Pee-Buddy: Your Buddy For The Outdoors!
How often have you avoided road travel because of the lack of clean toilets? Even while travelling by train or flight, you only wish your co-passenger just swipes the toilet seat after use! Apart from AIDS, the other dreadful disease you dread is a urinary tract infection (UTI), due to which you avoid using any public toilets--be it in a grand shopping mall or one in your office! Do you wish technology could allow you to carry a clean toilet in your bag?
Your wish just got granted!
Meet our genie, the Pee-Buddy, a product that allows you to stand and pee, and wave a goodbye to all those apprehensions of travel and infections!
What is Pee-Buddy?
Pee-Buddy--founded by Deep Bajaj, his brother Mohit Bajaj and friend Rahul Anand--is a revolutionary product for women that grants the freedom to stand and pee. Deep Bajaj shares his story saying: "The idea was born on a road trip in 2013. We were travelling on the highway and the women would almost cry out when it came to using a public toilet. They would reject eight out of 10 restrooms available at fuel stations, restaurants, etc., and the ones which were ok also made them paranoid. They would either use a tissue to wipe the seat or make chairs. So basically, it was a compromise."
It was then that the conversation around a solution started, and the idea of Pee-Buddy was born. There was the option to launch seat covers or sanitisers, but then it wasn’t solving the problem--women would still be required to come in contact with the seat or wipe it. "We were thinking about what we can do to avoid the seat altogether. This is when a friends’ wife (Gauri) mentioned a plastic funnel she had once seen. This thought stayed with me, and research and development work on a solution started with my co-founders (Mohit & Rahul – Rahul decided to move on in 2015)."
Are They Like Sanitary Pads/Tampons?
Yes and NO. Yes, because they are for one-time use; and NO because you do not need to make contact with your body to use them.
Deep says, "Pee-Buddy is a funnel-shaped product made using waterproof coated paper. Hence, it helps avoid soiling and is a use-and-throw product. To use the product, one just needs to place the funnel in between their legs, and once they are done, they could close it, wrap it in the disposal bag and throw it into the dustbin. It is so conveniently designed for women to fold in half and carry in their bags at all times."
"Pee-Buddy is ideal for public toilets, airports, flights, hospitals, highways, trains--just about every toilet outside your home. Public toilets are the hub for infectious water-borne and air-borne diseases such as UTI and other problems. It is also a boon for pregnant ladies and those suffering from arthritis, and has been recommended by some of the best doctors. In fact, the Pee-Buddy's design was patented in 2015."
On asking Deep as to how they convinced their dealers to sell it, as talking about women’s hygiene is still a taboo in India, he shared a very interesting story: "When the actual product came into my hands, I was on cloud nine. I thought, 'This is it, the minute I take it to stores, they would love it.' But, the reality was different."
"Purchase executives at most stores couldn’t understand the concept (probably due to their lack of experience or lack of ‘open mind’), and we were shown the door. So we decided to change the strategy. We made our website and starting delivering across India for those who wanted to buy the product; and for medical cases, we decided to approach doctors. It is what changed everything; a lot of pharmacies invited us, which were followed by regular stores. Post that, there was no looking back."
Are Women Actually Using It?
Pee-Buddy got a breakthrough when organisers of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, TCS Bangalore Marathon, and Airtel Delhi Marathon bought Pee-Buddy and gave it to all women participants--a beautiful empowerment initiative. Know more about the product by visiting the Pee-Buddy Facebook page here and you could be their next loyal customer!
What Next After Pee-Buddy?
Deep says, "As a firm, we are building India’s first intimate hygiene care brand, Sirona, for women. Our products will revolutionise the way women travel in India. There is a slew of products which target both segments. Our existing products include the ‘I Love Clean’ disposal bag for clean and discreet disposal of sanitary products, intimate wet-wipes, under-arm sweat pads, etc."
Also, the firm is looking to extend the product to target rural women in India; once they get a subsidy, the product would be available at a lower cost to the rural women of India. Pee-Buddy is providing urban women the wings to fly and explore the world on their own terms. Are you in?