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Wellness Industry 2016-04-08

Flaring Business of Male Grooming

The categorical shift in demand for male grooming products is outpacing the Indian personal care market at large. A report!

Flaring Business of Male Grooming

In early 2000s, Emami disrupted the Indian grooming market by establishing a new product category for men. Aiming to surpass deep-pocketed global players like L’Oréal, the brand had introduced ‘Fair & Handsome’ in 2004.

Appreciably, Emami underwent a customer research that specified- about 25-30 per cent of customers of Fairness creams were men.The percentage paved way for a specialized category for male grooming products.

This innovative move gave first-mover advantage to Emami and helped them capture a dominant space in male grooming products market.

“The Brand has held undisputed leadership over the last 11 years (with a market share of 66 per cent), by keeping a pulse on changing consumer needs, and moving ahead of consumer needs. This deep understanding has led to consistently sharp marketing mixes; the result has been powerful, relevant brand propositions, communicated in an engaging manner through strong Brand campaigns over the years,” said Emami Spokesperson.

Even the arch rivals of the brand followed the steps taken by Emami, which revolutionized the Indian grooming market.

“Men’s Grooming in India is a $1 billion market, in US it is $33 billion market. Obviously the opportunity is big, to go from $1billion to $33 billion. The point is, some years ago, there was no male grooming market. We were using creams available on the dressing table. Emami created Fair & Handsome and then Garnier created face wash for men, rolling success in the men’s product category. So people move from soaps to face wash, the young consumers first shifted and then the rest made a move, but this market keeps going faster than the female market,” viewed Satyaki Ghosh, Director - Consumer Product Division at L’Oréal India Pvt Ltd.

Significantly, with over Rs300 crore sales, Fair & Handsome currently contributes about 14 per cent to the overall turnover of Emami.

No more generic division

Earlier, Indian men used to apply the same face wash or creams, even hair products, as what were used by women. In some cases, due to limited access to the global trends and information, people even used to use soaps for all- hair wash and skin cleansing.

“For a long time, my father used to apply bathing soap on his scalp, until, I educated and exposed him to the specific male grooming range of products meant to cater to the Indian men as per their skin and hair type,” informed Yash, a Social Media Executive from leading corporate.

Raising the bar

India has witnessed a growing desire amongst urban men to look good and fresh lately. Using this willingness to their advantage, companies have launched a plethora of products targeted at men.

For instance, ITC and Nivea have launched the Fiama Di Wills Aqua Pulse Shower Gel and Nivea moisturizing lotion for men in 2011 respectively. In fact, in 2013, Nivea revolutionized the male grooming market by introducing a range of products including shaving cream, shower gels, face wash, fairness creams and what not.

According to Sunil Gadgil, Director – Marketing at NIVEA India, Indian consumers have moved from merely accepting importance of grooming to actively adopting grooming products.

No marketing planning process is complete without evaluation or measuring the outcomes of the marketing activities against the original objectives and targets. Thus, Nivea marketers continued to evaluate its products which helped them focus on modifying or introducing new activities to achieve objectives.

Through marketing planning, ‘Nivea for Men’ continues to take advantage of evolving male attitudes toward using skin care products made for them.

Social media dominance

Nevertheless, India’s nascent market for male grooming product needed more awareness while consumers were uneducated. Thereby, some companies went online to help Indian men realize their grooming needs.

Moving ahead with the plan, last year, Philips India created a YouTube channel and Facebook page to generate awareness for its products on social media.

“Youngsters love latest technology, new styles and can’t wait to try them out! Therefore, we bring grooming gadgets suited for their lifestyle and personalities, delivering quick styling with effective results. Through #PhilipsSpeedStyle we are giving youngsters an opportunity to celebrate with all the things they love- styling, speed, social media, selfies and gadgets that make them experiment new looks,” opined Anurita Chopra, Marketing Director – Personal Care, Philips Consumer Lifestyle India.

Price point play

To succeed, companies not only adapt distinct dermatological needs of men, but they also aimed the psychology of the consumers. Thus, they made their pricing strategy moderate enough, in comparison with female products, to hit the stores and bag maximum number of male consumers initially.

“The philosophy of brand Himalaya is to give consumers safe and effective products at a competitive price. All our Men’s products are priced competitively,” said Ashwani Gandhi, Category Manager (Consumer Product Division) at The Himalaya Drug Company.

However, once the products made a mark for its impactful results and made consumers habitual of using it, the prices may go high.


According to India Men’s Grooming Products Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020, the market for men’s grooming products in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 17 per cent through 2020. Organized retail chains are playing a major role in increasing sales of men’s grooming products by increasing visibility and accessibility of products. The onus is on the improved pipeline of products through intensive R&D.

The new trend is focusing on the sub-category division of male products. Seeking ‘for men’ label in products for anti-wrinkle, anti-ageing and event skin glow and radiant products, the male grooming category has no end for opportunities.

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