MensXP is a men’s lifestyle e-commerce platform that was acquired by media conglomerate Times Group eight years ago.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, founder and CEO Angad Bhatia expressed his excitement for the men’s grooming space in India, attributing its growth potential to the underlying shifts in consumer lifestyle and attitudes.
“Masculinity in India has gone through a transformational shift. It's no longer about the broad macho image of the Indian man that was depicted earlier in Bollywood movies. The new Indian man is more progressive; he cares about mental health and is alternative in his fashion sense,” said Bhatia.
Aided by the advent of social media, this demographic has developed a desire to express their individuality. “Social media has led to a lot of democratisation and essentially became the first medium especially for young Indian men to finally express themselves,” said Bhatia.
The connectivity has also exposed these consumers to global cosmetic trends like K-beauty and clean beauty.
“Men, in general, are becoming more conscious about the way and where their products come from. They want to know what is inside the product. You’ll be surprised that the understanding of ingredients among Indian men is increasing day by day,” said Bhatia.
Bhatia told us that the men’s grooming space is “large but still very nascent” and still ripe with opportunities.
“The men's market is complicated, but I think what's exciting for the men's market is the sheer scale that it can reach in the next three to four years. I think that's what a lot of DTC brands are banking on. And as for MensXP, we’re building a marketplace for them, we are building the Sephora for men, the Nykaa for men.”
A three-pronged strategy
To achieve this, the company is planning first to introduce more new brands that will be exclusive to its portfolio. In the next 12 months, at least 25 brands will launch with MensXP.
“We want to be in a position where we are not just exposing Indian men to fantastic local brands but we’re also trying to bring international brands into the country. I think that's going to really create a lot of excitement in the Indian market,” said Bhatia.
With the men’s market still in its early stages, the company believes there are still many gaps in the market it can tap into. To that end it is planning to create or incubate new men’s grooming brands.
“What we are looking to do is essentially fund close to five companies over the next 12 months. We will either partner with them or develop new brands. We understand that every good DTC brand needs good entrepreneurs, and we are will identify them and back them up to create these new brands,” said Bhatia.
Last but not least, MensXP is stepping up its education drive, which it believes is vital for the market.
“We conducted a survey and found that 93% of our consumers… still don’t understand what their skin type is or what skin tone they have,” said Bhatia.
Aside from content like social media posts and blog posts, it is also working to develop tools powered by artificial intelligence.
“With better technology, we can help our consumers understand their skin and under the causes for them and essentially equip and enable Indian men.”