15 Apr 2023
Petzcareindia founder Sunil Dcosta, Interviews Anushka Iyer, Founder and CEO, Wiggles : Insights into the Pet Industry
1. What inspired you to start Wiggles, and what sets it apart from other pet care companies?
Anushka: Animals have taught me throughout most of my life and I’ve grown up with them and have been driven to improve their quality of life. Wiggles was launched with a vision of creating a 360° pet care ecosystem that caters to a pet’s needs from birth, integrating physical, emotional, and social care.
Wiggles has experts across veterinary, behaviour, nutrition, grooming and pet wellness. As more young Indians are bringing pets into their homes, there is a rise in pet abandonment due to high costs and lack of knowledge. To address these issues, Wiggles was founded on the premise of delivering quality, convenience, and accountability while reducing daily costs. Our unique approach to pet care sets us apart from other pet care companies in India.
We are the only brand that integrates a holistic approach to pet care, recognizing that a pet i physical, emotional, and social well-being. Wiggles has set up India’s first state-of-the-art boarding, training and veterinary facility at Petsville in Pune, and its community Wiggles Tribe is India's largest online and offline pet parent community with access to experts like vets, behaviourists, nutritionists and trainers.
2. How does Wiggles cater to the unique needs and preferences of pet parents?
Anushka: At Wiggles, we understand that each pet is unique and has its own set of needs and preferences. We also understand that pet parents have different preferences when it comes to pet care. To cater to these needs and preferences, we offer a range of pet care services and products. We have a team of experts across veterinary, behavior, nutrition, grooming, and pet wellness who work closely with pet parents to understand the specific needs of their pets via Wiggles Tribe, our community on Facebook.
Based on the feedback and medical situations we provide personalized care plans and recommendations that cater to the unique needs of each pet. Additionally, we offer a wide range of pet care products, including food and treats that cater to the different preferences of pet parents.
3. Could you share some of the most popular services or products that Wiggles offers for pets?
Anushka: Initially, Wiggles offered vet-on-call and grooming services, but we have pivoted to focus on solving the most critical problems faced by pets and pet parents. Our products range from prescription medicines, to supplements, Grooming essentials to food and treats and probiotics. In doing so, we have developed a range of innovative products, such as EveryDawg - a line of dog food and treats that provides the right nutrition at an affordable price, Barkstix - functional soft chews for dogs, Cannapaw - a cannabis-based pain relief and therapeutic oil for both dogs and cats, Stripzy - an easy-to-feed prebiotic strip, a 100% natural and Kids and Pet safe floor cleaner and many more.
We currently have SKUs available, including food, treats, grooming products, supplements, and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, we have established a state-of-the-art dog boarding, training, and veterinary facility called Petsville in Pune.
4. What do you think are the biggest challenges faced by pet parents when it comes to caring for their pets, and how does Wiggles help to address these challenges?
Anushka: As a pet care brand, we understand that pet parents face several challenges when it comes to caring for their furry babies. One of the most significant challenges is the lack of access to reliable and affordable pet care services. Many pet parents struggle to find qualified veterinarians, behaviorists, and trainers, which can make it difficult to address their pets health and behavior issues. Another challenge is providing the right nutrition to pets, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Some pet parents may not have the necessary knowledge to select the right food and treats for their pets, leading to health issues in the long run. Wiggles addresses the challenges by providing a 360-degree pet care ecosystem that integrates physical, emotional, and social care.
We have experts across veterinary, behavior, nutrition, grooming, and pet wellness, making it easier for pet parents to access the right services for their pets. We also offer a range of affordable and high-quality products, including our EveryDawg dog food and treats line, Cannapaw, and Stripzy, that provide the right nutrition and care for pets. Overall, our goal at Wiggles is to make pet care accessible, affordable, and convenient for all pet parents, so they can provide the best possible care for their furry friends.
5. How does Wiggles ensure the safety and well-being of pets under its care, and what measures do you take to mitigate any potential risks or concerns?
Anushka: At Wiggles, the safety and well-being of pets under our care are of utmost importance and have established stringent protocols and procedures that are followed by our trained and qualified staff. We understand that pet parents trust us with their beloved pets, and we take this responsibility very seriously. In addition, we have a dedicated team of veterinary experts who work closely with pet parents to understand their pets; unique needs and preferences. We also encourage open communication and feedback from pet parents, so we can continually improve our services and ensure that their pets receive the best possible care.
6. What are some of the latest trends or developments in the pet care industry, and how is Wiggles adapting to stay relevant and innovative?
Anushka: The pet care industry is constantly evolving, and at Wiggles, we strive to stay ahead of the curve by embracing the latest trends and developments. One major trend in the industry is the increasing demand for natural and organic products. Pet parents are becoming more conscious of the ingredients in the products they use for their pets and are seeking out options that are free from harmful chemicals and additives. The pet care industry is experiencing a cultural shift, with pet owners now considering themselves as pet parents. This shift has resulted in a higher awareness and sensitivity towards pets, leading to a growing demand for clean, honest, transparent, and high-quality pet products and services.
Quality vet services are becoming increasingly important for pet parents, and boarding facilities have
also gained popularity, with parents wanting to ensure their pets are in good hands when they are away. As a result, the pet care industry is expected to see significant growth in areas such as nutritious pet food, quality vet services, and boarding services in the upcoming years.
7. Could you share some success stories or testimonials from satisfied pet parents who have used Wiggles; services or products?
Anushka: “We had opted for dog training at Wiggles as our dog had issues like fear, aggression, etc at the age of 2.5 years. We are really very happy to see a change in our pet Hari (he is shitzu) after the training. Hats off to the trainer Summy Thakkur who takes initiative to train our pet and make their life easy and fear free. The Wiggles Petsville team is so supportive and helpful not only at the time of training but also for all single-day service we take from them like grooming, vet visit, etc. Special thanks to Kushal, Summy, Raman, Mohit and the entire team for everything and also for sending us daily updates on Hari. We keep daily getting videos and photos of Hari and this really helped us to miss him 5% less.” Neha Bhujbal, pet parent.
8. What advice would you give to new pet parents who are just starting to navigate the world of pet care, and how can Wiggles help them on this journey?
Anushka: As the Founder and CEO of Wiggles, a leading pet care startup, I would like to offer some advice to new pet parents who are embarking on their journey of pet care. First and foremost, I would recommend doing a thorough research and understanding the specific needs and requirements of the pet you are bringing into your home. This includes their diet, exercise, grooming, and healthcare needs. It's essential to create a safe and comfortable environment for your pet and establish a routine that caters to their well-being.
Secondly, I would urge new pet parents to invest in their pet's health and wellness. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care are crucial to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Lastly, I would emphasize the importance of education and learning about pet care best practices. This is where Wiggles can be an invaluable resource. My advice to new pet parents would be to prioritize their pet's health and well-being, educate themselves about proper pet care, and utilize resources like Wiggles to navigate the world of pet care with confidence and ease.
9. What are Wiggles long-term goals and aspirations for the future, and how do you envision the company evolving and growing over time?
Anushka: Wiggles is on the track to create a 360° Petcare ecosystem with a holistic approach to a pet’s well-being while developing brands that are disruptive, economical and easily accessible. With a team of 250+ members which include vets, behaviourists, trainers, nutritionists and pharma technologists make sure to develop solutions for the pet care. Looking to the future, we have plans to expand our range of products and services and increase our offline presence while promoting the importance of responsible pet care to all stakeholders. Our goal is to continue to grow our product portfolio to meet the evolving needs of pets and their parents while expanding our offline footprint in the coming years. We remain committed to addressing the gaps in the market and providing solutions for the challenges faced by pets and their owners. We are constantly listening to pet parents and identifying how we can help solve problems they are grappling with.
As part of our commitment to advancing pet care, we are currently exploring the development of wearables for pets and researching diagnostics that are specifically designed for pets. We recognize that currently, pet parents often rely on human diagnostic centers for various tests, and we aim to provide a more convenient and specialized alternative through our products and services. To achieve this vision, we are focused on strengthening our leadership team and talent pool, while also bringing onboard experts in various fields such as vets, behaviorists, trainers, nutritionists, and pharma technologists. This will help us expand into new markets beyond metro cities.
Additionally, we are working towards expanding our physical footprint in the near future to better serve pet parents and their furry companions.
10. How can pet parents learn more about Wiggles and get involved with the company mission and vision?
Anushka: As the Founder and CEO of Wiggles, Iam excited to share how pet parents can learn more about our company and get involved with our mission and vision. We have a comprehensive website www.wiggles.in that provides detailed information about our company mission, vision, and values. On our website, pet parents can learn about our innovative pet care products, services, and unique approach to holistic pet care. We also have a blog and a resource center where pet parents can access informative articles, tips, and guides on various topics related to pet health, nutrition, and well-being.
We are also very much active on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where
we regularly share updates, news, and engaging content related to our company's initiatives, events, and promotions. Pet parents can follow us on these platforms to stay up-to-date with our latest offerings and interact with us. As a startup we often participate in pet-related events, workshops, and seminars in various communities, where pet parents can meet us in person, learn more about our company, and get involved with our mission and vision. We have a dedicated customer support team that is always ready to assist and provide information to pet parents who have inquiries or want to learn more about our company.
We are passionate about empowering pet parents with knowledge and resources to enhance the well- being of their furry companions, and we encourage them to connect with us through our website, social media, events, and customer support to learn more and join us in our mission.
11. Wiggles have acquired Capt Zack, take us through the deal and how will it help the pet owners?
Anushka: Wiggles has announced the acquisition of Capt Zack. In a 100% cash and equity deal, the acquisition is the first in India’s pet care start-up economy. The acquisition is also the first of its kind where an Indian pet care start-up acquires another homegrown brand, further fuelling growth for the sector. Theacquisition will not only enable Wiggles to grow its presence but also reaffirms the brands’ leadership and promise towards pets and animals. This acquisition is expected to strengthen our position in the pet grooming industry and expand our product offerings. Capt Zack brings extensive expertise in natural and safe pet grooming products, which aligns with Wiggles focus on providing high-quality and healthy pet care solutions.