It’s not every day a mechanical engineer uses his smarts to make underwear for women to relieve themselves while standing. Ashutosh Joshi has been an entrepreneur since 1993 when he set up JK Udyog, a company that today supplies auto components to industry heavyweights like TATA Motors, Mahindra, Knorr-Bremse from Germany and Meritor Corporation.
As his innovative underwear for women launches today Ashutosh says, “GoodFeel is a revolutionary product that can bring about a social and cultural ‘liberation’ of women – similar to what the evolution of a reversible thumb brought to mankind as a species. We strongly believe GoodFeel, with its multifaceted uses, comfort and best in class materials and technology will surely become a household name in India, changing the female public hygiene scenario, one panty at a time!”
There are plenty of personal hygiene products directed at women, including one backed by notable investors like Redcliffe Capital’s managing partners. Sanitizers to use on the toilet surface; wipes and toilet seat covers; portable, detachable ‘female urination devices’ flood the market. GoodFeel stands out as one of the few products researched, designed and produced here in India, not merely marketed and distributed by a local company.
The underwear was conceptualized, designed and tested by Ashutosh’s team at JSR Innovative over two years. Ashutosh said GoodFeel has passed tests for toxicity, sensitization, and irritability and has been certified with ISO 10993. They have also filed an international patent for the design, published in January 2017.
The design of the underwear is what makes it innovative and by most personal accounts a hard sell. GoodFeel has a tiny funnel which can be tucked in and out of place as required. It’s neither an additional instrument nor a detachable device. It’s part of the GoodFeel undergarment and is very similar to the anatomy of a male.
Many of the females we spoke with were not comfortable with the design. But a few women who had dealt with the pain of kidney stones feels that this would be a life saver. Ashutosh said he thought of GoodFeel after encountering an arthritic patient struggling with intense pain each time she had to relieve herself. “It will be difficult to convince people to try this product because the idea is too new” Ashutosh concedes. “But our research shows that that an alarming number of girls and women do not drink enough water throughout the day, due to lack of proper public sanitation facilities - 71 % school going girls in the age of 12 to 16 years, and 57% college going girls in the age of 17 to 21 years, consume only 100 ml of water during school hours. GoodFeel is aimed at all these girls and women alike.”
GoodFeel becomes a hard sell also because of its price. At 699 rupees, it’s at least 3 times more expensive than other female hygiene products. And it can be washed up to 60 times – so you get to wear it approximately 120 times. The product will come in five sizes and two colors available online and lingerie stores in Thane and Mumbai. Ashutosh remains optimistic about the success of GoodFeel as he hopes to even raise funds for an automated facility able to produce 5 lakh units of GoodFeel a month, coming soon.