From taking up an unconventional route to fighting challenges on a daily basis, this woman has done it all. Komal Baldwa, the founder of Bleu Non-Toxic Condoms, dipped her toes in many endeavours when she came back to India, after completing a Masters’ in Marketing from Cranfield School of Management, UK. Her journey is a story of triumph and perseverance, one that is inspirational and stimulating.
Starting out with a venture into delivery festive gifts, she moved on to plan a business dealing in luxury lingerie only to drop the idea as she felt that India didn’t have the niche audience for that. Motherhood happened and she took a break and then came back to work in construction for a while.
Her calling came when she plunged into setting up Bleu Non-Toxic Condoms. The intention of using non-toxic contraception occurred to her when Komal herself faced some vaginal discomfort. Upon visiting her gynaecologist, she realized that India didn’t have the awareness or resources for women to choose safer contraception. It was either contraceptive pills or UDI, both of which have long-term side effects on a woman’s body.
New day, new challenge
The foray into this venture wasn’t without its challenges. From convincing her parents, to accepting herself that she’s going to start a contraceptive company, she had a lot to overcome. An outsider in this field, it wasn’t easy procuring products in such a confined industry. Her biggest challenge though, has been to spread awareness about how women’s health is much more important than a man seeking pleasure. With other condom companies talking about long-lasting pleasure and varied flavours, Bleu had to put in extra effort to promote the fact that non-toxic condoms help a woman’s body in the longer run. Other obstacles that Komal faced were social media marketing wherein Facebook doesn’t allow talking about contraception. Given the limitations of Indian laws, talking about this issue or starting a dialogue on this topic of healthier contraception has definitely been challenging.
However, what keeps her motivated through these hurdles is creating awareness amongst Indian women. She wants these women to know that there is a healthier alternative available, and one should think about their body first. The hope that change will come keeps her going. Feedback from couples sharing how her product Bleu Condoms has helped them and messages from women motivate Komal to tackle the challenges each day.
Managing the climb
Being in the leadership position she understands that this is the right time to bring a significant change in society, but she believes that she has made the essential dribbles so far and will soon reap success.
A survey showed that 45% of women in India don’t talk to their partners about the sexual issues they face, and 85% of women suffer from vaginal infections due to toxic condoms. In fact, only 5% of India uses condoms. For Komal, success would mean an increase in this number. She still awaits her proudest moment to arrive.
Komal wants aspiring female entrepreneurs to know that failures will appear, but they need to work regardless. She believes that if the aim is to reach the top of a mountain, one must cross the boulders, along the way.