WomenNow in conversation with Deepanjali Dalmia, founder of Heyday

When did you start Heyday?

Heyday products were brought to the shelf on October 2017, it took us 2.5 years of research
and development before we launched the product in the Indian marketplace.

 

What inspired you this idea?

Having been educated in two all-women institutions, Barnard College of Columbia University
in New York and Carmel Convent School in New Delhi, I have always been sensitive towards
women’s issues. When I returned to India with an urge to add value and improve lives, the
statistics regarding feminine hygiene in our country appalled me. Only 87% of Indian women
use sanitary napkins and the ones that do are completely unaware that their personal care is
majorly synthetic. Not only this, about 9000 tonnes of sanitary napkin waste is disposed
in landfills every year with no source of decomposition for over 400-500 years. I wanted
to revolutionize this sector and make a difference in my own little way. In an effort to do so,
Heyday was born- a completely biodegradable, natural and organic sanitary napkin made
from plant-based fibers of corn and bamboo.

What are your future goals?

At Heyday, we aim to educate, empower and celebrate Indian consumers by bringing newer,
safer, healthier and overall better product options to them. Our vision is to change the
personal care market completely by 2020 and enter international markets as well.

How is it different from regular sanitary napkins?

90% of a commercially available sanitary napkin is composed of polymers, plastics, perfumes,
antibacterial agents and a host of chemicals that are extremely harmful for a woman's body.

On average, women spend 6.5 years of their lives on their period and end up using
11,000-17,000 pads in a lifetime. The sensitive vaginal skin that stays in contact with a
sanitary napkin for continuous hours for five days every month is highly permeable and
can directly allow entry of chemicals into the bloodstream to cause rashes, allergies, skin
infections, UTIs, birth defects, miscarriages, and even cervical cancer. Heyday is all natural
and prevents any such harm to the body. It is a safer, more hygienic and natural alternative
to transform one’s period experience forever. In addition, Heyday pads decompose within 6 months to 2 years of disposal under the action of microorganisms in the soil as opposed to
synthetic pads which take centuries to break down.

What are your expansion plans?

30% of the sanitary napkin market is held by five major cities in the South and we aim to
launch our products in that region. We are working towards listing our products in all
premium chains nationally and locally to make the product available to more and more
women. We constantly conduct awareness campaigns in schools, colleges and societies to
educate the youth of the country from the grassroots level. We are expanding within the
category as well, our next few products are natural baby diapers and panty liners.

Why hasn’t someone tried this before?

It is shocking to see that a product which is regularly used by half the population of the
world has seen little or no innovation in the last decade or more. The Heyday product
prototype has been developed after years of extensive research. The napkin has layers of
super absorbent bamboo fiber and corn starch which provide a natural antibacterial property as well as softness to the product. At Heyday, we hope that more companies innovate within
this sector and bring products that are better for consumers.

How is the Indian market different from others?

The Indian market adapts slowly to change. If consumers have been using a certain type of
product, it takes a lot more time to educate the consumer and encourage them to use a new
product. In the west, consumers are more aware and conscious about the implications of
their buying decisions making them open to change.

Are women better leaders?

It would be sexist to say that women lead better than men. Women do have natural instincts
that aid their decision-making skills.

How is the female/male ratio in your company?

As a startup, having the right set of people behind the mission is essential for the sustenance,
growth, longevity, and success of the company. We currently boast an all-female team in our
corporate office.

What advice would you like to give to women who want to be entrepreneurs?

I would advise young women to chase their dreams and not give up on anything they believe
in. Consistency, hard work and being open to new ideas is the secret formula to success.

 

What would you like to say to our readers?

Please make conscious consumer decisions for your bodies next time you are in a
supermarket and give Heyday a try!

 

 

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Reynu joined WomenNow from the beginning on. She loves writing and combines this with her love for India, the country her parents emigrated from to the United States looking for a better life and opportunities. Studying litterature and journalism helped laid the foundation for her writing skills. She is into badminton and an avid runner. Her dream is to live between New York and Mumbai.
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