There’s more to unconditional love when it comes to man’s best friend! Brindha Prabhu, the co-founder of Coimbatore-based, TABSPS, affirms that the diet of dogs and other domestic pets is as important as that of humans. The words nutritious pet food is what got Canta Dadlaney talking to Brindha Prabhu about her startup that manufactures wholesome and nourishing food for dogs.
How and when did TABPS come about?
TABPS Pvt. Ltd was formed in 2021 with the key concern to introduce quality food products for all pet owners. The other co-founders namely, Arun Mukherjee, Soumya Malani, and Prabhu Gandhikumar, had a similar line of thought which gave rise to TABPS, the acronym formed from the respective names. As pet lovers, we figured out an Ayurvedic twist to pet foods and found an exponential demand for them. This led us to believe that we could offer truly, healthy food to pets.
Did you conduct any independent research on this concept?
It’s not a newly found concept. It dates back to 1463 BC when King Ashoka had set up a veterinary hospital offering Ayurvedic treatment to pets. There are numerous global case studies as well. A noteworthy mention is that of a German Shepherd with a low blood count. The vets stated it would live for only six months. However, it was treated with Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic ingredient and this brought about an increase in its blood count by 30-40 percent!
You mentioned that the pandemic is said to have caused various allergies to pets. Was that an eye-opener for you?
Yes, it was. Our country is abundant in all the raw materials required to make quality dog and cat foods. But we still end up importing tonnes and tonnes of pet food. The risks of doing that are one too many and it got highlighted due to supply chain disruptions during the pandemic. TABPS is aimed at filling that need for Indian-made quality food for pets. We wanted to enrich the Pet food sector entirety.
Are your products for all pets or only for dogs, and how healthy are they?
Currently, we offer nutrient-rich foods for only dogs. We are moving one step at a time and plan to introduce products for cats as well.
The ingredients are native and come with varying Ayurveda benefits which makes the products extremely healthy. One of the key ingredients is the microcrystalline hydroxyapatite compound (MCHC). This is the most effective source of calcium derived mostly from bovine bones and is easy to absorb.
How many pet owners did you experiment with? How did they respond?
Currently, we have more than 200 pet parents who have experimented and voiced their complete satisfaction with our products. Over the months, this positive response has spread via word of mouth and the overall response has surpassed our expectations.
What was your initial marketing concept?
In 2021, we started marketing our Filomilo range of biscuits in pouches which were priced at Rs 20. When you launch something it’s better to understand how well it’s received by doing a test trial. Once clients are satisfied, the demand grows naturally and you can launch the products in accordance with their needs.
What does your range of products include?
We have a range of 7 products like dog shampoo, milk powder, kennel wash and calcium tablets. We have consistently added a new product at intervals of 4-5 months. We also have cat litter and will be introducing more products for cats soon. In the recent past, we have also introduced treat fills, which are unique by all standards as they entail millets, Ayurveda and are enriched with fish and chicken oil.
The professionals in your team?
We have a Europe-based veterinary doctor responsible for the formulations of all our recipes. We have an R&D team that manages all the trials and the final recipes.
Since the launch in 2021, what has been the market response till date?
The response from pet parents has been extremely encouraging. Many have reverted with various suggestions, the most popular one being dry food for pets, which we are working. Last year, we were nominated by Amazon as the preferred choice for pet food! Such responses have motivated us further and we are sure we will be able to meet the many demands coming our way in a very satisfactory manner.
With quite a few competitors in the market, what is your USP?
Yes, our competitors do have massive budgets, great marketing campaigns and a pan-India presence. Despite all that, we knew we could overcome all obstacles via our value proposition and our USP of incorporating Ayurveda. Moreover, the market has a lot of potential. Neither do we have deep pockets nor do we believe in larger-than-life campaigns. When our products were launched, competitors offered many freebies to the same outlets but that did not dampen our spirits. We knew we had something special to offer and stuck to our USP.
Brindha Prabhu stands a class apart in the world of entrepreneurs. Her crystal-clear vision of providing healthy food to dogs and other domestic pets is reflected in every product that is created with the utmost care and love. No wonder then that her products have become a hot favourite with many pet parents. She ensures her products pamper her own pets, a Saint Bernard and a Boxer, to the hilt. With exports on the agenda, TABSP is also planning to tie up with animal shelters. The organization swears by the 3 ideals of Quality, Packaging, and Customer service. In Brindha’s words, “Keep it simple – it always works.”