Gaurav Singh’s LoveRollers offers three bed variants that use design to revolutionise the way couples make love; he’s now in talks with hotels and spas to use his offerings in their rooms.
At a glance
Startup: Loverollers, "Lovemaking furniture."
Founders: Gaurav Singh
Year it was founded: 2016
Where it is based: Delhi
Sector: Lifestyle, sexual health and wellness.
Problem it solves: Marries ergonomics to lovemaking, to craft three types of beds that make over a hundred sexual positions achievable.
For Gaurav Singh, who grew up revelling in the strong overtones of design and romance in the city of the Taj Mahal, it was deeply puzzling that the country that gave the world the Kama Sutra and is the fifth most sexually active in the world, had such a closeted, vanilla lovemaking culture. India, he felt, needed a “thrust”, and this untapped $450 million market opportunity seduced Gaurav into quitting his job to bring about an ergonomic revolution.
His three “LoveRollers” – specially stylised beds to help couples pull off over a 100 sexual positions, conceive as well as relax muscle pain and PMS cramps – are now coming to a bedroom near you!
“My heart lies in product designing We also designed a lot of products in college,” says the 33-year-old IIT Delhi alumnus. Gaurav’s career spanned mostly management consulting, and he worked with a host of manufacturing companies, most of which were startups.
“Working in a mainstream job didn’t allow me to channel my creativity and give back to society. But, I saw how most tech developments focus on deep technology projects like ‘deep thinking’ and ‘deep networking’ but nobody thought towards making a relationship deeper. When it comes to lovemaking, ancient Indian gyaan has so much to offer. Kama Sutra positions take the experience to another level, but present-day beds and furniture help little in making those positions possible. So, I did extensive research, calculations, designing, trials, data collection, and testing,” he recounts.
He wanted to build a product that would enhance the experience of lovemaking, and based on sound ancient Indian knowledge. His LoveRoller helps you try more than a 100 Kama Sutra positions, out of the 250 positions that the Shastra illustrates. The research was especially challenging and required extensive calculation as even though this product was to be mass manufactured and standardised, it still needed to feel just right for people of all shapes and sizes because its utility is so deeply personal.
“We needed a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and crunched through a lot of user data for the designing. Extensive research went on the higher and lower arc that allows powerful thrusting during lovemaking,” Gaurav says.
The couch also provides robust support to the back and neck of the participants. The central contour is also an important aspect of the design – as it is the region that tilts one’s pelvis upwards, increasing the chance of conception for couples.
“We call its design elements the ‘Curves of Seduction’ and have also compiled our learnings in the form of a lover's guide that comes with every LoveRoller to help couples achieve those positions. And not just that, the product also offers relief to women during painful menstruation cycles,” Gaurav explains.
He has created three designs for LoveRollers so far, and is working on more as you read this. A standard variant, a mini version to save space, and the third one is a convertible version that can be divided into two blocks in case a couple wants it to be less conspicuous.
“We used the ‘Plug and Play’ feature while designing the third variant so that the LoveRollers can be split into two elegant couches at the press of a button. This saves one the embarrassment of explaining the product. It can be assembled back into a LoveRoller just as easily,” he reveals.
Alongside their consumer-facing business, they are also tapping into the B2B model by tying up with various hotel chains and spas. Therefore, besides being used for conception and resting, Gaurav is contacting hotels to incorporate it in their rooms, especially the honeymoon suites. Besides this, the team is contacting spas that are looking for ergonomic facelifts and even sexologists to urge them to recommend the LoveRollers to their patients. They have set up an online portal for their B2C audiences, and are using digital marketing to get the word out. LoveRollers has already managed to close a bulk deal with a hotel chain and is in talks with several others.
“Sex being a taboo subject in our society, traditional media is of little help. But social and digital media along with word-of-mouth publicity is building traction,” Gaurav says, adding, “Within a month of launch, our social media has been abuzz, and we have received over a 100 bookings already, giving us immense confidence. Now, I am focused on adding to our production capacity.”
With major plans to scale, Gaurav also needed to expand his team. But the stigma surrounding sex kicked in here as well and made the hiring process especially hard. “Finding lower-level skilled workers at the ground level was pretty challenging. It was a hard time explaining the purpose of the product to the workers and what I actually wanted out of my product. But, seeking help from my own village helped me in building a team gradually,” he explains.
The global sexual wellness industry is expected to cross the $52 billion mark by the year 2020. India, the fifth most sexually active country in the world, already poses an untapped market opportunity of $450 million.
“We are the first and only manufacturer in this category in India. A few international players include brands like Liberator and Tantra chairs but these imported products cost a fortune and are not designed keeping the body shape, weight, and contours of Indians in mind, and hence are not very successful,” he says.
So far, Gaurav has financed LoveRollers personally and has also raised some funds from a few friends. “We are looking to raise more funds and are open for investment to augment our customer service. We are currently building our business development and sales teams for the B2C market, and are working on building better infrastructure such as a factory, supply chain etc. Apart from all this, we are finding ways to add more innovation to the product every day,” he signs off.