Elevating Men's Grooming in India Bombay Shaving Company announced its presence by disrupting a predominantly offline, utility driven category which had limited options for men

By Saptak Bardhan

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Bombay Shaving Co.
Shantanu Deshpande, founder and CEO, Bombay Shaving Co.

Men's grooming sector has grown by leaps and bounds, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Men's grooming market in India was valued at INR140.50 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach INR319.82 billion by 2024, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 15.14 per cent according to a report by ResearchandMarkets.com

Incepted in 2016, Bombay Shaving Company announced its presence by disrupting a predominantly offline, utility driven category which had limited options for men. It introduced an experiential dimension to the mundane act of shaving, gradually expanded its portfolio and encouraged a holistic approach to grooming and personal care by way of regimens. Being a digital first brand, the company was able to take full advantage of trends shaped by popular culture, social media and content – responding with speed and scale.

D2C breaks traditional barriers of marketing & distribution, generating shaper insights in initial stages and helping one achieve product market cut faster. According to Shantanu, scaling, penetration and robust brand building are difficult to achieve through pure play D2C and thus Bombay Shaving Company is rapidly expanding into other channels.

"The business has grown six times in the last two years. Product innovation now encompasses all three aspects: Form, feel and function. Healthier, more nourishing ingredients, better sensorial through continuous improvement in formulations, and in-depth insights to discover newer grooming occasions to introduce relevant products – all of this and more, have become our guiding mantras," said Shantanu Deshpande, founder and CEO, Bombay Shaving Company.

Shantanu believes that Investors have been more like strategic partners in the company's journey. Having Reckitt Benckiser and Colgate Palmolive as investors, both have helped the company navigate the offline channel with their distribution and FMCG expertise. The company's latest round, which includes investments from the likes of GII, will help Shantanu take the business to overseas markets with confidence, in addition to building a brand that outlasts everyone. Attractive ESOPs policies have ensured strong ownership and outcome orientation amongst senior employees.

"We will also be focussing on building a delightful mass-premium brand for 2 Cr customers across India, in a phase wise manner, starting with Maharashtra, where we are the "Official Grooming Patners' of the Mumbai Indians cricket team,"added Deshpande

The company plans to scale operations to INR 500 crore top line in the next two years with omnichannel presence. Along with launching new innovative products, Bombay Shaving Company will continue to aggressively expand its offline distribution, increasing store presence from 20,000 to 50,000 with over 15 per cent share in each, in addition to launching many more Exclusive Brand Outlets in major cities. The company is also looking to expand overseas presence from the Indian sub-continent to US, Europe, GCC and Australia. .


• Best seller: Shaving Foams, Trimmers, Charcoal Skincare regimens, Beard grooming kits and

• Total SKUs: 100+

• Team size: 200+

• Repeat customer ratio: 35%

• Online platform resulting in maximum revenue: Amazon

• Turnover for FY 2021-22: 250+ Cr Gross sales.

• Split between offline and online sales: 40:60

Saptak Bardhan

Former Trainee Writer

Former Trainee Writer

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