Tanvi Johri, 25, is the founder of Carmesi. Through her venture Carmesi, Tanvi Johri is addressing a very important social cause- that of menstrual hygiene. Carmesi is a brand that designs sanitary pads. But these sanitary pads are no ordinary. They are made with natural materials, pose zero health risks and are 100% nature friendly. With every box of Carmesi that is bought, a share of its earning is spent in providing safe and healthy menstrual hygiene products to women in need.
Here’s an interview of the young entrepreneur, Tanvi Johri:
Q1. Tell us about yourself and your background.
I am Tanvi Johri, Founder and CEO of Carmesi- India’s first premium, all natural and 100% biodegradable sanitary pads brand. I launched Carmesi in November 2017 at the age of 25 years with a vision to make periods a safe and healthy time of the month for women. I strongly feel that there are I am very ambitious, always exploring opportunities to improve myself both personally and professionally. I owe it to my parents who, again, are extremely competitive and ambitious career people. I firmly believe that there are no shortcuts to success in life, the people that we look up to for all their achievements have earned it with a lot of dedication, patience and most importantly, hard work.
I completed my graduation from Hindu College, Delhi University in 2012. After completing an MBA in Marketing, I worked with a couple of startups including an online travel startup called WeAreHoliday and nearbuy after which I began working on the concept of Carmesi.
Q2. What you do currently? Tell us about initiative.
I am the CEO at Carmesi, the brand that I founded in November 2017. Carmesi is the only brand in the country which offers completely natural and 100% biodegradable sanitary pads. When it comes to menstruation, it is disheartening to see that our society still does not even address this natural phenomenon let alone creating awareness about the matters of menstrual hygiene and care. There is an urgent need to normalize periods and that is the very reason why Carmesi exists.
Periods are an intrinsic part of a woman’s life, and so are sanitary napkins. Besides menstrual pain, there are various other issues that a woman experiences during her periods including discomfort, irritation and other skin infections.
Carmesi, on the other hand, is dedicated to create sanitary pads that are safe, comfortable and healthy, so that nothing stops her from going out and living her life without worrying about her menstrual hygiene. We aim to empower women with a product that’s completely healthy and transparent. The Carmesi sanitary pads are composed of 100% natural ingredients- Corn Starch and Bamboo Fibre. The corn starch eliminates the risk of skin issues like itchiness or harsh rashes while the bamboo fibre provides complete leakage protection along with a back-sheet which is made of compostable bio-plastic allowing zero leakage, making the pads 100% biodegradable and organic.
We are extremely focused on delivering an exceptional experience to our customers that normalizes the very essence of periods. This has never been done before by anyone in the menstrual hygiene industry, and we aim to completely transform this.
Q3. What challenges did you face in achieving this success?
Friction and challenges comes in handy with any revolution. One of the major challenges that I faced during an initial phase was my lack of professional experience. As a fresher with only 9 months of experience working with startups, it took me a while to understand the know-hows of business. The other challenge was the lack of women in the investor community. Because I was talking about a product that men are not comfortable listening about let alone understand the functionality and intricacy of, it was difficult for me to elucidate my proposition and make them believe in it.
But the biggest challenge still remains the lack of awareness among women about the composition and ill- effects of using synthetic sanitary pads. The challenge for us is to educate women and inspire her to find out more about a product which is extremely important for her health and wellness. We believe that just like any other premium personal care product, women deserve a natural, healthy and safe alternative to cater to the most sensitive area of her body.
Q4. What are your biggest achievements?
Customer feedback is the most important thing at Carmesi. When customers share their experiences of how Carmesi has made a difference in their lives; it is the most rewarding and accomplishing thing for us. Our customers take pride in putting up pictures with their beautiful box of Carmesi without flinching a bit before declaring that they are on their periods. Plus, we take immense pride that we have been able to solve the issue of rashes and inconvenient disposal for thousands of women now.
Another very interesting achievement that gives us an assurance that we are making a dent in the fight to normalize periods is that men are also buying our product for their partners. This has never happened before with any sanitary pads brand. A sanitary pad has never been seen before as a lifestyle product that can also be gifted. The realization that men are voluntarily buying our product as a gift gives us immense confidence in the potential of our product. It has also prompted us to launch an exclusive gift box filled with the finest period essentials picked to make a women feel happy and comfortable.
Q5. Tell our readers more about your personal life.
My home town is Mathura. I started living away from my family at a young age as my both my parents were in public services and had transferrable jobs. It was also because they wanted me to grow as an independent woman who is able to manage life and make decisions on her own. I believe that we all are defined by our actions, the kind of work that we do is what people identify us with. I make sure that I manage to take out some time for myself and indulge in my hobbies and interests. I enjoy dancing a lot and I love to deal with anything that is related to content.
Q6. What according to you are your future plans?
In the future, we aim to expand our product portfolio to be able to offer other products women need to cater to their menstrual hygiene needs. Moreover, customer experience is paramount to us. With regular interactions with our customers and getting feedback from them, there is a great scope to better our services. With Carmesi, our vision is to become the company that a woman can rely on and completely trust for all her period- care needs.
Q7. What message do you have for our readers?
I urge everyone-all men and women to create an open environment in their homes and workplaces where a topic as important as menstruation can be discussed openly without any shame or embarrassment. Make your daughter sit with you and educate her about how she needs to take care of her body during her periods. As a father or brother, don’t make the woman feel that you feel uncomfortable fetching her pack of sanitary pads from the market. When in office, don’t make an extra effort to lower your voice when asking for an extra sanitary pad from a friend.
I think, these actions will go a long way in breaking the stigma attached to periods. And that’s when the talk about menstruation will make us think about making healthier, safer and more empowering choices for our bodies.