Formal education and career -
Born into a family that had jobs all their lives, Anubhuti Dubey also started working from a young age. She completed her B.com (honors) from Delhi University and tried to pursue CA alongside. Though she could not attempt her Group 1 of CA finals due to unforeseen health concerns, she has worked with EY GDS and Deloitte USI in the statutory audit segment as part of her career. After leaving her job at Deloitte, she found time to bring her first dog Balloo home in 2019.
Being a first-time dog parent is when she noticed all the challenges involved in taking care of a puppy. That’s when one thing led to another and she founded Doggocracy in 2020.
About Doggocracy and how it started -
When she quit her job, she found herself having time to take care of a pet for the first time in her life. She always wanted to adopt one but she could never take up that commitment due to work. Back in 2019, pet care was an emerging industry, it had shown unprecedented growth over the last couple of years, but she felt that there was still some space for tech enabled start-up there.
When she first adopted a puppy, though there were manufacturers of products, she was a little paranoid and kept researching everything suitable for her pet. During that whole process is when she realized that not everybody would have the time or the willingness to put the kind of effort that she had been putting in. She decided that she wanted to fix it and that’s how Doggocracy was born.
They presented their first version of their Android application which was an aggregator model. People welcomed the UI and UX of their app as it was easy to use. They built on the feedback and they launched the Android version with order management system in March 2020, iOS in September 2020 and their web app in April 2021.That is how they covered all three platforms which are built in-house.
On standing out -
They have the advantage of being cross platform with the app being built completely in-house. They have the ability to roll out features and scale up more comfortably, claims Anubhuti Dubey. They launched in August of this year to be India’s first personalized pet store which uses their own algorithm. It creates a personalized profile for their user. If you have a pet, you don’t need to browse for products that are not relevant for your pet. After answering some questions, a personalized store is created with everything suitable to your pet’s age and breed. The platform is smart enough to update the products automatically when your pet grows up as time passes.
In the coming months, they are launching online Vet consultations and will be adding other booking services like pet nutritionists, trainers along with pet friendly vacations, cafes, grooming and boarding services among other things.
Currently, Doggocracy is run solely by Anubhuti Dubey for the last two years. They are a bootstrapped startup and are actively looking to raise funds. Although they have delegated their digital marketing and social media needs, Anubhuti feels that being the sole person responsible for multiple aspects leads to some gaps that can be filled with a well-rounded team.
Overcoming failures during initial stages –
They went mobile first and were hopeful to cover all cross-platform offerings but then during the pandemic Anubhuti Dubey was affected by covid twice so they had to pivot and focus on building the product side first and take up the services like vet consultations later. It would have been a very convenient option to shut down at that point but they kept running through it all. She is very grateful for the brands that she worked with as they cooperated a lot during that which helped them to go on. They grew from ten brands to thirty or so brands across all categories of pet care.
Source of inspiration –
Her biggest source of inspiration is her dogs, Balloo and Blossom, claims Anubhuti Dubey. When she started, she only had one dog but later she got another one. They are the reason she started Doggocracy. She loves that whether she is having a bad day or a good one, her dogs always welcome her home with the same love and affection. Whenever she has doubts, she likes to look at them from time to time to get that extra push to keep it going.
Advice for young entrepreneurs –
“If you have an idea, don’t reject it outright thinking that you do not have everything needed. It's important to take the first step. Because even if you have everything sorted on day one, you will know by day seven that none of it matters and you’ll have to learn a whole bunch of new things! So just take a leap of faith and give your idea a shot,” she suggests. One thing as a founder, she believes, is that there is no such thing as a comfort zone. “If you have a good network and a good backing in terms of money, it might ease up certain aspects of running a start-up, not everything, but some.” says Anubhuti Dubey.
Although she doesn’t have her CA degree, her personal achievement, she believes, is that it never stopped her from doing what she wanted to do in life. The degree would have been great but she did not let its absence be a deterrent. She has earned a very rich experience through Deloitte, EY and Doggocracy for which she is extremely grateful. She got to work in multiple environments that even people with multiple degrees might not be able to do. It has not always been easy for her, but having faith and courage in herself led her to do things that were out of her comfort zone.
As an organization, they filled out a form for Shark Tank season 1 when their website was barely a month old. They qualified the first phase and then the second phase and even went onto the auditions in Delhi which was a huge boost for her. It was a good push because although they didn’t get accepted, they didn’t get outright rejected either! She believes that it counts as a win. As an organization it is what she is proud about.