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.
Fun Facts About Netflix
Gone are those days when you would have to spend your pocket money on buying DVDs to watch your favourite films. This is the 21st century and in this age of technology, whether it is for watching a popular film or your favourite web shows, you know where to reach—Netflix, of course! With new films, documentaries and shows being added on a daily basis, Netflix is the most popular streaming platform in the world. Today, we bring you some interesting facts about Netflix which may surprise you.
Fun facts about Netflix
1) Though Netflix started renting out DVDs only from 1998, it was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. This makes Netflix a year older than Google.
2) Netflix was originally called Kibble. Kibble was the name of Netflix’s co founder Marc Randolph’s dog. This name was to remind everyone, “No matter how good the advertising, it’s not a success if the dogs don’t eat the dog food.”
3) House of Cards was not the first original content produced by Netflix. Netflix made a test video called Example Show in 2010. In this 11 minute long test video, you can find pretty inane content like an actor moonwalking with a laptop and reciting a monologue from Julius Caesar. You can still watch it on Netflix.
4) As of October 2018, Netflix accounts for 15 % of the world’s web traffic and approximately 36.5 % of North America’s web traffic. If Netflix did not compress its videos, this number would have been three times higher. YouTube, which is also a streaming platform, accounts for 11.4 % percent of the web traffic.
5) In 2013, Netflix hosted an award show of its own and aptly titled it “The Flixies.” It allowed users to vote for their favourite films and shows under various categories.
6) Orange Is The New Black, 13 Reasons Why, The Crown, House Of Cards and Stranger Things are some of the most watched Netflix original series.
7) Netflix is available in more than 190 countries, from Australia and Europe to most parts of Asia. However, it is most popular in the U.S.
8) As of January 2019, Netflix has around 139 million paying subscribers. More than 58 millions of these subscribers are U.S. based.
9) In 2014, a glitch caused the summaries of various titles to merge, creating completely hilarious and ridiculous summaries. One summary which appeared to combine the Power Rangers installments with Inglourious Basterds read, “The Samurai Rangers get stuck in the Megazord’s cockpit on Christmas Even when it breaks down. Can the Rangers get out and assassinate Adolf Hitler?”
10) Netflix was instrumental in coining the word “binge watch,” when it started to release its series’ episodes all at once.
Which of these facts about Netflix surprised you the most? Comment and let us know.
Reasons You Need A Mentor To Succeed As An Entrepreneur
Behind every successful entrepreneur, there is a mentor. Be it Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Richard Branson, they are all where they are because of a mentor who backed and supported them on their journey to success. As an entrepreneur, you will have to take several decisions on a daily basis and if you do not have an experienced person to help you take those decisions, then you might end up making mistakes. These mistakes can sometimes lead to your business failing altogether. So, if you are a newbie trying to start a business, keep reading to understand the importance of a mentor.
Who is an ideal mentor?
Now, before you set out to find a mentor, you should understand who an ideal mentor is. Not everyone who gives you advice is a good mentor.
Good mentors never take their role for granted. They feel responsible for their mentee. That being said, good mentors do not give you as much advice as a coach, sometimes they let you make your own mistakes and learn from them.
You must remember, people who have never tasted success of their own cannot guide you on your road to success. As an aspiring entrepreneur, your ideal mentor should be someone who has an established business of their own and can yet take some time off their busy schedule to help you build yours. You will be surprised to know, Steve Jobs, while running the tech giant Apple Inc., mentored Mark Zuckerberg and helped him build Facebook.
Reasons you need a mentor
1) You can learn from their experience
Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
No matter how educated you are, nothing can beat experience. Mentors have already gone through the journey before you and their experience can help you navigate through all the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Apart from this, you can also learn from your mentor’s mistakes and this can make life much easier for you.
2) You can get access to your mentor’s network
Over the years, your mentor must have built a strong professional network and when they choose to mentor you, they give you access to their network. This makes it much easier to find investors, market your business and also establish a customer base. Without a mentor, building a professional network is a hard task.
3) Mentors can double up as investors
Mentors sometimes tend to invest in their mentee’s business if they find it scalable. Steve Jobs’ mentor, Mike Markkula, was also an early investor in Apple Inc. This, to an extent, can save you from the hardships of finding potential investors.
4) Your mentor can be a great support system
Entrepreneurship is a lonely and tiring process. Here, the chances of failure are higher than the chances of success. When things don’t seem to be going the right way, your mentor can provide a shoulder upon which to cry. If you ever feel like giving up, your mentor can help you rekindle your confidence and can urge you to try once again. Research shows entrepreneurs who have a mentor are less likely to give up.
5) You will always know the truth
A good mentor is also your first critic. When you perform well, they should be the first to applaud for you and when you miss you mark, they must be the first to criticise you. Even if it hurts, they should always tell you the truth.
Your odds of success in life and in business can be amplified by having the right mentors. According to an executive coach survey, 80 % of successful entrepreneurs said they received mentorship in some form or the other. From giving valuable lessons and moral guidance, to timely advice, a good mentor can take you to heights you never thought you could achieve on your own.
Do you have a good mentor in your life? Comment below and let us know.
Four Books About Finance Every Young Entrepreneur Should Read
“You’ve got to tell your money what to do or it will leave.” — Dave Ramsey
Well, we could not agree more. Entrepreneurship is not just about having a lot of money, it is about knowing how to manage that money well.
Money management is one skill without which it is almost impossible to succeed as an entrepreneur. This, however, is very hard to master, especially if you are a beginner. Luckily, in today’s world, there are some really good books targeted at helping beginners understand how money works.
Therefore, if you are a new entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, here is a list of finance books you should read.
1) MONEY Master The Game: 7 Simple Steps To Financial Freedom
“What matters is that you master money and it doesn’t master you. Then you are free to live life on your own terms.”
― Tony Robbins.
Written by entrepreneur, philanthropist Tony Robbins, MONEY Master The Game: 7 Simple Steps To Financial Freedom walks you through simple steps you can take to master your money game. This book deals with the most important topic of money management—investment. For beginners who just started investing, the book provides a lot of information about the highs and lows of investing.
Based on one on one interviews with various financial experts, this book gives you a complete blueprint to become financially independent. If you have just started as an entrepreneur or investor, this book is totally for you.
2) The Millionaire FastLane: Crack The Code To Wealth And Live Rich For A Lifetime
“Go to school, get a good job, save 10% of your paycheck, buy a used car, cancel the movie channels, quit drinking expensive Starbucks mocha lattes, save and penny pinch your life away, trust your life savings to the stock market, and one day, when you are oh, say, 65 years old, you can retire rich,”—is this how you plan to lead your life? Well then you are definitely on the ‘slowlane.’
The slowlane might seem to be a risk free method to get rich, but by the time you reach, there you might be in a wheelchair.
Through The Millionaire FastLane: Crack The Code To Wealth And Live Rich For A Lifetime, author M.J. DeMarco introduces you to a new way of getting rich—The Fastlane. Using various examples, this book teaches you how you can use various market strategies to your favour, find your wealth accelerator and make millions while you are still young, so that you can enjoy it now.
3) The Intelligent Investor
“People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers.”
― Benjamin Graham.
Written by one of the greatest investment advisors of the 20th century, Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor has been inspiring investors since 1949.
This book is basically the stock market Bible and teaches you every possible thing about investment. The author succeeded in putting the hardest concepts of investment into simple terms, making it easier for beginners to understand.
Over the years, The Intelligent Investor has been revised into various editions to incorporate today’s market scenario. Warren Buffet himself described it as the best book about investment ever written.
Have you read this book yet?
4) The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous And Broke
“Build a great career for yourself rather than settling for a job that does nothing for you but pay the bills”
― Suze Orman.
Written by TV star and financial expert Suze Orman, The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous And Broke is targeted at teaching millenials the basics of the financial world. This book is a fantastic piece of work which can help the younger generation to cope with various financial problems like student loans and the job market. Over the course of ten chapters, this book could take you from being broke to a secure financial position. If you are a millenial looking to learn some basics of Finance, then you should definitely get your hands on The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous and Broke.
Books are invaluable sources of knowledge. For every problem you face in life, there is a book out there to help you get over it. If managing finances has been your problem, then the above list of books can help you manage them better.
Which of these books are you planning to read first? Comment below and let us know.
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