India is on the cusp of ever-evolving perception of male grooming and beauty

Rayed Merchant
Rayed Merchant Feb 10 2018 - 4 min read
India is on the cusp of ever-evolving perception of male grooming and beauty
The grooming industry is not bound anymore to the stereotype of only being a female domain. Today, male are ever more conscious about their looks and presentation. Let’s know how male grooming industry is brunching itself to glory.

It is the era of selfies, video calls and photo-based social media, therefore, wanting to look good is no longer confined to special occasions. In fact, men, women, young and old , all are equal into this momentum of social banter and consequently the beauty industry in India is growing in scope and breadth.

Today, the beauty segment is being redefined, and concepts and notions that were steering business strategies yesterday may not be on target anymore.

Children are reaching teenage years as early as 12-15 years, resulting in beauty-consciousness that’s typically associated with adults. With a desire to look attractive at a much younger age than in previous generations, brands and products that target women closer to 18 years old now need to engage with a much wider market. This, signals opportunity and a need for responsible marketing. At the other end of the spectrum, the upper age for the market is extending too. With the thinking of 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30, grooming is no longer restricted to 18-35 year-old consumers and anti-ageing may not be the mantra for the older generation that is striving for an ageless look.

Some favorite stereotypes about the beauty industry is no longer applicable. The conversation around beauty is evolving. Male grooming is growing, and data confirms that the sales have more than doubled, while the use of face cleansing products among men in India has jumped a massive 60-65 times between 2009 and 2017. An analysis into the motivations underlying this surge in the adoption of male grooming products points to two key drivers: confidence and to achieve a competitive edge over other males in career growth rather than to attract females.

The grooming market for men in India is well worth over ₹5000 cr. and is rapidly expanding purely because Indian men want to get into the good books of their bosses at work and climb up the corporate ladder.

In urban India, men are increasingly becoming aware of the latest trends and concerns surrounding one’s physical appearance. Due to the rising disposable income, they are willingly spending some serious money on grooming products. This is a notable shift from the times when men would utilize women’s beauty products since there was a lack of better substitutes for them, and also followed a basic, minimal grooming routine.

Over the last decade, the demand for male grooming products has driven companies to sell items beyond shaving gels, razors, and deodorants for men. Currently, the market comprises shampoos and fairness creams that are specifically made for men. Certain stores even stock beard balms and beard shampoos. Men are purchasing far more face washes and creams than they did ten years ago.

Popular Indian FMCG companies like Hindustan Unilever, L’Oreal, Nivea, and Marico are reaping profits as more and more Indian men are becoming conscious of their hair, beards and so on. In addition to this, last year saw a massive leap in the growth of male grooming startups.

In March 2017, Marico, a Mumbai-based company which already sells Set Wet hair gel for men, purchased a 45% stake in Beardo – a beard and hair oil brand. In September 2017, Italian brand DEPOT – The Male Tools & Co. which has its presence in more than 20+ countries entered the Indian markets. Moreover, the rising urban middle class population, and improved distribution channels in tier II and tier III cities, are also expected to stimulate growth in the market through 2020. Currently DEPOT has captured the markets in Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka and soon to enter other states. DEPOT has also tied up with all the major salons across India. DEPOT intends to clock a turnover of 3.5 crore in the first year of operations, targeting a growth of 50% year-on-year growth for 3 years. Later, in December 2017, Emami bought a 30% stake in The Man Company, an e-store which sells premium male grooming products, in a bid to enter the male grooming market online.

This article has been authored by Rayed Merchant, Director, SSIZ International

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