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Male grooming products come of age as the market explodes in India

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Till just a few years ago, the beauty and personal care industry was dominated by products meant only for women. The industry catered to the needs and vanity of the fairer sex. Brand wars were rife in this segment as new products were launched and new players joined the game. Today, it’s time for the same brands to woo men and almost all have jumped onto the male grooming products bandwagon.

Philips has launched a wide range of men’s grooming electronic products which include Shavers, trimmers and body grooming kits designed especially for men. The body grooming solutions were launched earlier this month, with actor Arjun Kapoor as the brand ambassador describing how he could relate with the products.

Nivea-MenEarlier, the products for men were limited to deodorants and razors. It was a general notion that men did not need specialist products to spruce themselves up. Cut to the present day. Brands are trying hard to expand their base in the now booming Male Grooming Industry and have launched a plethora of products for men. Almost every brand has created a different segment for men’s products.

Much of this can be attributed to the slew of TV commercials of products that have raised awareness about the need for men to groom themselves. Garnier came out with Garnier Men in May, 2009, when it launched a range of products including fairness creams, face scrubs and face washes. The company roped in John Abraham for the category and these days it is being endorsed by newbie Sushant Singh Rajput.

Similarly, Nivea came out with Nivea Men and launched a complete bouquet of Male Grooming Products. Actor Arjun Rampal has been roped in as the brand ambassador for these customized products for men.

Emami, Ponds, Park Avenue and Gillette, have all come out with specific products for men.

So what has changed since then? Why is this parallel industry, which according to Euromonitor is expected to touch around Rs. 5000 crores by 2016, booming in India?

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

“Mobile cameras and social media on mobile have dialed up the importance of being always groomed. Parlors, Digital content and E-commerce are enabling men to find out products that address masculine grooming needs,” asserted Mr. Gadgil.

A spokesperson from Emami concurred with this, saying, “There has been a pivotal shift in the male grooming space and male pampering culture since the last decade. Earlier, Men’s grooming basket would predominantly consist of shampoo, deodorant and shaving cream. But, we are witnessing a big diversification in the industry in helping brands change.”

But who is to be credited for starting this trend in the first place?

Emami’s spokesperson claims, “Before 2005, men’s grooming was predominantly into the shaving space. Emami is a key player responsible for pioneering this growth in male grooming categories, when it first introduced its brand Fair & Handsome Cream. It changed the outlook of Indian men towards grooming.”

And now, with the rise of e-commerce sector in India, these brands have become more aggressive and are launching new products backed by strong media campaigns.

Philips recently launched a social media campaign ‘The Unpain’ while unveiling its new range of Body Grooming Products.

Anurita Chopra, Director Marketing, Personal Care, Philips Consumer Lifestyle said, “We found a lot of young men struggling with this. We found that a lot of men were talking about their body as well and they were looking at scissors, razors and creams but they had a huge number of issues and a lot of embarrassing moments. We tested a lot of products in India for Indian skin, Indian hair and we found that actually what’s really bothering a man is the pain.”

It might have started with ‘What a Woman wants’ but for our brands today ‘What a man wants’ holds equal importance.

By Ravi Bansal

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