Babyoye Pares Hoopos Team After Merger; Exclusive Merchandise Line On the Cards

Online baby products company Babyoye had merged with Hoopos in April 2013. Nearly 9 months after the merger, most of the Hoopos team have either left the company or have been asked to go. The Hoopos team’s CEO and co-founders too are now no longer with Babyoye. The company had  raised $12 mn from Helion, Tiger Global & Accel Partners. We spoke to Arunima Singhdeo, co-founder and Director at Babyoye about the company’s future plans & recent exits. Edited Excerpts.

arunima singhdeo

Has the Hoopos team left Babyoye?

It’s not that Hoopos staff are leaving. It’s just that since we had the merger last year, we had two teams for every function. Since we had just merged then, we waited till December to just see who the best were. In the last 6-8 months, a natural shakeout has been happening. I wouldn’t call it a sacking, I would call it a right-sizing. Since we had 2 teams for every function, we were just letting go of flab from the company and following the business plan.

Are you scaling down, or shutting down?

No we are not, what has happened is just a right-sizing.

Can you give me a number on how many people the company has been reduced by?

I can’t tell you exactly right now.

Which teams were involved in the right-sizing?

We have right-sized the tech team. The buying team also has been right-sized. Earlier it was split between Bangalore and Mumbai, we’ve let go of the team at Mumbai. Since we are now based out of Bangalore in the Hoopos office, we have replaced them with people here.

Why rightsize?

We’ve done this for the betterment of the company. It should have been done in April-May, but we waited so long to see who the best were. After the merger with Hoopos our salary bill was way too high, this will put it right and help us go with the business plan. It’s just an understanding of the business that we are doing now. Some of the Hoopos staff who were really loyal are still with us as well.

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How has your growth been?

We cannot comment on growth, because, after the merger we had also switched platforms from Magento to Opentaps, and that has had its impact. Then there was SEO impact, and in any case January is the end-of-season sale, so we can’t really tell.

What’s Nextbigwhat for Babyoye?

We are changing the way we merchandise. We are trying to get more profitable by concentrating on exclusive products and less on the non-exclusive merchandise that are there on our websites right now. We are trying to bring in exclusive merchandise from China and Germany where there are a wide range of products. We are also going to bring in our own products.

The biggest problem we are facing in India is the lack of suppliers, how can you scale without importing? We will continue to focus on some of the well-thought out brands. We will try and bring in products that are not available in the Indian market.

We’re trying to get foreign brands that are not in India also into India. We should have them here in probably 6 months from now. We are definitely going to scale from here.

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