Yash Bhatia

Philips Avent promotes co-parenting; targets both mothers and fathers

Deepali Agarwal, head, personal health, talks about the brand’s strategy in the Indian market.

In India, women (mothers) are mostly responsible for child-rearing, especially during the first few months of their baby’s life, when the baby is dependent on breast milk. Many women put their careers on hold to take care of their children.

For women with newborn babies, breast pumps have emerged as a saviour. With an electric and manual breast pump, a woman no longer has to worry about feeding her baby on time. 

Philips entered this category in 1984, with ‘Philips Avent’. It’s a childcare brand that manufactures breast pumps, sterilisers, and other baby feeding and health accessories.

Philips Avent entered the Indian markets around a decade back, through a distribution model. The parent company started to focus on the category in India just five years back. 

Talking about the brand’s strategy for the Indian market, Deepali Agarwal, head, personal health, Philips Indian subcontinent, tells afaqs!, “India is the ‘baby capital’ of the world. We’re a country where 25 million babies are born every year.” 

“Nowadays, mothers are balancing their self-care, personality and individuality, along with being the best parents. In this endeavour, there are brands and technologies that can help them to navigate through their crucial life stage. That’s where Avent becomes a promising brand for India.”

As per a Fortune Business Insights report, the global breast pump market size is projected to reach over $2 billion in 2029, at a CAGR of more than 8% during the forecast period - 2022-29. Data for the Indian market, isn’t available.

According to Expert Market Research, the baby care market in India is growing rapidly, at a CAGR of over 15% in the 2023-28 period. It will be worth over $26 billion by 2028. 

Agarwal highlights, “In this category, we’re growing in excess of 25% across the board, including electric breast pumps and sterilisers. The steriliser category in the top metro cities of India, grew about five times over the last three years.”

The growth can be attributed to rapid adoption by premium consumers in Tier-I/II cities. The number of nuclear families is increasing. There are more working women now. There’s a rise in affordability and aspiration among Indian parents, who’re looking to provide the finest options to their kids.

Philips Avent wants to include both mothers and fathers in the baby care journey. It believes that by simply talking about equal parenting, won’t change anything. 

Agarwal mentions, “In urban India, it’s a joint decision, as fathers are equally involved in baby care. Specifically talking about breast pumps, the father is also a part of the journey. They have to feed their baby when the mother goes back to work or needs some rest. The brand’s intention is to give a bigger place to the fathers and make the journey easy for them as well.” 

Target group and brand positioning 

The brand is currently focussing on the top 50-60 cities of India, and targeting parents who’re willing to adopt technology to raise their kids. Working mothers and the nuclear family are a crucial part of it.

“Our mission, as a brand, is to make baby care more inclusive, where it’s not just mothers who do the heavy lifting. There’s a chance for other caregivers also to participate in child-rearing,” Agarwal adds.

The brand launched a campaign on Mother’s Day, featuring Sania Mirza, to encourage mothers to go back to their careers. In the campaign, Mirza is seen playing tennis (match) against societal factors that have acted as impediments to her comeback as a mother.

On Women’s Day, the brand partnered with actress Neha Dhupia to create a conversation around the journey of motherhood.

Agarwal shares, “For the first five years, we were assessing and building some presence. In the next five years, we were getting our portfolio, retail strategy, and adversity behind the brand right. Now that the brand has achieved a certain stature, there will lot of campaigns coming up in future.”

The brand is positioning itself as a mid-premium brand. The pricing of the products starts from Rs 450 to Rs 15,000.

Philips is a leading electronic company and a household name in India. How does being a part of the Philips family, help Avent?

“Avent and Philips are one unit. There’s a lot we can gain, coming from the house of Philips. And, there’s a lot we add back as well. Brand recognition is a part of it and the trust that people have associated with the brand, is an important aspect for us,” Agarwal states.

During pregnancy, women usually go through a lot of emotional turmoil. Sometimes, they feel lonely during the journey, especially if they’re a part of nuclear families. To help women in this journey, Philips has an app ‘Pregnancy Plus’, which is available across the world for free. 

“We have brought this app to India. Its purpose is to bring high quality, researched, credible content for pregnant women in Indian and local format. The content is relatable, yet maintains international standards as well,” Agarwal informs.

Have news to share? Write to us atnewsteam@afaqs.com