We are Aman Desai, Madeline Goodman (MAM2021), Lorenzo Bacheca (MiM2021), and Marion Denis (MiM2021). With an interest in social impact and the knowledge obtained through our Early Careers programs, we stepped into Project Aasha to support OnPeri – an Indian social enterprise that redesigns and promotes the use of menstrual cups.
During our first call, the changemaker told us about several problems that he was facing and wanted our help with. Our discussions uncovered additional problems that required our help. The biggest challenge for us was placing priority on some over others, to give OnPeri the best chance for success. As a team, we discussed each problem in detail and devised potential solutions for each. We then identified whether these solutions were feasible in terms of financial capability, time and manpower. This required us to use several databases and perform significant research on a variety of areas including the competitive and economic environment.
What we are most proud of as a team is how we managed to keep complete transparency between us and the changemaker. We had meetings with our changemaker every fortnight with an additional one in between when needed. The calls were very structured and covered a wide range of topics to make sure everyone was on the same page. The meeting would begin with everyone giving an update of their work since the last meeting and of any progress, success or challenge since then. Our team was also quite productive in terms of supplying deliverables; these ranged from email templates for outreach, to pitch decks that can be used for fundraising. We wanted to see steady improvements in the business throughout our time together and make sure our solutions were highly specific towards OnPeri and easily implementable. By giving these deliverables, we had a chance to see them questioned, used and note the improvements it may have led to. This helped us build on our solutions and gave us more confidence in them.
The outcomes for OnPeri can be categorised into three main points.
- Transforming the branding of OnPeri: We were able to transform the branding to cater, not only to those looking for better designs in menstrual cups, but also to women empowerment groups, sustainability groups and social welfare groups. Changes were made to how the product was promoted to each target audience and strategies were formed to maximise success within each of these categories.
- Digitisation of OnPeri’s business model: We were able to build strategic agility into the business model and develop the mindset of the team towards keeping up this agility. OnPeri now has a larger core audience and multiple options for marketing the product and forming partnerships and the ability to change pricing. Fixed and variable costs have also been cut as OnPeri can track demand and supply and does not have as high infrastructure needs.
- Providing mentoring for ongoing leadership: We were able to mentor the changemaker and help him understand our reasoning for prioritising some strategies ahead of others. We are confident that our changemaker will be able to spot opportunities to make the most out of them and make changes to adjust to disruptions.
We are very proud of what we were able to achieve in terms of the impact we created and our personal development through this project. We are excited to see the path OnPeri takes and wish the team success!
The Wheeler Institute is inspired by the purpose and passion of our students who are focused on applying innovative thinking in the area of business for development. We seek collaborations with student clubs and initiatives that have the potential to evolve how we think about business.
Project Aasha is a social entrepreneurship project led by our Early Career students focussed on the strategy and implementation challenges of addressing poverty alleviation. This initiative is supported by the Student-led Learning team, which creates experiential learning opportunities through student leadership, in addition to their other initiatives such as the Student Leadership Incubator.