Manoj Kankane: A Thoughtful Leader Redefining The Baby Products Industry Standards | CEOInsights Vendor
Manoj Kankane: A Thoughtful Leader Redefining The Baby Products Industry Standards

Manoj Kankane: A Thoughtful Leader Redefining The Baby Products Industry Standards

 Manoj Kankane,     Founder & CEO

Manoj Kankane

Founder & CEO

The Baby Care sector has been an under performed category since always, exercising under the Cosmetics & Toiletries as its subcategory. But, not to forbid recently there’s been a significant growth in the sector with consumers becoming more aware regarding the harmful effects of synthetic products and shifting their focus towards highquality, utility-driven, and premium baby products. Hence, the challenge lies on the part of key global strategies and leadership characteristics to create a sustainable global brand in this industry that conducts thorough R&D and offers products that are extensively curated & designed to serve the varied customer needs.

And, Manoj Kankane is one such leader figure in the baby care industry who not just does it the best way, but suffices the controversial debate aroused in the industry by providing consumers with the authentic, safe, effective and genuine range of baby care products through his brand Fabie Baby (a premium baby care range based on the philosophy on protect, pamper baby skin and every mum’s favourite). Despite being the Founder & CEO of Fabie Baby, Manoj is a Management Graduate by degree and a Pharmacist by profession, and further possesses vast industry experience of over 20 years working across FMCG Strategy Building (M&A), International Sales, Modern Trade, Market Activation & Market Research areas.

In a detailed conversation with CEO Insights, Manoj discusses about company's, uniqueness and his trajectory career journey with the brand.

Share us the inception story of Fabie Baby. How is it currently positioned in the industry?
Today, with people becoming aware and more selective about the range of skin and baby care products they use, there’s a growing concern permeating amidst the skin and baby care products industry demanding for authentic, efficient, safe and genuine products developed on environmentally safe
parameters with no artificial ingredients. Here in such gap, I found the opportunity and potential of the baby care market to diversify
in the future, hence I incepted Fabie Baby with the objective of bringing to consumers the best in class baby care products. To give my idea a final shape I even travelled to Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia and met several marketing, R&D professionals and experts to develop the premium range of baby care products.

Patience, adaptation and cashflow management are some of the very important elements for every startup

Fabie Baby is a premium baby care products brand that symbolizes the 'Trust of Moms' through its innovative range of baby products. There are team of seasoned professionals who hold experience in creating Global brands, and are equally instrumental in crafting Fabie Baby too and developing its formulations, perfumes, unique bottle designs and marketing mix to shape the products that are safe & true to its little consumers, meeting the mom’s demands. However, being a new entrant in the market, we are currently positioned as an affordable luxury brand, where our products are priced at Rs. 400-500. But, we aspire to grow in the same league rather becoming a D2C brand and focusing on the traditional routewhile compromising on genuineness unlike the 85 percent of Indian Retail market.

Reflect on some of the major challenges you have experienced in your journey so far? How did you overcome them and what did you learn from them?
The challenges are part of the business fraternity, and we also faced some impact from COVID-19 on the part of raised relationship management costs, purchase costs, logistics cost, followed by retail outlets shutdown and international travel restrictions. New products development phase was kept on hold, hence controlling our cash flow became the prime focus area. Fortunately, our family and friends remained the strength pillars providing us the source of energy to move forward with a new zeal to achieve the desired targets. I realized that patience, adaptation and cash flow management are some of the very important elements for every startup. Something like Covid-19 can come as hurdles any moment. So, be ready for newer challenges, keep an alternative action plan ready and just keep moving forward.

Shed light on the major precautions you take to ensure that the products are good to be used by babies since it’s a sensitive industry.
Providing consumers the‘Reason to
believe’ is very important for any emerging brand. Luckily, we’re backed by some of the finest R&D experts from Europe and Middle East, and they’re of great help to us to conceptualize, design and develop the product line. Today, we’re proud to say that all our products are manufactured following the stringent quality procedures in the UAE, and they symbolize compliance, safety and purity.

We do stringent scrutinization of ingredients, following EU Legislation and USFDA to develop right & safe formulation, there’s none restricted or prohibited ingredients used. Also, all our products are tested at Dubai Central Laboratory, which works under the Ministry of Health, UAE. Wh ile the fragrances used are specially developed and are mild, and we do make it go through a mandatory hypoallergenic test. We’ve also developed our own unique and modern designs for our bottles, for the fresh appeal.

How has the preferences of the parents changed since past few years? Operating in India where birth rate is usually higher, how are you planning to put your brand at the forefront?
Provided with technology as a gift (digital marketing influence) and global exposure, people have become more selective and smart and the parents are open to spend any amount for the right and safe product proposition. Hence, there’s been a noteworthy increase in the people’s purchasing power with better disposal of income.

In India, 2.7 crores babies are born every year and 0-4 year babies contribute 11 percent of India's population, making India a very lucrative market. Hence, we’re focusing more on the Retail merchandising, community building, and consequentially exploring D2M (Direct to Mom) connect activities to enhance our sales.

As an experienced industry leader, what advice would you give to the budding professionals in this domain?
According to me, Passion, Patience, Adaptation and Cash flow management are the keypoints for an entrepreneur to be successful. But, most importantly 'enjoy yourself' and keep adding values to yourself. Life is about enjoying what you do'.

Manoj Kankane, Founder & CEO, Fabie Baby
Holding over 20 years of professional experience with operational and domain knowledge of International Sales, OEM, Modern Trade, Market Activation & Market Research in Emerging and Developed markets, Manoj s a pharmacist with MBA in International Business. Currently, he is the innovator of premium range baby products at Fabie Baby.

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