While a majority of men and women in many urban cities of India still consider the menstrual cycle a taboo, this man from Coimbatore changed the perspective of millions of women in rural India. Arunachalam Muruganantham, also know as PadMan, in an effort to impress his wife decided to produce sanitary napkins himself. Little did he know that a few years down the line, his whole world would be turned upside down, from almost getting a divorce to becoming the first man to wear a sanitary pad.
The initial idea seemed simple enough. Buy cotton, cut it in the size of a regular pad and wrap it using a thin layer of cotton. However, the feedback he received from his wife was devastating. His homemade pad was useless and she would rather continue using old rags. He did not stop there. He first enlisted his sisters to test his pads. When they refused, he visited a local medical school and asked the girls studying in those colleges. When they also eventually stopped helping, he created a makeshift uterus using a football bladder and goats blood to test the sanitary napkins himself.
When the neighbours started complaining about a foul smell and stained clothes, his wife left him and went to live with her mother. But, it was no longer about helping his wife anymore. Arunachalam was on a mission to produce low cost sanitary pads for all the girls and women in his country.
A school dropout from Coimbatore, Arunachalam challenged an age old taboo and changed a fiercely competitive industry with his cheap and affordable good quality sanitary napkins. After years of research, lots of sacrifices, a great deal of hard work and the willpower to succeed, he successfully created a low cost machine for the production of sanitary pads. His easy to use machines, priced at $ 950, created a revolution in India challenging the $ 500,000 imported machines. More than a decade later, his single product has helped employ more than 7000 women in rural India, selling 1,300 machines to 27 states in India and 6 countries.
However, the man behind the ‘Second White Revolution’ is still as humble as ever. Startup Stories had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Arunanchalam Muruganantham about his surreal journey. Speaking about his experiences and his journey, he says, “I feel grateful for what has happened so far it is what has made me what I’m today.” Despite changing the lives of over 3.5 million women in rural India, Arunachalam feels there’s still a long way to go. “Awareness is missing. But things do have changed compared to 2 decades before.. still a long way to go.” He further adds, “Menstrual hygiene is totally connected to a women’s health and lifestyle. Sanitary pad does play a role. We have over 80+% women not taking care of themselves. A lot of efforts needed to make them use hygienic practice.”
However, Arunachalam feels the Government can help boost this movement forward. “Tax has increased the price of pads. But still. Cost is one side of the coin. Government can make it tax free – the loss they might incur is not a loss at all as making pads affordable and accessible will make more women healthy – that is a greatest asset of the nation. Women strong – country strong.”
We could not agree with him more! India is a country that has seen some extremely powerful women in the leading roles. Nevertheless, like they say, there is strength in numbers and only when men and women work together, will this revolution be validated. It takes a lot of strength, courage and determination to take such a brave step forward. Startup Stories wishes Mr. Arunachalam Muruganantham all the best for his dream of making all the women of India use sanitary napkins.
7 Books That Could Change Your Life
A book always opens up the doors to new possibilities and ideas. You just need to be open to new suggestions. The right books will make you invincible, by providing you with gems you can not find anywhere else. Here we have a list of books which will change your life, only if you let them.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is about preaching the message, we are all are inherently creative. Big Magic is a motivational and inspirational read, it makes the reader want to create something spectacular.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
“You are the masterpiece of your own life. You are the Michelangelo of your own life.” This is the message this book conveys. If you are ever in a slump pick this up, it is a light and easy read, The Secret will leave you with a new energy and a new perspective on life.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg takes us on a journey with this book, he includes real life examples and success stories. Duhigg employs scientific discoveries to provide us with a logical explanation about why we do, what we do in life and how to change it.
Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
The author of this book Gary Vaynerchuk writes “Are you going to be part of the revolution? My hope is that Crushing It! will be the inspiration and strategy for you to understand how it’s not only possible, but practical to do the same.” It is a self help book for entrepreneurs to build their businesses.
Startupland:How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business By Mikkel Svane
Startup Land is a realistic account of how three guys dove into the startup industry. They documented their struggles and successes in this book. The story effortlessly conveys the message you just need to be you to succeed at your passion.
Four Thousand Days: My Journey from Prison to Business Success By Duane Jackson
An entertaining an inspiring story of a young man, who turned his life over after being arrested for possession of drugs. The author tells his story about building and selling his business and how he became a millionaire.
A New York Times bestseller, Rework, is a business book, that is unlike the rest. Rework does not give you the same old advice, it provides you with realistic, better, faster and easier ways to succeed in your business.
Have you read any of these books? If so let us know how you liked it in the comments below!
How Steve Jobs Convinced Tim Cook To Work For Apple
Timothy Donald Cook, also known as Tim Cook, is the Chief Executive Officer of Apple. Cook is a well known American business executive and an engineer. Tim is behind the company which runs the most profitable business in America. Last year, Apple brought in more than $ 48 billion in net income.
Steve Jobs, the co founder of Apple, introduced Tim Cook to the company. In an interview with Bloomberg, Tim was quoted saying working for Steve Jobs was “liberating.” He added, if he had a “really big” idea, he would just simply bring it to Steve Jobs, if Jobs liked it he would just say “OK” and let Tim work on it.
“It was like a total revelation for me that a company could run like this, because I was used to these layers and bureaucracies and studies the sort of paralysis that companies could get into and Apple was totally different,” said Cook.
Tim Cook celebrates his seventh anniversary as Apple’s CEO after being with Apple for 14 years. He took over the company in 2011 after the passing of Steve Jobs. Jobs died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 56.
Steve Jobs’ desire to move into the consumer space for Apple and his lack of interest in growing financially convinced Cook to join Apple. In his first interview in 1998 for the position, Cook wanted to join Apple within five minutes of meeting Steve Jobs. Cook was so mesmerized with Jobs charm and the way he ran the company, he resigned from his job at Compaq the next day, he did not look back from Apple ever since.
Cook adapted the role as the CEO seamlessly, he calls the job “his oxygen.” He built a reputation as a demanding boss, he holds marathon meetings, questions everything and is constantly emailing employees.
Talking about how Cook’s Apple is going to be different he said, “I love museums, but I don’t want to live in one. Steve taught us to not focus on the past. Be future focused.”
How To Structure Your Priorities
At work, everything is at a high priority, how do you then structure your list of priorities with everything you need to accomplish. Knowing how to structure your priorities, is a key skill to have. To hit deadlines, you need to follow these steps and make your life easier, for you and your colleagues.
Write a to do list
Even though, you know everything you need to get done, it is best if you jot down everything with the deadline date. Do not worry about the order, just brain dump, small tasks as well as big tasks on to the list. From walking the dogs to finishing up a work related document that is due in two hours.
Identify what is urgent
After writing everything down, look at the things needed to be done the quickest, the work, if not done as soon as possible can have negative consequences. That work related document which is now due in an hour and fifty minutes.
Look at the leftover tasks, and identify tasks adding the most value to the company upon completion. You should be able to recognize what tasks provide you or your organisation with the most value. If there is cooking food on your list, it would be helpful to do that before embarking to do everything else on an empty stomach.
Rearrange the tasks
After identifying the work needed to be done first and the work garnering the most value when completed. It is time to rearrange the tasks requiring the most effort. The easiest way to do this is by employing a prioritisation method by Brian Tracy. It focuses on your feelings towards the task.
In the words of Mark Twain, if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing it is probably the worst thing going to happen to you all day long. With this ideology in mind, get the worst task done first.
- Things you do not want to do and you do not need to do.
- Things you do not want to do but actually, need to do.
- Things you want to do and actually need to do.
- Things you want to do and do not need to do.
Remember you only have twenty four hours in a day, make sure you do not bite off more than you can chew.
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