It’s an intimate matter: Women now have an array of menstrual, femcare products to choose from
Stepping away from stigmas to meet the needs of women are an array of femtech-monikered products that go beyond the pink.
Published: 04th July 2021 05:00 AM | Last Updated: 03rd July 2021 03:01 PM | A+A A-
Call it inclusive chic. Those taboos of newspaper- wrapped sanitary napkins that local chemists send over or sly hypnotherapy apps to make you forget period discomfort are simply passé. Enter a melee of sleek, digitised wellness trackers that map your dates and flow and keep a note of hormone-driven symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, loss of libido… with everything arriving in a pretty posy, at the click of your mouse.
Think puberty, lactation, intimate hygiene, menopause… The booming femtech mart serves up an array in such specials, with tech tweaks to focus on women’s wellness. The solutions for intimate hygiene, fertility, pregnancy, nursing and motherhood demands, sexual health, and overall wellness are serving as liberators for Indian women. Fair game. “The market currently stands at $310 million in India,” says Karan Gupta, founder and CEO, Namyaa Skincare, eyeing a market valuation of `200 crore by 2023. With reason, enough as Namyaa’s organic and plant-based offerings are courting women aplenty. The intimate hygiene wash glowing with the Ayurvedic goodness of haldi and chandan doubles up as a multitasking lighting product too. Hopping bestsellers include intimate lightening serum to bleach the inner thighs naturally while maintaining the natural pH level.
It is a natural, need-driven approach. For boomers, mean menstrual cramps brought in painkiller-popping or hugging the mobility-restricting hot water bottle. For millennials, Sirona Hygiene brings in their bestseller in the miraculous pain relief patch powered by the goodness of Ayurveda. For those slipping into menarche, the first-period kit comes to the rescue. Deep Bajaj, CEO and Co-Founder of Sirona Hygiene, has been busy facilitating a grateful shift from the age-old napkins to convenient, eco-friendly menstrual cups. “That’s five lakh women converts, and counting. We have sold over two million units of PeeBuddy (Indian’s first urinary device for women, enabling them to stand and pee).
Then there are underarm sweat pads, intimate wipes, oxo-degradable disposal bags, natural anti-chafing cream, and more,” he says, busy shipping over 50,000 orders every month (recording 140 percent CAGR over the past three years). Spoilt for choice, buyers have competitive offerings jockeying for visibility. Tanvi Johri’s four-year-old fem hygiene brand Carmesi brings in cramp relief air-activated heat patches with natural ingredients. “Call it a portable solution to PMS that does away
with period shame when debilitating cramps arrive,” she says.
Meanwhile, the power of pink is pirouetting in a chunky 20 percent growth, month-on-month (MoM), as women eagerly pay the premium for forming the menstruating population. “The 18-45 age group forms the heart of our target audience,” says Ankur Goyal, founder and CEO, andMe, for whom the hero PCOS product range is winning rave patrons for its brilliant efficacy. “We started PCOS drinks, launched the hot tea, then the cold version.” The andMe ingenious No Compromise Period Box
is a hot sellout, with its eco-friendly sanitary pads, period tea, period chocolates, ‘easy’ menstrual cup, and soothe roll-on to take care of your cramps, bloating, cravings, fatigue and mood swings. Research findings, surveys, and chatty calls to their buyers by their nutritionists constitute the bedrock of innovation for andMe. Coasting ahead, come the andMe app and 40 new products up next year. Biggest challenge? “Logistics: 70 percent consumers are in non-metros. Also, the pandemic has been tough,” says Goyal.
Serving the PMS-pounded population are Power Gummies. The brainchild of CEO Divij Bajaj, who astutely launched That Time of the Month Gummies targeting women on PMS, on World Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28. “Though three out of four women deal with PMS, it is largely ignored,” he says. But his innovation arrives on point in the tacit, tasty niche. The tangy chew, strapped with the soothing power of passionflower, milk thistle extracts, magnesium, vitamins and more. It relieves anxiety, insomnia, and mood swings due to hormonal changes.
Recall that scarlet special on Insta? The Red Dot campaign powered by IIT alumni Archit Agarwal and Harry Sehrawat marks the mood of their brand, Sanfe. “We wanted to normalise talking about menstrual cramps and periods,” says Agarwal. Hence, a flutter of innovative runs in Stand Up For Yourself, Last Pad Friend and Win The Intimacy campaigns. Making intimate hair care a judgement-free zone, Agarwal and Sehrawat recently brought out a pube special called Intimate Hair Oil. It is laced with lemon, turmeric and essential oils. “There are four million women users, catalysing Sanfe’s growth of 25 percent MoM,” says Agarwal. Breast care products for newbie lactating moms and reusable sanitary napkins now power their eco-friendly curve.You can call it smart living, which caters to comfort and a little bit of vanity. The promise of products has women lining up.