Once upon a time, a few centuries ago around 1631 AD, a man decided to make the memory of his wife immortal, and thus the Taj Mahal was created. The monument became emblematic of the love and devotion Shah Jahan felt for his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal, and over the years the monument turned into the epitome of undying love.
But even though things are a lot different today in the 21st century, and especially the way we love and express it has undergone some major transformations since the 17th century of Shah Jahan, some essence has remained the same.
People continue to fall in love, and though they have even found some of the strangest ways of expressing it, some things, such as a husband's love for his wife and concern about her well being continues to remain a constant through the years. Vikas Bagaria's love for his wife Srijana is proof of one such modern act of love, which may not involve erecting a marble monument for the beloved, but involves launching an entire movement to improve the personal hygiene situation for not only his wife but lakhs of others women too.Who Is Vikas Bagaria
Born into a family of businessmen, Vikas Bagaria is an entrepreneur and angel investor, who holds a MCA in Electronics from Jadhavpur University, Kolkata. He started his first venture right out of college in 1997, but is better known today as the founder of female personal hygiene spray 'PeeSafe'. However, Vikas has also been an angel investor in over 15 startups so far.The Backstory
Vikas often finds himself in the company of men and women who are curious as to why Vikas takes such personal interest in the area of female personal hygiene, and Vikas is quick to establish the moment that gave birth to this venture. “My wife Srijana and I were on a road trip from Gurgaon to Gujarat. But when be reached Ahmedabad, she fell sick and had to be admitted into a hospital. She was diagnosed with acute Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)."
This diagnosis made the couple look at their entire journey more closely. They had stayed in the best hotels and eaten in the best restaurants, and yet Srijana contracted UTI. This made Vikas realise that clean doesn't mean sanitised, and became a cause of personal concern for him.
“This gave us the idea of making a product that could be sprayed on a toilet seat, would kill germs and reduce the chances of UTI all at once for women. That is how PeeSafe came into being when I was looking for new ventures to soothe my investor's impulse.”PeeSafe Then & Now
There once came a point in Vikas' journey with PeeSafe, when he wanted to go back to his older projects, which were doing well and were professionally managed at the time. He was almost about to sell PeeSafe when his friend Dheeraj Jain came on-board as the co-founder of a new company called Redcliffe Hygiene which now owns PeeSafe.
But the biggest challenge were people's mindset. Vikas' friends and relatives simply couldn't wrap their heads around why a man would want to create something related to women's hygiene. But Vikas only had a plain and simple response to that, “why can't men make a product for women? Why can't he for she?”
Past this initial challenge, PeeSafe is today available at across 3000 stores around India, and the brand has also launched internationally in countries like Nigeria, Singapore, Kenya but now they are planning to go all out and launch production in first world countries too.What's Next
The expansion plans are in top gear, and with their hygiene partnership with 'Toilet Ek Prem Katha' and with famous faces like Akshay Kumar and ace shooter Manu Bhaker as their ambassadors, the brand plans to achieve a lot more in the times to come.
With close to 65 people on and off the ground associated with the brand directly, PeeSafe wants to become “a generic term for female hygiene”. And if there was one piece of advice Vikas could lend to budding entrepreneurs, it's that “keep doing what you are doing, be honest to yourself, be a job provider, that is the biggest satisfaction. And when it comes to funding, don't celebrate funding, celebrate exit because that's where all the money is.”
Learn more about the trade secrets and valuable lessons, from the man himself in this video.