International Women’s Day just got over yesterday, but Amrita Deshpande and Deepali Kamble are bent on keeping the spirit of sisterhood alive for the fraternity even as they go about cleaning the environment.
The duo recently turned entrepreneurs as they decided to take the plunge and tackle an everyday problem that is one of the biggest headaches of garbage collectors and waste management experts. Their company Ezy Solutions launched mini incinerators in the market that offers safe and scientific process of disposal of used sanitary napkins.
The incinerators sold under the brand name Dilasa are in different capacities so that it is easy to use for different consumer groups such as institutions (schools, hospitals, companies, etc.) and households.
Operating out of an office located near Mahalaxmi Temple, Panaji, Deshpande and Kamble have registered their startup on the central Udyog Aadhar portal and with a freshly acquired corporate GST and PAN number are raring to go.
“Isn’t it filthy to see used sanitary napkins thrown in public places and being chewed by stray cattle and dogs?” asks Deshpande who pained at seeing the disturbing sight daily decided to do something about it.
She came across Kamble in an exhibition trying to popularizing bio-degradable sanitary napkins. The chance meeting resulted in a camaraderie after which the friends decided to startup with their venture.
“Earlier we thought of manufacturing the incinerators and vending machines ourselves in Goa by tying up with a local manufacturer based in Sancoale industrial estate. However things did not work out after which we decided to restrict ourselves to retailing and source the machines from outside,” says Kamble.
Presently the machines are sourced from a Coimbatore based company but marketed under Dilasa, a brand owned by Ezy Solutions.
The incinerators marketed by Deshpande and Kamble start at price range of Rs 14,000 per machine. It is the smallest machine in the range and suitable for a household. The friends point out that, every family spends on electrical appliances and should not grudge additional expenditure on a mini-incinerator.
“Our target customers are all segments, viz. institutional as well as individual users,” says Deshpande. She adds that, sanitary pad incinerators need to be a part of the family budget considering the purpose they serve.
Ezy Solutions is a 50:50 partnership between Deshpande and Kamble and both have contributed Rs one lakh each as seed capital for the venture. Of the two, Deshpande is taken the plunge into entrepreneurship after retirement. She worked for 26 years in EDC and retired only recently after which she decided to go into business. Kamble continues to hold on to her accounting job as she needs the funds until the venture takes off.
The duo are presently approaching customers directly. They also plan to display their products in exhibitions towards increasing visibility of their services.
“DIlasa means comfort. Using incinerators are important because used sanitary napkins block drainage and they are an environment hazard due to the plastic content that makes them non-degradable. Even bio-degradable napkins offer a partial solution as the degradation occurs slowly. The best solution is to burn through electric incinerator,” believes Kamble.
T he incinerator works on electricity and is easy to use and cost effective, points out Deshpande. She adds that, the machines are useful to hotels, offices, public toilets, shopping malls and wherever washrooms exist for women.
The friends next target is disposable diapers which is another nuisance in the garbage and difficult to dispose. “Sanitary napkins are an intimate item. However it is surprising how publicly it is disposed by users,” they say.
Deshpande and Kamble point out that, the incinerator machines are neat in appearance and retailing them promises to be a viable venture. For sales of sanitary napkin vending machines, they foresee less problems as vending machines are gradually being purchased by schools and institutions.