If I had a rupee for every time I have suffered bladder pains because of not being able to use a public toilet, I would have been able to afford my own minivan with a loo in it. I know for a fact that almost all women will agree with the views expressed above.
In our country, toilets are not usually the focus areas of cleanliness unless you are in a posh restaurant or a five-star hotel and if by any chance you are on a road trip then God help you when nature calls.
To answer woes of women fed up of unclean toilets Deep Bajaj came to the fore. For the uninitiated, he is the man behind PeeBuddy – a portable female urination device, cool right? It is a disposable, easy-to-carry, waterproof, paper-made funnel that women can use to pee standing. But, most of us have already heard about PeeBuddy, it came to market last year and has garnered much appreciation. You read about it here too.
What the founders did between launching Peebuddy and now is pretty interesting. In the words of Deep Bajaj, this was just the first problem they tackled.
“We wanted to give women freedom from dirty toilets, but what next?”
And we are glad they thought on these lines because they came up with a host of other personal hygiene products, which will make women’s lives much easier, safer, and cleaner. Since then they have launched intimate wipes, sanitary pads disposal bags, underarm sweat pads, period pain patches and much more.
In conversation with Deep, I got to know that inspiration for all these products has come from real-life experiences. Just like during a road trip he had a Eureka moment and thought of PeeBuddy, during such excursions only he realized that disposing off used sanitary pads is another major hassle and so is personal hygiene when you are on the move.
No looking back
“After we saw the attention PeeBuddy got we wondered what we could do next. So next we came out with India’s first sanitary pad disposal bags. We launched intimate wet wipes. Our latest product is a period pain relief patch. As a team we want to become synonymous with solving all intimate hygiene concerns that women face today and we want to do with products that other companies or brand don’t even find worth making since there is little or no scope,” Deep added.
All of the inspiration for these products comes from personal experiences for Deep.
“For this particular period pain relief patch the thought came when I saw my wife taking pills for her period pains. I am personally very anti-pill popping. I just hate tablets. These days we take medicines like Allegra all the time. I really feel that it’s wrong. So from there came the initial thought and we started our research. We came to know that until then the solution for this problem there are either pills or sprays. I just wanted there to be something that doesn’t enter the system and works from outside.”
He has gone to develop India’s first period pain relief patch. In his own words, it’s a trans-dermal, non-medicinal patch that has menthol and eucalyptus oil and it basically eases out the pain.
Urban v/s rural
The problems that women face are same everywhere. Maybe more in rural areas where there aren’t enough toilets to begin with so why not help rural areas with these game-changing solutions?
“We will go to rural market as well, but as of now the urban market has a greater need for these solutions. There is an issue with the mindset in urban India. Our so called educated, urban, modern populous asks me questions like why are you solving these problems being a man? BBC did a story on us and they published it in English as well as in Hindi. From the English publication, I got a lot of compliments but from the Hindi story all I got was ‘gaalis’(abuses). People said things like what are you doing, why are you giving this freedom to girls, etc.”
Deep strongly feels that the urban lifestyle is too demanding and women in the urban India don’t have time to breathe.
“Their own intimate hygiene is probably the last thing on their mind. These are the reasons why I want to tackle the urban market first, when I will cater to the rural market then affordability for users will also come into picture,” he added for good measure.
The issues Deep is tackling are are the ones that aren’t talked about freely and that is why what he is doing is nothing short of a revolution in its own right. He has faced issues unlike any other entrepreneur.
“The first two years were very difficult. None of the stores wanted to stock PeeBuddy. It was such a difficult concept for them to grasp. They were not open to even keep the product in the stores. Gradually it has come to be a sort of a benchmark. Leading gynaecologists recommend PeeBuddy, it is given away in marathons and in general there is acceptability for it.”
Before ending the conversation he says something that has stayed with me,
“People call me different names, taunt me and even call me names; it gets difficult but the way people thank me, that makes my day. I have 60-year olds who are suffering from arthritis thanking me, telling me how I’ve made their life easier. That one testimonial makes me feel totally satisfied,” he said.
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