Interview: Vikas Bagaria, Founder, PeeSafe- a daily hygiene brand


Just like every idea starts with a problem, while Vikas Bagaria & his wife Srijana Bagaria were traveling, she fell sick on the journey that they had to drop the trip mid-way. After a medical examination, they found out it was an incident of UTI. They understood that the problem of unsanitized toilets is vast, 150-200 million females across the globe contract UTI annually. This is when they came up with the idea of introducing a toilet seat sanitizer spray – Pee Safe.

Started in 2013 Pee Safe, a daily hygiene brand, aims at creating awareness among its customers about the risk of washroom borne diseases. The brand educates consumers through mailers, influence marketing, Pee room conversation marketing, digital & social platforms, events and exhibitions etc.

Recently, PeeSafe announced Manu Bhaker as their first ever brand ambassador.

Vikas Bagaria, Founder, PeeSafe is an Economics graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He has completed his MCA in Electronics from Jadavpur University and started first venture soon after college. He launched his first venture in material handling equipment and then from Eduspace to Defence, Safety and now Personal Hygiene, there is no looking back. He is also an angel investor in over 15 startups.

When he is not working, Vikas likes adventure sports, off-roading, long distance cycling and wild life photography. He believes in chasing valuation and not profits. His mantra is to celebrate exit and not funding.

“I take inspiration from my father who is also an entrepreneur and still works 8 hours a day being 79 years of age. As an adventure loving individual, looking at different challenges in life and accomplishing them keeps the spirit alive in me.”- Vikas Bagaria, Founder, PeeSafe

Vikas Bagaria, Founder, PeeSafe

In an exclusive email interaction with The Motiverge; Vikas Bagaria, Founder, PeeSafe tells more about the venture, journey so far, and future plans.

Excerpts:

The Motiverge: Tell us more about PeeSafe.
Vikas Bagaria: PeeSafe is a daily hygiene brand, initiated with Pee Safe, a toilet seat sanitizer spray that can be used for commercial and domestic use by both men and women. The product provides a germ-free and insta-hygiene experience to the consumers, reducing the risk of washroom borne diseases and aims at promoting healthy lifestyle habits among the Indian population.

We also have a variety of products in the daily hygiene segment like Natural Intimate wash for women, PalmSafe (alcohol free hand sanitizer), MoskitoSafe (natural mosquito repellent spray) and mosquito scare-away patches.

PeeSafe Intimate Wash

The Motiverge: What was the biggest turning point in your life that changed your mind to become an entrepreneur?
Vikas Bagaria: I have seen my family running their own businesses from generations and they have been my inspiration throughout my life. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and just after my college, I started my first venture – VR Forklift in 1997. Today, I have more than 20 years of work experience in different business verticals as an entrepreneur.

The Motiverge: What motivated you all to launch PeeSafe?
Vikas Bagaria: Just like every idea starts with a problem, while my wife Srijana Bagaria and I were traveling, she fell sick on the journey that we had to drop the trip mid-way. After a medical examdeination, we found out it was an incident of UTI. We understood that the problem of unsanitized toilets is vast, 150-200 million females across the globe contract UTI annually. This is when we actually came up with the idea of introducing a toilet seat sanitizer spray – Pee Safe.

The Motiverge: How has been the journey so far in terms of resources, challenges faced, market response, etc.?
Vikas Bagaria: The major challenge has been “creating awareness” among people. Being a personal hygiene brand, the basic idea was to develop better lifestyle habits and provide hygienic surroundings to the target audience. It has been difficult to develop a need of such products in the market and to make them understand the importance of its utility. To capture the market in hygiene sector, we have been doing a lot of campaigns both offline and online to promote our brand and have seen positive results in terms of consumer acceptance.

The Motiverge: How big is your team?
Vikas Bagaria: We are a team of 40 young professionals with varied backgrounds religiously working to take the brand to new heights in the Industry. The in-house team handles Marketing, Product Development and Research, Accounts, Brand Communications, PR and Digital Marketing along with purchase and Packaging.

The Team at PeeSafe

The Motiverge: Who are major competitors of PeeSafe in India as well as globally? What makes you different from your competition?
Vikas Bagaria: When pee safe started in 2013 as a trail, there was hardly any brand across the world which categorically mentioned about toilet seat sanitizer spray, though there were many surface cleaners available. The business idea of creating a “toilet seat sanitizer spray” itself was unique and the need of the hour. We are the category leaders for toilet seat sanitizer world-wide.  After 4 years of operation, multiple small players have entered this category. It is good that the category is expanding and people are getting aware of the product. It is helping us scale up our business too.

The Motiverge: What are the business opportunities in your sector, especially in the APAC region?
Vikas Bagaria: We created a category in hygiene with toilet seat sanitizer spray and further added other products in the segment. We already have a sales partner as far as Australia and New Zealand are concerned and have been getting great response from that market. However, South Asia is a very specific market for us, it is good to see that people are aspiring towards hygiene here. It is a great opportunity for us to expand in the region of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and other South Asian regions.

Also, Pee Safe has been signed on by 360 Nautica in Doha, for a contract of $ 4 million annual supply of its toilet seat sanitizer spray in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries for a period of over 5 years.

The Motiverge: Have you raised funds so far? Where do you see PeeSafe in coming 3 to 5 years?
Vikas Bagaria: We have raised two rounds of funding (1 million each USD) first in May 2017 and second was CCD in Dec 2017.We plan to expand our distribution channels both offline and online pan-India. We focus on venturing into new disruptive categories and introducing approx. 6 new products within this year.

The Motiverge: What are the feminine hygiene tips and facts every woman should know?
Vikas Bagaria: A woman plays an important role both in the family and society and is least bothered about her hygiene and health. There are certain practices that every woman must adopt in her daily lifestyle to keep herself healthy and infection-free. Understanding the need of the hour and modern lifestyle among women, these are few things they should definitely adopt –

  • Keep washroom borne infections at bay by using toilet seat sanitizer sprays
  • Maintain daily intimate using a natural intimate wash
  • Take care of overall daily hygiene and drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated
  • Use alcohol free hand sanitizer to avoid germs in hand and especially before eating
  • Use Natural Mosquito repellent sprays during the season of summer and monsoon while going out/travelling

The Motiverge: What keeps you going? How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
Vikas Bagaria: I believe, every individual has a different definition of leading a healthy work-life balance. Being a born entrepreneur, I take pleasure from my work and bringing innovations to people’s life keeps me excited. I also believe that 40’s is the new 20’s as I am always open to take challenges and push myself towards working for people’s good. I take inspiration from my father who is also an entrepreneur and still works 8 hours a day being 79 years of age. As an adventure loving individual, looking at different challenges in life and accomplishing them keeps the spirit alive in me.

The Motiverge: What are your messages for aspiring entrepreneurs/young generation?
Vikas Bagaria: Being an entrepreneur myself, my message to the young generation is that they should always believe in making profitable business. They should enjoy ‘Exit’ and not ‘Funding’. It is important to be honest to yourself, be a leader who is behind the team to help them grow and take the business to new heights. You should be loyal and transparent with your partners while working with them because trust is the core of everything.

Don’t forget to watch these videos:

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