what the customer has imagined from a dream product.
A fantastic support team which truly understands the customer’s challenges, handholds them in the most empathetic manner.
It is also about being true to the company’s values. When you do that it comes out in every interaction that you have with the customer.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
When we launched our first diapers way back in 2014, I assumed a lot of things about the market and did not put in the required rigour in the same.
It led to immediate copy cats and a lot of heartburn. Lesson learnt – differentiate or perish.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Seth Godin – he creates brands with stories and has the most common sense approach to marketing, which is rather uncommon.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Put in the rigor, go that extra mile even if you think no one will notice, it is the little things that matter in the end.
Also if you need help, just ask, the start-up ecosystem today is amazingly supportive for anyone who really wants to get things done.
Does your company help the community or society?
Our company is truly focussed on sustainability- from optimizing the usage of raw materials to recycling and upcycling initiatives.
We have a strong community of parents where we also take up initiatives like providing support for postpartum depression, host a reselling of our own diapers to support people from lower income levels. It is a strong community of 35000+ parents and growing each day.
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