Delhi-based entrepreneur Deepanjali Dalmia launched sanitary napkin brand Heyday in 2017. Sanitary pad brand, made from bio fibre, that will be a healthier and safer alternative to the existing options.
Before she spontaneously decided to quit her job, Deepanjali Dalmia was living the quintessential Indian dream with a high-paying job as a financial consultant at Ernst & Young in Manhattan. “I realised there was a fire in me that needed to be channeled in the right direction,” she says, explaining her turn to entrepreneurship.
Dalmia returned to India in 2015 and spent three months researching on her area of work, before finalizing on personal hygiene. She learned that nearly 87 percent of women in India do not use sanitary pads, and even among those who do, many do not have any idea about its constituents. “They are synthetic and plastic, which causes cervical cancer,” she says.
Dalmia then put together a team that developed a prototype of a sanitary pad using bamboo fibre, which has high absorbance levels, and corn, for its soft texture. Much of the funds came from her own savings, with some support from her family. “We wanted a product that was completely organic and natural and wouldn’t cause rashes or allergies,” says Dalmia.
“The product is doing very well since its launch,” says Kunaal Kumar, the managing director of New Delhi-based retail chain, Modern Bazaar. “But it has a strong potential to do even better with improved awareness. She is doing something remarkably different.”
The company manufactures the products in China and Finland, and packages them in India. “Our plants can produce over 448 million units a year,” Dalmia says. “We are now getting a lot of interest from Bangladesh, Africa and Russia. So we are looking to ramp up our sales across India and globally.”
Heyday products were introduced in a select few retail chains in Delhi and Gurugram in October 2017. Within the first quarter, they understood that synthetic pads were preferred by an ever-burgeoning base of women users. The Heyday team was getting closer to the perfect product-market fit, save for one issue — the pricing, which continues to bump their product off to the premium category — a drawback Dalmia acknowledges. The two variants of their seven-pack are roughly Rs.100, while the 14-packs are Rs.200 — roughly Rs.10 to Rs.20 higher than the premium offerings of their MNC counterparts. “We have not been able to make the product extremely cheap to be affordable at the rural level yet. Hence, we have stuck with the model to reach the current users of pads and encourage them to switch to natural alternatives,” she says. Their sales are improving. The overall revenue in the previous fiscal was Rs.5 million and, this year, it has already touched Rs.12.5 million.