This startup aims to be a one-stop destination for male grooming products, eyes Rs 300 Cr revenue in the next two years

Gurugram-based startup The Man Company generated net revenue of Rs 45 crore in FY 21 while in the current financial year it expects a 2X growth of Rs 90 crore.
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Until a few years ago, there were few options in the market for male grooming products, let alone one in the premium category. Off the shelves, most of the products catering to men came from generic brands that have been present in the market for a long time and lacked desired segmentation as per hair and skin type. 

Witnessing this gaping hole in the market, Dr Parvesh Bareja, Hitesh Dhingra and Bhisham Bhateja decided to launch The Man Company in 2015

Headquartered in Gurugram, the brand was conceived to resolve four core problems - stereotypical notions

surrounding men’s grooming, difficulty in sourcing men’s grooming products, lack of consumer involvement, and absence of premium-grade products. Addressing these issues, the enterprising trio decided to bring out an all-inclusive range of specially curated grooming products exclusively for men.

The Man Company Products

The brand claims to be India's first 'men’s only' premium grooming essentials startup, and “it is also the first digital-native brand focused only on men in India,” says Bhisham during an interaction with YourStory. He goes on to explain that The Man Company is the first brand to focus exclusively on men’s grooming essentials, and also the first brand that was online catering this sector.

The startup claims to have generated net revenue of Rs 45 crore in the financial year FY21, and expects to touch 2X that growth to reach Rs 90 crore by the end of FY22. It claims to have generated a revenue Rs 58 crore already. 

“We are expecting to close 2021-22 with ARR of Rs 180 cr and aim to touch the Rs 300 crore-revenue mark in the next two years,” stated Dhingra.

Its USP

Bhisham adds that The Man Company products are natural, without any harmful chemicals and made from only premium essential oils and ingredients. 

“We are on the quest to offer environmentally friendly products to our customers. In fact, we are also trying to mitigate our carbon footprint through various green methods. Apart from that, The Man Company is a brand that doesn't believe in simply selling good quality products. We firmly believe it is crucial to raise awareness surrounding men's grooming and personal hygiene requirements, and also factors like self-love and selfless love,” says Hitesh Dhingra.

The Co-founding team

The company offers a “head-to-toe” range of premium men’s grooming products, including skin care, face care, beard grooming, shaving, and perfumes, among others. In a bid to strengthen its positioning, the brand is also looking to expand to adjacent categories. 

“We are venturing into personal care appliances like trimmers and shavers, nutraceuticals and sexual wellness category. All these categories are well-established, but we aim to give them a twist with lifestyle positioning and new unexplored formats for nutraceuticals and sexual wellness,” adds Dhingra.

The startup follows an omnichannel business where a customer may interact with the brand first at their store and later buy from any other channel partner.

“We are essentially a digital-first brand, so our online presence is meticulous and thorough. We have also partnered with popular ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart to ensure that customers can receive our products at the earliest,” mentions Dhingra.

The startup currently has 2000+ offline touchpoints and has collaborated with close to 500 salons across India, including Enrich, LOOKS, Toni & Guy, Headmasters, and Bodycraft. It is present in modern trade outlets across 50+ cities and has 30 exclusive outlets. 

Currently, the startup has 100+ stock-keeping units (SKUs) of which 15 are their hero products. 

Business model 

According to Research and Markets, India’s male grooming industry is poised to reach $1.2 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of about 11 percent. The report highlights that online businesses are bound to grow owing to the ecommerce push post the pandemic outbreak.  

Speaking about their customer base, Hitesh says, “As a brand, we communicate to the 26-35 age group, which is our core customer base. But we do see good adoption for beard products by the younger age groups, and similarly a higher adoption for premium fragrances by 35+ age group.”

The startup has so far served over four million customers across channels in the last six years of existence.

YS Design team

Funding and road ahead

The three founders had seeded the company with Rs Rs 1.5 crore in capital, which was utilised for R&D, working capital and branding.

In June 2021, homegrown FMCG company Emami Ltd picked up a little over 12 percent additional stake in the startup for an all-cash deal of Rs 50 crore.

Emami now owns 45.96 percent in The Man Company, thereby making it its largest shareholder. Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana also has a stake and continues to be its brand ambassador.

So far, the startup has raised Rs 80 crore in funding from Emami and other angel investors.

“In terms of strategic investment inputs, Emami has added a lot of value for R&D, getting the products right, and offline strategy,” says Hitesh. 

The Kolkata-based FMCG giant also guides the startup on its offline stores and supports its marketing activities such as celebrity endorsements. 

The startup is also aiming to accelerate its offline presence and plans to open 45 exclusive brand outlets spread across Tier II and Tier III cities by the fiscal year.

With the country’s beauty industry now making room for a slew of brands that are making products exclusively for men, The Man Company considers Beardo, Bombay Shaving Company, and Ustraa as its competitors.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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