When Srijana Bagaria was diagnosed with UTI post a trip to Gujarat, she knew she wanted to deal with it. Not for just herself but for millions like her who get UTI, despite following cleanliness standards.
“It took me some time to figure out that all this while I have been staying at five start hotels and even then I got UTI. Hotels which are considered to be clean. I realised that there’s a huge difference between clean and sanitised,” says PeeSafe’s Co-founder and Director, Srijana.
Srijana and her husband, Vikas, who were otherwise Entrepreneurs as well, identified that this problem needed a solution. There is a market that requires attention, and not for monopoly but also social awareness.
“In India, hygiene awareness is low. Our typical thought process is nothing will happen to us. We will use all possible tricks to use a loo but we won’t buy a Rs 150 spray to sanitise it. Our product is not just a product, we are also aiming for behavioural change” says Srijana.
She hails from Kolkata and also runs parallel businesses along with being a Home Chef. With PeeSafe, Srijana knew that she would be getting into a taboo topic the country boasts about otherwise.
“Everybody thinks about what is inside the pot but nobody wants to know about what is on the pot. We claim to be clean and wash our toilets with expensive liquids. Even when I used to go to restaurants, I used to tell the attendant to clean the commode, they would get a wet cloth to clean it. To counter this, I also used to ask my friends living abroad if they had a product that didn’t require direct contact while cleaning the pot. But I couldn’t find anything then as well,” says Srijana.
But we all know that necessity is the mother of invention. Now, PeeSafe can be found in chemists, local retailer shops, mall loos and for online purchase. As Sirjana says, “All our products came with personal problems we faced.”
After launching a sanitising spray, Srijana and her board also came up with biograble pads, cramp roll-on, menstrual cups, tampons and most recently a male intimate wash. Though more than anything, what worked for PeeSafe’s success was word of mouth.
What Srijana is trying to do is create a healthy dialogue that makes periods and female hygiene normal. “There are so many fathers and daughters who still don’t talk about periods. For this, we came up with first period boxes. As families, we need to normalise hygiene talks in general,” she says.
Her company’s prime target may be millenial women, but every product’s R&D starts from home. In this process, there have been many hilarious instances which Srijana recalls, “One time a box of pads was going around the room, since we were launching a new product. My househelp was so upset about my husband holding pads in his hands and that too in front of everyone!”
Even though work does come home, Srijana tries to strike a balance. She appreciates her team and her partner for supporting her in this. “I believe in work life balance. I don’t work for 8 hours. I manage home and office on a daily basis, so it is usually equally segregated. And my spouse and I also make sure that we discuss all our problems.”
Managing a team, a company and a home requires consistent effort. Srijana says that those who aspire to be in the position she’s in need to first be passionate about what they do. “We should also remember that no work is small. If need be, I’ll wash utensils also!” Srijana also stresses on how trust is very important on your spouse and everyone around you.