Story of an ex-chip-engineer who built OOKA, an organic babywear brand from scratch during the pandemic
Starting a business and venturing into something unknown with limited access to resources, funds and manpower take a lot of courage. Add the pandemic to this mix, and you have got a challenging road ahead. But Shagun Labroo, Myntra’s brand partner, founder of OOKA, a sustainable babywear and baby essentials brand, thrived despite all these challenges.
The Idea behind Ooka Babywear
Being a mother herself, Shagun understood the realms, joys, and difficulties of parenthood. Nurturing her passion for understanding consumer behaviour, something she dreamed of since her time at Business school, Shagun decided to make the best of the pandemic. Shagun had noticed a stark difference between organic babywear and baby products sold overseas and the products that were sold in India, so she decided to start her own venture amidst the pandemic to solve the conundrum in the organic baby product niche. “During the lockdown, I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, and consumer behaviour was a big passion of mine right from my days of Business School. So, I decided to start my own company. That way, I could speak to parents and make quality products for babies. I started off while still working. I have now quit my corporate job, and I have taken this full-time”, she says.
OOKA Wear India – What Does OOKA Mean?
To bridge the gap between the safety of organic baby products and their affordability, Shagun launched her label-OOKA. When asked what OOKA means, she smiles and explains that the word OOKA is both an amalgamation of her children’s names and a symbol of gibberish spoken by toddlers. The brand offers products like newborn baby clothes, organic-cotton bath towels, baby swaddles, baby bibs, clothes, and baby sacks, to name a few.
Babywear Reaches across India with Myntra
Initially, Shagun promoted her brand only within the community of parents she had built. To reach out to more customers across India, she started selling on Myntra with a big dream of taking the business to new heights. “Since OOKA was born during the lockdown, we went through a terrible time with logistics. There was also this need to be noticed in the clutter. Through Myntra, we sold to customers from remote towns of states like Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, and Kerala. There were pin codes we had never even heard of.” she says. But to her, the experience of having a wide-spread reach is personal. She talks about the joy when a name or address she is familiar with comes up in the delivery addresses. She believes that the community of parents she has been able to build is rewarding.
For Shagun, the journey with Myntra came with a lot of learnings. “One important learning that we had because of Myntra was that the way products look on an e-commerce platform is very important. Photography is very important. Soon, in the future, we are also going to introduce more colourful offerings. Also, data-driven insights, available for all sellers, from Myntra tell us how our categories are performing, and if a certain zone is doing well,” she says
EORS 14, the game-changer for OOKA Babywear
EORS 14 was a game-changer for Shagun’s brand. During the sale, OOKA did wonders, especially in the baby sacks and towels category. Selling on an e-commerce platform has taught Shagun the practical aspects of the same – the aesthetics, the arrangement of products, pricing etc.
Sustainability and OOKA go hand in hand
Shagun and her team also put special focus on packaging the products to live up to their motive of sustainability in baby’s wear. “We realised that the way a package reaches a customer is very important. Our entire packaging is crush-proof now. As a part of Myntra’s green initiatives, we are using completely recycled paper for our packaging now. And we are very proud of it.
Disclaimer: Myntra in this article refers to Myntra.com