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Bombay Shaving Company’s Deshpande: Want to operate like a proper FMCG company

Earlier on January 28, Reckitt Benckiser said it will fund Bombay Shaving Company. In an interview, founder Shantanu Deshpande reveals his capital deployment plans, the evolution of the personal grooming market, especially with regard to men, and how the company weathered the pandemic.

January 28, 2021 / 08:06 PM IST

News broke earlier today of British multinational consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser (RB) leading a Rs 45 crore funding round in Visage Lines Personal Care, which owns personal grooming brand Bombay Shaving Company. Several individual HNIs, including Anjali Bansal from Avaana Capital, also participated in the round. The investment by RB marks the fifth round of financing for the company, which has earlier seen investments from the likes of Sixth Sense Venture Partners and Colgate-Palmolive. Bombay Shaving Company was founded in 2016 by Shantanu Deshpande, a former McKinsey & Co consultant. According to business research firm PGA Labs, the men’s grooming market in India is expected to be worth around $5.5 billion by the end of the year.

In an interview with MoneyControl, Deshpande talks about his capital deployment plans, the evolution of the personal grooming market, especially with regard to men, and how the company weathered the pandemic.

With the latest capital infusion, what is the total capital raised by the company till date? And how do you plan to deploy it?

We’ve raised Rs 120 crore since we launched in June 2016. This includes primary funding of Rs 95 core, and secondary transactions worth about Rs 25 crore. Among the things that we want to do is to ensure we are invested in offline distribution and availability of our products across all channels. We will also be investing in R&D and product development because innovation lifecycles in the personal care segments are very short. You have new product categories being created within three to four months and players are able to achieve sizeable numbers. We are also building out other brands in addition to Bombay Shaving Company. In many ways, the idea is to operate like a proper FMCG company.