1 May 2024

FirstCry: From Frustrated Father to a Rs 4841 Crore Baby Empire 


Imagine a world where finding the perfect outfit for your little one isn’t a frustrating scavenger hunt across multiple stores. That’s the vision Supam Maheshwari, founder of FirstCry, brought to life. Today, FirstCry stands tall as a leading online and offline retailer for baby products in India, boasting a staggering revenue of Rs 4841 crore (as of December). But what’s the secret sauce behind this phenomenal success? Let’s delve into the fascinating case study of FirstCry.

The story of FirstCry isn’t just about a successful company; it’s a testament to identifying a need and turning it into a thriving business. At the helm of this baby product empire stand two key figures: Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha.

Supam Maheshwari: The Spark of Inspiration


Maheshwari’s journey as an entrepreneur began much earlier than FirstCry. An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, a prestigious Indian business school, he had already co-founded a successful company called Brainvisa in the education technology sector. However, the seed for FirstCry was sown much closer to home.

A Personal Need, a Market Gap:

Image Supam Maheshwari

When Maheshwari became a father in 2000, he faced a frustrating reality: the Indian market lacked a dedicated and reliable source for high-quality baby products. Struggling to find the essentials for his own child, he realized there was a significant gap in the market. This personal experience sparked an entrepreneurial spirit, and the idea for FirstCry was born.

Teaming Up for Success:

Maheshwari didn’t embark on this venture alone. He recognized the value of a strong partnership and joined forces with Amitava Saha, a skilled business professional. Together, they co-founded FirstCry under the umbrella of BrainBees Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Early Days: Building the Foundation

Fortune India: Business News, Strategy, Finance and Corporate Insight

The initial days were marked by a focus on online sales. With limited resources, Maheshwari and Saha bootstrapped the company, utilizing their personal savings as seed funding (around Rs 2.5 crore). Their online platform offered a curated selection of baby clothes, toys, and essentials, all meticulously chosen for quality and catering to the specific needs of parents.

Building a Baby Empire

SoftBank cuts stake in IPO-bound FirstCry; Sachin Tendulkar, Infosys founder among buyers

FirstCry’s journey from a frustration-fueled idea to a billion-dollar baby empire wasn’t built solely on a website. While their initial focus on online sales offered a convenient solution for busy parents, Supam Maheshwari recognized the value of a more comprehensive approach. This is where the concept of omnichannel retailing comes into play, and it proved to be a game-changer for FirstCry.

Curating the Perfect Online Experience:

FirstCry India - Baby Kids Shopping Parenting APK for Android - Download

  • Convenience at Its Finest: FirstCry’s online platform was designed with ease of use in mind. Parents could browse a wide selection of high-quality baby clothes, toys, and essentials from the comfort of their homes.
  • Targeted Selection: Unlike browsing a generic e-commerce site, FirstCry catered specifically to the needs of parents and their little ones. This meant a curated selection of products, detailed descriptions, and helpful filters to find exactly what they were looking for.
  • Building Trust Online: FirstCry understood that trust is paramount when it comes to buying products for babies. They implemented robust customer reviews, informative product descriptions, and secure payment gateways to ensure a smooth and reliable online shopping experience.

The Allure of Brick-and- Mortar Stores:

While online shopping offered convenience, Maheshwari recognized the value of a physical presence. Here’s how FirstCry’s brick-and-mortar stores complemented their online strategy:

  • A Familiar and Welcoming Space: For many parents, especially first-time parents, the ability to touch, feel, and compare products before buying provides peace of mind. FirstCry’s stores offered a warm and inviting space to explore the product range.
  • Expert Advice and Assistance: Trained staff in these stores weren’t just there to make sales. They provided valuable advice, helped parents navigate the product selection based on their child’s age and needs, and offered a human touch that’s often missing in the online world.
  • Building Brand Loyalty: The physical stores served as an extension of the FirstCry brand. Engaging in-store events, workshops, and loyalty programs fostered a sense of community and loyalty that transcended online transactions.

The Winning Synergy:

The real magic happened when FirstCry seamlessly integrated their online and offline presence.

Click-and-Collect: Busy parents could order online and pick up their purchases at a nearby store, saving on delivery time and offering the convenience of in-store returns if needed.

Inventory Transparency: Real-time inventory visibility ensured that parents could check product availability online before heading to a store, eliminating the disappointment of finding out-of-stock items.

Unified Loyalty Program: A unified loyalty program across online and offline channels rewarded customers for their overall purchases, regardless of where they shopped.

This omnichannel approach catered to the diverse needs of parents. Those who preferred the ease of online shopping had a smooth experience, while those who valued the in-store experience had access to helpful staff and a curated selection. Ultimately, FirstCry’s success lies in their ability to bridge the gap between online convenience and the trust and interaction offered by physical stores, creating a winning omnichannel strategy for the baby product market.

Beyond Products: Building a Community


FirstCry isn’t just about selling products; it’s about building a community. The company offers a wealth of resources for parents, including parenting tips, developmental milestones, and expert advice. This content empowers parents and fosters a sense of trust and loyalty towards the FirstCry brand.

Key Ingredients of FirstCry’s Success:

  • Niche Focus: By specializing in baby products, FirstCry avoids the competition faced by general e-commerce players. This allows them to curate a targeted selection and cater to the specific needs of their audience.
  • Omnichannel Strategy: The seamless integration of online and offline stores provides customers with the flexibility to shop where they feel most comfortable.
  • Building Trust: FirstCry goes beyond just selling products. By offering valuable resources and fostering a community, they build trust and loyalty with their customers.

What’s Next for FirstCry?


FirstCry’s journey is far from over. The company is constantly innovating, expanding its product line, and exploring new markets. With a growing focus on private label brands and a commitment to exceptional customer service, FirstCry is well-positioned to continue its reign as the go-to destination for all things baby in India, and potentially beyond.

Lessons Learned:

Meet Supam Maheshwari, the IIM alumnus who founded $1.9 billion firstcry.com;  know about his journey, partnership with Mahindra, and net worth -  Lifestyle News | The Financial Express

FirstCry’s success story offers valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Identify a Gap: Look for unmet needs in the market. Can you offer a better solution to an existing problem?

Focus on Your Niche: Don’t try to be everything to everyone. By specializing, you can become an authority in your chosen field.

Build Trust with Your Customers: Provide value beyond just your products. Build a community and empower your customers.

Embrace Innovation: Never stop evolving. Look for ways to improve your offerings and cater to the changing needs of your audience.

FirstCry’s story is an inspiration for anyone looking to turn a personal need into a thriving business. By identifying a gap in the market, focusing on building trust, and embracing an omnichannel approach, FirstCry has carved a niche for itself in the world of baby products. As the company continues to grow, it will be exciting to see how it shapes the future of the industry.

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