Beyond taboo: The disruptive opportunity for men’s sexual wellness in India
India’s sexual well-being market is poised for significant growth. An educational approach, coupled with the adoption of digital D2C business models by startups, will trigger the next wave of consumption, extending its reach to Tier II and III cities.
Sexual wellness, a subject once shrouded in social taboo, is now making its mark worldwide—and India is at a focal point for its demand. Capturing the attention of discerning consumers who proactively take their health into their own hands, the sexual health sector is on the brink of a significant upswing. The market is steadily growing at 5.8% annually, projected to reach over $2 billion—or Rs 17,000 crore—by 2030, as per Allied Market Research.
The need of the hour
In a country with a large male population, sexual wellness remains largely uncharted due to limited access to specialised healthcare. Even in major urban centres like Mumbai, the ratio of andrologists (male health specialists) to male patients is abysmally low.
Studies show a reluctance among men to seek regular medical attention for annual diagnoses and routine health check-ins, reserving such visits for more critical cases. This prevailing stigma around sexual health exacerbates the lack of open medical discussions, leaving a significant part of the population hesitant to express health concerns.
D2C: The gateway to disruption
In addressing the substantial gap between male patients and medical professionals, a critical focus needs to be on enhancing access to sexual wellness solutions. The modern male consumer seeks authentic, real-time solutions rather than gimmicky products. Thus, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands that offer a comprehensive range of products, including devices, supplements, and nutraceuticals, coupled with verified clinical support, are poised to dominate the market.
The online purchase models associated with D2C not only eliminate accessibility barriers but also propel consumers to invest in products that can be seamlessly integrated into their daily routines. Moreover, doctor-led or consultation-driven virtual solutions are instrumental in raising awareness and disseminating medical perspectives. This strategic approach to transparency and accessibility is driving significant advancements in India’s sexual wellness category.
An educational, conversational shift
In the realm of sexual wellness, the emphasis extends beyond mere consumption; it's fundamentally rooted in education. As more public forums and influential figures spark conversations that destigmatise the subject, we are fostering an environment conducive to open discussions. We're witnessing a cultural shift towards preventive healthcare, as opposed to reactive solutions. This is fueled by an increased focus on informed self-care, leading to a surge in men's health tracking and supplement-based care.
While currently in its nascent stage, India’s sexual well-being market is poised for significant growth. An educational approach, coupled with the adoption of digital D2C business models by startups, will trigger the next wave of consumption, extending its reach to Tier II and III cities.
(Nihar Parikh is the Founder of 4Point0 Health Ventures.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)