Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, OLENICK, Michael
In the year 2000, only 2% of rural Indian women and girls used menstrual hygiene products; the rest used ash, dirty rags, or sat out their periods in huts. The onset of menses often meant the end of school for Indian girls, forced marriage, and a lifetime of servitude.
One man sought to change that and increased the use of menstrual hygiene products by 600% and counting. Arunachalam Muruganantham “Muruga” created low-tech, low-cost machines enabling groups of Indian women to produce and sell pads to other local women. His pad-machine business has so far created about 5300 local for-profit menstrual pad making micro-businesses. His unique strategy overcame an impossible distribution channel and, more importantly, taboo for a subject that affected half of Indians but that nobody used to talk about.