Paree is one of India’s fastest-growing Indian feminine hygiene brands with a vision to disrupt the Indian personal hygiene sector. Soothe Healthcare manufactures Paree Sanitary pads. Soothe is a consumer goods company engaged in the manufacture, marketing & distribution of Personal Hygiene products. Soothe Healthcare is amongst the top suppliers of sanitary pads to central and state governments under the National Health Mission (NHM).
Last year, Paree launched a campaign “Papa kiPari” on the occasion of Father’s Day. It was a step towards normalizing the conversation of the period between father and daughter. And recently they launched Pyaarka Period on Valentine’s Day, a move to change the meaning of love, knowing your partner’s period date is a new love!
Paree as a brand has advanced ahead by building a conducive and comforting environment that honors and appreciates its employees. Building a high-performance culture and treating employees equally, the brand stands out first in its category by rolling out initiatives like Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) and Period Leave for its workforce.
Sahil Dharia, CEO & Founder, Soothe Healthcare talks about their agenda behind roping Men in the menstruation conversation, their key learnings, their gender parity of the workforce at Paree, and more …
Women across India usually struggle a lot to gain access to the basics and with menstrual hygiene products being the most important to them, any associations that Paree has done or is doing to highlight this and spread the message to the masses?
Paree is one of India’s fastest-growing feminine hygiene brands whose key objective is to reach out to every woman to assist her with her personal hygiene requirement. The brand through its various initiatives focuses on encouraging women to put her need first and give importance to her menstrual hygiene. Our research and development revolve around identifying and solving her menstrual needs with our innovative products which are being accessed by approximately 15 lakh women pan-India every month.
One of our biggest drives in recent times was to voice the importance of menstrual hygiene during the Pandemic through our #SheFirst #PadsAreEssential campaign. Through this campaign, we started a dialogue on how sanitary pads are as essential as food and a pandemic does not stop periods. The availability of sanitary pads to women across must be given a priority and should be part of essential items. Through this drive, we distributed close to 2, 00,000 sanitary pads across India in association with various industry and government bodies.
To continue with our endeavor, we recently associated with various colleges across cities with our #WelcomeBackParee campaign wherein the brand provided menstrual hygiene essentials and shared the importance of menstrual hygiene with these young girls who stepped out of their homes after a long gap.
We have also joined hands with Oscar Foundation Mumbai to support young women from low-income backgrounds and educate them on the importance of putting their needs first, be it menstrual health or academics and sports. We aim at encouraging them to be aspirational and to give priority to their needs and goals.
Paree, a progressive home-grown brand, is stepping forward to help the women of India, any key learnings that you would like to share?
We have learned that through progressive initiatives and campaigns, we as brands can bring women’s personal needs to the forefront. Women these days are more aware and familiar with menstrual hygiene and the numerous products available to suit their requirements. Through vocalizing and normalizing period conversation, we are creating a platform for women to confidently prioritize their needs and their health.
We are very aggressive in keeping these progressive conversations going and helping build agility of talk and action with our corporate peers. At Paree, we believe that our Paree girl is born empowered; she just needs her wings so she can shine.
Tell us about the gender parity of the workforce at Paree?
The team at Soothe Healthcare currently has the strength of almost 1000 employees and the number will continue to grow this year. Our overall workforce comprises of 40% women with 80% Women as Corporate office staff. The CEO’s direct management team as well includes 64% of women. Apart from the obvious product requirement that only women will get, the idea of being women-centric arose from the factory. We saw women were better at adopting good hygiene habits and when trained and given an inclusive & fair working environment performed very well. Needless to say, women bring both Strength & Empathy to the job along with multitasking abilities which help sets us apart as an organization.
What is Paree’s market share especially in Tier 3 & 4 markets as there are many well-established brands with deep inroads across India?
As a brand that offers value-for-money products and proposition, we have witnessed exponential growth in Tier 3 & 4 markets. We have a strong presence in the Hindi-speaking markets, primarily in North, Central, and Eastern belts where our growth rate is 10% in these markets.
How has the brand is disrupted the market through its innovative campaigns and initiatives?
Paree has been a pioneer in the feminine hygiene space with its innovative and progressive approach on menstruation. Through bold communication and path-breaking initiatives, we advocate the importance of menstrual hygiene and persuade women to take the right steps toward maintaining their personal health. We voice women’s health issues, address their needs through our range of products, and bring every menstrual-related issue to the forefront, be it heavy flow, period cramps, or PMS.
Since women are the backbone of society and play a pivotal role in any family, during the lockdown we unmuted every conversation on menstruation and initiated the #SheFirst campaign to champion that Pads are as essential as food and the importance of putting her needs and requirements first. We managed to distribute over 2 lakh sanitary pads through various associations.
Paree also took an honest & forward approach to stir up a conversation on period talk and bring men into the picture. On Father’s Day, we released a video #PapaKiParee that showcased a father and daughter having a candid conversation during her periods and highlighted his efforts to understand the physical and mental discomfort of heavy flow, cramps, and PMS she endures.
On the corporate front, in an attempt to build an inclusive environment where period talk is candid among men and women, we announced Period Leave for all our women workforce, as we believe that even in the workplace, health should come first. We also advanced ahead in building a conducive workplace by being the first brand in our category to roll out initiatives like Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) and Period Leave for its workforce.
On Valentine’s Day, we took the opportunity to change the love narrative with a video release #PyaarKaPeriod – a move to change the meaning of love, in association with celebrity couple Prince and Yuvika. We showcased love in everyday things like knowing your partner’s period date and caring for her during the same.
Moreover, we have also associated with various colleges for the #WelcomeBackParee campaign to provide menstrual hygiene essentials to young women in colleges and let them know the importance of their personal health.
Why do you think that Men need to be part of the conversation when it comes to Women’s issues like menstruation?
Roping in men into the period conversation is extremely important because women’s needs should be recognized and heard. We need men to step forward and actively participate in the conversation. To pedestal the importance of menstrual hygiene it requires men and women both to thoroughly understand the importance of women’s health issues.
During the lockdown, we saw men picking up a few new skills around the house and kitchen – so we believe let Paree pads take care of her hygiene needs while guys can help take care of their better halves!
Acting upon this thought, we introduced disruptive campaigns that brought men into the conversation of periods. On Father’s Day, we launched #PapaKiParee a video towards normalizing conversation of the period between father and daughter. The video focused on the role of a father in understanding his daughter’s needs and prioritizing them to comfort her when she’s enduring the discomfort of periods.
Also, this Valentine’s Day, we released a video #PyaarKaPeriod in collaboration with celebrity couples Prince &Yuvika. It was a move to change the meaning of love with a narrative that illustrates the role of a man in a relationship in understanding his partner’s needs and being there for her when she is on her period.
What would be your marketing strategy to reach your audience?
We believe that the sanitary pad market collectively focuses on growth share and not market share. Our brand since inception have strategically focused on building our presence in Tier 3 & 4 cities and steered clear of the highly competitive top cities where the market is dominated by other brands. We identified and followed the Blue ocean strategy—a market where there is little or no competitive intensity, and it has worked brilliantly for our brand as we had a lot of opportunity to grow. We targeted cities with young college going girls to help us directly reach our audience.
Through exemplary research and development, we ensured our products differentiated and stood out from the rest. We invested in identifying the issues the customers face and how we can improvise and innovate to create solutions.