Actor Akshay Kumar and the Good Glamm Group form a joint venture to promote men’s grooming goods.
Direct-to-consumer beauty and personal care startup Good Glamm group has set up a joint venture with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar to sell personal care and wellness products for men.
The company is expected to launch its product range by the middle of this year. Kumar and the Good Glamm Group will invest capital and work together to scale up the business.
“I will be deeply involved in the product development and brand development,” Kumar told ReTale in an email. “I have always believed in holistic wellness and fitness all my life and that is the experience I want to bring to people – be it the ingredients, the regimens and the philosophies – to create this product line.”
The subsidiary will come under the Good Glamm group’s Good Brand vertical, which is headed by chief executive Sukhleen Aneja.
ReTale was the first to report on March 7 that the Good Glamm group, which has been associated with the women’s category of personal care products, is looking to enter the men’s category.
Darpan Sanghvi, cofounder and CEO of the company, told ReTale that the company has been looking to enter the space for the last two years. The brand’s acquisition of digital media company ScoopWhoop in 2021 will play a key role in promoting the men’s range of products.
“If you want to be a proper digital FMCG conglomerate at scale we have to play the men’s category and it is with that thinking we bought ScoopWhoop in 2021,” he said. “All of the other media properties we had were female-centric, we realised we need a male-centric content platform if we are to replicate our content creator flywheel in the men’s category.”
Sanghvi said the company tried to enter the space by buying another brand last year, but the deal fell through because both parties could not agree on a valuation.
ReTale reported on May 4 last year that the company was in talks with the Raymond Group’s consumer care business, which houses the Park Avenue and Kama Sutra brands.
On September 6, 2022, ET reported that the company was also in talks with grooming company Ustraa to acquire the brand.
Sanghvi said that the Good Glamm group did extensive market research and found that there was a gap in the market.
“It just cannot be another grooming product, there is enough and more out there,” he said. “So, we found a very interesting niche where we saw that with the confluence of nutraceuticals and personal care, we could create something very interesting and disruptive.”
Sanghvi declined to share the product details or the name of the brand. He also did not reveal the investment that had gone into the new joint venture.
Sanghvi, however, said the investment would be minimal considering that the distribution, technology and content creator ecosystem was going to be the same.
He said the company was targeting Rs 100 crore in sales in its first year and forecast revenue to grow to Rs 500 crore in three years.
Sanghvi said the brand was likely to constitute about half of the company’s men’s category in future. The men’s category is likely going to make up about 18-20% of its overall business, he added.
In order to scale up the brand, the best way was to partner with a celebrity, especially considering the company has been able to achieve success with its first celebrity brand partnership with designer Manish Malhotra, he said.
“When we figured out this confluence of delivering the performance of these nutraceuticals into personal care we asked who is the best celebrity out there who stands for both, which is personal care, good looks and very natural fitness,” he said. “Not fitness that is bulked up, or artificial and that has been there for a long time. Undoubtedly Akshay has probably been the most holistically fit guy we have known over the past 30 years.”
The JV comes at a time when D2C brands are being acquired as distress sales in many cases as tech investors have slowed down investment amid tighter macroeconomic conditions.
Goat Brand Labs, backed by Tiger Global, acquired Chumbak, along with other D2C brands in January.
Traditional non-internet companies like Unilever, Aditya Birla Group and ITC have also acquired multiple D2C brands like Oziva, Wellbeing Nutrition, Yoga Bar, and Bewakoof.
This is Kumar’s second investment into a startup after investing in wearable devices maker Goqqi in 2019. He told ReTale that the tough funding environment will not affect his perception about investing more in the startup space.
“I have always believed in supporting new ideas and disruptive entrepreneurs that can be seen in the genre-breaking films I have made over the years with first-time filmmakers,” he said. “That ideology is unaffected by the external fundraising environment. In fact, I believe that companies that are born in such a tough environment will be built to last.”
Kumar is among several Indian celebrities who have invested in startups.
Actor Deepika Padukone had invested in startups like furniture-rental company Furlenco, dairy company Epigamia, and beauty and personal care marketplace Purplle. She has exited some of these businesses as well.
RetTale reported on March 7 that the Good Glamm group had increased its stake to 90% in direct-to-consumer (D2C) mother and baby care brand The Moms Co, following the exit of the brand’s founders Malika Sadani and Mohit Sadani. It is also set to buy 100% stake in Organic Harvest and Sirona with the founders of both these brands exiting the company by the end of next year.
Good Glamm’s operating model is similar to roll-up ecommerce, where multiple internet-focused brands are brought by an entity under one umbrella to grow using shared resources. Founders of these brands tend to exit the businesses over time.