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How Uncomfortable Personal Experiences Led To Tanvi Johri Becoming a Period Care Crusader "Women should not have to deal with the problems month after month; there should be better product," shares Tanvi Johri, CEO and co-founder of Carmesi

By Paromita Gupta

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Tanvi Johri

The CEO and co-founder of Carmesi, Tanvi Johri, did not have a eureka moment but rather a series of painful period experiences for years. "I have sensitive skin, and no pads available in the market suited me during my period, resulting in rashes. There wasn't a single solution in the market that could provide comfort for a woman who gets rashes due to pads," she shared.

Being a Chemistry Honors graduate from Delhi University and an MBA post-graduate from the International Management Institute, Delhi, she is the first founder in her family. While her academic background was a stark contrast to her idea, Johri and her co-founder and eventual husband, Rikshav Borah, learned the ropes of the business and understood the gap.

"Women should not have to deal with the problems month after month; there should be better products. There was not enough education on period care, and there were no mandates informing women about the material used in pads. So there was a gap, and we felt like this could be resolved. That was when Carmesi was born," she fills us in.

The 2017 start-up's period care range includes plant-based rash-free sanitary pads, disposable period panties, period relief patches, tampons, menstrual cup sterilizers, and stain removers. The brand has digressed into self-care, grooming, skincare, and healthcare ranges.

Johri's entrepreneurial mantra is to not aim for perfection, "rather execute, fail fast, learn, and then execute better." She counts her relationship with Borah, her husband and business partner as crucial to Carmesi's journey. Its 60 per cent clientele is based out of the metro and tier-1 cities, including Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, and Ahmedabad. In 2022, the brand went offline and opened 1500 outlets. She counts the period care range as one of the biggest product categories among women. Another major accomplishment was surpassing the competitors to become the leading brand in the facial razor category on Amazon.

The space is yet to be saturated despite 90 per cent of women experiencing rashes on their periods, almost 80% of fertile women experiencing cramps, and a fifth of women suffering from PCOS. And that is why Carmesi stands out. However, the 31-year-old hopes new players enter the segment to bring innovation. "Brands have not ventured into the category over the years because of the stigma attached. There is minimal conversation, and this has resulted in many problems around periods going unnoticed. There has been less demand from consumers for better products," she shared on challenges faced in the domain.

The menstrual-hygiene brand has yet to break even but claims to have repeat buyers; unlike other segments, it operates sustainably and does not endorse unnecessary expenditure. "The path to profitability becomes obvious if you can convince enough people to try your product, and if your product is good, then customers will keep coming back to buy it without you having to repeatedly market to them," she shared.

In 2020, Carmesi was acquired by online shopping and cosmetics company Purplle which turned a unicorn in 2022. For 2023, Johri plans to expand the offline business, both modern trade and general trade and shares that Carmesi is innovating with multiple intimate hygiene products.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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