India Today - - COVER STORY - By Kavyanjali Kaushik

Her fa­ther al­ways scolded her for bring­ing stray dogs home and she of­ten had to spend the night out in the court­yard with them. But lit­tle did Preeti San­jeev Ku­mar know that her love for dogs would un­leash the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit in her and make her quit as a teacher post at Holy Child School. She then de­cided to fol­low her pas­sion for an­i­mals.

In 2005, she, along with her hus­band San­jeev Ku­mar, who quit his job at HDFC, started Pet Bytes, a pet shop chain that sold pet groom­ing equip­ment and food. But this wasn’t enough for her. She went to Thai­land for a dog groom­ing course and in 2007 opened Scoopy Scrub, a dog groom­ing par­lour. The com­pany has now branched out to sev­eral fran­chises across the coun­try and of­fers a host of pet- care ser­vices— from ba­sic groom­ing, walk­ing, and train­ing to or­gan­is­ing weekend get­aways with your pets and even giv­ing them mas­sages. “When I started out al­most a decade ago, there were no proper groom­ing ser­vices avail­able for dogs in In­dia and I felt that was the need of the hour,” she says. Nowa­days, it doesn’t take long to build a client list as well with many pet own­ers find­ing it dif­fi­cult to squeeze in groom­ing time for their pets in their busy sched­ules but back then, there were a very few people sign­ing up for dog groom­ing ser­vices. “It was tough to es­tab­lish my­self, but against all odds, my love for pets and pro­fes­sional ex­per­tise helped me suc­ceed,” she says. And though the ini­tial in­vest­ment in the busi­ness was low and the re­turns have in­creased over the years, Ku­mar says her true re­ward will al­ways be the happy dogs that walk out of her sa­lon. “The lov­ing licks and the wag­ging tails are my pay­ments,” she says.

The lov­ing licks and the wag­ging tails are my pay­ments.

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