Guarding the roots

Arunachalam Muruganantham: The Man who invented low cost sanitary napkin machine

Over 88% women in India use unhygienic clothes in their menstrual periods. They can’t afford sanitary napkins that are currently available in market. A. Muruganantham, a school dropout due to poor economic condition made a low cost napkin making machine over a research of 4 years. His machine can be operated by village women and can be installed on small scale. The cost of napkin that comes out from his machine is around 1.5-2 rupees and its quality is comparable to napkins that are currently supplied by MNCs like P & G (whisper) and J & J (stay free).

After dropping out from school at early age Muruganantham started to work as a helper in a workshop to support his family. He was a great lover of science from his school days so he kept doing innovations in the workshop as well.

One day when he came back from the workshop he saw his wife carrying a piece of nasty cloth. He asked about the cloth. But his wife answered him that it was none of his business. On further request he found that she was using it as a napkin. Muruganantham asked the reason for not using sanitary napkin and got a reply that if she and other women in houses started using those; they would have to cut their milk budget. This incident worked like a hammer for Muruganantham and made him realize that the cost factor of available napkin is making it unaffordable for rural women. So he thought to make napkins by himself.

He started his work with cotton napkins and gave a napkin to his wife for testing. After testing wife rejected it and told that her cloth using method was better than the napkin created by him. Muruganantham tried hard again and again. He contacted college girls for feedback as well, which was a very difficult task. He sent commercially available napkins to various labs to find out what material was being used by MNCs. He found that they were using cellulose in place of cotton. So he started to make napkins from cellulose.

The machine that make napkin in MNCs cost around 35 million. Muruganantham invented low cost assembly machines that cost around 65000 and can make 2 napkins in a minute by four persons working in assembly. Muruganantham also got patent for his machine.

His machine can be used by any small scale entrepreneur (it may be a group of rural women as well). Initial investment comes around 1 lakh and within 18-20 months cost can be recovered. 7,000 rural women got employed by his innovation yet and 2.5 million women shifted from unhygienic rag cloth method to hygiene sanitary napkin method.

When asked about an advice to people who are working as social entrepreneur he tells that only 20% of world market are taped by corporate and rest 80% can be taped by social entrepreneurs.

Muruganantham says that he wants to create a million jobs for rural women by this innovation. Currently only 5% of rural women are using sanitary napkins, so there is vast scope in this sector and since his innovation is based on gandhian philosophy of small scale development, it will also make villages self-reliant.

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13 Comments

  1. Amulrani's Gravatar Amulrani
    March 22, 2013    

    i had gone through your profile, it looks very interesting. i am also interested to carry out the this type of business therefore request you to send your contact details for further information to proceed with.

  2. maju's Gravatar maju
    April 3, 2013    

    I ALSO WANT TO START THAT TYPE OF BUSINESS PLEASE HELP ME FOR THE SAME

  3. Rot. Veena kayal's Gravatar Rot. Veena kayal
    July 22, 2013    

    I liked your project and want to carry the business cum project .
    I would like to know the method of disposal of these low cost
    Sanitary napkins. It is not a hazard to envionment. Do reply

    • sociovigil's Gravatar sociovigil
      July 23, 2013    

      Hi Veena, you can directly contact the person through his email id [email protected]

  4. August 7, 2013    

    Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance, and I’m surprised why this coincidence didn’t came about in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  5. Pammi Kumar's Gravatar Pammi Kumar
    September 6, 2013    

    Dear Sir,

    in our Faridabad (haryana) a group of Women wants to do a business of sanitary pad making. Please send all the details of costs etc on my e-mail address

    • sociovigil's Gravatar sociovigil
      September 30, 2013    

      Hi Pammi, you can directly contact the person through his email id [email protected]

  6. Shashi Kant's Gravatar Shashi Kant
    September 23, 2013    

    Dear Mr Muruganatham

    I am interested in the project for . please send me the full details of machine and project

    Regds
    Shashi Kant

    • sociovigil's Gravatar sociovigil
      September 30, 2013    

      Hi Shashi, you can directly contact the person through his email id [email protected]

  7. Ishrat jaha's Gravatar Ishrat jaha
    January 27, 2014    

    Hi… i am frm rural area and its nice project am intrested andjust want to know basic investment And about procidure and its raw material….. waiting fir ur reply …. with regards Ishrat jaha

  8. March 11, 2014    

    Quality content is the key to attract the users to go to see the web site, that’s what this site is providing.

  9. R . Kishore babu's Gravatar R . Kishore babu
    March 27, 2014    

    Sir, i am working with social sector, this is very usefull project. I want join to achive your goal, pls send detailed project report. Thanq

  10. July 10, 2014    

    Hello people if you can’t earn any money online try – bluehand roulette system – it earns me extra money everyday, just
    google it

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