There is an increasing awareness around menstrual and intimate hygiene among Indian women. Considering India’s large demography, it is also a huge market – the sanitary napkin market went past $688.9 million in 2022, and is set to grow at a pace of 9.5% CAGR in the next five years.
Even as brands like Whisper and Stayfree have been around for quite some time, new-age startups are also looking to tap into the women-focused wellness and hygiene market. A new startup on the block is Avni, co-founded by Sujata Pawar and Apurv Agrawal.
Based in Thane, Pawar got the idea for Avni from her own personal experience. She told Entrackr that she earlier used regular cloth and then commercially available sanitary napkins. However, she experienced commonly faced issues like rashes, irritation, infection etc that made her menstrual cycle uncomfortable. The experience prompted her to develop her own sanitary napkins which would be suitable for modern day women.
“We did a pilot study with 1000 women and understood the pain points to arrive at this current version of cloth pads,” she said.
The company’s flagship product is reusable/washable cloth pads with antimicrobial layers.
“Ours is the first tested antimicrobial cloth pad in the Indian market and the only brand with the largest variant of cloth pads to accommodate the Indian body demographics,” the co-founder claimed.
Avni sells its products through its website as well as ecommerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon.
Without disclosing financial details, Pawar added that the company has doubled its revenues in the previous fiscal year since its inception in 2021. To date, the company has raised Rs 61 lakh in funding (via We Founders Circle) but isn’t looking to raise external funding immediately. However, the company will start looking for funds by the end of this year.
Avni also set a near-term roadmap which envisages the company becoming a comprehensive platform for women wellness and hygiene. Soon, it will be launching new products in the menstrual care and intimate care range.
As part of its efforts of scaling up, it will also host workshops on menstrual health, importance of using good quality products, and creating awareness through these workshops.
As mentioned above, the market for sanitary pads and overall women hygiene is huge in India, and established brands like Whisper are already quite prominent. However, millennials and younger generations are open to experiment with newer brands as we’ve seen in other markets.