Unfortunately, women in India have little or no access to public loos on the go and even if they are able to find one, it may not be very usable due to lack of hygiene. Deep Bajaj wanted to address this and came out with a product he patented called PeeBuddy, which allows women to stand and pee.
Deep is the managing Director at First Step Digital Pvt. Ltd. and the founder of PeeBuddy and Sirona range of women’s hygiene and wellness products. Being inspired through personal experiences women-relatives and friends around him faced when traveling – especially in India – his intention was to address the issue and not just to raise money. “As a company, our main motto is to solve problems that women face on the go in the intimate hygiene and wellness area,” says Deep.
To make things convenient, they introduced India’s first female urination device (FUD), which allows women to stand and pee in all toilets. Deep explains, “Whether you’re taking a long flight, you’re going for treks, concerts, marathons, or you have any medical conditions – you don’t have to wipe the seats or make chairs or hold it in.”
Circling back to where the inception of the product began, the FUD got proof of concept from within the house. Positive feedback also started coming in from outside his circle, which included Cancer survivors too. As per the serial entrepreneur, PeeBuddy is even recommended by best of doctors for use during arthritis and pregnancy and can be used by women between the age groups of 21 and 40.
Talking about the success and affirmation PeeBuddy has received, Deep says, “That’s where it just doesn’t want you to give up. I thrive on these positive comments and feedback that we get,” with some animation of hands and a smirk of pride on his face.
In the first year, PeeBuddy managed to sell only 20,000 units, last year that rose to about 100,000 units and the company is looking to triple it this year. They had received a Rs. 15 crore post-money valuation from Indian Angel Network (IAN). In March of 2017, the PeeBuddy and Sirona range raised a Pre-Series A Funding from IAN of more than 2 crore.
Deep Bajaj is a B.com graduate from Delhi University and a marketing graduate from Australian National University. Starting with events and advertising, he then moved into the world of handmade carpet-marketing. Deep initiated First Step Digital to support, launch and do business across industries which are largely refrained from. His stint as an entrepreneur has won him several awards including Investors Choice Award at The Real Deal show on NDTV, Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 by Entrepreneur Magazine and more. He is now TedX speaker as well and his name holds place in the Limca Book of World Records.
Currently, things may seem bright for the social entrepreneur, however there were some challenges along the way. Factor in that he is trying to raise a startup and make a business in the women’s intimate personal care category at a time when ‘tech’ – in some shape or form – is what gains attention and attracts investors. Also, the taboo around such things in India keeps it mostly under a hush – and here’s a man trying to bring it to the fore.
Talking about how he started with PeeBuddy and its initial reception, Deep says, “When I took the product – which is shouting off rooftops saying ‘Freedom to stand and pee’, most men took me very lightly, I think they said it was just a joke or something. But I didn’t give up.” He believes that if you have a dream, or a project that you think will work, you have to try it. Unless you do, whole-heartedly, you cannot let anybody else define if it will work or not. He adds, “One thing, which is my personal mantra is – if you are at it, you can crack it.”