Jason K. Panda, the owner of b condoms, saw a need to help people in his community improve their sexual health. So, after nine years of practicing law, the Morehouse College graduate decided to create b condoms, the only Black Owned condom company in the United States.
What made you get into the condom industry?
I wanted a career that would allow me to move the culture forward by creating positive health outcomes. I saw condoms as the last aspect of nightlife that we had not disrupted and felt that we needed our own brand. I wanted our culture to be reflected in condom marketing and community-centered initiatives, and felt that if we did this properly, we could reduce the health disparities with sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy.
Talk to us about the initial startup stages with your business The initial stages of the business were challenging. We didn't have a background in product distribution, we were under-capitalized and we had no industry relationships. We wanted to offer the most premium product on the market and to do this, I traveled to China, Thailand and Malaysia to meet with 15 different suppliers. We were successful in sourcing an incredible product, but it was a battle to get the community to take us seriously and to learn how compete in an established industry dominated by multi-billion dollar companies.
What is the most rewarding part for you about what you do? The most rewarding part is working collectively with people of color, including my team to make sure black people have our voices heard in the sexual wellness industry. I am firm believer that representation matters, and that we have stories that must be told by us.
How did your HBCU journey impact the person you are today?
I love Morehouse College. I didn't come from a wealthy household, and I grew up believing that I almost needed to be extraordinary to make it out of where I was from. I didn't have any people my age that I could look at, relate to and know that doing big things were possible. Morehouse normalized black male excellence for me. It was the first time I saw black men going to law school, medical school, wall street, etc and they were regular cats that were into the same types of things I was into. That experience broke down mental barriers that I didn't even know existed until that point. What has been the biggest lesson about overcoming obstacles and failure that you have learned throughout your business journey?
Failure is part of the process. In most situations, you have a 50/50 shot. If you do research and prepare properly, you may increase your odds 25%. That means you will get 75% decisions correct. You have to be prepared for the 25% of losses. As you learning with your time and money, focus on learning and building a strong knowledge base. You will eventually get it, but it will take time. You cannot rush the process. Tell us about any upcoming projects you are working on We are releasing software that helps health departments and organizations do mail-order order condom programs. Right now, people can only receive condoms if they go into a health department or get some at events. Product distribution is moving online, and we are helping organizations transition their in-field work to online. Leave us with some words of advice you can offer to aspiring and current entrepreneurs Trust the process and protect your core. Many times, we start businesses in areas where we do not have a lot of experience, and we expect immediate results. That is not the case. You have to do the work, and many times, it will take more time and cost more money than you expected. You will also deal with people that may not believe in your vision. Block them all out, move forward, do the work, and continue to refine your product / process until you have it.
What are 3 fun facts that most people don’t know about you?
- I've traveled to more than 60 countries
- I mined gold and diamonds in Sierra Leone, West Africa
-Oprah funded my college at Morehouse
-I have 27 kids and am waiting for Iyanla to Fix my life
About B Condoms
B Condoms provide premium quality, organic, vegan, and all natural rubber latex condoms that are paraben free, odorless and use long lasting lubricant to the community. Your support also helps us address issues like human trafficking, proper condom use, teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. All purchases are easy, safe and shipped in discreet packaging.