A year ago, female entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Anahat (NGO) and Anahat Unnati, Purvi Tanwani, graduated from RISE by Sundara's fellowship program. Anahat aims to support underserved menstruators across India by empowering women by providing them with the skills to generate income and increasing their access to sanitary products. In addition, they also work with urban and rural communities to educate them on menstrual health and hygiene and their rights concerning Sexual Reproductive Health.
Continue reading to learn more about Anahat's growth over the past year.
A year has passed since you completed the RISE fellowship. What did you learn from being a RISE Fellow?
One of the first fellowships I participated in was the RISE Fellowship which provided seed funding, mentorship and networking opportunities. I thoroughly enjoyed working with RISE by Sundara’s team as they supported me to grow without dictating which direction the organization should take. They connected me to other fellowship programs and opportunities and helped my team with our applications.
I am very grateful to Erin, Michelle and Lauren for their support towards my work and I really enjoyed hosting the team in January where I had the opportunity to show them what my team and I have accomplished.
What has been your biggest accomplishment as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, my biggest achievement is realizing and accepting the importance of mentorship and support. When I started Anahat Unnati, there were many new challenges and opportunities that I needed guidance on, such as creating an e-commerce website and considering budgets for branding and marketing. My accomplishments would not have been possible without accepting and welcoming mentorship and support from entrepreneurs around me.
This is especially significant as Anahat is a hybrid model- a not-for-profit and a for-profit; both of the entities function differently and it can feel overwhelming to ensure complicity to the rules and regulations of both models. Through navigating these challenges, my supportive network has become my proudest accomplishment, as a hybrid model is extremely rare in India. Through accepting support, we have opened doors to partnerships from a wide range of organizations, providing us with many opportunities.
Since completing the fellowship, how has Anahat continued to grow?
Since the fellowship, we have focused on creating a strong D2C market for our brand, Anahat Unnati. We started by selling one product a day which has now grown to approximately ten products since the introduction of our website. Additionally, we have also fulfilled orders as large as 40,000 reusable cloth pads.
Furthermore, In January 2023, Anahat pitched in Singapore International Foundation’s Young Social Entrepreneurs competition and won ~15,000 USD to enhance our products and our digital media marketing.
We are also a part of the Because Accelerator Program by The Because International and we are excited to pitch with eight other deserving social enterprises from across the world on 27th July for funding to boost our sales. You can join us here - we would love to have your support!
What are you currently working on?
One of our biggest challenges has been securing the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act Registration for Anahat which will enable us to accept long-term foreign funding to support our projects. We hope to receive this certification by next year, bringing financial stability to our projects.
Additionally, the future of Anahat is dependent on long-term support that enables us to secure good resources for our hybrid model, so we look forward to working with organizations, including Women Fund Asia and Women First, who have expressed interest in our work.
What are your goals for Anahat?
Anahat’s goal for 2025 is to create livelihood centers in at least six states in India, benefitting more than 2,500 women and donating menstrual hygiene kits to 500,000 menstruators.
Additionally, we aim to increase our sales to achieve 40% sales from our D2C platforms in order to depend less on bulk/institutional sales.
Why should somebody support Anahat and how could they do this?
Anahat’s team stands firmly in protecting child’s rights and improving menstrual hygiene for underserved menstruators and we use our mission of creating an enabling environment for young girls and women in India to overcome challenges that come along with being an expanding organization.
Our top three favorite ways of receiving support are:
Spreading the word about our work (through mouth, or sharing our social media posts)
Directing people to our websites so that they can learn more about us
Financially supporting us (you can do this using our donate link).
We are also on the lookout for local and international corporate partners who are inspired by our work, and we would love to speak with interested parties about ways their organizations can get involved.
Where can people learn more about your work?
Or, you can reach out to Anahat’s co-founders personally: