The booming billion-dollar business of India’s childcare products

The trajectory of India's childcare products is expected to surge in value from $31 billion in 2022 to $60 billion in 2027. (Pexels/Rebecca Zaal)
The trajectory of India's childcare products is expected to surge in value from $31 billion in 2022 to $60 billion in 2027. (Pexels/Rebecca Zaal)


With educated parents looking for quality products for their young ones, new-age companies are emerging to tap into the potential of India's childcare products business

Aditi Sharma, a Delhi-based mother of a one-year-old infant, spends close to 15,000 on childcare products. This includes essentials like diapers, baby food, skincare products and educational toys. “I wish there were more affordable options that didn’t compromise on quality. It’s sometimes challenging to find products that balance cost with safety and effectiveness," says Sharma adding that natural and organic products are often priced higher, making it tough for many parents to afford them regularly.

In a country of over a billion, Sharma is indicative of the business potential of the Indian childcare industry. ‘India’s childcare products market is poised for substantial growth, with an anticipated annualised rate of 14 percent’, a draft red herring prospectus filed by Softbank-backed Brainbees Solutions in January this year said, quoting a study done by consultancy firm Redseer. As per the study, the industry’s trajectory is expected to elevate the market value to 4.8 trillion ($60 billion) by 2027, a significant surge from its 2022 valuation of approx 2.5 trillion ($31 billion).

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There are a handful of key factors contributing to this rapid expansion of the childcare industry in India. Firstly, changing lifestyles and a shift towards nuclear families have increased the demand for convenient and innovative childcare solutions. Furthermore, heightened awareness regarding child wellness and development is prompting parents to invest more in premium childcare products and services.

“As child mortality rates decline, quality care and products become the cornerstone at large. As expenditure on childcare products rises, it signifies not just economic growth but also a cultural shift towards valuing the well-being of our future generations," says Dr Manorama Bakshi, a public health expert who resides in Delhi.


“In the past two decades of my career as a paediatrician, I have witnessed a significant transformation in the childcare sector in India. The country now boasts a wide range of childcare essentials due to increasing parental knowledge and accessibility," says Dr Amit Gupta, senior consultant paediatrician and neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida. According to Gupta, the digitization of information, especially through e-commerce platforms, has revolutionised parents’ access to childcare products and their evaluation of them. In conjunction with higher education levels and the rising involvement of women in the workforce, what we are observing today is the period of the ‘knowledgeable consumer’ and ‘proactive health citizenship’.

“I always check for certifications and reviews before making purchases," says Sharma, reflecting the mindset of most parents today. Ensuring the safety and well-being of their children, especially when it comes to the products they consume or apply is top priority, and there are enough reasons why it should be that way.

A 2019 study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, for instance, found that young girls aged 9-13 who were exposed before birth to chemicals found in personal care products (via their mothers) had a higher probability of hitting puberty earlier. A 2024 guide published in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics (JAMA), titled Chemical Exposure from Personal Care Products highlights the potential risks associated with exposure to chemicals found in products such as nail primers, hair straighteners and sunscreens on kids. They include interference with the endocrine system and skin irritations. The guide also lists out preventive steps including ‘using fluoridated toothpaste without triclosan or other antibacterial compounds’ and opting for ‘plant-based oils like coconut oil over products with multiple ingredients’.

Admittedly, there is a need for gentle, non-toxic alternatives and there are new-age brands that are attempting to fill this void for conscious childcare products. Baby care brand CITTA, headquartered in Pune, offers products that are formulated with ECOCERT/COSMOS Organics certified ingredients, approved by FDA and dermatologist-tested. “We aim to offer parents peace of mind knowing that they are making a safe choice for their little ones," says Tanay Sharma, COO and co-founder of the brand.

“People are becoming more knowledgeable about ingredient transparency. In the past, we trusted brands without question, but now, brands can’t hide much," says Khushboo Abbot Bhandari, pre-primary coordinator at The Ardee School, New Friends Colony, Delhi, and a mother of two. Bhandari is a conscientious mother who follows, in her own words, “a nature-soul lifestyle" . “I ensure everything my kids eat is fresh and beneficial for their gut health. I use khapli atta (Emmer wheat flour) and add seasonal, locally-produced fruits to their diet," she says. Bhandari is price-conscious too. This explains why she switched from international skincare brand Sebamed to Mama Earth for her kids. “Sebamed was four times more expensive and I switched to the Indian brand because their quality was comparable and was gentle on my children."

In the past two decades of my career, I have witnessed a significant transformation in the childcare sector in India. The country now boasts a wide range of childcare essentials due to increasing parental knowledge and accessibility. - Dr Amit Gupta, senior consultant paediatrician and neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida.


A conversation about children’s products is incomplete without mentioning toys. The Indian toy industry according to reports is on an upward track. A January 2024 study by IIM Lucknow, titled Success Story of Made in India Toys, stated that the industry had experienced remarkable growth in 2022-23 in comparison to 2014-15, with exports rising by 239% and imports declining by 52%.

Commenting on the toys her son plays with, Bhandari says that while she used to buy Lego from US or Dubai earlier, today, she finds the range available in India good enough.

Mumbai-based Blix Education is a company that hopes to tap into the success being enjoyed by ‘Made in India’ toys. The company is known for its range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) toys, including robotic kits called Blix Robotix, for school-going kids. Making a case for creating educational toys, Abbas Gabajiwala, the company’s founder and CEO says, “Engaging play with learning seems to be the best for cognitive development, creativity, and enhancing problem-solving skills in children. And so, I believe that toys that offer educational value are crucial. They present the ideal environment for expression and discovery, and help cultivate a sense of resilience and confidence in children."

As for the idea behind his company’s toys, he says, “These toys ensure that children are mentally equipped to face the complexities of the world through exciting, interactive experiences. They also keep children’s minds away from gadgets and other electronics."

With companies like CITTA and Blix Education emerging that cater uniquely to an Indian audience, change is afoot. Sharma feels that while it is reassuring to see the market evolving, there’s room for improvement in terms of consistency and trust. “I hope to see more stringent quality controls. Increased transparency from brands about their ingredients and sourcing practices would also help," she says.

Despite the promising outlook, the industry has its share of challenges. “The childcare industry in the country faces several challenges including regulatory compliance, maintaining quality standards, affordability, ensuring health and safety, supply chain disruptions and environmental sustainability. Overcoming them requires collaboration, innovation and adaptation to meet evolving consumer demands and regulatory requirements," Bakshi concludes.

Tanisha Saxena is a Delhi-based independent journalist. She writes stories that are on the intersection of art, culture and lifestyle.

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