In what could be the biggest irony of human life, the world dominated by patriarchy has often wounded many men, as much as it has women. However, the consciousness around gender sensitivity is rising, and toxic masculinity is giving way to open mindedness, starting with entrepreneurial opportunities.
On November 19, as the world celebrates International Men’s Day, we take a look at a few startups founded by men who saw the business appeal in catering to women’s needs.
Personal hygiene brand PeeSafe - which started off with a Toilet Seat Sanitizer in 2013 – is now a major women’s hygiene brand in India. Their product offerings include eco-friendly sanitary napkins, organic cotton tampons, menstrual cups, panty liners, breast pads, natural intimate washes, wipes and sweat Pads.
The Gurugram-based startup was founded by Vikas Bagaria and Dheeraj Jain. Vikas has said that the idea came to him when his wife Srijana suffered from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in during a road trip, owing to unhygienic toilet facilities.
Last month, Pee Safe raised Rs 30 crore in its Series A funding round, led by health and wellness focussed fund Alkemi Growth Capital.
Mumbai-based MyGlamm takes pride for starting up with 100 percent cruelty-free beauty products. Making best use of its market presence, it trains and certifies to beauty professionals through their training academics across India. The startup has raised more than $25 million over three rounds from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners.
Darpan Sanghvi, who founded the startup in 2015, is a mechanical engineer graduate from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology in Pune and an additional MBA from University in Barcelona, Spain. Darpan also started a brick-and-mortar spa and salon venture called Sanghvi Brands in 2010.
According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the beauty services market will be a $20 billion industry by 2025. Among many startups tapping the beauty and wellness opportunity is YesMadam, founded by Mayank Arya and Aditya Arya. It is a tech-driven beauty and wellness services platform which also operates on salon at-home model.
Currently operating in 12 cities with over a thousand bookings every day, the three-year-old startup aims at serving 100 million customers on a daily basis. Based in Noida, the startup also claims of a cheaper pricing which ranges from Rs 6 to Rs 15 per minute for at-home beauty services.
Co-founded by Deep Bajaj, Mohit Bajaj and Rahul Anand, Delhi-based startup PeeBuddy builds women’s hygiene and intimate care products. Launched in 2014, they raised Rs 2.96 crore in pre-Series A funding from Indian Angel Network in 2017.
PeeBuddy is an easy to carry, disposable tunnel-shaped paper urination device that ergonomically fits between the legs to enable women to stand and urinate. Apart from PeeBuddy, the company also has a product line called Sirona, which includes menstrual cups, pain-relief patches, biodegradable sanitary disposal bags, intimate wet wipes, applicator tampons, underarm sweat pads, natural mosquito patches and bands.
Purplle began as an online platform for selling cosmetics and beauty products in January, 2011 by three IITians - Manish Taneja, Rahul Dash, and Suyash Katyayani.
This was at a time when Sephora had not entered the domestic market and very few beauty salons were involved in B2B transactions. So far , the platform has raised around $10 million from investors including IvyCap Ventures and Blume Ventures.
Over the years, it has got on board some international brands such as Moda, Vipera and Gravitale, among many others and has been the exclusive distributor for them in India.
Bengaluru-based Meesho, a social commerce platform, was founded by IIT-Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015. Meesho, which literally means ‘Meri Shop’ (my shop), provides potential entrepreneurs with a virtual shop, who otherwise would find it difficult to start a business.
The startup has close to 90 percent women among its customers.
Meesho currently has a pool of two million sellers across 700 towns in India and provides distribution access to another 20,000 manufacturers through its platform.
Besides English, there are more than seven languages available and about 40 percent of its daily usage comes from a non-English speaking audience.