Yes, I bleed! Menstruation had always been a great problem for every girl; since ages. None of a woman wants to discuss it. Even they feel shame and hesitate to call it “PERIODS”! Don’t know why…
Menstruation is a simple natural process. It is a part of every girl’s life. It time to get that it is not a matter of shame or shy; instead menstruation is a matter of discussion. Almost every Indian Mum tells her girl about all do’s and don’ts of periods. But what about those whose mothers are illiterate or poor? Now it is the time to break such taboo about menstruation. There is no need to whisper it in low tone… Let’s shout and make noise as much as we can that Yes I Bleed!
This time we had Harshita & Madan Mohit Bharadwaj, the founder of She Wings, is leading a social movement which is creating awareness about menstrual health and hygiene among teens, illiterate and low income group females and homeless women. All this venture asks women is to be open about it as it is nothing to be ashamed of or hide. She Wings not only targeted the elite class but also the lower class. The main objective of this venture is educating women about overall menstrual hygiene through our products. It is the first brand who will provide the separate disposable bags with red dot which makes it easy to differentiate between normal waste and sanitary waste. Moreover, this venture is the first brand that donates around 15 percent of the total profit among the needy women in tier 2 and tier 3 places of our country.
Here, scroll down to read more about She Wings!
- What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
She Wings. The reason behind or the story behind the name is to give wings to women and girls. We spread awareness about Menstrual Hygiene and ask women to be open about it as it is nothing to be ashamed of or hide.
- Who is your target Audience/clients?
Everyone, irrespective of their caste, creed, sex and gender. As it’s not only women who need awareness but also men need to be aware of this topic to take care of the women in their friends, family and even any women in society.
- Where your venture is based (city, state, country) and what are your geographical target areas?
She Wings is based in NOIDA, a city in Uttar Pradesh, India. As far as awareness is concerned we are doing campaigns on the ground level in and around the Delhi and NCR, in the process to start in Dehradun by this August. And, we have so far done big conclaves where we had policy makers, bureaucrats, big politicians and celebrities. However, we had done conclaves in Delhi University, Amity University, Ph.D. Chamber and Constitution Club. Our coming up conclaves is in Dehradun, Jaipur, Jammu & Kashmir and Indore.
The geographical target area is the entire part of India and going further all the countries out of India as well.
- What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
– Since only 12% of menstruating Indian Women use sanitary napkins, the question has never raised upon what happens to the rest 88%. ‘We are fighting to make sanitary pads that will accessible to every woman’.
– Also, the other major issue that has been faced by women across India is how to dispose of sanitary pads. ‘We also educate women about the right way to dispose of pads’.
– Last but not least is the quality of pads that are produced or imported in India. Along with that are the problems faced because of the advertisements which claim day-long protection that women are misled about the duration for which it is safe to use one pad. If they know they should be changing after every 5-6 hours, they will be saved from various infections. ‘To overcome this problem we are very soon coming up with our own Sanitary Pads, wherein we will also educate women about the product, it’s healthy usage and environment friendly way to dispose of it, making them sustain their responsibility’.
- Share the story or idea behind this venture. How did it come to existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
I am a very serious follower and believer in ethics and sustainability. The concern of women hygiene and environment being harmed made me think for working towards Women Menstrual Hygiene and this is when ‘She Wings’ came into existence.
I used to see people working for women empowerment and girl education, which motivated me to bring a topic that, has been spoken the least about. People know it’s important, it is normal but still, even in high societies people don’t talk about it, this is the reason many women who don’t have resources are left behind. ‘She Wings’ wants to be that voice all over India.
- Who are your biggest competitors and how do you to differentiate yourself from them?
We don’t feel like competing with any of the established foundations as we are working in the direction of women health and hygiene but when it comes to product, we think that our biggest competitors are Nua, Aza, and Carmesi.
Unique Qualities of our product:
- We will be educating women about overall menstrual hygiene through our products.
- We’ll be the first brand who will provide the separate disposable bags with red dot making it easy differentiate between normal waste and sanitary waste.
- We’ll be the first brand donating 15% of the total profit among the needy women in tier 2 and tier 3 places in our country.
- Our competitor target group is only elite class whereas we will be not only targeting the elite class but also the lower class.
- How did you identify your founder? Tell us something about your founder.
The founder of She Wings is Mr. Madan Mohit Bhardwaj, a very dear friend of mine. He is among one of the very few people who think about others first, especially about women and the environment.
I have seen him helping women going out of his way and caring for the environment like that’s his first love.
Talking about his background, he is Amity University graduate and has more than 10 years of experience in Journalism. During his journalism career, he was exposed to so many villages and towns where he noticed a menstrual hygiene problem as a major issue and decided to work for the betterment of society.
- How did you hire your first team members? What skills do you want in your employees or team?
To be honest our first team was created with a bunch of volunteers. We had students from colleges, professionals working in big renowned companies and some big shot social activists. We want a team of people who are passionate to work for people, dedicated to improving societies and work hard to take India to a different level.
- What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Currently, we’re organizing very big and giant conclaves in few cities where more than 1000 policy makers, bureaucrats, and journalistic background enthusiast people participate. Celebrities like Divya Dutta, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Amrita Rao had already supported our cause of menstrual hygiene. These conclaves help us in getting the donations and the donations are used to distribute menstrual hygiene products in the slum area of the city. In coming 2 years from now we aim to expand our access of menstrual hygiene product donation to the villages as well and in the coming next 5 years we’re aiming to launch our own products in the market for every section of the society.
- Where do you want to see yourself in the next 10 years?
After 10 years from now, I see She Wings as a nationwide movement fighting for the proper hygienic treatment to every woman of our country during menstruation. As we believe that menstrual hygiene products are not a need or luxury but it is right of every woman to stay hygienic during periods.
- What are your immediate goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
In coming one year we aim to conduct as many conclaves as we can to raise funding and donation so that we can expand our Pad allocation campaign to more parts of our country.
- Have you risen any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
So far we haven’t risen any funding but we definitely plan to get some funding in near the future.
- What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
In the initial days, it was hard to connect to the people to make them understand our perspective and take them along with us in our journey. We resolved this problem by sticking to our words and despite hardships consistently working in the direction of creating awareness about period poverty among the masses.
- What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
The most challenging part of our journey was to gather all the women of a particular area at one place and talk to them. We overcome this challenge by talking to the men of the family and taught them a full module of menstrual hygiene management and its importance.
- What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I am a creative person, I love to reuse old things and make a completely new one that can be worn or used. I love doing everything related to fashion, art and craft.
Trust me, I don’t have non-working hours in my schedule apart from running ‘She Wings’, I am also an artist, an Independent Fashion Designer which keeps me busy all the time.
- Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
Arunachalam Muruganantham is the real idol and inspiration for me and my foundation. If a normal guy like him can bring a revolutionary change to the mindset of our society. So why can’t we?
- What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Entrepreneurs like us work out of their own passion and people who work for someone else basically following someone else’s passion (that’s my own perception).
- If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
When I started my foundation I along with my team was creating awareness via visual creative & short videos on different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We started our #Padallocation campaign (distributing pads in slums) after a few months of starting our foundation. If I have a chance to start once again, I’ll go for #Padallocation campaign first then will go for visual creative to create awareness about menstrual hygiene management.
- How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Being an entrepreneur needs a lot of courage and self-motivation as an entrepreneur’s life is all about taking the risk, unlike employees who work for others. It takes time to turn a unique idea into the miracle and the time those lapses during the development of your company leads to a lot of family tension and anxiety.
- Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Everyone should follow their passion keeping themselves self-motivated and should never lose hope as there it’s either winning or learning. Word losing has no existence.
- Tell us something about your education & family background.
I come from a nuclear business class family but at the same time very conservative family as none of the females ever done job or business in my family. I am the eldest one in my generation, very much loved and pampered kid. My parents wanted me to be a Doctor, but at a very early stage (when I was 13) they realized that I have an interest in Fashion. So they never stopped me and allowed me to fly high in whatever direction I wanted to. So I did my graduation in Fashion Designing and Technology, for the further studies, I went abroad and did my masters in Fashion Management.
- What is your USP, which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains?
She Wings will be bringing revolution in terms of Menstrual Hygiene Management, something that will bring the big change in the way women discard used pads. Because disposing pads is also the biggest problem in Hygiene Management which is completely ignored. This will make us stand out, unique and different from any other brand in the ‘world’.
- What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
The biggest threats to the success of small businesses and Start-ups today are unskilled co-workers, competition with the already settled companies, and inadequate finances etc.
- Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Yes, I consider myself successful as our measure of success is the number of people who have been benefited through our MHM campaign and still counting, the number of policymakers who have supported us, and the support from the celebrities and public figures like Politicians, Journalists, and Dermatologist and Yoga experts.
- Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of your Business & Contact Person
Name: Harshita Bhardwaj (Chief Marketing Officer, She Wings)
Address: A 234 Sector 43 Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Pin code – 201301
Email ID: Info@SheWings.com
Contact Person: Nidhi Sharma