Entrepreneur Naureen Ayesha from Kochi launches a startup for feminine hygiene.
Recently, the Women Start-up Summit 4.0 was organized by the Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM). The unique thing was that many young entrepreneurs from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities participated in this conference and presented their innovative ideas to the audience.
Naureen Ayesha is one of the hundreds of women entrepreneurs present in Kochi. Naureen started a startup named Femisef with her husband, Nasif Nazar. Naseef Nazar has worked in various industries since the completion of his graduation and has worked in the fields of software, HR, and marketing. In 2020, he ventured into entrepreneurship.
Naureen said at the conference that ‘operating from non-metro cities like Kochi also means having a smaller footprint.’ However, the products Famisafe offers are not very generic, so Naureen believes that smaller markets Are a better option to start with before making your mark and then expanding towards more prominent cities.
FemiSafe is a Famitech company based in Kochi, Kerala, and the idea came from a conversation between Naureen Ayesha and her husband, Naseef Nazar.
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, sanitation workers and students noticed that they needed many sanitary pads. Even the sweepers used to come once a week to collect the garbage. Naureen said in one of her interviews, “It was horrifying to see bloody pads being lifted with bare hands.” To process the debris, sanitation workers had to separate the gel from the plastic.
Nasif also suggested that Naureen encourage women to use sanitary cups rather than pads because they are more affordable and can be used more extensively.
Following this discussion, Naureen began her study, and in 2020 she founded a company called Femisef.
Femisafe, founded by Naureen Ayesha, promotes women’s cleanliness under the slogan “women’s closest friend.” In this, new categories of personal care items are launched. Examples include menstrual cups, menstrual cup sterilizers, unusual hygiene items, face, and body razors, and skin care goods.
Naureen and Naseef have focused all their attention on the smaller markets neglected by the big companies, i.e., Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. In that, too, South India is their priority. Through Femisef, Naureen is offering quality products for women. Still, at the same time, he is also focused on spreading awareness among women about how they should take care of cleanliness and hygiene during their
He has said he focuses more on South India because he has a better cultural understanding of that country.
Non-working women in the country are less aware of their menstrual days and reluctant to discuss their basic hygiene needs.
In the country, sanitary napkins are reportedly used 12.3 billion times annually. Even though this number is a bit high, it should be regarded favorably. Another problem is that about half of the country’s female population cannot buy disposable sanitary towels. So, it is essential to support any efforts that improve menstrual health.
There is also a need to look at this problem differently. There are also environmental issues regarding sanitary napkins. After use, they are brought to landfill sites, which take many years to decompose and harm the environment.
In such a situation, products like menstrual cups are becoming increasingly popular. Dr. Sonil Singh says, “Among products like tampons, napkins, etc., menstrual cups are the best.” They are also comfortable because they are good and environmentally friendly.
Naureen Ayesha writes on her website that we are reaching out to a section of society through social media. We constantly make them aware and organize seminars, workshops, and sessions.
According to Naureen, Femisafe is now preparing to enter the market with menstrual cramp patches, health supplements, and products for skin care, mouth care, and baby care.
The primary target market for Femisef’s products is moms, working women, and college students in small towns. Amazon, Flipkart, and its website account for the lion’s share of FamiSafe’s sales.
Femisafe products are also available in leading pharmacies in and around Kochi. Currently, the startup has an ARR of Rs 1 crore with an investment of Rs 30 lakh. Naureen handles R&D, HR, and product development, while Naseef looks after marketing, branding, and finance. The venture is part of the Wadhwani Foundation Liftoff and the Stanford Seed Spark Accelerator Program.
But his biggest obstacle is spreading awareness in society, especially in the Muslim community.
She writes, “The biggest challenge in this business is to spread awareness because this case is like this.” Menstrual hygiene is taboo, and people do not like to talk about it. Social media has helped a lot in tackling this challenge. Social media is a great platform to unite people, through which we can eliminate these taboos and inertia
Naureen is breaking the taboos related to women, but she has also shown a way to Muslim women entrepreneurs.