Gujaratis Sell ‘Sex Toys’: Couple Earning Lakhs with Ideas, Says ‘Men Prefer Enlargement Pumps, Women Vibrators

Gujaratis never lag behind when it comes to business endeavors. They possess a keen eye for seeking out business ideas wherever they are. Such was the case when a Gujarati youth residing in Mumbai stumbled upon a unique business idea. Previously engaged in selling blankets, this young man encountered a new business idea amidst the sweet banter that occurred during weddings and other festive occasions.

It was after his marriage that this individual, along with his spouse, stumbled upon a completely new business idea. This Gujarati couple decided to embark on the venture of selling sexual wellness products. Not long ago, about a year prior, this Gujarati had created quite a stir by participating with his business partner in “Shark Tank”. Today, the third season of “Shark Tank” is still ongoing.

Recently, the announcement of the sexual health product “Bold Care” featuring the famous actor Ranveer Singh has caused quite a stir. Discussions about this product are ongoing. At that time, an exclusive conversation was held with Nirav Mehta and Pooja Nandi Mehta, who are engaged in the business of sexual wellness products on the Divya Bhaskar app. Nirav Mehta, along with Pooja and Ranjan, has launched the “Gizmoswala” sexual wellness brand.

Exploring Business Opportunities in Blankets: Nirav and Pooja’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Nirav Mehta’s mother hails from Mahuva, while Pooja Nandi Mehta originates from Bhavnagar, and presently, their parents reside there. When Nirav was asked how he ventured into this business, he explained, “I create creative graphics, and my dad’s business revolves around mattresses (blankets). Our showroom is in Mumbai, and I have been working in my dad’s shop for 20 years. 

Our blankets are not limited to Mumbai; they also reach outside Mumbai, and celebrities are among our clients. I have always thought of doing something different. One day, when the couple came to buy blankets, they joked about how comfortable the blankets would be. At that moment, I thought why not consider something related to sexual wellness products. So far, we used to discuss which blankets would be suitable, but now I think about which products can be used on blankets.”

Ranjan, Pooja and Nirav

Navigating Through the Pandemic: Adapting Business Strategies

Reflecting on their entrepreneurial journey amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, Nirav shares, “We finalized starting this business in 2019 and then planned to venture into international forums on sexual awareness. Whether there’s a market for such products in India was the first thing we researched. 

Later, we learned that there is indeed a market in India. Then we pondered on how to present these products under the wellness umbrella. In 2020, when the coronavirus struck and the entire country was under lockdown, we conducted intensive research on this issue. We used to have online meetings for four hours a day.”

Infusing a Desi Touch into Brand Identity

Nirav explains how their company got its name, stating, “Since I was involved in the blanket business since college days, everyone used to call me ‘blanket guy.’ It’s for this reason that we registered our sexual wellness company with the name associated with blankets. At that time, we didn’t dream that we would achieve such success. 

We thought if I keep an English name in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, it won’t appeal to the masses. Indianized names will be more effective there. The vernacular language influences everyone. ‘Gizmos’ means gadgets or devices, and since ‘blanket guys’ were already famous, we named it ‘Gizmoswala’.”

Prioritizing Sexual Wellness Over Sales

When discussing the inception of her business, Puja reflects, “We went live in November 2020. We registered with the government under the Start-Up India initiative. We completed all legal processes. Initially, we used to have around 50 visitors per month, and now this number has soared to over a lakh.”

Puja firmly asserts, “While some may perceive us as selling sex toys, we have never presented or referred to them as such. For us, it’s about sexual wellness. We firmly believe that just like food, clothing, and shelter are essential for everyone, so is this aspect for every adult individual.”

Nirav Mehta worked as a computer graphics designer

Creating a Condom Shop’s Visiting Card

Discussing family reactions, Puja shares, “I am a Gujarati Jain married to a Bengali. My husband is like a best friend, supporting me in every aspect. I never discussed this with my parents. When we were going to ‘Shark Tank,’ we explained our business to them. I told my mom how our products help individuals with sexual problems. My 72-year-old mom’s reaction was fantastic. She said that while everyone does normal work in the world, it takes unique courage to do what you do. I am proud of you for serving women in this way. Hearing her answer, I confirmed within myself that what the world might say, she wouldn’t hesitate to support it.”

Regarding his family’s reaction, Nirav explains, “I have been coming up with new ideas for our condom business every month or two. When I decided to venture into the sexual wellness business, I first created a visiting card for the condom shop. I gave this card to my wife, sister, and father first. They examined the card and asked what it was for, and I told them that it is exactly what they think it is. Now I am in this business. Yes, there may be some difficulty in discussing this, but the market for it in India is huge. It is necessary to raise awareness about this. I sell condoms, but I need some time for this side. My father asked me for 10-15 cards. With family support always there, we can manage our business well today.”

Change in People’s Perspective

Family support is essential, but what about the attitudes of those around us? Nirav reflects, “It’s natural for people around us to feel shy. Initially, this happens a lot, but after Shark Tank, people’s perspective towards us changed. People may not accept us so readily. 

Even today, when someone goes to buy condoms at a pharmacy, others might notice. Youngsters are attentive to such things. Even today, no one openly talks about it. In India, this topic is still taboo. While many support us, some might feel uncomfortable hearing about it.”

Investment in the Business

When asked about the initial investment in his business, Nirav promptly responds, “Approximately 75 lakh rupees were invested. This included research, inventory, marketing, and expenses related to going in and out of the market.”

Nirav Mehta, Pooja and Ranjan in 'Shark Tank'

No Return on Investment with New Business Ventures

When starting a new business, facing disappointment in initial sales is quite natural. Reflecting on its impact, Puja shares, “Feeling disappointed when sales don’t pick up is natural. When someone ventures into a new business and doesn’t see the expected results, they may feel disheartened.”

Adding to this sentiment, Nirav remarks, “During such times, we often ponder upon the decision to start this flawed business and wonder where we went wrong.”

Rise in Female Products

Nirav recalls the early days of the website, stating, “Initially, we had around 15 products for females and just one for males. As demand grew, so did our product range. Currently, we have 75 products, with 60 designed for women and 15 for men, each with different variants. We collaborate with psychologists, sexologists, and intimacy coaches. Through international sexual awareness stalls, we connect with diverse individuals, understanding their concerns to launch tailored products.”

When asked about the surge in female products, Nirav responds, “The increase in female product offerings is driven by greater choice for women. Unlike men’s options, which are limited even in clothing, the same pattern exists here. Puja adds, ‘At the international level, there are as many products for men as for women, if not more.'”

Putting Weight on Appearance

During a discussion about the pressure of showcasing sexual products, Puja emphasizes, “Viewing these products shouldn’t trigger shame in anyone, be it a woman or a man. We shouldn’t foster a mindset where people feel embarrassed to see these items in their wardrobe or when they receive a package. 

Our specialty lies in ensuring that no one wonders what’s inside the parcel. We put a lot of effort into this. While a massager may not appeal to you, it might seem fantastic in appearance. We remain vigilant about our shop’s image.”

When Neerav started a business of sexual awareness products, people around him were shy to talk to him

Emphasizing Sexual Wellness over Manufacturing

Puja further elaborates, “We don’t manufacture sexual awareness products. Our panel consists of sexologists, gynecologists, and psychologists. We showcase our curated products to them. They gather feedback from people, and then we place orders with international sexual wellness companies. 

We retail products from world-renowned brands like Pretty Love, Svakom, Tenga, and others. We prioritize quality, material, feel, appearance, colors, and especially, the burden on essence.”

Our Business is Legitimate

While it might be commonly assumed that the sale of sexual wellness products in India operates in a legal gray area, Puja made it clear, “Manufacturing in India might be legally gray, but selling is not. 

Nirav adds that selling sexual wellness products in India cannot be done encouraging nudity or pornography. When we contemplated starting this business in 2019, we consulted two to three lawyers to discuss regulations. We adhere strictly to the law and conduct our sales accordingly.”

We Engage in Digital Marketing

Puja explains how they reach out to their audience, “We are present on almost every e-commerce site. Each e-commerce site has a separate category for sexual wellness, where our products are available. We use digital marketing tools such as meta tags, Google Ads, and SEO for our website. Additionally, Nirav has started a podcast, and we organize webinars. We also visit sexologists, and they refer people to our products. Our products are available in Aurangabad, Siliguri, West Bengal, Telangana, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh. Doctors in these areas prescribe our products.”

Nirav adds, “Self-pleasure is a fundamental right. Our products are widely used by cancer-AIDS patients and acid attack survivors. Experts prescribe our products to all these people.”

We Currently Have 10 People

Starting with how they began, Nirav explains, “Initially, Puja and I, along with two others, formed the core team. Now we are 6, and the core team consists of Puja, Ranjan, Malvika, and me, so altogether we have 10 people. We aim to involve women in customer care, but if the person on the other end is uncomfortable talking to a gentleman, then we have only male staff handling customer care till now. In the beginning, training the staff was quite challenging, but slowly they began to understand customer queries. We also have meetings with staff every fifteen days to address their difficulties. 

Our team has remained the same for the last three to three and a half years. The first two people who started with us are still with us today. If the customer is angry about how the charging is done, our customer care staff calmly explains and understands the situation. Hindi is our primary language. We teach our customer care staff first how to talk, as this thing is not easy. What you speak and sell has to be completely legal. Today, if a chemist or a sexologist works with us, then you only have to do all this. If you feel shy or hesitant to talk about all these things, then you won’t be able to do this. You need to understand that if there is a need for these people, then you can do this job easily.”

Performance Pressure on Men

Regarding the products that sell the most, Nirav states, “Enlargement pumps sell the most among men. These are suggested by doctors when men face performance pressure or other issues. Washable condoms sell the most in Tier 2, 3, and 4 cities. When it comes to couples, pleasure rings are popular. In females, massagers and vibrators are common, but the difference lies in their shape and variety. Modes sell the most afterward, but these are also a type of massagers.”

On whether male or female products sell more, Nirav shares, “From the last six months, 65% of products are bought by women and 35% by men. Men have been facing many performance issues lately, mostly due to anxiety, stress, and lifestyle. Hence, the ratio has shifted to 55% male and 45% female. It seems that men are accepting their problems, and awareness is increasing among them. They have realized that if I don’t bring any solution to this, it may affect my relationship negatively.”

Women Are Very Open

Nirav discusses product sales, stating, “Initially, only female products were sold. Women are very open and readily experiment with items. In November 2020, the monthly sales touched 20,000 rupees. In the last ten months, 14 brands have entered the market. People are gradually becoming aware of this. Initially, we couldn’t advertise condoms on Facebook, but for the past year, we have been able to promote all these products on Facebook.”

What Season is it?

It’s interesting that there is also a “season” for sexual wellness products! Speaking on this, Nirav explains, “For us, December through February is what we call the ‘peak season’, also known as the winter season. Typically, there is a decrease in sales from August until Diwali. During this time, with the Shravan month and other religious festivals, people are not buying these products much, we believe.”

Nirav and Pooja insisted that they deliver the products in such a way that no one knows what is in the box.

Which Age Group Uses These Products?

Speaking about the age group, Nirav mentions, “Currently, our products are used by individuals aged 20 to 45 years old. Previously, our main customers were men aged between 35-45 years, but now this age group has changed. People from the age of 20 to 22 are starting to have performance problems, so they are being prescribed by doctors. Our female customers typically range from 35 to 55 years old. Our products are also used for gifting purposes.”

Fear of Judgment in Women

Pooja states, “As the women’s kitty party culture grows, these people contact us. They say, ‘You brand our products through awareness at our parties. The younger generation is well aware of this matter and has already tried it, but women above 35 fear the products. 

They are concerned about how to touch this subject, how to purchase it, and if someone finds out, what will they think. These questions often embarrass them. Women have many questions about this matter, but they hesitate to ask due to fear of judgment. Discussions about this issue also take place in ladies’ groups and business seminars.”

Maintaining Customer Confidentiality

Both Pooja and Nirav emphasized, “We keep customer identification very confidential. We do not take this matter lightly. Typically, our products are delivered within four working days. When you make an online payment, our company’s name does not appear, but the name of our firm is displayed.”

Whenever Pooja goes to business meetings or women's forums, women ask many questions about sexual products.

Which State in India Receives the Most Orders?

Regarding which state in India receives the most orders, Nirav states, “Northeast India, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Kolkata in West Bengal receive the highest number of orders. Following them, South India comes next, then Gujarat and Maharashtra.”

When Did the Highest Sales Occur?

Regarding the highest sales, Pooja informed Nirav, “The highest sales occurred on February 28, 2023, during the Shark Tank’s live video. In just one night, sales increased by 200%. Subsequently, there was a noted increase of 300% in sales over the next three months.”

“We’ve Been Profitable Since Day One”

Discussing the company’s turnover, Pooja remarked, “Our company has been profitable since day one. Nirav adds that in the first year, the turnover was 30 lakhs, in the second year, it was 97 lakhs, and in the third year, it reached 1 crore 98 lakhs. We are steadily growing.”

“People Aren’t Ready for Offline Stores Yet”

Speaking about offline stores, Nirav states, “We haven’t considered this aspect yet. To be honest, India isn’t quite ready for it yet. It’s not easy for someone to go to a physical store instead of buying online. People aren’t prepared for this yet. For customers, online shopping is more convenient and straightforward. 

If a customer doesn’t like a product, how can we handle that? That’s what Pooja says. Information on how to use sexual wellness products is available in videos everywhere. Besides, we’ve also created ‘How-to-use’ videos on our platform. Customers can discuss any confusion through phone calls, WhatsApp, or emails.”

“We Don’t Recommend Products Upfront”

When asked whether they recommend products to customers, Nirav responds, “We never recommend products upfront. When a customer contacts us, we provide them with the top five selling products. Then, if the customer asks about the differences between them and selects two items, we explain the details to them.”

“Night Inquiries Are More Common”

Nirav mentions, “Inquiries usually occur from seven in the evening until four in the morning. Orders also tend to increase during these hours. When we confirm orders in the morning, many inquiries arise. Some people hesitate to ask due to embarrassment. They worry that others might overhear. Some inquire whether the bill payment with a credit card will reflect discreetly on the bill, fearing no privacy at home… Customers often ask various questions.”

Benefits of Sexual Wellness Products

Pooja says, “In the last three years, we haven’t encountered a single case where addiction to products has led to problems in personal life. Therefore, we don’t sell any products that could prove harmful.”

Regarding the positive aspects of these products, Nirav explains, “A partner isn’t necessary. If you use these products properly or if awareness about these products increases, it can reduce the occurrence of rape cases in the future. Because you can use these products safely. If you ever wish to engage in relationships, you can use these products.”

Pooja adds, “Science has proven that 70% of women don’t experience orgasms. With these products, orgasms can increase, and improvements can occur.”

Positive Feedback from Single Individuals

Discussing the impact of products on relationships, Pooja states, “Doctors have given us feedback that our products have improved couple relationships. However, we haven’t directly received such feedback from customers yet. Feedback from single individuals is overwhelmingly positive. They really like our products. The number of single users is also increasing. We also discuss our products at various LGBTQ events. They use our products too.”

Nirav’s Encounter with Pooja’s Education

It turns out Nirav Mehta pursued his education up to B.Com in Mumbai before taking a course in computer graphics. On the other hand, Pooja has completed an MBA and has been working in the media industry for the past fifteen years, holding various positions. Pooja mentioned her meeting with Nirav, expressing that after leaving her media job, she started her own media consultancy firm. 

During this time, they collaborated on a project, and it was then that Nirav approached her with a business idea. Following discussions with her husband, Pooja decided to join forces with Nirav for their venture.

Akash Shrivastav

My name is Akash Shrivastav, and I am a Blogger. I have 8 years of experience in blogging for Finance, Business, Investment, Stock Market, Cryptocurreny and more. Through my writing, I aim to provide readers with insightful and informative content.