How these women entrepreneurs are creating a niche in men’s grooming space
Based in Ahmedabad, Nuutjob is a men’s intimate hygiene brand. Founded earlier this year, the bootstrapped startup aims to create a niche for itself.
Sisters Ananya and Anushree Maloo got the idea of Nuutjob during a family discussion on men’s intimate hygiene, and the taboo around it.
According to Ananya, the men in her family used talcum powder to keep their intimates dry and simply wouldn’t discuss any issue or problems with it.
“This is why we thought of Nuutjob. We started in Ahmedabad in 2021, and one of the first products we thought of and worked on was Nuut Guard, our ‘Liquid Powder’, an alternative to talcum powder — a no-mess lotion that keeps your intimates dry and fresh through the day,” she tells HerStory.
During their research, the sisters found that there is a huge market in men’s intimate hygiene but very few players cater to this niche.
“The idea is to infuse education with entertainment through our products. People had and still do have a few reservations regarding the brand name but for us, it’s an element that we want to use to create the necessary waves,” adds Ananya.
The ‘gender’ issue
To no surprise, one of the initial problems faced by the duo was their gender.
“From why our pictures were being displayed on the website to whether we would still be ‘marriageable’ after being associated to a segment like this were a few biases we countered. There’s always an unconscious bias when women take the wheel of change — questionings and inhibitions. People are always asking if there are any men helping us out,” says Ananya.
The duo faced resistance within the family as well, as they had issues with women building male intimate hygiene problems.
“I was really happy when my grandparents took it in stride compared to other younger relatives and friends. Explaining the idea to our grandmothers was what I really do pride myself in and it infused the idea of empowerment where women stand for women,” adds Ananya.
Offerings and product
Nuutjob’s products are developed around helping keep men keep their intimates clean and dry. The products work towards anti-chafing, preventing irritation due to sweating, preventing bad odour and itching, and helping maintain a good pH balance.
At present, it sells three products aimed at manscaping — an intimate wash, a deodoriser, and an intimate moisturiser.
Ananya explains the intimate wash works as a body, hair, nut, and butt wash; the liquid powder is a replacement for talcum powder and helps in keeping the intimates moisturised; the deodoriser can be used on the go and is a perfect product on days when a shower is not possible.
The products are being manufactured on a contract with a pharma company, which specialises in making intimate area products.
The raw materials mainly consist of plant extracts, essential oils, and ingredients free of parabens, sulfates, aluminium, and talcum.
Market and future
“In 60 days, we have made 50 sales online through our website and Amazon India. Our weekly sales increased by 25 percent in the past month after being listed on Amazon,” says Ananya.
The average order size is Rs 399.
According to a Future Market Insights’ report, the men’s hygiene market is likely to grow at 10 percent between 2020 and 2030. Regular FMCG giants like P&G, Marico, and Unilever, as well as new-age startups like The Man Company, ForMen, etc., are focusing on this space.
But, Nuutjob founders say they are creating a category that doesn’t exist.
“We plan to add an array of products catered to manscaping and below the belt grooming. None of our competitors base their offerings to just the segment of manscaping as they only offer intimate washes,” adds Ananya.
In the next few months, the team aims to increase their product offerings and list them on various online marketplaces, as well as brick and mortar outlets.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta