What do women want from a Sanitary Pad? India’s Take!
Sanitary pads are a necessity, having to inform people about it and understanding that only 12% of India knows what menstrual care is, is a shame to the people and the society we live in. Each one of us needs to contribute to the awareness of menstrual care and must take up the responsibility to inform the uninformed. The problem starts at unawareness on the subject of menstruation and then goes onto what is best for us as women? What product would not itch, leak, give infections, suit the climate we live in? Since the subject is such a taboo the product is never discussed, this is basically because women don't talk about menstruation because the SOCIETY does not let them.
We brought together a team of 15 and decided to search for what is the best product for Indian women, taking into consideration the average flow of an Indian woman and the climate that affects the utility of the sanitary pad. Till today we have been dumped with the same products that are made for the west, not taking into consideration key factors that differentiate the Indian market's demand. We went around NCR for 5 days and interviewed 7500 people and were able to come up with a Sanitary Napkin that the Indian consumer would ideally like to have. Below we have stated our findings and must let you know startups that are coming through over the last 2 years, have been in touch with us and are creating products made for the Indian Woman.
1.Soft Sanitary Pads - Soft sanitary pads mean the top of the sanitary pad or the part that comes in touch with skin must be SOFT.
2.Leak-Free Sanitary Pads - The sanitary pads must be soft sanitary pads and must ensure a secure period.
3. Odour Free Sanitary Pads - The sanitary pad must be odour free, women In India are conscious when on their periods, the smell makes it worse for them.
4.Ultra-thin sanitary pads - Women and girls want pads that are ultra-thin so that they do not show and secondly so that they do not interfere in their day to day chores.
5. Super Absorbent Pads - Indian women are adamant on having super absorbent and ultra-thin pads, something that the brands have looked into as it simply means the increase in the use of chemicals and a reduction in the raw material used - resulting in super-profits for the MNC’s
The Points stated above are the main key factors that women look at when they use a pad, as of today points 1 - 4 are not being closely looked into at all. With brands knowing that consumers want ultra-soft safe pads, what are they doing as of now and what are the new startups doing to make the perfect part we shall explore below.
What are MNCs doing that is against our study.
1.Softest sanitary pads - They are never going to be the softest till we do not use the correct raw material to make them. As of today to save on cost MNCs use plastic to construct the top layer of the pad, resulting in the pad having a hard top sheet.
2. Leak-Free sanitary pads - MNC’s tell their consumer they use a lock guard in their pads, which is a basic perforation on the top layer of the napkin. To be honest, this is a marketing gimmick which the consumers have fallen for, it does nothing for the utility and we have checked this over 1500 consumers who said there is no difference between the 2 pads when given one with the leak guard and one without the leak guard.
3.Odour free sanitary pads - This does not give you the right to add chemicals in the sanitary pad in the form of chemicals. This results in infections, rashes and allergies that the companies do not look into as they believe the customer falls for the smell on-the opening of the package.
4.Ultra-thin Sanitary Pads - Companies in India have compromised on the quality of the sanitary pad to attain the thinnest sanitary pad they could make. There are brands all over the world that are making pads of the same width but using 5 layers instead of the 3 used in India, this is dangerous as the pad can rip open and expose your vagina to SAP chemicals which are very dangerous for you!
5.Super Absorbent Pads - MNC’s use of extra chemicals to construct a super absorbent pad. They use a high quantity of SAP and this is dangerous for the consumers.
What are the new Startups doing that coincides with our Study
1.Softest Sanitary pads - They are coming through with the softest sanitary pads using natural materials that are much softer in comparison to plastic. Fibres like cotton and bamboo are being used to give the consumer the most comfortable top-sheet. Confirming the fact that a soft sanitary pad and a natural sanitary pad is the way ahead.
2.Leak-Free sanitary pads - Companies are making sanitary pads with 4 wings, one which is placed in the same place as the conventional pads and the other is on the backside which gets stuck to your butt cheeks. This is very beneficial as it is perfect for when women sit and sleep, the trickles down their back resulting in stains on their pants.
3.Odour Free sanitary pads - Startup brands are coming through with organics scents which are not chemical-based ensuring a safe and itch-free period.
4.Ultra-thin Sanitary Pads - Startup brands are using very high-quality material ensuring each one of the 7 layers they have is made of natural materials and super soft, it is as soft as the 3 layer pad made by MNCs, this is due to the chemical layer being super bulky in conventional pads.
5. Super Absorbent Pads - As mentioned above the structure of the pad is very solid resulting in a very absorbent pad as the 7 layers help funnelling and to absorb the flow released by a woman.\
Thanks to the startups for taking our advice and coming through with a soft sanitary and a safe sanitary pad. Which is keeping the Indian consumer happy and secure.