Ranchi based 22- year old Pramod Priya Ranjan has designed an innovative menstrual cup, which also happens to be the first such product to be designed in India. His startup- Care Form Labs is a registered company with the government of Jharkhand.
Ranjan’s startup was selected among the top 14 finalists at the National Innovation Challenge in New Delhi on January 19 for Youth Co:Lab supported by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and NITI Aayog. The young entrepreneur has also got a grant of Rs 50,000 and fellowship with a monthly stipend of Rs 25,000 from NITI Aayog- AIM.
“Currently there are about 200 startups which sell menstrual cups across the country but the product is mostly imported from China and USA. The products available are generally not used by the masses. During a survey conducted by my team- Alomi k Parikh, Shreya Yengul and myself, we came across two problems faced by the users which were mainly insertion and removal and later cleaning the cup post use. Identifying this as opportunities, the product has been designed accordingly,” said Ranjan.
The product will soon be available with a case, which will also work as a cleaning kit for the cup. The case made of silicone will have indicators marking the water level and will be manufactured soon. The product is made of 100 per cent medical grade silicone.
“A provisional patent has been filed for the menstrual cup. The prototype is being made in Bangalore so it is a ‘Made in India’ product,” added the designer. The prototype has been tested by users and has received about 10 expert reviews so far.
“While working for an NGO in Pune, I was making a sanitary napkin incinerator - a machine which is primarily installed in colleges and hostels and is used to burn the pads. The machine though useful emits harmful smoke and is also difficult to maintain. That was the first time I heard of menstrual cups and was quite shocked to discover that it is not a very popular product among menstruating girls and women,” added Ranjan.
The pilot project will be launched in March after which the product will be available on leading E- Commerce platforms by the end of 2020.
“In the coming years, I hope to be among the top three companies on leading E-commerce websites selling this product. I want to reach the rural women, so hopefully in five years time after creating awareness on menstrual hygiene and with active participation from the government, NGO’s and self help groups, I hope to reach my target audience. Other health care products like pregnancy test kits are also in the pipeline,” said the young designer.
Born and brought up in Ranchi, Ranjan has done his schooling from Delhi Public School and is a graduate in Bachelors of Design from MIT Institute of Design, Pune. A resident of New Pundag, his father Vinod Kumar Ranjan is a fine arts teacher at Delhi Public School while his mother Tapasi Ranjan teaches Hindi and political science at Vivekanand Vidya Mandir, Ranchi.