Finally, the Indian male is ready for creams and potions. Male consumers are now demanding products that are made specifically for them. Previously, they were satisfied with using creams and lotions that their mothers, wives or sisters used. They didn’t really feel the need for a separate set of products. But habits are changing rapidly, and male consumers in India are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to look groomed in order to match international trends, and the market for male grooming products, including skin care, is expected to achieve significant growth over its current $185 million size.
The changing grooming behavior of Indian men is largely due to exposure to international grooming and fashion trends. In developed markets such as the U.S., the U.K. and Australia (which has even seen some success in men’s makeup ranges), male consumers are increasingly striving for a youthful appearance, as well as just looking good. In fact, men are generally becoming as pressured to look young and fresh as women. With India’s growing place in a global market and with exposure to multinational companies, Indian men are also feeling the pressure.
While women have long been investing in their skin care regimen and are willing to buy different types of products, men’s beauty consciousness has bloomed much more recently. Only recently, moisturizers were not common, and grooming meant a clean-shaven face, good hair cut and a nice cologne. But with increasing international travel and an amalgamation of traditional and Western culture, Indian men are seeking products and treatments, and are willing to try products as long as there are perceived results or benefits. “The male grooming sector is very nascent in India, unlike countries in the Asia-Pacific [market], but we see a latent need amongst male consumers,” says Vineet Agrawal, president, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, one of the leading Indian personal care companies with plans to enter the male skin care and grooming market.