“We Are Not Stopping Here, We Are Just Growing”: Alia Bhatt On Ed-a-Mamma, The New Launch And More

In this exclusive conversation with Outlook Business, both Alia Bhatt (Founder and Investor, Ed-a-Mamma) and Iffat Haider Jivan (Business Head, Ed-a-Mamma) lay Ed-a-Mamma world’s cards bare - from vision, to the new launch, the future and more
Alia Bhatt, Founder and Investor, Ed-a-Mamma
Alia Bhatt, Founder and Investor, Ed-a-Mamma

“We all should have big dreams, I don’t believe in dreaming small,” expressed the Brahmāstra actor and new mama Alia Bhatt as she readied herself to answer my questions on her kids conscious brand Ed-a-Mamma. With Ed-a-Mamma transforming the Bollywood megastar’s reel-based performance to a role-based one, Alia Bhatt is leaving no stone unturned in bringing the Ed-a-Mamma world to everyone. “We are not stopping here, we are just starting,” she says with a twinkle in her eyes. 

As Alia Bhatt sits with Iffat Haider Jivan, business head, Ed-a-Mamma, who she calls “fabulous” every now and then, she expresses her excitement on Ed-a-Mamma diversifying its portfolio with the launch of the infants’ wear range. Inspired by nature, Ed-a-Mamma’s new infants’ wear collection is now taking the brand a step closer to building the Ed-a-Mamma world. 

In this exclusive conversation with Outlook Business, both Alia Bhatt (founder and investor, Ed-a-Mamma) and Iffat Haider Jivan (business head, Ed-a-Mamma) lay Ed-a-Mamma world’s cards bare. From the vision and pricing point to the expansion plans and what’s in store in terms of the new launches, they answer it all while reaffirming that the homegrown brand is here to make it big. Edited excerpts:

The infants’ wear collection is the latest launch by Ed-a-Mamma. What is the vision behind this?

(Alia) - For starters, for me, the intention behind Ed-a-Mamma started right at its inception, when we identified a gap in the market for a homegrown children’s clothing brand. The idea has always been to create a world of Ed-a-Mamma, a world that caters to your world of childcare. Right from the time you find out that you’re pregnant to the time when the child is born, gets old, becomes a teenager – we want to take care of that universe and be the one stop, reliable source for you – for you to live out those very important years of your life. 

Even last year, when we launched maternity, it happened very organically. I realised that there was a genuine gap in my wardrobe and it was difficult for me to find suitable clothes when I was pregnant. So, it started by filling that gap in my wardrobe. Now, coming to the infants collection again, the timing just feels perfect! (smiles wide) As mothers, you want that comfort of knowing right, dressing up your babies and most importantly, being mindful about the safety. 

Hence, when it comes to Ed-a-Mamma’s infants' range, we have ensured that they are made from the softest fabrics, without any plastic, are safe and easy for your baby in every way. And honestly, as a young mom myself, the understanding is that you just want the world of stars, moon, and everything for your child. So, we’ve put in a lot of love, care and intention, and even Iffat just has been fabulous in executing everything. 

Ed-a-Mamma primarily started with children and maternity wear line. Then why are we seeing the infants collection now? 

(Alia) - I think it turned out to be a gradual stage! See, we have to understand that we launched way back in the middle of a pandemic-induced lockdown which made things super chaotic and that was not how it was meant to be. Hence, when Ed-a-Mamma was launched too, even I didn’t promote it as much like it’s my brand and so on; we just dropped the collection exclusively on FirstCry and within a couple of weeks, we were completely sold out. So, that was a big learning for us that the power of product and positioning is all that matters. 

In any business, reliability is extremely important. So, even when it came to the infants’ collection, we first wanted to build a base of Ed-a-Mamma, a base that is of a conscious kids wear brand. And this is also where our expansion plans come in, which are extremely well thought out. 

So, now, this is not where we are ending; we are just starting. From here, we are going to education and stories because like I have mentioned before, Ed-a-Mamma started as an idea with storytelling. I don’t know enough about business yet, but I know how to tell stories (smiles). So, the next step is to build those stories through books, animation series, toys – everything for you and your child.

You have spoken about your plans to take Ed-a-Mamma international. What's your outlook on that now?

(Alia) - My ‘outlook’ (laughs) on that for now is that within the next six months, we are going to be available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I have another great news – very soon, we are also going to be available on Amazon. So, this means that we will soon be able to ship even to the US. 

See, Pragatti, right now, we are available in 22 Lifetsyle stores across the country but to really give y’all the Ed-a-Mamma experience, we aim to have our own exclusive offline stores. So, you walk into our stores, buy couple of things, feel close to nature, enrich yourself with the educative experience and just have a good time. And this – well, we’ve talking about this vision for years now (smiles). Hence, vision wise – when we finally go offline with our exclusive stories, I want everyone to have a feeling that they really are entering the world of Ed-a-Mamma, a world that will be first of its kind coming from our country because at the end of the day, we are a homegrown brand. 

Since we have entered the world of Ed-a-Mamma, Alia, what's on the roadmap for the coming months? Is there any new product category that the company plans to foray into?

(Alia) - Apart from the things I mentioned, you can expect ‘essentials’ also coming from the world of Ed-a-Mamma. These will mainly be essentials for yourself and your child like fluids, travel products and even comfort products. The idea is to keep them extremely safe and gentle. So, like we discussed, the categories are infinite because there is so much possibility (smiles). But the intention is to not unveil all our cards together; we will take one step at a time. 

Iffat, we know that Ed-a-Mamma is available on FirstCry but the latter is also one of the biggest players in this space. So, how does Ed-A-Mamma plan to compete with FirstCry, if at all it does?

(Iffat) - I'm a little intrigued with this one. There is no question of Ed-a-Mamma competing with FirstCry because for starters, there is no comparison; FirstCry has always been one of our key partners and we will continue to sell there. As far as Ed-a-Mamma’s brand positioning goes, being a sustainable brand, it is very different. We also have nature and love for the planet at the very core of our brand and like Alia already mentioned, our vision is to ‘build a world of Ed-a-Mamma.’ All this is going to be unique and very different from the marketplaces that you already see. So, I don’t see any question or benefit of competition.

The price point of Ed-A-Mamma's clothes are at par with the larger market. Can we expect any changes in that, perhaps if at all you plan to launch a luxury line?

(Iffat) - When we launched, we were very clear that the positioning of Ed-a-Mamma will not be niche; it would always be a ‘mass brand’, with a certain amount of prestige attached to it. We also keep talking to our audience through our brand because at the end of the day, the idea is that people get some aspirational wear and there is a storyline associated with it. So, we have worked really hard to achieve the price points that we have; we do work on the upper game but in terms of giving out better and superior quality of products, ones that are safe as well. We also introduce new products almost every season like in the last one, we launched ‘green denims’ which was actually not even heard of in the kids segment. So, we will continue to give you better products but not at the cost of our pricing. 

Which category is the biggest revenue generator for Ed-A-Mama? And do you see this pattern shifting in the near term?

(Iffat) - Essentially, we are a kids brand and in the national space, we don’t even have many homehgrown brands. So, the kids range is definitely the biggest and we have also been successful in carving out a niche for ourselves in that space. We procure all our products from India and all are processes are natural. But yes, while we are here, we are going ahead as well and adding new categories like our maternity line has actually surpassed our expectations – a line that was launched as a capsule, grew slowly with the addition of nursing and so far, the response has been phenomenal. In fact, in our first three weeks, we sold out almost 80 per cent of it. So, we may be venturing into new categories but for now, I will say that kids range is a huge chunk of our business. 

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