It might sound crazy, or perhaps adventurous, or maybe even both, we invite you to indulge in a story that will hopefully inspire and motivate – the story behind Petsy through the eyes of the co-founders, Sinal & Veer.
For those of you hearing it for the first time, Petsy is an e-commerce platform based in India and was born with a mission to help ordinary pet parents become extraordinary. Loaded with high-quality food, fun and boredom busting toys, grooming products, lots of good advice, and much more, Petsy is a platform for one and all.
How did the idea of Petsy come along?
Petsy has its humble beginnings from a very personal story; as dog lovers and pet parents of the world’s best dog (yes, every pet parent says this). Baxter came into our lives and changed them forever. For us, Baxter is a companion that always loves, a friend that never judges, and a child that is always ready to have some fun. He is truly the heart and soul of our family. Having introduced Baxter, it is fair to say that after becoming pet parents we have become far more sensitive to the needs of animals around us. Hold this thought as we take you on a journey of a few miles to Mumbai.
A couple of years back, we stumbled across a stray dog suffering from fleas and ticks lying on the road in Mumbai. With an eager desire to help it, we went searching for the appropriate treatment. We looked in every corner and struggled. Something as simple as flea and tick treatments was almost impossible to find, and when we did find something close to it – there was no guidance on how to use it! With this struggle in mind and through sheer love of pets and animals, the idea of Petsy was born.
We started working on Petsy from 2018, researching and getting our groundwork ready. Moving from a place like Perth to Mumbai, everyone thought we had gone mad and that we were doing the absolute opposite of what many people have done. So many people thought we were taking a step in the wrong direction – we had quit our jobs as CAs in the top accounting firms and left everything aside to move to Mumbai. However, for us, it was our dream and passion that made us so strong-willed and there was some sort of thrill in defying the odds to be honest! It was a challenge and something we were ready to take on. With sheer determination, we were able to launch our online platform, Petsy on 21st September 2019.
Did COVID-19 have any impact on the services provided by Petsy?
Fast forward to the COVID pandemic and nationwide lockdown in 2020, we managed to get a permit to deliver essentials to pet parents in Mumbai on the second day of lockdown. We worked through a lockdown and were able to supply essentials to pet parents. This really helped us reinforce the idea that Petsy is here to support pet parents on their journey, no matter what!
At the same time, we also donated a lot of food to stray dogs and cats (and still do!), and this by far is the most fulfilling feeling of being able to make a difference in the lives of animals and the community around us.
One of our most recent initiatives revolves around reflective collars for street dogs. We have been working to reduce the costs of these to only Rs 45 in the hope that it can become more affordable and we can help protect more street dogs around India.
How has the pandemic and lockdown impacted pet parenthood?
Broadly speaking, loneliness has been a significant issue that impacted the mental and physical health of people during the lockdown. Increased agitation, irritation, depression are just some of these effects. However, several studies including some conducted by the University of York and the University of Lincoln, showed that sharing a home with a pet appeared to act as a buffer against psychological stress and was linked to better mental health. I think this speaks for itself when we talk about the impact a pet has on one’s lives.
Talking about parenthood, in particular, the pandemic and lockdown embellished new routines and new norms. For pet parents, the lockdown meant spending more time bonding with pets, finding new ways to mentally stimulate and interact with pets, caring and grooming pets, and much more. If anything, we have seen a rise in the number of people getting pets, and this sort of links back to our earlier topic of an increased acceptance of pets as companions.
It’s not all a completely rosy picture though, there has been a fair abandonment of pets and I think this really reflects on the misunderstanding of the commitment it takes to look after a pet. I hope we’re able to positively influence this, but it remains a sad reality.
How do products and services such as those offered by Petsy help strengthen the bond between pets and humans?
Petsy is a platform curated to bring joy not only to the pets but to pet parents too. Petsy delivers top-quality products from premium brands that we believe will bring 100% satisfaction to pets. I truly believe that Petsy empowers a pet parent when making a decision on what product would be best suited for their pet through education and guidance. This in turn means that pet parents make better choices in looking after their pets and thereby strengthen the human-pet bond. We’re for the love of pets, and we go to all ends to make sure we live this promise in all we do.
What are Petsy’s plans for the future?
A technological focus for the future, a desire to continue building robust supplier and customer relationships, and most of all create an impact in the lives of animals through community connections and education, Petsy is invested to positively transform the pet industry in India.
-Sinal & Veer
Co-founders of Petsy