Komal Founder at Bleu, India's 1st Vegan Condom Brand
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Like most Indians, I have grown up in a family where there was a ZERO talk about sex. Many of us have sex education from pornography. Way back before Bleu was born, when I was going through an allergic reaction to regular condoms, I realised that there was no one around me ready to talk about the issue. I asked myself if other people face similar issues ?. When I realised there are many individuals facing similar problems, I decided to create Bleu.
I started this company with my own personal savings. It was a one woman show. The first day when my website went live, I remember staring at the screen and wondering why orders were not coming in. At that moment I realised that there was so much more to business than just creating a product. I had to educate myself about everything I needed to learn regarding running a company from digital marketing to manufacturing to team building. On top of that, I had to face the judgements and taboos related to a “sexual” product. I overcame it all and now I am proud to say Bleu is a successful startup
Q2. What got you started and research about a topic that carries way too many stigmas on its back?
At that time the condom industry was purely focused on Male pleasure with major stakeholders being men. There wasn’t empathy towards female needs and struggles. When I realised that there was no solutions to it I knew that somebody had to get their hands dirty to solve this problem; so why not me?
A big milestone that we reached was gaining organic media attention; it was a first real victory in terms of breaking taboos and having conversations related to sexual wellness. Bleu has been covered immensely from local newspaper like Deccan Chronicle to international media company like Vice.
Q3. A women talking about Condoms and Sex, tell us about your journey in this line of business?
Some of the obstacles I came across during the initial phase of my company was when I decided to start manufacturing. I reached out to every condom manufacturer in the country and quickly realised how difficult this process was going to be. I started to face many prejudices as a woman in a sexual industry from societal judgements to factory owners bluntly refusing to talk to me. I was stubborn enough to not let it obstruct me even if it meant I had to have a man accompany me everywhere ; I was determined to get the job done.
Finally the production started successfully and we were able to ship out 300 boxes in the first month!
Q4. What kept you motivated to go on and face numerous stigmas attached to condoms and sex, specially when it comes to women?
Living in India, I see the lack of conversation about sexual health and wellness which has adverse effects on every generation.
Bleu is working towards changing this, and we are on a mission to create awareness to include sexual wellness as a part of holistic wellness. I, along with Bleu aim to create a solution in the form a product, information and awareness linked to our sexual organs. Our hormones regulate our sexual wellbeing along with mental being which needs to be normalised with our conversation around sex.
And this vision and mission keeps me motivated to move forward.
Q5. Is society ready for this product? What’s a vegan condom and how is this better than other condoms?
Ever since we have arrived, we see a higher spectrum of repeat customers compared to usual industry standard. So it does affirm that society was waiting for kind of product.
Bleu Vegan condoms are made with sustainably procured latex from forests that follow the practise of natural farming, reducing the protein content in the latex, making our condoms hypoallergenic to a great extent. Along with sustainable practices of production and packaging and strictly no animal testing methods makes us unique.