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“There’s A Huge Gap Between What Kids WANT And GET As Toys”: CEO Of India’s First Toy Dedicated Website

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By Raju Moza:

RM- So Prashanth, how did the idea of Kidloo come in mind?

Prashanth Gowiraju: The inspiration behind this idea was my kid. He was born in 2008. As a young father, who was born in an era where toys almost didn’t exist, it was a struggle to understand which toys to procure for him and from where. There was neither a place, nor a known toy shop or a brand associated with toys, hence an idea stuck to exploit this opportunity. Then I set the ball rolling with extensive research visiting stores and malls and went to various parent forums, spoke to innumerable people.

I found that there is a huge gap between what kids actually would love to play with and what we give them to play. Most of the times we have observed that “parents gift their kids with what they personally like to play around with than what the kids would love to play with”. With that research for almost a year, I understand the gap and market needs. Kidloo was born in Feb 2011.

Prashanth Gowiraju

Initially you started online but now you have ventured offline. Was it planned or the online store was not giving business as envisaged?

Offline was part of the plan from day one. Online has been created more for convenience and offline stores are for experience buying. We initially launched online to gain the massive experience personally. We could grab in more than 10K variety of toys and 300+ brands.

Own stores or franchisee? What was in plan? What is the current status?

Our expansion plans are the franchise way. We have set up our first store at a spread of 3000sft in Hyderabad. We should be live with 5 more franchisee stores by end of the financial year

So how old are you as an entrepreneur now? Enjoying it or regretting it?

I am 31 now. It’s been 4 years since I started my journey as an entrepreneur. I wouldn’t say its easy; difficult times make you regret. Staying focused and having the right people around you is the key. I thank my wife who keeps poking me whenever I am down.


When you started, was the start up ecosystem different; with charged up people everywhere? Now it looks a bit gloomy with all the bad news that keeps on coming.

From funding perspective yes, but it was accentuated towards tech sector where top line numbers and rosy valuations were talk of the town. Investors sadly compare our innovations to west.

Besides funding, what is your overall view of entrepreneurship and start up culture in India? Has it deteriorated or is it the same? I personally don’t find the same vibes as before 2008 Lehman brother crises, what’s your take?

Entrepreneurship spirit is high in India but I feel it needs to be channelized properly, ignited and encouraged. There are several factors which inhibit the growth of entrepreneurs, like societal pressure. In our society earlier, politicians were role models. Now that space is occupied by either film stars or cricketers. Unless entrepreneurs don’t become the role models for a generation, the economy cannot deliver. In India there are more businessmen than entrepreneurs.

Do you fear this not working as an entrepreneur?

Fear was a part of my mind during the initial days, but your passion and hunger for success overcomes your fear during the journey. Staying focussed and believing in your idea is the key.

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  1. Arushi

    @Prashanth: Just checked out the site, looks good, but why segregate by gender among children too when we are strewn with discrimination all around? Would it be catastrophic if a young boy plays with a pink toy, or a pink barbie for that matter? Or do robotic cars not lie in the domain of young girls? You suggest, should they just stick to mini home appliances instead? I reckon we might have a better generation, if such differences are not blatantly flaunted.

    A website or toy store will not change the skewed concepts of masculinity and feminism that our society propagates from such a young age. But do think about it, if we can raise our kids as humans and not give them toys defining them as ‘boys’ and ‘girls’, and if we can promote the same through our businesses.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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