Started by Vanshika Kaji, KNYA Med aims to provide comfortable and durable scrub suits to medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, students, etc.
“Doctors are life saviours who work for more than 12 hours a day without giving much attention to themselves. Hence, we thought, why not be a medium to provide them comfort in some way,” says Abhijeet Kaji, the co-founder of KNYA Med, a medical apparel brand for medical professionals. No doubt why the brand is determined to supply comfortable scrub suits and lab coats to healthcare workers across the country.
The suits are not only wrinkle-free but are also durable, which Abhijeet says is one of the major requirements in the apparel of the doctors, who keep on moving and performing various functions as part of their work. “There is a lot of mobility that takes place when doctors or healthcare professionals work at various places, be it for surgery or even small operations, they remain in their coats and suits which should be comfortable and durable,” he says.
And, why just durable and not designed well, asks Abhijeet while stating the fact that there has been no innovation in medical apparel for medical professionals for a long time. “I feel that it should be the responsibility of people like us to break the monotony by providing a more fashionable option to these helping hands and that is what we are doing through our brand,” the 30-year-old adds.
Since its inception in 2020, KNYA med has manufactured more than 25 lakh PPE kits, scrub suits, and lab coats. All thanks to the brainchild behind the brand, Vanshika Kaji, who not only initiated the brand but also made efforts to ensure a good quality product. “Vanshika and her team have worked very hard and have researched thoroughly to be able to come up with EcoFlex technology being used in the making of suits,” says Abhijeet
A conscious effort for the environment
Vanshika and Abhijeet have recently launched the EcoFlex suits using the EcoFlex technology for the manufacturing of the suits. For the fabric, they use 100% recycled polyester, made from PET bottles. While these have one of the lowest carbon footprints, the brand is looking forward to taking a step towards sustainability.
As a result, in the last few weeks, the team has started manufacturing eco-friendly scrub suits, lab coats compression masks, and socks. However, Abhijeet says that they are majorly focusing on scrub suits and lab coats.
Beginning for a cause
Vanshika and Abhijeet come from two diverse backgrounds and never had an initial plan to start a venture like this. While Vanshika, who hailed from Delhi, studied fashion technology, Abhijeet studied engineering and later pursued MBA. It was only later that Vanshika, after working with a giant clothing brand, started her own venture KNYA to cater to the needs of workwear for women. The name was derived from ‘Panch Kanya’, a mythological belief supporting the existence of five goddesses that symbolizes “courage”.
Abhijeet used to work for his venture named Filter Capital when COVID-19 hit the country. With an instant need of doctors and their presence in the hospitals for long hours, Vanshika thought of starting with PPE kits through KNYA and changed the name to KNYA Med. “We realized that even doctors are no less than the epitome of courage, which is why we did not change the name entirely and just added ‘Med’ into the previous name,” says Abhijeet, who left his venture to completely join KNYA Med in September 2020.
The brand was soon approached by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to supply PPE kits in the hospitals after their products were approved by the government. Once they fulfilled the demands of the kits in the government hospitals, the brand went ahead to provide the suits and kits in the private hospitals. However, like every other business, Abhijeet says the first lockdown was difficult for them too with a shortage of labour and raw materials, but they coped with the situation with time.
After receiving a good response from the medical professionals, Vanshika, along with her team, started modifying the products in 2021 by adding more pockets and offering multiple colours in the apparel. Currently, the brand manufactures various suits according to the specific demands of the professionals. “There are a lot of people that come under the umbrella term ‘medical professionals’ like doctors, nurses, surgeons, students and they have separate needs with the suits. We are trying to cater to all of them,” Abhijeet says.
The brand uses raw materials which are lab-tested by the Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA). To make sure that the products are helpful to the consumers – medical professionals, Vanshika and her team conduct regular research among their consumer focus group. Currently, the brand sells the products across the country and has already supplied the needful to more than 500 medical institutes, including Reliance HN Hospital, Narayana Health, Jupiter Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, Hinduja Hospital, Fortis Hospital, etc.
“According to a report by Indian Medical Association (IMA), 75% of Indian doctors are either attacked physically or verbally. It has also been prevalent in the pandemic. In such a situation, it’s high time that we celebrate their work and them,” says Abhijeet adding that KNYA Med aspires to do the same.