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A Boom in Men's Grooming in India

By: Priyanka Bhattachayra
Posted: October 31, 2013, from the November 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Additionally, in India today men no longer want just clean skin—they want it to be fair, bright and spotless. This is what a study by Vaseline showed when it launched the Vaseline White for men range in the country. The Vaseline Amazing Skin Survey 2010 was conducted among more than one thousand 18–30-year-old Indian men to help understand what looking good means to them. In light of that survey, it was clear that what Indian men want is a product that provides “spotless” fair skin. In fact, the survey showed 8 out of 10 men said they would like to have a fairer skin tone.

Further, skin lightening and whitening for men is now all the rage. Emami was one of the first brands in India to bring a product to market for this, with its Fair and Handsome range of products—currently a market leader. N. Krishna Mohan, CEO, sales, supply chain and human capital, Emami Ltd., pegs the brand’s market share at 67%. The other brands increasingly translating this craze for fairness among men into a major business direction include Nivea, Garnier, Vaseline, Olay and iconic women’s fairness brand Fair&Lovely by Hindustan Unilever.

Additionally, besides skin and bath products, hair color for men as a segment has also seen impressive growth. “More men today like to go for hair color to not only hide grays but also for a style change. The need to look younger is driving many to this,” says Najeeb Ur Rahman, national technical expert, Schwarzkopf Professional. Indeed, according to a Nielsen study, the market for hair color for men grew nearly three times the overall category growth of 23%.

For Men Only

While men are now buying more grooming products than ever, they look for products that do not eat into their time. They need products that act fast. Talking about this trend, Rupika Raman, marketing manager, Garnier India, says, “The Garnier Men range provides holistic solutions that cater to the various skin care needs; the range is a complete package for personal grooming for men who are always on the go and cannot afford to invest a lot of time in taking care of their skin.”

Also, as the market continues to grow impressively, the brands that had been only associated with women are now nearly tripping over themselves to create products that cater to the specific needs of men. Says The Body Shop’s Giri, “Though the product range for men is not as elaborate yet as that available for women, it includes shaving creams, aftershave, deodorants, fragrance, and products for hairstyling and skin care. Manufacturers and retailers are fast catching up and introducing new products to lure male clients. At The Body Shop we have a dedicated men’s category, with products specifically targeted for men. Our men’s collection also consists of specific fragrance, body and hair wash, [and more products].”

Take the case of ITC’s Fiama di Wills line, which started with hair care and bathing products for women. It now has a full range of bath and body products for men. “ITC’s personal care business continuously seeks to meet the needs of the evolving consumer. Innovative bath care and skin care products like shower gels and face wash that are crafted specifically to address skin needs of the discerning male consumer are steadily becoming a preferred option. Products that refresh and re-energize skin are fast emerging as important drivers for the discerning male consumer,” says Mukherjee.

Priyanka Bhattacharya is a writer and journalist covering the beauty, health and wellness industries in India. She is the contributing beauty features writer for several leading Indian women’s magazines.