We are publishing an interview of Mr. Akhil Chaudhary, Founder, LooSpray.
About the founders
Akhil Chaudhary – A Graduate from a renowned college of Delhi, is a frequent traveler as his work demands and came across the problem of hygiene and sanitation when using public toilets and realized how difficult it can be to use them at times. From this very realization, came the idea of a toilet seat sanitizer spray- LooSpray. Akhil Chaudhary has worked on many products, and there are many products and brands that he owe to himself. He has established himself as an successful entrepreneur. His firm belief in relationship building with his clients has led to a long term association in his respective field of work. Though working in a small team, all major entrepreneurial decisions has been always made by him. Through the times of thick and thin, he has emerged as a man of credibility. The Initial idea and concept behind LooSpray, all came from him and with the help of his marketing and designing team, he further elaborated the idea to come alive his dream project of LooSpray- A toilet Seat Sanitizer Spray.
A brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
Akhil Chaudhary- Founder of company called Bhagwati Solutions, entered the FMCG market right after his graduation. He has always worked on products related to personal care. He has developed many products under his own brand name called MaxxPro. Two of the very successful products are MaxxPro Shaving Foam & MaxxPro Hair Coloring Shampoo. He has been able to successfully create a market for his product MaxxPro Hair Coloring Shampoo. This product is a replacement of traditional dyes being used to blacken the hair. It is an easier and faster method of coloring your hair black with simple process of shampooing your hair. Now he has come up with a new product called LooSpray which is a health care product. It can be used on dirty toilet seat by sanitizing them and making it hygienic to use.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time?
Pratiksha Chaudhary – Marketing and Designing Head. She heads the team of 3 members and all of them together are taking care of decisions regarding the marketing and designing of the product. All these decisions are in sync with the ideas conveyed by me (Akhil Chaudhary) and come in implementation after his approval.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Hygiene and Sanitation is a very common social issue prevailing in India. People often face the problem in using dirty toilets and are exposed to diseases such as UTI’s, gastroenteritis, staph infection. In today’s time when lives have become so fast and hectic, the last thing anyone want is such diseases. Unhygienic conditions in public restrooms of schools, offices, malls or restaurants can pose an increased level of threat of toilet borne diseases. With LooSpray, one can keep themselves protected from such ill effects. With a simple spray, you can sanitize the toilet seat and make it comfortable for your use.
My mother is a patient of UTI diseases. Whenever she is traveling and she has to use a public toilet, she gets more prone to such diseases. Once she has to be hospitalized in an emergency situation after having UTI problem. After seeing her plight, came this idea of having an instant disinfectant which can be carried easily in one’s bag, purse or pocket. Like my mother, there are many people who are suffering from such diseases just because they had used a public toilet. LooSpray toilet seat sanitizer spray kills 99.9% germs and cleans, sanitizes and deodorizes the toilet seat and the surrounding areas.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
The product category of Toilet sanitization is not new but the product Toilet Seat Sanitizer Spray is relatively very new and people are unaware about the existence of such a product. The main challenge faced is the introduction of the product LooSpray at every step of the distribution channel. Even after being praised and applauded for the conceptualization and the designs of LooSpray, making its way to the final customer is not an easy task.
Buyers at every step of distribution channel, were not ready to compromise on lesser margins and pricing was an important part in this case as its a new product and similar kind of products like toilet seat cover, etc which belong to same category already existed in the market. So it became very difficult to market the product at a relatively higher price.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
A Safe and Hygienic toilet is a necessity for everyone. But we often encounter dirty public toilets that are a hub of toilet borne diseases. Something is required to address this problem with an instant answer. And here is that answer – LooSpray – Toilet Seat Sanitizer Spray. This product is a much needed thing as there is no escape from using public toilets and they are not in hygienic condition always.
All you need to do is spray the bottle on the surface and wait for 5 seconds. By doing this you sanitize the surface and can sit in comfort without worrying about hygienic problems. It is simple: just spray and sit! LooSpray is easy to use and applicable in any situation: on camping sites, at airports or railway stations, restrooms in restaurants or cafeteria, at the movies or at the gas station. Whenever there is a public restroom visit, LooSpray helps to make it a hygienic and comfortable one. People are always on the move but they do not always have the opportunity to carry out their needs in a hygienic, comfortable environment. With LooSpray, those days are gone-by and you can use restroom anywhere without exposing yourself to toilet-borne diseases.
The product compactness, affordable prices and its instant effect makes it a boon for people and they can carry it along anywhere with themselves.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
Though its a new product in the market and people are still unaware about its existence, but once people will be aware about it, an easy acceptance will come from the customers as it caters to everyone’s needs. People very frequently encounter the problem of dirty and unhygienic public toilets and are not happy with such conditions. LooSpray is a product that will relieve them from the fear of using public toilets and will give them an added sense of freedom when stepping out of the house.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
The Market for this product is untapped and there is a lot of scope of development and growth potential as it is a new product. There are hardly any competitors to name. Furthermore, hygiene is something that is important for all and people are not ready to compromise with it. With LooSpray, people are offered a product that can help them in maintaining their hygiene even on the move. Since its easy to carry and can be used anywhere, so people don’t have to get scared of using a dirty toilet. Just a spray, keeps germs away!
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Initially we are targeting the customers in cities like Delhi, Kanpur, Indore, etc. We wish to spread complete awareness about the product and incline more and more people to start using the product. We are so sure about our product that once someone will start using it, they will keep returning to us. And since not many players exists in this particular category, we want to enter the market with full force and reap all the benefits of being an early player in the market.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
The main sources of our revenues will be Retail Chains like pharmacy, departmental stores, hypermarkets. Also selling the product on online portals will generate good revenue as people these days are more keen on buying products online. We are also conducting an awareness campaign in schools and colleges and educating students about personal & toilet hygiene.
In the second phase of the revenue model, we wish to target Indian railways as there is a scope of creating a very high customer demand. We will also lay emphasis on exports and will try to make it another big source of revenue.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Being a health care product, LooSpray can be used by anyone – Men, Women and Children (under adult supervision). Anyone, who wants to sanitize any dirty toilet seat, can spray it and then use. We also lay emphasis on women hygiene. We personally want, every women should be aware of this product and start using it as they are more prone to toilet borne diseases. LooSpray can give its customers an added sense of freedom and confidence, when moving out of their houses. People would not have to make compromises with a unhygienic situation if they will have LooSpray with them.
How did you get your first customer?
When the promotion for LooSpray started, we had thought of creating an awareness program for our young girls and boys. So we approached many schools and colleges and started an awareness campaign. Under this campaign, an expert doctor conducted a session for the students on Toilet Hygiene and then we had put up a kiosk from where we distributed the pamphlets and students could also buy the product.
These young students are future of our country and it is so important to make them realize the role of hygiene in their life and how can they keep themselves safe and hygienic in any given condition.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Hygienic toilet is everybody’s right and that is what we are trying to achieve for common people. Team LooSpray is trying to put in their best of efforts to spread the word so that maximum awareness can be created. With India being a mass market, we are sure that once the right kind of awareness will be achieved, this product will have a massive demand. Its all about reaching to the customers and once we do this, customers will realize the necessity of this product and will make repeat purchases.
There is a high growth potential for this product and once the Indian market is tapped, we wish to take it forward to other countries through exports.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
In the next six months, our goal is to spread as much awareness of the product as possible and along with it, we plan to register the presence of the product through maximum retail chains and online portals, so people can know about the product and buy it. We also plan to introduce variants in sizes and fragrances to offer some choice to our customers and they can choose according to their needs and demands. We are also planning to tap the export market. Our expert team is working on the same and we are in talk with people from different countries who are showing great interest to introduce LooSpray in their countries. So in next six months, we will also start exporting our product. By March 2018, we wish to create our customer database to 100,000 mark.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Any given business starts & grows from a great ideas and with one’s hard work reaches an unstoppable height. LooSpray is in its initial phase of business. And I along with my team are putting in best of the efforts to scale it up to a great height. Great returns does not come from great investments, but from endless efforts. It is very important to understand your field of work and then put the efforts in the right direction. Choosing right products and moving them through right channels of distribution is another very important business decision one should take care of. Any failure in the business is actually a learning one should take and overcome it in right ways.
Any other information you would like to share
LooSpray is like a baby project for us and we have high hopes from this. According to us, this product is the need for everyone and we are trying to capture all the mediums possible to create the awareness for it. Being in FMCG sector for quite some time now, has given us an added advantage that we can use in growth of LooSpray and put in all our experience in spreading the word. Visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LoosprayIndia/ for more details.
Thanks Akhil. Best of luck!