An e-commerce ecosystem for pets and poultry

India is the largest exports of cattle milk in the world, with a contribution of 24% global production. However, India’s animal husbandry remains a disintegrated market. E-commerce platforms can be a stepping stone for the unorganised units to come together for both business networking and knowledge sharing and ultimately creating a robust Pet Economy in India. 

IBT spoke with Ms. Karishma Dagar, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Animpet, on the integration of animal needs (pet/poultry) on a digital platform, which can benefit over 14 crore families in India who are engaged in animal husbandry and farming. The one-of-a-kind e-commerce has 25,000 vendors and 150,000 products catering to both cattle feed and pet needs.  

Anim pet

Photo Credit: Animpet

IBT: Where does India stand in terms of the animal or pet economy and how do you view this entire domestic industry?

Karishma Dagar: India is in a very high position in terms of the animal economy. If you look at the production numbers in terms of dairy, we are no. 1, close to 24% global production. We are no. 2 in inland fisheries, no. 3 in Marine fisheries, no. 3 in egg production, no. 4 in buffalo meat export, no. 5 in fish exports and no. 8 in meat production. If you look at these numbers, India plays a very important role at the global level. But, around 90% of the industry is unorganized industry and controlled by middlemen. except dairy which is somewhat organized, not to a great extent though. That is why we thought this industry needed a platform like Animpet.

In May of this year, we introduced a platform dedicated to organizing the entire animal economy, encompassing more than 15 segments. Our platform covers a wide range of areas including poultry, feed, animal healthcare, employment, and fairs. We offer various paid shows, seminars, and other events. Recognizing the lack of emphasis on animal health and the limited awareness in India, particularly regarding the large cattle population, we aim to use our platform for hosting seminars and webinars to increase awareness among a wider audience.

IBT: How do you perceive this problem of poor maintenance of animal health in India?

Karishma Dagar: There is a lack of awareness on the maintenance of animal health. It’s the same way as it is for humans, the way we remember the vaccinations for us. So, regular supplements and good feed for a cow are very important. It’s very important to do vaccination at the proper time for animal health. Our veterinary services section and farmers will have a very important role in this. Through our business, we will be engaging with all the industries, relevant stakeholders, animal farmers, and breeders and helping them learn more about animal health. The government is also doing its best through awareness camps and vaccination camps. We also plan to add services in this regard.

IBT: What inspired you to launch Animpet?

Karishma Dagar: My co-partners, Bhaskar Pathak and Ashish Gupta, have previously collaborated on an e-commerce platform under the guidance of a UK-based media mogul. Bhaskar brings valuable expertise in farm life due to his extensive experience living on a farm. On the other hand, I come from a family background of dairy farmers, providing me with firsthand knowledge and understanding of the dairy industry. We realized that there was a big gap that needed to be filled.

We started doing our own research and working on the idea. Of course, there are segmented players. We have players for milk delivery and other players for cattle trade only, which makes this segment completely integrated. For example, if you have livestock, you may be selling milk too. Then you may be buying feed. Apart from that, you can sell cow dung. So essentially, an animal is a wealth creator. You can sell anything and everything of animals, all body parts, leather, bones and medicines. You can use everything. It’s such an impactful reason. You can do so many things with the animals.

The lack of awareness among animal owners regarding the potential benefits of their breeding animals is a significant concern. It is precisely this reason that inspired us to create a comprehensive 360-degree platform that encompasses the entire animal economy. Our platform aims to bridge the knowledge gap and introduce animal owners to the various opportunities and possibilities available. Although we are newcomers in the industry, we have received positive feedback and support from stakeholders, which encourages us to continue our efforts in bringing value to the animal economy.

IBT: Cattle care is relatively poor in India. So how do you answer the quality of the food product or the meat product that you receive?

Karishma Dagar: We will adopt the e-commerce platform model to tackle concerns regarding cattle feed and meat quality. Our role is primarily that of a facilitator, placing the ultimate responsibility on the seller. Simultaneously, we will implement checkpoints for customer reviews and feedback, aiming to remove or blacklist sellers who fail to meet expectations. We are committed to taking necessary actions to uphold the standards and reliability of the products offered on our platform.

Additionally, we are in discussion with APEDA to establish B2B connections for export purposes. Furthermore, in the case of cattle, government programs provide comprehensive data on productivity. As a result, we will create a verified list where interested buyers can access verified cattle for purchase, with a nominal fee associated with this service.

IBT: There are certain e-commerce sites available in foreign markets. Animpet is just the beginning. What are your key learnings on starting an e-commerce platform for animals?

Karishma Dagar: The good thing is, now people are more aware of e-commerce. When we are visiting local fairs, we see that most of the animal farmers have smartphones. They are quite tech-savvy and we have millions of people connected through Facebook groups. So rather than going with the assumption that this thing is new or E-Commerce is new for lots of people, we were glad to find out that lots of people are kind of smartphone friendly. They are open to trade online and that was good learning for us. Apart from that, we have to be ready to create awareness as it is an unorganized industry. So we must give it time and think of innovative ideas to create awareness among animal farmers.

IBT: What kind of feedback do you get when you go to farmers who are raising cattle or even pets?

Karishma Dagar: The feedback has been positive from stakeholders, who expressed the need for our platform due to the lack of physical stores. Our platform offers convenience and price transparency, allowing customers to compare prices from different vendors. This is particularly valuable for assessing the value of livestock and other products like poultry. Customers appreciate a wide price range, accommodating both branded and non-branded items.

IBT: You are one of those very few players in this market. How do you plan to take the company further? 

Karishma Dagar: It is an integrated 360-degree platform that is into all B2B, B2C or C2C. So far, it is completely self-funded and bootstrapped. We are looking at a huge industry with at least 10 million products, and one million vendors. In the first year, we hope to achieve that considering the size of the project.  We aim to provide an employment exchange kind of facility for players. Around 14 crore families depend on livestock for their livelihoods and we plan to engage them. If we meet these goals, we are looking at hiring around 10,000 to 20,000 people by creating district-level teams and tax support teams.

IBT: How do you plan to collaborate with the government, and leverage existing policies to strengthen e-commerce platform?

Karishma Dagar: We are open to collaboration with or any open source players in the market, as a facilitator to listing their products. At present, we want people to get more knowledge and create awareness. This will bring more customers and will be customers and increased engagement on the platform. An important aspect is the availability of schemes like the Kisan Credit Card, which has now been extended to animal husbandry. Government data shows that 27 lakh Kisan Credit Cards have been issued, indicating significant financial potential in the animal economy. With credit limits ranging from Rs 1-3 lakh,  we are talking about a substantial amount of Rs 54,000 crore. This presents an opportunity for our business, as people will be making purchases using these funds.

Moreover, these schemes empower individuals, giving them purchasing power and knowledge to participate in the animal economy. We aim to leverage these government initiatives to further engage with our customers and drive our business forward.

Karishma Dagar is one of the three co-founders and Chief Marketing Officer of She has working experience, as a marketing specialist, for close to 15 years. 

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