Movers

How Edamama Is Disrupting the Local Mom Market

Because moms know best.
IMAGE CYRIAN AGUJO
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Learning the ropes of motherhood can be tough. And as parents navigate the aftermath of the pandemic, there are new obstacles to overcome. 

“Moms were put at the heart of this very challenging time. All of a sudden, we’re wearing multiple hats in our households,” said Edamama founder Bela Gupta D’Souza. “We want to simplify our choices and feel less overwhelmed with the roles that we’re playing at home. We are just trying to keep everything together.” 

Gupta spoke at Build, the first-ever startup festival organized by Sinigang Valley and Esquire Philippines. In her “Startup Spotlight” talk, where she was interviewed by fellow entrepreneur Rissa Mananquil Trillo, Gupta told the story of Edamama’s growth from a small enterprise to a popular brand among (moms and dads) in the Philippines. 

In addition to her extensive corporate experience, she became a mom of two herself. She emphasized that this role has given her a deeper insight into the modern-day issues most parents are confronting.

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“For a lot of us, when we become parents, we want to make sure that we can find that balance between our careers and our home lives,” she said. “Opportunity came knocking on my doorstep: I ordered something online, and it arrived broken. I had such a hard time returning it. I thought to myself: Moms are superusers of the internet. In terms of time and money that we spend online, we are way up there”, she added. She also noted that parents, now digital natives, have become more discerning about the purchases that they make for their children.

Having identified the pain points of first-time mothers, she founded Edamama—a one-stop-shop that holistically caters to both mothers and their children's needs. The integrated retail platform offers everything from basic necessities and toiletries, to fashionable clothing and recreational classes. She further believes that what sets Edamama apart is their commitment to ensuring quality control of their merchandise.

“Nobody can just set up a store on Edamama. The philosophy internally is that if we wouldn’t use that product on our own children, then we wouldn’t sell it,” she asserted.

Above all, Gupta highlighted that content and community are at the core of what they do. “Decision-making for parents is a discovery-led process. Your decision about what product to buy for your child will probably start with a Google search about a problem that you’re trying to solve. Then, social proofing is important—validation from other moms to answer questions such as: Would you use this? Have you used this? What’s my alternative?”

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That said, the company uses its social channels like Facebook and Tiktok to listen and engage with their customers. On Tiktok alone, shopping hauls by customers have garnered a whopping 1.1 million views and counting. They also host a blog on their website where they regularly share practical tips on how parents can improve their self-care habits and family life. 

When asked about her advice for budding entrepreneurs on fundraising, she shared: “You have to develop a thick skin. You will face a lot of rejection—I faced a lot of it, too. The important thing is don't take it personally. Believe in your vision, and set a vision, to begin with. Investors want to see your goal of where this venture will be in 10-20 years, and if you can even think that far ahead. Get comfortable with the idea that you will have to meet a lot of people." 

“It’s equally important to say: Is this investor the right cultural strategic fit for my business?” she added.

She also encourages those who are hesitant to jumpstart their own ventures to take the plunge. “If you are at the point where you are still on the fence, do it. There are genuine problems to solve in the Philippines, we need more entrepreneurs to solve those problems. Dive in, right? What’s the worst that could happen,” she urged.

In the upcoming months, Edamama's team is working on making their products more accessible for all Filipina moms. “Our moms come from different walks of life. We aren't just catering to a certain cohort within the market. We have value-seeking buyers on the platform, who pay cash on delivery, as well as the mom that doesn’t use a voucher code or discount,” Gupta said. Further, they also plan to expand their distribution to areas outside Metro Manila. 

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“A logical next step for us would be to take our value proposition offline. We have learned that there is a big demand for products in the provincial areas. It makes sense because access to products drops when you leave the capital. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that you can’t focus on just one channel. You need to be omnichannel,” she elaborated.

Only a little over a year in the game, the startup is rapidly innovating its way to the top. And they have no plans of stopping now.

Discover the best of culture, business, and style from Esquire Philippines. Visit Quento for more stories and subscribe to our YouTube channel for new videos. 

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