How Tanvi Johri Fought Battles for Overcoming Menstruation Issues in India
India is a place full of superstitions, taboos, and myths. Even after developing so much, people continue to be a believer of all these. We need someone to convince people about the actual truth of these taboos and myths, busting all of these. Well, we do know about Tanvi Johri, who fought hard and loud for overcoming menstruation issues. She launched a revolutionary product called Carmesi, which means saffron. Several taboos about menstrual hygiene and periods have now faded in India. Many Indian celebrities also help by endorsing these activists-led campaigns. These celebs are also thanked for their efforts. People are talking about the easy accessibility of sanitary napkins throughout the country. Still, we have miles to go before overcoming menstruation issues.
Tanvi Johri was born and brought up in Mathura. Her family never believed in any of the gender stereotypes. Her mother was her role model ever since childhood and worked more than her father to run the family. She was the backbone of the family. Her father raised Tanvi as his son and was never scared to express his emotions in front of her. This family atmosphere was crucial for creating a progressive growth in her. Not once did she face a patriarchal pressure in her family. All this made her take a vow to fight against the social stigma attached to menstrual hygiene.
Tanvi Johri completed her graduation from Delhi University and MBA from the International Management Institute. She started her journey in the professional world with a travel booking startup. Since her teenage, the topic of sanitary napkins always bothered her. There were several social stigmas attached to menstrual hygiene in India and women in so many remote areas do not have access to sanitary napkins. The quality of sanitary napkins in the present scenario is another problematic situation to talk about. Her burning desire to making these napkins available to rural areas continued to grow. Thus, she knew she wanted to build an organic product which can be made available to all along with solving disposable issues.
Starting a Journey That Eases Purchase of Sanitary Napkin Experience for Women in India
Most of the brands, use a lot of harmful plastics and chemicals these days, which can cause infections, ovarian and cervical cancers, and heart diseases—disposing of these pads another obstacle that we face. All this has embedded a socio-cultural conspiracy in India. Women in India are always embarrassed about carrying a pad in their hand at a public place, and thus women still hide it. It is also the fault of the packaging as it makes it difficult to pull out a single unit when required.
No matter what obstacles may come Tanvi’s way, nothing could stop her. With the help of her partner Rikshav Borah, she raised the standards of hygiene in India. With this, Tanvi started her journey to Carmesi. Carmesi comes from the Spanish language, which means crimson. It was launched in November 2017. Her aim was simple which was to provide hygienic disposal for soiled pads.
Carmesi comes in a zip-locked disposal bag for each unit which can be delivered to home. Carmesi offers customization of each pad based on their size and delivered to women based on their period date. Though it provides 100% hygienic pads and all the other services, the price for this is higher as compared to OTC pads.
They had their tasks cut out before the launch of the business and this helped them by giving them a smooth start. Their target was to launch a completely organic product. Like any start-up attracting customers, in the beginning, was a little tough. It was because of Tanvi’s continuous hard work and efforts that helped her succeed in her business. She always believed in self-improvement. Following this mantra, she was able to begin her revolutionary start up in India.
Penetrating the Market
It wasn’t easy to captivate the consumers and persuade them to buy these pads. The plan was to give hygienic products at a competitive price, yet the prices were very high as compared to the ones available in the market.
Their pad uses biodegradable bamboo fibre, and an ultra-absorbent product with high-quality, antibacterial properties and corn starch was the idea. It took them almost a year to come up with these hygienic pads and launch in the market. They started their business by investing their savings in the business. They began with making synthetic pads which had soft top sheets. These pads were much better than the ones in the market. After 8-10 months, they came up with the biodegradable pads. In one year, they had a customer base of 50,000 people. They raised a fund of ₹3.5 crores in pre-series. This funding round was headed by Samrath Bedi, a managing director for Forest Essentials.
It was Tanvi’s idea to auto-delivery pads tailored according to their dates, helped women not to fret about the pads when their due dates were near. Carmesi delivers pads after every three months in a pack of 10 pads for every month. Women with irregular periods can change the time of the delivery. Those who have massive flows can order many packages. This entire process of delivery made menstruation a comfortable and carefree experience for women in India.
The next step in the journey of entrepreneurship was to develop an eco-friendly packaging. This will make disposing of pads easy. Disposal is one of the significant environmental hazards. In India, the $414 million sanitary napkin market never brings up this topic. Tanvi’s start-up cannot have competition in the market soon. Carmesi gives the safest and clean hygienic pads and caters to the premium segment.
Investors From Angel Broking Group – a New Way Forward
The Carmesi team raised another round of funds which consisted of a group of angel investors. It included Sunil Kalra and Arun Venkatachalam from the Murugappa Group and some other investors. These funding helped Tanvi understand the peculiarities of the market. This further helped Carmesi to achieve its success. Carmesi will soon reach its breakeven point. They now serve more than 5,000 consumers every month. Their consumer base growth rate is more than 30% on a month-on-month basis. This is how Tanvi has been overcoming menstruation issues.
Today, Carmesi is in a “no-competition zone” as this niche market which made biodegradable products is still untapped. Their eco-friendly package got famous amongst the customers who understand the harmful effects of plastic pads and disposable issues.
At 3E Accounting, we are committed to providing professional and consultancy help to women to start up the business. Contact us for further information.