Devidutta Dash's Lemme Be - Pioneering Sustainable Period Care and Wellness Revolution

Devidutta Dash's Lemme Be - Pioneering Sustainable Period Care and Wellness Revolution
Devidutta Dash - Founder and CEO of Lemme Be
StartupTalky presents Recap'23, a series of in-depth interviews where we engage with founders and industry leaders to explore their growth in 2023 and their predictions for the future.

The period care and wellness industry has expanded with eco-friendly options like menstrual cups and others. Holistic approaches, such as herbal remedies, are gaining popularity for managing menstrual health. Inclusive marketing recognizes the diversity of experiences among those who menstruate. The industry's evolution aligns with a broader societal shift towards prioritizing menstrual wellness and sustainable choices.

Projected to experience a 5.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2028, the feminine hygiene market is anticipated to surge from USD 24.6 billion to USD 32.2 billion by 2028. This growth underscores a rising global awareness and demand for innovative products and solutions in women's health and hygiene.

In a recent Recap'23 interview, we at StartupTalky had the privilege of connecting with Devidutta Dash, Founder and CEO of Lemme Be. We covered Lemme Be's growth, challenges, lessons, and future plans. Explored how Lemme Be is impacting the period care and wellness industry with innovation.

StartupTalky: What products does Lemme Be sell? What was the motivation/ vision with which you started?

Devidutta Dash: “Lemme Be” is a new-age period care and wellness brand that focuses on bringing sustainable, organic, and biodegradable period care products to the market. The company was launched in 2020 with the vision of breaking the taboo around menstruation and promoting a sustainable and healthy period care routine for young India.

The products offered by Lemme Be are designed for teens and GenZ. They are organic and sustainable, and the Z cups, which are the highest-selling menstrual cups, as the name suggests, are for GenZ menstruators. They come in cute packaging, flaunting a lot of colors, games, and content aiming to appeal to the younger generation and answer their queries.

“Lemme Be” positions itself as a menstrual hygiene brand for all menstruators. It aims to eventually establish itself as a Global Company from India that tackles the taboo of menstruation by imparting education to the Gen Zs and Gen Alphas about period hygiene.

StartupTalky: What other products/features have been added in the past year? What is/are the USP/s of the products of Lemme Be?

Devidutta Dash:

  • Sustainable
  • Certified organic
  • Menstrual cups that are 100% medical-grade silicone 
  • Inclusive content

“Lemme Be” sells sustainable, organic, and biodegradable period care products. The vision behind starting the company was to break the taboo around menstruation and bring a sustainable and healthy period care routine to young India.

StartupTalky: How has the period care and wellness industry changed in recent years, and how has Lemme Be adapted to these changes?

Devidutta Dash: Lots of positive changes in the intimate health & wellness industry. Lots of focus by the government to make period products accessible for all. India is becoming more aware of periods and associated challenges like lifestyle disorders - PCOs, PCOD, etc. The market is witnessing the entry of innovative brands, contributing to a more diverse landscape. Inclusivity is on the rise, with brands like Lemme Be introducing products tailored for teens, with products like the Z Drip Max offering period underwear suitable for larger bodies, exemplified by our XXL pads.

Devidutta Dash: We launched India’s first flat menstrual cup called Z Disc. This product is great for a high cervix, doesn’t get lost or stuck inside the body like a menstrual cup, and can be used for a mess-free period sex. Similarly, our entire Z range is specially curated for teens and young bodies. Our Z Cup and Baesic Cup are colorful and uniquely shaped for easy insertion and removal. Our Z Drip Max is an inclusive product and can be used by all menstruators for fuss-free & mess-free periods. 

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StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check Lemme Be's growth and performance?

Devidutta Dash:

  • Customer happiness and reviews: As an Indian (made in India) brand, we wish to provide the utmost comfort to our customers. We receive some amazing feedback from our customers who suffer from various challenges like UTIs, rashes, painful cramps, etc., and our products provide them with much-needed comfort.
  • Maintaining quality and hygiene
  • Profits

StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges Lemme Be has faced in the past year, and how did you overcome them?

Devidutta Dash: Habit shift is tough and expensive when it comes to menstrual hygiene. The Indian audience is still largely stuck on legacy brands. Introducing a sustainable product like a menstrual cup or a tampon has been a challenge; the adoption is still slow, and a significant amount of education is required to support new users in exploring these products. 

StartupTalky: Repeat purchase is one of the most important parameters on which most eCommerce brands are betting. How do you keep your customers engaged to stop churn? Can you share specific customer retention initiatives or loyalty programs that have proven successful for Lemme Be?

Devidutta Dash: In today's saturated market, young consumers exhibit lower brand loyalty. Nonetheless, Lemme Be proudly maintains a strong repeat audience across multiple platforms. The key factor driving customer retention is the unwavering commitment to quality and the promises upheld by Lemme Be and its products.

By prioritizing the development of high-quality, accessible, and inclusive menstrual care products, we have aligned our brand ethos seamlessly with our product communication. This strategic focus has resulted in a tangible impact reflected in the loyalty of our customer base. The concerted effort to deliver on our commitments has not only set us apart but has also solidified Lemme Be as a trusted and preferred choice among discerning consumers.

StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack that you pulled off.

Devidutta Dash: As a young brand, we decided to be present and accessible to all consumers through various sales channels. We listed ourselves on Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Nykaa, Netmeds, 1mg, Kindlife, and all possible channels where shoppers looked for period-care & wellness products. This improved our visibility and reach to our audience. We created a brand video (our first TVC) that showcased our honest approach to periods. Additionally, our strategic partnerships and influencer collaborations played a pivotal role in expanding our outreach and resonating with our intended audience.

StartupTalky: What important tools and software do you use to run Lemme Be smoothly?

Devidutta Dash: Our workflow is seamlessly streamlined through a combination of tools and technologies. Canva serves as our creative hub, aiding in the design and visual aspects of our content. We leverage AI tools, including ChatGPT, to enhance and optimize our written content, ensuring a dynamic and engaging communication style. The backbone of our online presence is powered by Shopify, which efficiently runs and manages our website. Collectively, these tools contribute to the efficiency and innovation that drive our operations.

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StartupTalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in the period care and wellness industry in India and the world? What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen within states in India?

Devidutta Dash: There are 35 crore menstruators in India, and out of them, only 40% are using period care products. The statistics suggest that 7 out of 10 girls are scared to go to school during their periods as they are scared of accidental stains. Lifestyle disorders like PCOs, PCOD, and infertility are on the rise, and most of the products currently used by the general population are not sustainable. They are laced with plastic and chemicals. It’s only sensible for a country like ours to adopt sustainable and affordable period-care solutions to cater to our huge population. Breaking taboos and imparting education for better menstrual health & hygiene is a work in progress in India, and the bright future is bright. Globally, there has been an increase in the number of menstrual cup users, and the trend is here to stay!

StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year, and how will these inform your future plans and strategies?

Devidutta Dash: We recognize that achieving a product-market fit hinges on fostering trust, love, and belief in our brand before consumer adoption. In this endeavor, the utmost significance is placed on the strategic alignment of content, language, and design ideologies. These elements collectively serve as the bridge between our brand and the consumer, facilitating a connection that goes beyond mere transactions. Our goal is to create an environment where customers not only feel comfortable but also resonate with the core DNA of our brand and the positive impact it strives to make.

StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the customers, SKUS, and team base in the future?

Devidutta Dash: We are entering the sexual wellness product category. Recognizing a growing need for authentic and safe sexual wellness products among young millennials and Gen Z, we’re launching a new category for sexual health and wellness. This initiative aims to empower those seeking better, safer alternatives while promoting informed and respectful attitudes toward sexual health and sexual practices. The global sexual wellness market is rapidly growing to become a $10 billion industry, and we want to make Lemme Be a part of that growth story.

StartupTalky: With so much hype around D2C brands spending on ads, what will be your growth strategy, organic or inorganic? How do you plan to work around SEO and content marketing?

Devidutta Dash: Currently, we are focused on inorganic growth. We are focused on educating and empowering the young menstruators and retargeting our existing customers. We reached out and connected with 80 million menstruators online through performance marketing last FY. We generated 2 million units of content with the help of thousands of influencers, in-house interns, and content writers

StartupTalky: One tip that you would like to share with another D2C founder based on your own experience.

Devidutta Dash: Offering valuable insight from our own journey as a D2C founder: prioritize achieving product-market fit with a deliberate and measured approach rather than fixating solely on rapid growth. In our experience, focusing on the efficient alignment of our offerings with market needs has proven to be a crucial step. This strategy not only lays the groundwork for sustainable success but also establishes an authentic connection with our target audience, contributing to enduring prosperity.

StartupTalky extends its gratitude to Ms. Devidutta Dash for dedicating her valuable time and generously sharing her insights with all of us.

Explore more Recap'23 Interviews here.

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