The male grooming market has been picking up a fair bit of steam in the last couple of years. A recent report by market research agency, Mintel, endorses this trend. The report says that the average Indian man spends 42 minutes a day on grooming himself. An average man, according to this report, spends 16 minutes on grooming his body, 14 minutes on his hair and 12 minutes on his face.
While the urge to look good and confident is higher among those based in the larger cities, the youth in small town India are also quite conscious about it. Walk into any small town in the heartland of the country, you will be surprised to find a four-page menu card in men's salon, which offers services such as hair spa, hair colour, highlights, facials and so on. "Visiting a salon and getting a tattoo or a highlight has become aspirational for the youth in smaller markets," points out Alpana Parida, MD, DY Works, who came across a bunch of young men in a small town in Maharashtra proudly clicking selfies outside a salon after getting their hair streaked. In fact, men's fairness cream sachets are one of the fastest moving SKUs in kirana stores in rural markets.
Minu Srivastava, Consumer Research Analyst at Mintel India, says while Indian men are growing increasingly image-conscious, they often find it overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right product and regime to follow. "Companies and brands in the Indian men's grooming market should review the motivations and lifestyle patterns of various groups and customise offerings to fit in. Men in metro areas deal with lack of time, and as a result, they are likely to seek convenient, time-saving and/or multi-functional products."
In fact, a bulk of the activities in male grooming is happening at the premium end. Last year, Colgate-Palmolive bought a 14 per cent stake in Bombay Shaving Company, which is on the lines of the Dollar Shave Club. Similarly, Kolkata-based FMCG major, Emami, picked up a stake in yet another male grown start-up, The Man Company, while Marico also entered the market by picking up a stake in the Ahmedabad-based Zed Lifestyle, which owns Beardo. More recently, Hindustan Unilever, launched an Axe and Brylcreem store on Amazon. Bhaskar Bhat, MD, The Titan Company, is also looking at the aspirational young male audience for his perfume brand, Skinn. In an earlier interview with Business Today, Bhat said, "We are hoping that all those who are currently bathing themselves in deodorants will upgrade to fragrances."
The Mintel research shows that almost two-thirds of Indian men are concerned about an aspect of their appearance. A quarter of the Indian men, as per the report, admit that body odour and hair greying are their biggest concerns. Around 20% say that they are concerned about baldness, 14 per cent worry about acne and 13 per cent are anxious about signs of ageing.
While the personal care companies have ample opportunities in the male grooming sector, products designed for the mass market will be even more desirable.