By ANKITHA JOSEPH
Mascot Pet Shop led by Chaitanya Malkarnekar provides high quality pet care products and soon intend to expand their manufacturing unit to Pune
For all the pet lovers and pet enthusiasts, one name that could mean the world would be ‘Mascot Pet Shop’. The unique combination of a pet shop, pet pharmacy and grooming centre is what stands out the most about Mascot. A vision and effort by Chaitanya Malkarnekar made Mascot one of the most successful pet brands in Goa. Vaccinations, toys, food; name it and Mascot will have it for you.
Instead of finding himself playing between a variety of pets, Mascot sticks to the ones that they feel they can cater to the best; Cats and Dogs. Chaitanya’s love for pets grew since his childhood as his father belonged to a profession that helped him understand animals better. His father, Dr. Vasant Malkarnekar, assistant director of the State Animal Husbandry retired as Deputy Director and passed on the idea of Mascot to Chaitanya.
What started as an idea, grew into receiving great appreciation from the customers. Achieving recognition with Mascot as a business seemed rather a long road to travel for Chaitanya.
Mascot started off in the year 2010, while like many other ventures, this too did not see success in the very first shot. The first two years only saw discouraging moments walk by their first store in Gogol, Margao, which later evolved into a store that witnessed 70-100 walk-ins every day. “It was disheartening in the early days, as customers walked in just to enquire. And in terms of business, we were falling apart,” confesses Chaitanya.
Keeping in mind the same concept like any other floor cleaner in the market, Mascot came out with a product that would cater to your need of a clean home environment along with the well being of your dear pets – Chaitanya Malkarnekar
Though there were a few grooming centers already present up north, the prices charged made Chaitanya realize the need for an affordable grooming centre for pets. With their constant efforts to innovate, Chaitanya started off with the first grooming center down south in their second outlet in Colva. The center received great appreciation and response from the public for their high quality service deliverance.
Considering the requirements for quality grooming, Chaitanya went on to take a short-term course in Mumbai on the subject that led him to achieve more reliable customers. “Once I returned, it was all about doing it by myself and going ahead with a plan that could reach the heights I always wanted it to.”
Besides the grooming centre, Mascot also provides few services that remain exclusive. In the age of Olas and Ubers, Mascot provides special AC taxi services for pets; baking for pets is another exclusive service available with Mascot alone.
It was in 2013 that Mascot Pet Shop started receiving the desired returns from its business. The brand later expanded from a single store to 3 stores all across the state; Gogol, Colva and Ponda. While the Colva store runs along with a grooming centre, Ponda runs in company with a pharmacy. The upcoming store in Porvorim, will also have a grooming centre alike the Colva store. “We are planning to expand, because it is now that we are comfortable with the market and know exactly where we stand. We are also ready to explore new markets,” states Chaitanya.
Known for their most welcoming customer service and high quality product availability, Chaitanya plans to take a step forward by installing a manufacturing unit in Pune soon, along with a dear friend and business associate. While the Pune unit is still in the process of construction, there already is a manufacturing unit present in Kundaim, Ponda.
A product that came to existence out of Chaitanya’s love and care for animals is the ‘Essentials’ floor cleaner. Keeping in mind the same concept like any other floor cleaner in the market, Mascot came out with a product that would cater to your need of a clean home environment along with the well being of your dear pets. “It is basically a substitute for normal floor cleaners, as normal floor cleaners can cause rashes or excessive hair fall for the pets, but the one that we manufacture is pet friendly.”
After two months of the product’s launch, it has received great response with over 5000 bottles already sold. “The product is already being sold in Pune, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and more parts of the country. For a new company and a new product, this is indeed a great success,” he added. Apart from the floor cleaner, soon to be launched is the odour repellant by Mascot. In the phase of being tested, the product is to hit the markets soon.
While the manufacturing unit is reaching its heights, Chaitanya also plans to invest in a repacking unit too. Considering the unnecessary high price range set outside Goa, Mascot is ready to help clients with a pocket-friendly range of products. “Previously we were buying already packed products but now we are trying and getting in touch with the factories directly. The factories are situated in places like Kanpur and we plan to directly buy from them. This step will help us price the product at a comparatively cheaper rate which will be convenient for the customers.” Though the brand has already established its presence among the clients, one grievance that Chaitanya mentions is the lack of importance given to Indian products in the Indian market. “There are people who wait to buy items abroad but, the truth is that we manufacture the same products. Just because there are one or more languages written on the label, people think for it to be good,” he laments.
He further adds, “No one is trying to do something different, and we’re trying to change the same system and get it done in India itself.”
With effective efforts to become Goa’s best name in pet care, Mascot does not only promise quality but also delivers the best in pet care