New Product: PeeBuddy, a Buddy every woman needs!
- JWB Post
- May 30, 2015
To be honest, team JWB is not sure yet how to react to m-m-m PeeBuddy: either to welcome it with open hands or to go sarcastic about it. However, one thing, we are sure about is that poor sanitary conditions of Indian toilets pose threat to every woman, and that is quite a ground for business venturing.
The idea of PeeBuddy was born in a very familiar situation for every woman, on a road trip from Delhi to Jaipur in January 2014. “We were four couples on a road trip. The women made our lives hell by wanting us to stop at every fuel station on the way! Plus they always wanted the toilets to be clean. Only one out of five toilets we found on the way met the ladies’ high standards,” shares Deep Bajaj, founder of PeeBuddy in one interview.
The Eureka moment happened when one of the wives said that she wished she was in Europe because there she could have access to a reusable, plastic device to urinate in any dirty toilet. “This comment rang a bell in my head, and when I mentioned that we should build something like this (but disposable ones) in India, everyone just laughed and ruled out the idea. However, somewhere deep down I didn’t want to let this go and that’s how work on PeeBuddy started,” explains Deep.
Mohit Bajaj and Rahul Anand, two other friends from the Delhi-Jaipur trip, decided to join Deep in this venture. They quit their cushy finance and advertising jobs mid last year, and joined the company as co-founders.
However, their starting days were not easy. Deep and his friends went all out trying to put the product on the racks of stores. They even had recommendations from doctors, users, and initial torchbearers for the concept. But they were in for a surprise. “Even leading stores, supposedly hyper-modern and focusing on women’s needs showed us the door. For weeks I couldn’t believe that they had turned us down because we had the word ‘pee’ in our product or because we were talking about ‘women peeing standing’,” says Deep.
The combined initial investment was above a whopping 65 lakh, since they had started April 2014. Deep says that they were confident of their product and refused to give up: “We knew women didn’t have access to clean toilets all the time and they needed this product as much as we needed validation. Our only concern was our initial break. We knew that once women get to hear about PeeBuddy, we were going to sell like hot cakes.”
And women heard them. Today PeeBuddy is available at E-commerce websites, like Healthkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon.in, and also at retail stores like Modern trade, WHSmith, and NewU in Delhi.
But the product’s biggest validation came when the organisers of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon wanted to make the product available for all its female runners.
The startup has sold about 20,000 packs, approximately worth 15 lakhs, over the last year.
“To me the market is limitless. I will be happy if our public toilets became so clean that women no longer need PeeBuddy, but till then the product will find more and more customers. Especially, when it has the potential to be a woman’s companion in all sorts of medical conditions like arthritis and pregnancy,” explains Deep.
So, would you get a new buddy for you, a PeeBuddy? Share in comments. We will, definitely, try it! What we really love about the entire idea that it is a demonstration of #HeForShe in action, business action. Isn’t it great!
P.S. The product is priced at Rs 200 for a pack of 10, and Rs 375 for a pack of 20.