Aisha sanitary napkin maker raises angel funding

Mumbai-based Saral Design Solutions Pvt Ltd that operates as Saral Designs manufacturing affordable women hygiene products, has secured an undisclosed amount in an angel round of funding.

The round saw participation from Farooq Adam, founder of Fynd; and Ambi Parameswaran, former CEO of FCB Ulka Advertising, as per a press statement.

The company will use the money for hiring talent, upgrading technological infrastructure and strengthening distribution across the region.

“We plan to increase production and sales and add features which make the pads easier to use and dispose, especially for the low income segment where access to toilets is limited,” said Kartik Mehta, co-founder of Saral Designs.

The firm has recently launched ‘Aisha Ultra XL’ ultra-thin sanitary napkins. The napkins are made available to school and college girls via vending machines.

"Girls’ hygiene is an important health issue in India. Saral Designs addresses a key socio-health issue through a cost effective solution,” said Parameswaran.

Saral Designs, which is backed by Marico Innovation Foundation, was launched by IITians Suhani Mohan and Kartik Mehta in 2015. An Acumen Fellow, Mohan earlier worked with Deutsche Bank. Mehta is an alumnus of IIT Madras and earlier worked at General Motors and Neubauplan Design Studio.

The feminine hygiene market has witnessed a couple of deals over the last year. In November last, World's No 2 shuttler Saina Nehwal made an investment in Noida-based Soothe Healthcare's personal care business.

In 2014, Mumbai-headquartered Aakar Innovations Pvt Ltd, a social enterprise focusing on providing sanitary napkins for rural women, had secured an undisclosed amount in funding led by IIM Ahmedabad’s incubator, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). 

The space has also attracted interest from diversified conglomerates such as Emami. The group’s flagship FMCG firm Emami had acquired sanitary napkin brand She Comfort from Mumbai-based Royal Hygiene Care Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

According to a report by audit firm Deloitte India, the personal hygiene market for women is estimated to reach Rs 2000 crore by 2018. The report states that only 12 per cent of 355 million Indian women use sanitary napkins during menstrual period. 

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