How many times have you heard women saying “we women have so many problems to deal with”? Numerous times, right? They complain about equality in work, eve teasing, doing all the household work, and so many other things. Some people respond to this by saying that men too face a lot of difficulties. It’s just that they don’t crib about them, unlike women. But there are some issues which really cause a problem to the women, which they don’t have any control over. For instance, what if someone urgently needs to use the toilet in the middle of a highway? The only option, in such a case, is to wait and hold back this need, until she finds a washroom.
This may not seem to be a very serious issue. Because, we all know that this is how it works, right? Majority of the people are unaware about what the women actually face, because it is preferred not to discuss it in public place. Public toilets are more than often found to be unhygienic. This may be because of the fact that end number of people use these, and they are not regularly cleaned. Many people also don’t use the toilets as they are supposed to be using it and leave it dirty, which makes it difficult for the next person to use it. If the person has a very urgent need to use it, then she will have no other option, but to use it.
One of the many steps, which is adopted by women to deal with this unhygienic factor, is to do a semi- squat while using the toilet. Others prefer wiping the dirty toilet seats with paper before using them. These measures, however, do not nullify the possibility of getting into contact with infections, such as the Unitary Tract Infection (UTI). Along with this, holding back the urine in the bladder may also lead to the formation of stones in the kidney. Hovering or semi- squats are not a good position for the pelvic muscles and a study has shown that the bladder becomes weak over a period of time. Wiping the seats consequently bring women in direct touch with them, and therefore, the germs. In order to help women deal with these problems, Deep, Mohit Bajaj and Rahul Anand came up with a called PeeBuddy, in 2015.
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. The working of the device and its design has been adopted from that of a funnel. This shape, which was designed by Rahul, was finally derived after an experimentation of ten shapes. This start-up was the idea of Deep, and events and management professional, who was helping his wife with her business of carpets and rugs designing. He decided to take up PeeBuddy full- time in April, 2014. His friends, Mohit and Rahul, decided to join this venture, after leaving their respective jobs.
The product is ideal for conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, arthritis, while travelling or trekking, and also for cancer patients who have very low immunity. It is a disposable and easy to use product.
With the expectation that the product will be readily accepted in the market, Deep and his friends went ahead and tried to put their product on the racks of various stores, unaware of the challenges that they were about to face. In spite of having recommendations from doctors, users, and initial torchbearers for the concept, they were rejected by the leading stores which were supposedly hyper- modern and focusing on women’ needs. This was because of the word ‘pee’ in their product, or because talking about ‘women peeing and standing’.
The combined total investment was about Rs. 65 lakhs. Deep and his friends were confident about the product and refused to give up. Although retail stores were reluctant to take the product, PeeBuddy got its initial break online. It was available on e-commerce websites like Healthkart, Snapdeal and Amazon. Following this, retail stores like Modern trade, WHSmith and NewU in Delhi started selling the product. But the company’s biggest validation came when the organizers of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon wanted to make the product available for all its female runners. Many of the women took the initiative to share their problems and their experience with their product via videos on YouTube, which helped the company to gain new consumers.
As of now, 7,50,000 units of PeeBuddy have been sold. The product is also present in the Limca book of records, and is recommended by best of gynecologists. The company is likely to gain a much higher level of success, if it makes the customers aware of the product. Products like these should be tried by the people, as it aims to look after our well-being. It is better to opt for trying something rather than choosing to suffer, isn’t it?