Mother’s while taking care of their newborns or kids, always have one question grilling behind their minds which is “whether they are feeding their kids right or not?” While it might be a straightforward answer to the question, it all depends on the child’s age, what he/she is being fed and so on. However, to give the correct balance in terms of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, Hapup provides all essentials in a ready to mix solution which is not only healthily but quite affordable as well.
Hapup is a startup focused solely on making porridge easy and quick for mothers to feed their kids. They offer mixes made out of ragi, jowar, bajra and other household items rich in vitamins and minerals but great in taste. These packages are free from any additives and chemicals, but raw and tasty porridge liked by many. It’s quite an interesting forefront of offering something different related to every kid’s balanced diet. Speaking with Shruti, the founder of Hapup, Bangalore Insider did learn a lot about the company and the entire interview that was conducted I provided below for your reference.
Give brief info about your startup?
Hapup makes 100% natural and easy to make porridge mixes for kids. These mixes are made using our ancient super foods- millets (like ragi, jowar, bajra etc), pulses, nuts and seeds. Hapup mixes do not contain any added sugar, salts, chemical preservatives or synthetically added nutrients. We believe every child deserves a healthy and balanced diet from the best of what nature has to offer. We started in 2018 and created our amazing recipes in collaboration with leading pediatricians, food scientists from National Institute of Nutrition, nutritionists and moms. We are incubated at the prestigious Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad and at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
It is a very personal story of my experience of trying to feed my baby when he was just 6 months old that led me down this path. It started with what best I could offer my child to how can I make this available to every child in the country. I was so amazed at the wealth of knowledge in our traditional Indian recipes and when that wisdom matched the insights of food science, Hapup seemed like a no-brainer. Our mission is to solve the no.1 worry every mom has- Am I feeding my baby right? Looking at what’s available in the market to how tedious sometimes home-made food gets, we wanted to offer the best of both worlds- a nutritious and tasty porridge mix that is made by a mom, just like home.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Prior to being a mom and starting Hapup, I ran an internet tech startup in product rental space- RentSetGo. Our focus there was to focus on experiences and not expenses. To utilise an asset fully and sustainably by renting it rather purchasing it. Prior to that I worked in the venture capital and corporate finance industry.
Where is your startup based? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Physically we are based in Hyderabad but thanks to amazing platforms like Amazon, FirstCry, BigBasket etc, we can reach our customers across India. We have in fact served customers across 150+ cities, towns and villages across India.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
For me, our customers and our team is the core of our business. How can we make ourselves 1% better everyday is what I think about the most at nights. Also my young 5month old baby also keeps me awake most nights these days.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
I think our biggest competitors are who we were yesterday. And everyday we try to be better than what we have been doing. The market has incumbents and newer players coming in almost on a daily basis, but we are very clear in terms of our focus and that is customer happiness. We make products that makes moms and dads happy because their baby is happy.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
I think I learnt this lesson the hard way, through my experience of my previous venture where I didn’t have any semblance of work-life balance. So when I started Hapup, I was very clear in terms of how I wanted to build my business, company culture and quality of life was at the core of it. Nutrition itself lends heavily to our quality of life, so eating healthy food, taking breaks, mini-meditations, fitness, all have found a way into the routine of my life now.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We recently won a central government grant under RKVY-RAFTAAR scheme for Agri entrepreneurship and innovation. Other than that completely bootstrapped.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
I think one of the misconceptions people have is that I have achieved all this by myself- Raising 2 kids, running a startup, shuttling between cities etc. The reality is that I have been blessed with an amazing support system at home and an insanely talented and hardworking team at Hapup that has helped me get to where I am today.
What gets you excited about this company?
The future and the possibilities it brings.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Right now the schedule is a bit intense (being a mom to a newborn) but it works for me. The general day is split between spending time with my kids and family, working with my team, and focusing on self, interspersed with feeding the baby every 3 hours.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Every member of my team has been handpicked from the 100s I spoke to before them. Some were referred through a trusted connection and some reached out online to a job application, but what’s common among them all is their dedication towards work, their passion towards creating something they are proud of, and to building a product that is loved by kids and their moms and dads.
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