In this episode of the Busine$$ of the V, we travel to Japan, the epicenter of the femtech revolution. Dr. Dweck and Rachel are chatting with Dr. Amina Sugimoto who offers fascinating insight into the tectonic shifts taking place in the Asian market as women’s health and empowerment become increasingly important. Dr. Sugimoto is the CEO and co-founder of fermata, a platform that brings global femtech products directly to Asia. In other words, Dr. Sugimoto is part of a small group of female entrepreneurs who are shaking up the way we perceive sexual and reproductive wellness.

Apart from being a highly successful entrepreneur, Amina also holds a master’s degree in Global Health Policy and a doctorate in Public Health. That being said, her summary of the differences between Japanese and American healthcare systems is extremely useful and insightful. While listening to the conversation, you will learn a lot about women’s wellness products, as well as how femtech empowers women and highlights their wants and needs. If you want to be part of this exciting femcare world, feel free to join the Femtech Fes! in Japan, taking place in October 2022. Now, press play and enjoy the ride!

You can subscribe or listen to previous episodes of the Busine$$ of the V podcast by clicking here.

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Admiration at First Sight: how Rachel and Dr. Sugimoto met at a conference in Tel Aviv.
  • How Amina got tired of working in the policy sector and decided to spice things up with some femtech.
  • Fermata offers everything: period underwear, menstrual cups, Kegel bells – you name it!
  • Dr. Dweck genuinely wonders whether hot flashes are a thing in Japan.
  • If you want to sell women’s products in Japan, it’s a long way to the market! Each medical product requires a lengthy approval process.
  • Myth or Fact: Asian women have less disturbing menopausal symptoms.
  • Rachel asks the right question: How do they evaluate a product?
  • Femtech is exploding in Japan! It will likely become Japan’s leading industry within the next five years.
  • Is there a market for incontinence products in Japan? Absolutely, says Dr. Sugimoto. Obesity, which is rather uncommon in Japan, is not the only cause of incontinence.
  • Dr. Sugimoto demonstrates how laws and regulations can impede femtech product development.
  • Maternity and paternity leave in Japan: sounds like heaven!
  • Still not convinced that Japan is light years ahead of us? Well, guess what: they have period leave!
  • Women in Japan must deal with the pressure to stay at home with their children. And yet, all some of them want is to just go back to work.
  • Dr. Sugimoto’s invaluable advice to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to enter the Asian market: check laws and regulations first.
  • Another point to consider is Japan’s healthcare system.
  • If you’re visiting Japan in October, do not miss Femtech Fes! It’s a festival brimming with femtech products and businesses from all around the globe. Need more information? You can contact Dr. Sugimoto for details!
  • HOT FLASH: Japan appears to have one of the most generous paid leave policies in the world for both men and women. By law, Japanese men can take up to a year off from work to look after the child while still receiving a substantial portion of their pay.

QUOTES:

“Fermata started as a space where people can get to know more about different women’s health and wellbeing products.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

“I really perused your site, it’s so interesting.” (Dr. Dweck)

“Japanese (women) have different menopausal symptoms, rather mental than physical.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

 “The SWAN study has shown that the African American and Hispanic population tend to have the highest rates of disturbing symptoms, while the Asian population was lower on that list.” (Dr. Dweck)

 “I’m sure there are enormous differences in what explodes in popularity in the Asian market than here.” (Rachel)

“The term ‘femtech’ has become quite popular here in Japan, it’s been on every single magazine every year.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

 “There are multiple factors (in incontinence), and obesity is one of them. There is also genetics, childbirth, big babies, instrumented deliveries, etc.” (Dr. Dweck)

 “There has been a lot of discussion in the past several months about parental leave and however an organization defines reproductive care.” (Rachel)

“Japan has introduced period leave, but no one is using it. Nobody has thought about how these rules would be sustained.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

“Quite a lot of women apply to my company saying that they want to go back to work as soon as they can after delivering a baby. I guess women start to realize that it’s okay to work.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

FURTHER RESOURCES:

Website: https://hellofermata.com/en

Amina @LinkedIn

LINKS FOR BUSINE$$ OF THE V:

Website: www.businessofthev.com

Dr. Alyssa Dweck: https://drdweck.com

Rachel Braun Scherl: www.sparksolutionsforgrowth.com/about-rachel-braun-scherl/

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