Online grooming brand Beardo to expand in salons, organised retail formats

Men's grooming brand Beardo, which has a strong online presence, plans to expand in salons, supermarkets and organised retail formats. The company, in which homegrown FMCG major Marico has picked up a stake, is also looking to start selling its products in the US.

Beardo's offerings include face-wash, soaps, face-packs and scrubs, hair-care and skin-care products. However, beard - grooming offerings - beard wash and beard oils - remain the brand's primary draw.

According to Ashutosh Valani, co-founder, the nearly two-year-old brand, which first started in the 'online only' format, has started expanding offline too. It will target salons and modern trade formats initially.

It is currently present across mass premium salons (charging over 200). The next phase will see Beardo enter salons that charge between 100 and 200.

"Over a period, we will also target neighbourhood salons with our offerings. Right now, we are present in 5,000-odd outlets across North, South and West India, and over the next two years, with the grooming market maturing, we will look at a pan-India presence in 25,000-odd outlets," Valani told BusinessLine. The company recently begun operations in the eastern region.

Beardo is also available in some modern trade outlets like Shoppers' Stop. But expanding through general trade or mom-and-pop stores is not a focus area now.

"Our products are positioned in the mass premium category and general trade is not exactly a focus area at the moment. However, as the male grooming market matures, we may look at having a presence in mom-and-pop stores," he said.

Growing market
The male grooming segment - that includes hair conditioning and styling; shaving solutions and beard and moustache grooming offerings - is still at a nascent stage. Compared to a $100-million business globally, the segment here is about $10 million.

According to 6Wresearch, the men's grooming market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15 per cent during 2017-23. And start-ups like Ustraa, Beardo, and The Man Company are some of the popular brands in the segment.

However, predominant players include FMCG and multinationals like Gillette (in shaving solutions); Emami (fairness cream and facewash); Garnier (in facewash) and Marico.

Going global
The Ahmedabad-based Beardo (owned by Zed Lifestyle Pvt Ltd) does not share turnover details. But, Valani pointed out that the company has a run rate of around 4-5 crore a month and is likely to exceed 50 crore in annual sales.

Beardo, is also looking to tap markets outside India, particularly the US.

"We are finalising our plans for the US. By April-June we should have an online presence there," Vilani said.

Apart from India, Beardo is currently available in West Asia through the omni-channel strategy.

Media Source : The Hindu Business Line