Chennai: “Being a mompreneur is like having two highly demanding babies. On some days, I am more of a mother and on some days more of an entrepreneur. Each day, however there is both the responsibilities to be managed,” says Pallavi Utagi, CEO of Superbottoms – a brand selling eco-friendly diapers.
“When I saw the first diaper rash on my newborn baby because of using disposable diapers, I got really concerned. There were cloth diapers available in US but they were way too expensive and also did not suit the Indian baby’s build,” she says. “A lot of prototypes of cloth diapers with different sizes and materials were made to suit Indian babies and started giving it to other friends to try on their babies. They liked the product and slowly we started building a business of selling advanced cloth diapers.”
Traditionally, India has used cotton nappies for diapering their babies. On an average each baby uses 3,000 to 5,000 diapers. Such regular disposable diapers take around 500 years to decompose. It highlights the fact that non-biodegradable diapers pollute the environment on a very large scale.
Disposable diapers are a relatively new concept in India. Pallavi says, “Since Superbottom diapers are made of cloth, they are skin-friendly and don’t cause rashes. They are very economical and same diaper can last for three years. They are environment friendly as they do not generate any waste.”
Superbottoms claims to be India’s first and only Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) tested and certified cloth diaper. According to its website, CPSIA was passed by US to better regulate the safety of products made for children under the age of 12 years. It intends to make the products safer by proving that it does not contain harmful levels of lead, phthalates and other ingredients.
Talking about the response in India for the product, Pallavi says, “They are slowly warming up to the idea of a cloth diaper giving them waterproofing, dry feel and long absorbency like a disposable diaper which they had not experienced in cotton nappies. We have a long way to go and we would steadily reach there.”
Speaking about further expansion of the business, Pallavi says, “While expanding the category and generating awareness of the concept remains a primary plan to expand the business, launching related categories such as padded underwear for diaper free time, training pants, and Nappies for new babies are some of our ways to extend the product portfolio.”