Physically attractive partner, check. Great personality, check. In the mood, check.
Wait a minute.
Where is the condom?
“I can’t be that lucky (or unlucky),” you say, lost in a lustful tizzy. The walk to the nearest convenience store is too long! Your carnal nature makes you not want to leave the home. “Let’s go without,” you add. Your partner nods.
This fictitious anecdote could end in many ways. Here are two highly possible scenarios: a child , or contract a sexually transmitted disease. Are the repercussions worth not heading out for a condom? Probably not.
Enter Condom Fairy, an emergency on-demand delivery service based in Thailand. Still collecting and building a user base, the app was birthed at the last Startup Weekend Bangkok (Creative Edition) held March 28 to March 30, 2014, and won the ‘Special Creativity and Design Prize’ award. The 54-hour event, organised by PAH Creative Space, provided budding entrepreneurs with an opportunity to breathe life into their ideas.
“The problem is that men feel embarrassed about exploring the different condom options at a traditional store where moms and grandmas are buying eggs and vegetables,” said Nattapak Atichartakarn, CEO and Founder, Condom Fairy. He added that people would often purchase unnecessary items, like candies, to make it less obvious that they are at the convenience store for a few condoms.
The subscription business will be launched in this quarter of 2014, and the on-demand business will be launched next quarter.
During the event, his team of nine decided to dig into the general sentiment about such delivery services. It turned out that people interviewed at a nearby supermarket were willing to pay premium for Condom Fairy. However, they would also like the condoms to be delivered in less than 10 minutes — a goal the company has taken upon itself to achieve.
In this case, the condoms will be delivered via taxis. Atichartakarn told e27, “The process will be something similar to that of EasyTaxi or GrabTaxi, but instead of delivering passengers, taxis will deliver condoms during their down time. Once the nearest taxi commits to a delivery, its meter will start running.” Upon delivery, the customer will pay the taxi driver a combined total of the distance-based fare and the cost of the condoms.
Even though the team had received good feedback from the taxi drivers interviewed, Atichartakarn said that a lot more work will be required. “… We have barely scratched the surface of this logistic problem during the 54-hour event,” explained the former semiconductor design engineer at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in the US. Its way of generating revenue is simple too: for the subscription side of things, the company will profit through sales of condom subscription, and as for the on-demand aspect, revenue will come from commission on each order.
Going forward, they will need to have more delivery fleets to provide a good coverage for customers and sort out inventory management. He added, “Most likely, we will start small and launch a test service in a limited area.”
Personally, using taxi drivers to deliver condoms might not solve the actual problem at all. The idea of someone knowing about your sexual romps and encounters is somehow blush-inducing. If Condom Fairy is able to get rid of the delivery man or woman, and use drones or other flying objects, it would be perfect. For those who are okay with waiting a few days for condoms, the company could always send the contraceptive via mail. Until then, I suppose delivery via taxi will have to suffice.
Atichartakarn explained, “The awkward feelings, if (they) still exist, should be a lot less compared to that generated from the traditional way of buying condoms in public, where buyers are exposed to people of all ages and sexes.” He added that a lot of their on-demand customers will very possibly be men, so getting a condom from an older man should not be that big an embarrassment.
That being said, customers can indicate delivery instructions. “For example, customers who use non-cash payment through our platform can request for the package to be left in front of their door,” he said.
Okay, forget about the drones then.