The Father: Kayamali Charania is a pioneer in the Indian pet industry. He started the brand, ShakeHands, from a humble background and built it with hard work, effort and innovation. While operating from a small stall in Crawford Market, he realized a huge gap between the demand for dog accessories and the availability of quality products. This began his journey of innovation and manufacturing. He spent many years researching and perfecting each pet accessory until he was entirely satisfied with the quality and strength of each product. He then launched the first pet store in Mumbai with the vision that pet parents should be able to source all their pet needs under one roof. The Crawford Market and Colaba stores were born from these initial days of struggle and innovation. Today everyone in the industry recognizes Kayamali Charania as a founder, innovator and pioneer in the pet space. His contribution, through the brand's Kennel and ShakeHands, has shaped the course of the pet industry in India. Even today, Kayamali is deeply involved with the business. He is still innovating and enhancing the manufacturing process for Kennel products.
The Son: Amirali has a Master's in Computer Sciences from Georgia Tech Institute of Technology and worked with MicroStrategy in Washington, DC, for a few years before moving back to India in 2011. Coming from a technical background, he wanted to harness the use of technology in the business. In 2013, he launched the brand's first website, shakehands.co.in. At this time, Amazon also had not been launched in India, but ShakeHands had not just a website but also a decided app for both Android and iPhone, which at that time was quite rare. The website has changed the ways customers shop; it has made the process of ordering and delivery simpler and smoother for pet parents. Every year, Amirali has worked on upgrading the website and its features to provide a better customer experience. He infuses his technological background into the daily functions of the business as well, helping to professionalize and optimize this family-run business.
The Daughter: Zohara comes from a medical background and has integrated into the business by shadowing and observing her father. If ShakeHands is known for its wide range of products and availability, we have Zohara to thank. She evaluates suppliers, negotiates contracts and reviews products/quality. She also keeps a strong eye out to ensure that each store is well stocked while at the same time ensuring that items aren’t overstocked or expired. Zohara ensures that we have enough stock at our warehouse at Bhiwandi for the upcoming few months so that no customer walks away disappointed when they enter a ShakeHands store (online or offline).
The Daughter-in-law: Sabiha, is the wordy one. She is incapable of sticking to a limited word count, and hence she is in charge of content on the website. She tries to ensure that there is enough information provided to the customers that help them make an informed decision for their furry babies. She infuses her creativity into the content on the website. Being a pet mom herself, Sabiha evaluates the customer experience, handles customer grievances and tries to make each customer feel like a part of the ShakeHands family.
The Baby: Hazel is our family’s, first furry baby. She is Sabiha and Amirali's third child (the first with four legs). She came into our life after many years of begging and pleading from the children. But when we look at how she has integrated into our family today, it’s evident that she is a multi-generational gift. We each have a special bond with her and are learning so much about loving unconditionally from this 4 legged baby. Hazel has been in our life for a short period so far, but it’s now difficult to imagine our life without her. She brings unconditional love, hugs and kisses to our day.
The brand (online & offline): Through the years, we have grown slowly and organically. Our journey began with a small stall, lots of innovation and hard work. Then came the launch of the first two shops - Crawford Market and Colaba. When Amirali joined the business, Tardeo was opened as a flagship store. From our Tardeo store, we launched our online presence, shakehands.co.in, a website for pet parents across Mumbai. There has always been a very close, symbiotic relationship between our brick-and-mortar stores and our online website. Over the years, the Goregaon, Thana and Navi Mumbai stores were launched gradually to service the online customer demand in these city segments while expanding our physical presence. Today we stand tall with 6 stores across Mumbai and a Pan-India online presence but can still maintain a strong link between our brick-and-mortar stores and our online website.
Being a self-funded, small family-run business, our growth has been slow and organic. Each step taken has been a result of hard work and consistent effort. While the business has grown today to a Pan India online presence, our roots are local. We are a small, close-knit family-run business founded on love, warmth and connection. We hope that in the years to come, we continue to have the opportunity to serve the pet-parent community across India.