CHENNAI: Mother of eight-month-old Dhani, Shubhangi Shrivastava faced a lot of struggles while using public restrooms during her pregnancy. The close proximity between body and seat in western toilets and possible hygiene issues in using toilets in public places, such as hospitals, trains, schools and colleges forced her to come up with an idea. PeeEasy is a compact and affordable device that helps women, elderly people, patients and people who have undergone surgery to stand and urinate.
“During my pregnancy, we had to make frequent visits to hospital to get injections. More than the pain of injections, I was scared about using the public toilets. The chances of infection are more. That time, I thought of alternative ways to tackle this issue. That’s how PeeEasy came to my mind,” shares Shubhangi.
Incorporated two months ago in the name of Whitenine Innovations, this start-up sells one box of 10 packets of device at Rs 99. “There are many devices available in the market in the same category. But those are expensive. As a person, who has undergone the hardships using restrooms while travelling and visiting public places, I wanted to make this product affordable, so any person can use it,” she pointed out.
The startup is now completely bootstrapped. The company was started with a capital of `5 lakh. Shubhangi, who used to work in a US-based IT company in Electronics City, quit her job and started dedicating her time for her little one and her company. “Before the inception of our start-up, we did a thorough research on the product functionality. We talked to almost 25 doctors from gynaecology, oncology, orthopaedic and urology to gather information.
All the patients in these departments face problem to sit and urinate. And some are prone to infections. Our device can be used by not just women but men who suffer from these diseases.” After wide research and preparation, the 31-year-old entrepreneur developed a bio-degradable and foldable device, which is in the size of a credit card. The product is also available on Flipkart and Amazon and many pharmacies in Bengaluru.
The efforts didn’t stop there. She wanted to make the product more accessible to the public. With the support of her husband, Akshat Shrivastava, Shubhangi decided to install vending machines in public places. Anyone can get PeeEasy pack by spending just `10 through these vending machines. “Introduction of vending machine is something that sets us apart from other players in the market.
We are seeing a positive response from the hospitals, pharmacies and malls in Bengaluru. We want to reach out to more cities, tourist places, hospitals, petrol pumps, railway stations and bus stands across the country.” Now, the in-house team consists of four staffers. Recognised by Start-up India mission, Whitenine Innovations is looking forward to having partnerships with companies in healthcare, hospitality and tourism sector as well as with government initiatives like Swachh Bharat and Make In India.