At one end, there are Indian women who still have hurdles buying a condom because of the judgmental society that we live in. And on the other, there are India women entrepreneurs who are breaking barriers. When both these worlds meet, a name that comes in mind is Komal Baldwa, the founder of Bleü Condoms, who stood up to stereotyping and launched nontoxic condoms.
Bleü was born out of personal ordeal for toxic lubricants in Male Latex Condoms faced by Komal and aims to empowering Indian women by providing them with a choice of Non-Toxic products and letting them decide what they use on their body. Komal’s belief that contraception plays an important role in women’s health has also led to installing vending machines at strategic locations for the ease of women to buy and carry condoms in their purses.
Undeterred by the taboo topic of Indian society, Komal formed the company in May 2019, under the name of Waleria Essential LLP. Read about the entrepreneurial journey of Komal Baldwa, who feels that her brand must be approached as a ‘medical’ product above anything!
Tell us something about your life before Bleü Condoms.
I attempted for three startup which never took off. With my pregnancies and responsibilities, I was mostly a home maker for quite number of years.
How has been the journey so far for you as an Entrepreneur?
I was prepared for moles and I am facing mountains is all I can say. Entrepreneurship is a challenging profile and we must keep on assuring our self about our vision and goals.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
I am in field surrounded by men. So initially they thought that I am for fun and suggested me, “Ma’am why do you want to enter this field. Better that we handle what we have been doing so far.” I had to prove my worth with my dedication and knowledge gained about the subject by approaching the experts of the field to assist.
How important is sex education in today’s era? And why?
With a change in the societal shift, it is now high time that we educate our youngsters about safer sex before they gain rubbish knowledge from porn and their half knowledgeable friends.
In terms of sex education, do you think the existing programmes introduced by the government needs enhancement? Any suggestions to the government?
I don’t see any existing program by the government for sex education. And if I remember correctly, they have revoked it and made yoga development instead. We may belong to Sanskari Indian culture but at the end, government needs to understand that sex is a reason for being one of the most populous country, and unsafe sex is the reason for high rise in STI’s.
What is the biggest struggle of a woman entrepreneur today in India?
Most of the times the only struggle is the fear of societal judgements.
A female entrepreneur or young woman who wants to be an entrepreneur does not always start off from a level playing field compared to a young man from the same community. She may not have access to the start-up capital (land, house, money) she needs to start her business and she may also have other time commitments like childcare. Do you think the existing programmes introduced by the government needs enhancement? Any suggestions to the government?
Government programmes only tries to uplift the beaten path markers. So, woman in pickle making, tailoring, salon, etc. are promoted by the Government and MSMEs. These women are mostly home operators and to call the real entrepreneurs government needs to create a safe travel, legal childcare systems, and day light utilization banks with working hours like 8am to 4pm.
These days, every other person wants to start a business. What is that one quality, if a person has, then only he/she should think of starting a business?
The power to rise again after one has fallen on face.
Fall, Standup Repeat
Fall, Standup Repeat
Fall, Standup Repeat
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing a career as an entrepreneur?
My advice to such women would be to stop worrying about “Log kya kahenge” (What will people say?).
Till today, I am unable to locate the ‘Log’ (People)!
Is (gender) equality an important issue for you?
Yes, it is! A society can be uplifted only when both the genders are treated equally.
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
Listen to your inner call. What appears as a difficult journey is not that difficult!
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?
Don’t underestimate what you have achieved.
What kind of woman inspires you and why?
Bold and strong women. They are the ones who have the capability to bring a change in the society.
What qualities make a great leader?
I feel anyone who is empathetic, patient and good observer and listener can be a good leader.
International Women’s Day celebrates the scientific, political, economic and social achievements of women. In your experience as a successful woman, what is its significance?
I feel that we don’t need a day to call it a women’s day. Every day is ours!
Apeksha News Network congratulates Komal Baldwa for her efforts and contribution towards the empowerment to women in a true sense as to decide what she will use for her body. We wish her all the best for her future endeavors!