Goddess Advanced Hygienic Protection Ltd is seeking to carve out its niche in the TT market. The Central-based company was incorporated in 2020 and distributes environmentally-friendly, comfortable and affordable feminine-hygiene products.
Director Sue Singh told Business Day there is nothing that transforms a thought into an action like personal experience. She said the constant increases in the cost of her preferred brand of sanitary personal products, as well as the shortages, sparked the idea of the Goddess brand.
The steadily increasing prices of established brands also made her wonder how people on fixed and limited incomes were managing, and the reality of job losses and loss of income heightened her concerns about the difficult circumstances faced by many women and girls.
Her husband, Mr Singh explained that, “while he understands brand loyalty, he is also very aware that the state of their finances overrides that, especially among younger customers.”
Sue said she shared her concerns with her husband, and they agreed it was worth investigating available options. They researched all aspects of what would be involved in providing safe and reasonably-priced feminine-hygiene products to women in TT. This included looking at existing companies to understand the manufacturing processes, the raw materials required and the most reasonable sources for these raw materials, and the legal and regulatory requirements.
Other important considerations included minimising adverse side effects to users by providing products that were as natural and comfortable as possible, as well as making them affordable to customers – all in keeping with the company's mission statement: “…serving the community with superior, comfortable and hygienic personal care products.”
And customers have the assurance that the products have been tested and approved by the TT Bureau of Standards. The brand boasts of being environmentally friendly, with products that are of a high quality and offer affordable options to local consumers. Sue said it aligns with the government’s thrust to encourage growth in the local manufacturing sector and the expansion of the economy.
The covid19 pandemic saw many businesses fold and exit the marketplace. Paradoxically, many new businesses were birthed during this period. For those, like Goddess Advanced, who had the foresight to identify gaps, opportunities of various kinds existed. Supply-chain disruptions resulted in international shortages in the availability of feminine-hygiene products.
And even when the pandemic challenges abated and supply stabilised, there continued to be persistent price increases. By the time the world started to recover from the pandemic, the Russia/Ukraine war began, and again bred supply issues, which in turn led to continued price increases in many items, including feminine-hygiene products.
Traditionally, the supply of feminine-hygiene products in TT has been the exclusive domain of multinational conglomerates, all with similar business models – importation, promotion, distribution and sale.
By contrast, Goddess Advanced has taken on the mammoth task of challenging itself to do what many may consider to be punching way above its weight. Considering that the current economic environment is challenging, the Singhs have developed a business model that prioritises involvement in charitable activities to provide support to women and girls in need.
Mr Singh added, “Many businesses claim to be trying to help others, but it turns out to be all about their name and brand, we want to be different.”
As a relatively new start-up, corporate social responsibility is a critical area for them, and one they expect will continue to be a hallmark of their company’s operations. To this end, Sue said, they will seek to establish and maintain partnerships with companies and individuals whose focus is to provide genuine and consistent support to the disadvantaged in the areas in which they operate.
The Singhs take great pride in the fact that the Goddess Advanced Hygienic Protection brand is local and natural, and said if those were their only two distinguishing attributes, it could be a strong enough selling point to garner the support of women in TT.
But there’s much more depth to this company, owned and operated by career entrepreneurs. They continue to be mindful that as “the new kids on the block,” they must be competitive. They understand that shoppers are inclined to be loyal to their established brands, so the quality of their product has to grab and hold the attention of their customers, and that quality must prove worthy of retaining those new users. They are therefore challenging women to give the Goddess brand a try.
"The reviews so far have been beyond favourable, and the feedback has been extremely positive," she said. “Everybody loves it!”
They are confident that once consumers try their brand, every guarantee made by the company will be realised. They expect the level of customer satisfaction will continue to increase, and they are looking forward to regional expansion of their operations, since the Caribbean region shares many commonalities, and the Caricom and Latin American markets can certainly benefit from competitively priced hygiene products as world economies continue to grapple with inflation and recession.
Right now, the company’s main product is sanitary napkins, but it intends to expand into other products as the market becomes more familiar with the brand.
It is gradually being introduced to local stores and supermarkets, and Mr Singh said he fully understands that the process of establishing business relationships takes time, and as trust builds, so will customer engagement. The company is doing all the necessary due diligence and is using all available marketing and promotional options, including merchandising, traditional advertising and social media. The Singhs are ensuring they follow industry best practice in terms of both their operation and marketing strategy.
According to Sue, “The Goddess speaks to peace, and to women. We are goddesses.”
Goddess Advanced Hygienic Protection products are available at leading supermarkets, pharmacies and all Pennywise branches, For wholesale enquires call 684-8855 / 296-8600 / 393-1405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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