27 April 2024


Wrapped in Joy: A Bundle of Opportunities in India's Baby & Childcare Products Market


Among the premium players, Chicco has been a coveted name over six decades worldwide and a top choice of parents for mother and baby care needs. Rajesh Vohra, CEO-Artsana India (Chicco), lends his thoughtful insights about the trends of 2024 and beyond


India presents a huge population of “young earning people”, potentially making it home to one of the largest populations of babies in the world. This spells a great opportunity and further growth for an already thriving baby care and mother care industry. According to industry reports, the market size of this sector in India was estimated at USD 12.73 billion in 2022 and expected to touch almost USD 38.51 billion in 2029 growing at 17.25 %CAGR.

Various factors are driving growth in the dynamic baby care sector with products such as essentials to accessories, apparel, and toys. With the middle-class consumer increasingly educated about baby care, especially through booming e-commerce channels, there's a growing demand for safer products, reflecting a deeply involved parental mindset.

In this rapidly changing landscape, online platforms establishing connect with mothers and mommy bloggers, have proven effective. Despite India's push for self-sufficiency through the 'Made in India' initiative, price sensitivity remains crucial, necessitating strategic adjustments to meet consumer needs.

Excerpts from an insightful conversation with Mr Rajesh Vohra, CEO-Artsana India (Chicco)

India with the largest population of babies in the world is an ideal ground for the baby care and mother care industry and its growth is expected to rise further in the years ahead. What are the trends in the sector for 2024 that is a slight shift from the past years?

India has a high population of babies and therefore it’s an important market for Baby care and Mother care products. However, it's important to note that the birth rate in India is declining. By 2021 itself, it has reached 1.91 which is lower than the replacement birth rate of 2.1. Having said that, we cannot but obviously acknowledge the fact that India still is a big market for baby and mother care products. Some trends that are evolving in baby care market that are helping it grow and become premium is an increasing per capita disposable income and increasing population of working parents. Others include an increased awareness of global products due to frequent international travel. With parents having one child at home, they become the center of attention and higher spending. There has also emerged an increasing demand for convenience driven products from nuclear families.


When we speak about the baby care and mother care industry, does the industry specifically see it more as a gender-based market and mothers specifically to target and involve?

For any baby care product, the mother is definitely involved. However, as more and more families are turning nuclear, the father too is getting involved in the decision making. The decision making also depends on the nature of the product under consideration but it’s a joint effort of both parents.

Has the socio-economic factors like rise of working parents, increase in number of nuclear families and dependency on crèche, day care centers and in house nannies made any significant change or impact in improved sales or in the type of product preference?

As mentioned earlier, families are becoming nuclear, and the demand for convenience led products is increasing. For example, penetration of juvenile products such as strollers, highchairs, cribs and cots were not that high in India. But of late, we have started seeing an increase in demand for such products as parents do not want to leave the comfort and care of their babies only to nannies. They want to pick specialized products of known brands to ensure comfort and safety. Car safety seats were not even taken into consideration. However, now parents come to our stores with specific queries that we are able to answer as baby specialists.

What have been the differences between urban shoppers and those in suburban or rural markets? Will physical stores lose their importance over online buying specially in metro cities?

The urban consumers are more aware of baby products as they have been better exposed to such kinds of products for a longer period. The consumers of Tier 3 or Tier 4 cities are still in the phase of being exposed to such products. The query of urban consumers is more specific as they come prepared on the product type they want. The Tier 3 and 4 consumers have more exploratory queries and need to be given information.

Chicco has both physical stores and online availability. We do not think that physical stores are going to lose their significance. Yes, online is growing at a rapid pace, the consumer still visits and purchases from physical stores because of the personal experience of touch and feel, easy product assembly, etc. For that more engaging experience, offline stores are still very important.


Being a premium baby care and mother care brand, how or what are Chicco's USP in retaining its position as a preferred and reliable name to retain customer loyalty and expand further the existing customer base?

Chicco is a baby specialist brand that is trusted by parents for more than 65 years in 120 countries. With this experience and collaboration of Chicco Research centre, Chicco continuously remains in contact with specialists, universities, care givers, grandparents and most importantly, parents to keep abreast with the emerging needs of babies and keeps on developing products and services to address them.

Chicco has very differentiated products and that helps new-parents to build trust continuously in the brand. For example, “Chicco baby moments” cosmetics was one of the pioneer brands in India to offer Parabens-free products and now has taken another leap by offering “Phenoxyethanol-Free” products. Chicco Oral care is specially formulated toothpaste for babies that are 75% lower abrasive.

Again, our feeding bottles are BPA-free (bisphenol free), meeting not just Indian standards but also global ones. Chicco Strollers and car safety seats are a reference point for the baby care industry when it comes to quality and safety. The brand has launched a liquid cleanser for washing baby utilities that not just kills 99.9% bacteria but fungi too. Our apparel is made and designed from soft cotton yarns with minutest of details so as to make them easy to wear for babies and keep them comfortable. These are a few examples only, there are many other products that consumers appreciate from Chicco because being a baby specialist; we are able to offer them differentiated products.

What is your approach to understanding the local market and customer habits in customizing the product range especially in a country like India?

Continuous feedback from consumers and trade partners are our tools to always keep ourselves well informed about the consumer and market. For all our products that we make in India, we ensure that they not only meet the Indian requirements but also the global requirements. As per our philosophy, all babies deserve the best.


How important are packaging and design elements over quality and safety of products?

Quality and safety are of paramount importance for Chicco. We are a global baby specialist brand, and we bring any product to the consumers only when they are thoroughly tested and adhere to all local and global regulatory specifications. At times, Chicco may be slightly more priced than competition due to the quality factors, but we prefer it that way.

Which has been Chicco's top segment as per popularity and sales figures till date?

Chicco operates in 5 business units i.e. Nursing, Cosmetics, Juvenile, Toys and Fashion. Nursing and cosmetics are the most penetrated range of Chicco in India. The penetration of Juveniles is small in India. Therefore, it’s a relatively smaller business though in terms of product quality, Chicco is a benchmark brand. Fashion is a big business in India, but we have been conscious about its expansion which we may do so in the near future.

How are you collaborating with healthcare providers, child specialists or consultants to build better trust and continued patronage by parents?

Being a global leading baby specialist brand, we have our Chicco Research centre that is pivotal for the development of new solutions to make parenting easy for parents. And at the same time, we share the new development with health care providers here in India.

Go Back