Interview by Akanksha Sharma
Today, we are in conversation with a brilliant young man who is a representative of the new generation of socially conscious Indians, who give their heart and soul to improving the world for their fellow human beings. When the best minds of the country come together for a cause bigger than themselves, magic happens and they touch the lives of everyone around them. Let’s find out more about Harry’s story and what makes this unusual young entrepreneur tick.
Hi Harry. Please can you introduce yourself to the readers of Indspire Me.
Hello Everyone, I am Harry Sehrawat, Founder of Sanfe – A Women Healthcare brand from IIT Delhi. We are working on improving the quality of life lead by women in today’s time by providing them affordable and sustainable solutions.
What is Sanfe all about? What does the name ‘Sanfe’, mean?
Sanfe which stands for “SANITATION FOR FEMALE”, believes that a woman has to go through all sorts of added troubles in life and sanitation is one of the biggest issues that women are concerned with the most. We want to improve the sanitation conditions of women and also the basic hygiene awareness in the country so that they can live a healthy and prosperous life. With Sanfe, a woman no longer has to withhold the urge to pee just because she does not want to go to a dirty washroom, now she can stand up for herself and is no longer required to sit on the dirty stained toilet seats or have the chances to contract UTI.
How did you get the idea for starting Sanfe? What motivated you?
I belong to Haryana, where the public washrooms are not properly maintained and are unhygienic to use. Back then when I was in 11th standard, I was introduced to the sufferings of women and girls, when one of my cousin sister contracted a Urinary Tract Infection. It made me think a lot but because of lack of resources and knowledge, and I was unable to find a solution for this.
Once I entered IIT Delhi, I saw an opportunity to do something innovative to find a solution for this ever standing problem. I began my journey by analysing the public washroom conditions and the ways to clean them. I learnt that the conditions are pretty bad everywhere. I came to know about the concept of auto-cleansing toilet machines and other technologies. But, all of them were expensive and difficult to install.
Then, an idea hit my mind that what is the reason that men do not face this problem and there it was – STAND and PEE.
Please can you tell us about the founding team behind Sanfe? How do you all complement each other?
We are two co-founders and a team of enthusiastic and hard working people trying not only to empower but also uplift the women around us. The other co-founder is Mr. Archit Agarwal, who is a fellow batchmate from IIT Delhi. We share a common vision of working on improving health standards for women in India. In the past, we worked in our own respective fields towards general public health. After coming to IIT, we realised how we can finally incorporate our approach by innovating Sanfe.
Who have been your biggest mentors and supporters?
We have been blessed with a bunch of mentors.
Prof. Srinivasan Venkataraman, from Department of Design, IIT Delhi is a specialist in ergonomic and user friendly design. He imparted knowledge to our team to lead in the right way.
Prof. Seema Sharma, from Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi helps us in strategising our plans and marketing activities.
We are also mentored by few of the alumnis of IIT Delhi, one of which is Jatin Kewlani – Co-Founder of Nasofilter.
What have been the significant milestones for Sanfe recently?
Recently, we have been associated with AIIMS, New Delhi and Apollo Cradle for large scale pilot runs.
We have launched our dispenser model which is going to be placed in HPCL Petrol Stations and in IIT Delhi.
Where do you see Sanfe five years from now?
We have already aligned some new products in the women healthcare domain.
We are ready to improve the standard of life of women by providing them affordable and sustainable solutions.
Sanfe is the need of the hour for women and we are looking forward to make this technology accessible to all the women in our country.
Please share an inspiring message or thought with the readers of Indspire Me.
For centuries, our society has only expected women to give love & affection and nurture everyone. But it’s high time we start giving it back to them.
Sanfe stands for YOU and with you, the women of this country who think about everything and everyone but not of themselves.
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF – It’s high time that women also start caring and have thoughts toward their health and hygiene as they are the ones who make this country, a better India and also a better world to live in.
Editorial Note: If you liked this interview, and would like to read more such awesome interviews, then don’t forget to check out our section on Inspiring Interviews!