FMCG major Emami has upped its game in the male grooming segment by further acquiring over 12 percent stake in the Helios Lifestyle, known for its flagship male grooming brand The Man Company. The maker of BoroPlus and Zandu Balm, with this latest stake increase, now holds almost 45.96 percent equity in the grooming start-up.
“This investment is in line with the company’s strategy of leveraging emerging online opportunities brought about by rapid digitization. With this investment, Emami has further strengthened its position as the largest shareholder of The Man Company,” Emami said in a press release on June 28.
Emami acquired a 33.09 percent stake in the company in two tranches in 2017 and 2019.
“The investment helps to accelerate our journey towards having a future-ready male grooming portfolio and building an omnichannel premium brand particularly in the online space and lifestyle stores,” said Harsha V Agarwal, Director - Emami.
Emami houses another male grooming brand, which plays in the mass category Fair And Handsome.
The male grooming segment has witnessed keen interest from several FMCG companies in recent years, who have either acquired or attained stakes in the new-age brands that cater to the premium end of the market. Marico last year completed the acquisition of Ahmedabad-Beardo by acquiring an additional 55 percent stake in the company. It acquired an initial 45 percent stake in it 2019.
Marico, too, owns another male grooming brand Set Wet. British consumer goods giant Reckitt had invested Rs 45 crore in Bombay Shaving Company in February, while Wipro Consumer Care backs LetsShave and Ustraa.
Despite being hit by the pandemic, the companies are betting on the growth of these start-ups in the long run, which have mushroomed in the last five years to fill the ‘need gap’ for premium male grooming products in the Indian market. Traditionally, male grooming brands in the Indian market have few and far between.
However, the last decade saw the emergence of several companies such as Beardo, The Man Company, Ustraa, Bombay Shaving Company. A Nielsen report said that about 117 new brands had been launched in the segment between March 2018- April 2019.