How Yashram Lifestyle resolving women's personal hygiene problems
I can't remember the number of times as young girls at school we would ask our friends to check our backs to look for period stains. This was the inspiration for me to invent the period panty, says Yashram Lifestyle’s Deepa Kumar
From 'Feeding Kurtas' to 'Period Panties'- she has made the journey of Yashram Lifestyle Brands looks so easy and smooth. She invented the period panty way back in 2009. The patent was granted in 2015 in the US and subsequently in India in 2019. Speaking to Bizz Buzz exclusively, Deepa Kumar, Founder & CEO, Yashram Lifestyle Brands Pvt Ltd, explains how their all products are engineered for the needs of a girl and woman. They are highly technical products that are solving real life problems. Innovations being a core DNA for her company, she is not looking at scaling up capacity, rather she is looking for elegant solutions to real life vulnerabilities as women go through different phases of life that demands a different and unique solution each time
You are an engineer by training and profession. But your business operates in a completely different area altogether. How did your entrepreneurial journey begin?
Yes, I am an engineer and I am in the garment industry. Though it seems like different areas, when you look at our products, you will see that they are engineered for the needs of a woman. They are highly technical products that are solving real life problems.
From 'Feeding Kurtas' to 'Period Panties'- how has been the journey of Yashram Lifestyle brands so far?
It has been a very gratifying experience to be able to solve real life challenges. The challenges that we girls and women face have been the inspiration for me to go after. Growing up, I can't remember the number of times as young girls at school we would ask our friends to check our backs to look for period stains. This was the inspiration for me to invent the period panty way back in 2009. The patent was granted in India in 2019 and in 2015 in the US.
How many products do you offer from your stable currently? Are they all under the same brand or there are other brands and sub brands as well?
We have 3 brands- Adira, Morph Maternity and Pristine Life. We offer around 18 different product categories.
Do you only focus on addressing the needs of the girls and women when they are most vulnerable in their journey through womanhood?
We do have regular products like cotton panties, regular feeding bras etc, but our expertise lies in providing elegant solutions to real life vulnerabilities as women go through different phases of life that demands a different and unique solution each time.
What is your current capacity and how do you propose to scale up or ramp up your capacity over the next two-three years?
Our current manufacturing capacity is about 60,000 garments per month. We will not expand our manufacturing capacity beyond this but will find manufacturing partners as we scale. Our focus is to be an innovation house and we are currently in the process of creating and closing some interesting products that we will launch this year.
Going forward also, would you like to continue as utility wear brands only, or would you like to eventually roll out other kinds of garments/apparels?
We have a strong base of utility products and we will continue to add to the repertoire. Along with that we will be adding products that my customer needs and wants. We will always be a customer centric company. As a team we constantly look for ways to improve her life and will continue to innovate in this segment.
Do you have men's products as well, or is your brand only for girls and women?
We have a product for men which are the incontinence underwear. As men age, a few have the problem of light urine leaks. So have this product for men that we sell under the brand name Pristine Life. As a company we want to solve intimate problems for people when they are vulnerable.
Are you currently working on any other interesting/innovative product/s?
Yes, we have a lineup of interesting innovations coming up. Innovating is a core DNA for our company and we will continue to do that. Our last innovative product we launched was post delivery compression leggings in Morph Maternity which was well received by mothers post delivery.
Do you have a product development or R&D team to work on the new products, or you yourself work on them?
I head the R&D team. I am very involved in the whole process. A simple conversation can trigger an idea. It was a conversation that I was having with my aunts one afternoon when they told me that incontinence is a problem for women as they age. When I did more research into the topic, I came to understand that a lot of women avoid social life due to light incontinence. This was the trigger for me to start the incontinence range of underwear. It is a great high to see a product take shape in the mind and go into the process of drawings to products to trials to launch. And when we get positive feedback on the products, it is a very humbling and gratifying experience.