Saral has developed India’s first indigenously designed machine for producing ultra-thin sanitary napkins at a decentralized scale. While decentralization cuts distribution costs, automated production ensures economies of scale and product quality. This enables several manufacturers to collectively solve the problem of quality, access and affordability of menstrual hygiene products.
Every woman undergoes menstruation for at least 40 years of her life. Yet majority of them do not have access to basic hygiene products to manage their periods.
Saral has developed an automatic sanitary napkin making machine that enables manufacturing sanitary napkins in a decentralized manner. This has enabled Saral to bring down the price of a packet of sanitary napkins from Rs 80 to Rs 30 (for a pack of 7 pads), maintaining the quality parameters (of large length, high absorption using SAP gel, dry and soft feel with strong adhesion).
There are 2 categories of sanitary napkins in India -
A) High Quality, High Priced Pads: Produced by expensive centralized production set-up (production rate > 800pads/min), 40-60% costs increase in distribution.
B) Low Quality, Low Priced Pads: Produced by manual/ semi-automatic machines with poor economies of scale (production rate < 1pad/min), the quality is inferior and inconsistent.
Saral’s machine produces pads at a disruptive scale where the cost of production and distribution are the minimized (production rate >15pads/min). The automated process makes quality consistent, smart features in the machine ensure easy monitoring and robustness ensures easy scaling.
Women now have access to quality menstrual hygiene products at a much affordable price. This has the following potential long term benefits:
A) Reduction in chances of contracting reproductive tract infections
B) Reduction in drop-outs from work/school during days of periods
Every woman can save Rs 480/ year to manage her periods getting the same product quality. A small scale business owner can run a franchisee of sanitary napkin production and earn Rs 30L profit per annum. Every franchisee shall employ women for production and sales, providing livelihood opportunities in different parts of the country.