Pioneering the concept of Pet-friendly travelling in India, CollarFolk is a Delhi-based startup, especially built for people who want to travel but don’t want to leave their pets behind. CollarFolk provides the pet-parent community a spectrum of services such as cab services, grooming, day boarding, etc. to make their vacations with pets more convenient & memorable.
Led by RukminiVaish, founding member at CollarFolk, the startup is evolving in a unique way. The team frequently travels with their pets to put itself in consumers’ shoe in order to gather valuable insights that help them to improve the quality of their service. So far, CollarFolk has garnered good traction and has solid growth plans for future.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
CollarFolk helps you plan Pet-Friendly Holidays.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Personal experience largely. Being a working pet parent, it was a struggle to step out with Kiki, my pet, and do things together. The gap in this area is glaring. Necessity is the mother of invention, so here we are!
What is your life mantra?
Don’t worry, be happy!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The fact that holidays with pets is still a new concept in India. This brings uncertainties and lots of questions in minds of pets’ parents, as well as service providers. Educating consumers and standardising service levels was definitely a challenge initially.
How did you overcome those challenges?
The challenges that came by way of being a new concept were overcome by structuring the team and processes in a way that allow for stakeholder education and hand-holding where required. In terms of being bootstrapped, since we have had good traction and a solid revenue model, our runway isn’t too short. Also, a strong sense of community in the pet space helps spread the idea, driving down cost of acquisition.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are bootstrapped at the moment. We started with a limited amount that came from personal savings and an individual investor, with a view to create a MVP. We have had good traction since launch and the need now is to scale, for which we are looking to raise funds.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We have a small, but strong team of 5 at the moment. What has helped build this team is an environment that fosters learning and collaboration. One small thing we do is travel every month to a new destination with our pets, to experience first hand as consumers. The value add after each such trip to individual learning, insights, customer experience and product development is tremendous. This helps the team co-create, each one helps build the business.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Vision, Love and Hardwork
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
FreshDesk has come in handy in mapping processes and standardising customer experience. We intend using SalesForce for partner management going forward. Skype of course has been a life saver to work with partners, advisors, stakeholders everywhere.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Using Google Calendar.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Unrelated, but the amount of coffee I consume needs to reduce!
Answer in less than 50 words
There’s no secret mantra or must do’s. Each one has their own recipe which they perfect along the way. Keep at it
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid
Don’t be a sheep.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now
The universe works in strange ways.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We plan to scale the current business to reach 2000 holidays a month and add another vertical to the offering.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Every experience has brought some form of learning and has led me here, so nothing really.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Our holiday home in Sattal and pretty much anywhere with Vijay and Kiki.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
If the light is in your heart, you will find your way home.