Pet sector grows in the pandemic and entrepreneurs take advantage of the opportunity | pet channel

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For a specialist, career transition or business opening are beneficial, but they must be done in a planned way.

The Covid-19 pandemic destabilized the world economy and caused many sectors to suffer from drops in sales due to various factors such as the loss of purchasing power of the population and restrictions on movement with social isolation.

However, a specific sector that surprised, unlike most of the market, showed growth even during the pandemic period was the pet universe.

The pet products, services and trade sector recorded a 27% increase in revenue in 2021, which resulted in R$ 51.7 billion, according to a survey by the Pet Brasil Institute released in March this year. The growth was driven by the pet food segment, which represented 55% of the total value – around R$ 28 billion.

The survey also pointed out that small and medium pet shops are the main channel of access to products, – as in previous years -, representing almost half of all sales in the sector (48%).

They are followed by veterinary clinics and hospitals (18%); agrostores (9.8%); food retail (8.6%); large pet shops (8%); e-commerce (5.4%); and others such as service clubs and convenience stores (2.1%).

Faced with this scenario of opportunities, some entrepreneurs wasted no time and decided to bet everything on the pet business. This is the case of businesswoman Natália Castilho Belfort, 28. Before deciding to invest in the pet business, she says that she worked “a little bit of everything”.

“I have already delivered pamphlets, worked in a call center, worked as a receptionist, monitor at a children’s buffet, among other functions, but I felt that something was missing”, says the entrepreneur, who says that she found her vocation when she went to work in a pet shop.

“I decided to take a veterinary assistant course and it was the best experience of my life. But I couldn’t get a job in the area and I ended up giving up on my dream of working with animals. So, I decided to take a bathing and grooming course”, he says.

Natália explains that in the first classes of the course she started working and that, after going through some pet shops, she established herself in a company where she stayed for eight years, until she was fired in the pandemic.

“I joined this company as a bather and after I was a year old, the groomer asked for the bills, leaving our bosses in the lurch. I ended up taking her place because I knew the job just by observing, but I did a little bit of everything: she was a veterinary assistant, tending the store, among other functions ”, recalls the young woman.


Starting a business in the pandemic


After the dismissal, the businesswoman decided to offer her own bath and grooming service, as well as a pet hotel, in the back of the house. She says the experience was “very challenging”.

“Bathing, grooming and pet hotel were not essential services during the pandemic, and there was still social isolation and the economic crisis. I also had a lot of difficulty with the number of customers that fluctuated due to restrictions,” he says.

Although the obstacles were numerous, the entrepreneur was not let down and claims that she used her long experience in the field to her advantage.

“Knowing how to make my customers loyal, always working with a lot of love, patience, respecting each animal made all the difference”, says Natália, who says that she adopted a strategy contrary to other establishments to make even more loyal to pet tutors: “The traders in the sector of pet have the habit of aiming only at quantity. With my own business, I decided to prioritize quality above all and respect for animals.”

For the future, the entrepreneur thinks big and has the desire to expand the business even further.

“I intend to open a larger space offering day care, a hotel for disabled and elderly animals, bathing, grooming and swimming. This is my big dream, to be able to take care of all those animals that no one wants to take care of. That elderly animal, with some health issue, the angry pet… I also want to offer natural pet food one day”, he concludes.

Other entrepreneurs who also decided to bet on the pet sector during the pandemic were the couple Andreia Geronimo and Eder dos Santos, both 42 years old. Like Natalia, the couple was also fired during the pandemic.

Only Andreia had a formal contract, but neither received compensation, in addition to the fact that during the entire period of work – which was three years – they did not take a vacation, according to the entrepreneur.

“We went to question our rights to the pet shop owner and he told us he didn’t have the money to pay. We were desperate. The two were unemployed right in the middle of a pandemic. It was scary”, recalls Andrea.

The entrepreneur reveals that the couple considered going to court to have their rights paid, but the employer “is full of labor proceedings”. To resolve the issue, Andreia and Eder made a deal.

“We took two dryers, two blowers and started working in the garage at home, in Itaim Paulista. The clients were from Tatuapé and kept calling us wanting to know about us, but they didn’t want to bring the animals to us. We then started looking for pets to do the work in our house. We spent about two months doing this route,” she says.

Andreia explains that the route was very tiring and that it became unfeasible over time. Then came the idea of ​​the couple taking a loan to invest in the business.

“We were able to rent a space closer to customers, in addition to buying other equipment we needed. We are working day after day. It’s a lot of fighting. Our dream is to expand more and more. This is what we love to do”, concludes the entrepreneur.

Expert offers tips for those who want to start a business or change careers

Small and medium-sized pet shops are the main channel for accessing products, according to Instituo Pet Brasil
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Small and medium-sized pet shops are the main channel for accessing products, according to Instituo Pet Brasil


Psychologist Claudia Danienne, a specialist in HR and People Management, with over 25 years of experience in the market, explains that the first step for anyone looking to undertake or make a career transition is to qualify. She brings tips for those who are, or intend to enter, the pet market.

“It is important to understand that activities related to animals require preparation and information, in addition to a lot of relational skills, empathy, affection and planning to deal with the animals. There are numerous observations that the animal handler needs to know and be trained in advance,” he says.

The expert also points out that, in addition to specific technical skills, past experiences also significantly contribute to starting a business or career transition. For this technique, she uses the term ‘lifelong learning’.

“The lifelong learner is every individual who goes through life learning beyond formal educational training. Observant, curious, humble in recognizing what he doesn’t know and willing to learn, he understands that the plurality of themes, experiences and connections is what structures a baggage that makes all the difference in life”, he explains.

Another point that the psychologist points out as important to succeed in a career in the pet sector is to work on active listening: “Listening carefully, striving to understand the client – human and their respective pet – the experience will be different. Points of attention, pampering and routine responsibilities are fundamental information to establish trust and excellent service”.

Finally, the HR specialist says that career transition, or opening a business, are beneficial for a professional trajectory, but that they cannot be “merely intuitive”.

“They should happen in a planned way, even if they come abruptly. Try to understand every possible detail, make an analysis with your personal strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate the balance of this appreciation. If there are more synergistic points than points of distance, allow yourself”, he concludes.


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