1. It all started on a tirth yatra, when your five-year-old fell ill after drinking a few drops of water. That triggered ‘Happy Ganga’. Can you walk us through the birth story of probiotic home cleaners?
I started avoiding chemicals as much as possible as my way of not polluting rivers, but during the lockdown when we were in a phase of sanitizing everything, what I came across was a lot of chemical based cleaners being used everywhere and there were literally no alternatives. There was also this research that the pollution inside the homes go up 5X after a cleaning routine. This was counterintuitive to me, how can cleaning be polluting? This research to go natural led me to bio-enzymes and probiotics.
2. When was the brand launched?
The product research, customer usability research took almost a whole year and we launched the company a year ago.
3. Did you have a background in business or the FMCG space? How big is the team?
No, I do not have any background in FMCG except for being a consumer all these years. I work solo mostly, I also take the help of freelancers wherever necessary.
4. How did you arrive at the choice of probiotic products?
Children and Pets are closest to the floor and the most vulnerable to the effects of chemical residues that remain on the floor. We see kids with rashes on the skin, eye irritations and even breathing issues because of chemical exposure. This for me was my first priority to address and therefore the probiotic floor cleaner.
Second is the dishwash liquid, because, most of us in Urban India, we have become conscious of what we consume, from cold pressed oils to A2 Milk and some even Vegan. But what is the point if there are chemical residues in our plates and pots? So, the dishwash liquid.
5. You have dish wash liquid and floor cleaners now. How do you see your product roadmap evolve?
We have perfected the recipe for a laundry detergent as well, and will be launching it very soon. Once that is done, we will have covered the top 3 cleaning needs for every home.
6. What kind of research did you go through before launching the product?
The products were not invented by us. Bio enzymes and probiotics have been around for decades with a lot of research around to back up their efficacy. There was not a lot of research to make it refined and usable in a household context though, which is what we have done. Every batch of our product also goes through rigorous testing on parameters defined by Indian Standards (IS) and American Public Health Association (APHA)
7. How big is the market for probiotic floor cleaners in India? How much awareness and acceptance do you see for such products in Chennai?
The market for Probiotic cleaners in India is as big as the number of chemical cleaners we have in the market from large FMCG players; However, people associate probiotics only to gut and skin health because of the heavy marketing that is done. We need probiotics for everything, and there is a need for education amongst people.
8. Is there a belief among customers in the efficacy of floor cleaners? Has there been an effort needed to build it?
This has been our greatest win. Our cleaners work at 3 levels,
- They clean your floors and other surfaces eliminating all chemical toxins and refreshing the air inside your home.
- The dirty water when you pour it down the drain, cleans the drains. OK, it sounds like a tall claim and unverifiable, so we recommend that you pour the dirty water after mopping in the same bathroom for 15 days, and you will notice that you don’t need an air freshener in that bathroom anymore. It smells significantly fresher than the other bathroom(s) in your home. This is also the feedback we have consistently received from our regular customers.
- These probiotics, once mixed with water, are active for 5 days, and in these 5 days, they clean wherever they travel. So, after cleaning your home, they clean your drain and may be the nearest pond or lake or river.
So, you can imagine, if just the dirty water can clean a bathroom drain, how clean would your home really be?
9. How unique is ‘Happy Ganga’ when compared to similar products in the market?
First off, there aren’t many probiotic cleaners in the market yet and the uniqueness of Happy Ganga is really our mission to make “Families Healthy and Rivers Happy”. Every product and every research we do is all oriented towards this mission. We have also made our products very affordable and comparable to the cost of chemical based cleaners. For instance, our 500 ML floor cleaner lasts 50 mop cycles with only 10 ML needed per mop, making it more affordable than the leading chemical cleaner in the market.
10. How have you marketed the product since launch?
We are an ecommerce company with our own website www.happyganga.com. We have used Facebook, Instagram and Google Marketing. We also participate in a lot of flea markets to have a personal connection with our customers.
11. What is the distribution network currently? Is it present beyond Chennai? Do you have plans to take it to more cities?
We are available online and we deliver across the country. Chennai is home and definitely dream to see the Koovum clean soon, but that is possible only when most of Chennai pledges to clean using Happy Ganga’s Probiotic Cleaners.
12.Who is your typical buyer?
Urban women are the key decision makers for cleaning products, they understand their need to move from toxic chemicals to more natural alternatives. They put a lot of thought into how clean and safe their homes are, be it for their kids or pets or even their aged parents.
13. What has been the feedback since launch?
We have had a 100% success rate with our customer feedback. There are times when the customers reach out to me to ask if they can use the products for sanitizing their kids’ toys or if the dishwash liquid can be used for the kitchen counter top. They are very happy about making a healthy choice.
14. The production process is nicely explained on your site. It takes 90 days. Does that limit production potential?
It’s all about planning a little in advance. When we get to such a situation, I would term it a “good problem to have”.
15. What is the capacity now and do you foresee the need to augment it, basis current or future demand?
Our current capacity is 2 Lakh liters per month, there are already provisions for future expansion.
16. How helpful is ‘Happy Ganga’ if used in the waterlogged areas of Chennai or in what ways can people use it during the current flood situation?
Chennai’s water logged areas are breeding ground for all kinds of infectious diseases. Using Happy Ganga will help them 2 fold,
- The problem with rain water entering homes is that the water from drains and the dirt from the roads also come along with that. As mentioned earlier, Happy Ganga cleaners are effective with cleaning drains also, therefore the most ideal for cleaning your homes even in such extreme circumstances. It will address an immediate need to keep their families safe by preventing the spread of infectious diseases. It can be used to clean the house and all the items inside the house.
- By using our products regularly, they keep the drains cleaner and prevent such events in the future.
Yes, we definitely can detox water contamination using Happy Ganga products.
18. How do you measure the success of the product? Is there a targeted sales number by, say, March 2024 and March 2025?
1 lakh homes by the end of March 2024 and 5 Lakh homes by March 2025
1. Where do you see yourself, and ‘Happy Ganga’, in five years?
It should be every household name for cleaning in India like an Airtel or a Jio is to Mobile and internet
2. How satisfied are you after the launch of ‘Happy Ganga’?
Education is the key, we are doing baby steps right now, always aiming for being better
3. Who has been the greatest support in your ‘Happy Ganga’ mission?
My whole Family, everybody knows this is goodness.
4. When will you say ‘Mission Accomplished’?
When every family and every government department adopts the most sustainable way to clean.