We all have heard about insect-repellent creams, but did you know about insect-repelling clothes?
Today we have Mr Reetinder Singh with us who is the co-founder of Bugshield and they make pretty amazing insect-repelling clothes for children. Let’s get into it!
- Tell us more about your company Bugshield?
BugShield Clothing was founded with a simple realisation – there is a huge gap between consumers who want more effective insect repellents and the existing marketplace options. While the retailed options & market size continues to grow aggressively with the mosquito menace being a real & thriving problem, insect repelling technologies are seldom explained and no products in this domain provide the type of efficacy concerned parents want. BugShield is changing this dynamic, almost revolutionising how people across India search for, introspect and protect themselves against the deadly bite!
- What were the most difficult challenges you faced while starting your business?
It starts with asking uncomfortable questions: Fathers to boys as young as 4- and 5-year-old, we realized that just immunization and vaccination shots did not complete our role of safeguarding our kids against everyday threats like a dengue-causing mosquito bite. When playing outdoors or vacationing, kids are highly susceptible to insects. Even the most recommended insect-repelling products can lead to severe allergic reactions. Coils burn out, creams & lotions sweat away, sprays need repeat application, and fumigants have serious side effects. So, who has the answers?
- How did you get your idea or concept for this business?
The Road to BugShield: There were some more dots to join. The challenge was to create an ecosystem that perfected the production of insect protection apparel. The aim was to create Insect Repellent Clothing that could perform in the most demanding conditions/environments and provided parents/guardians with the confidence of conforming to global standards for safety. Sukhanpal, with a Degree in Fashion Designing, took control of the design while I used his industry-wide network for bringing together all the manufacturing essentials. We knew that we are in this for the long term, ready to create the perfect microcosm for this technology. As co-owners & brand managers, we established BugShield in 2018.
- What made you chose this type of business?
A rude reality check: Soon, we reached a common ground, i.e., the problem lies in the approach. There was a time when an insect-repelling skin cream could get the job done. The mosquito menace was prevalent forever, but the problem always did not have a catastrophic presence with fatalities rising in urban & rural places. While disease-spreading populations of insects are constantly evolving, finding ways to survive climatic changes or new insecticides, most products had stopped progress. The same, ageing insect-fighting formulas were being rebranded, repackaged and resold as something “better” …
- Your business idea is very unique and unusual, how did you overcome the challenge when you were asked questions like ‘what exactly is your business about’?
We wanted the BugShield collection to be functional, comfortable and stylish. A collaboration was set-up, with an international company specializing in insect repellent-treated textiles, for using Insect Shield Technology. With the final pieces of apparel production put into place, the BugShield line of insect repellent clothing started rolling. What started as versatile outerwear options for families headed outdoors, today covers the entire spectrum of repellent-treated clothes, including casual wear, workwear, seasonal wear, and accessories. While the fabric-treatment proprietary formula of Insect Shield Technology remains highly confidential, BugShield clothes talk to the world – stylish enough to grab space in any wardrobe & are still effective against the most invasive, disease-carrying and infection-causing insect!
- How do you plan to expand your business?
Right now, BugShield caters primarily to mosquito repellent clothing for toddlers – babies and kids who are always more vulnerable than responsible adults. At school, in playgrounds, and when travelling with their families, kids invariably make contact with many external elements. Bugs and insects emerge as one of the biggest threats to their safety. This is when a standard mosquito repellent fails to deliver – leaving the kids exposed to serious infections. Now, partnering with different NGOs across the nation, BugShield Clothing is reaching out to and working with many community leaders to help under-served families who need such products as a means of survival during the hot & humid mosquito months.
- If you had one piece of advice to someone who is just starting his or her business, what would it be?
Always be Resilience & stay focused. Build a great team and surround yourself with good people.