We talked to Deepak Gupta, COO, Bombay Shaving Company to know the insights of the business.
If you had to pen down your top 3 learnings from 2021 then what would that be?
We are in the business of enablement, as much as appearances
Omnichannel is an experience multiplier, not just a business multiplier
Never hold preconceived notion of your customer profile
We focussed on being an enabler brand, not just a grooming brand. We introduced micro innovation in our products that promise DIY convenience, value and of course, a best-in-class quality.
From your brand’s perspective, what changes did you bring in internally to build a ‘road to recovery last year?
Aggressive Focus. We identified and aggressively built on our core strength in ‘Hair Removal and Hair Management’ products for both men and women. We have identified top 10-12 products to build brand on and drive growth in the future. We have expanded into Head to Toe hair removal solutions.
Content and Talent: Realizing the need for always on information, education, and awareness in our category early; we invested in people and infrastructure to give our content game an edge over most.
Always on Learning: While we are a D2C born company, more than a business driver – this channel has been transformed into an insights generator. Our efforts are continuously supplemented by rich data and intelligence in real time, which helps in continuous improvement.
Relevant Partnerships: We became exclusive Men’s Grooming partner to Lakme Salon Pan India and continue to strike many more such partnerships
What is your vision for 2022 for your brand?
2 Crore bathrooms, 5 products in each bathroom, creating 10 minutes of delight everyday. This is our sharply defined company vision, or North Star. All our efforts in 2022 and beyond will be directed towards this goal.
How are you laying the bricks for growth and success in the New Year? Is it going to be an omnichannel journey or putting action to digital transformation or accelerating processes with technology or something else? Tell us your thoughts.
We are truly an omnichannel brand and that will be the way forward for us. We are looking to expand our retail presence from 50k stores today to over 200k stores. We are also very keen on building through emerging social commerce players – especially local and regional ones. From a marketing standpoint, we will continue with our ROI driven approach – with a judicious mix of traditional and emerging media. We are very optimistic about OTT and programmatic in the coming year.
How much has the company grown under your leadership in the pandemic period?
We have grown 3.5 X. Today we are a 200 cr gross ARR company . We now employ more than 200 people – including, probably the best start up sales team in the country. In our latest Series C round of funding, we raised 160 Cr, and are in advanced talks to raise a further 300 Cr. Also paving the way for successful exits for employees and early investors to the tune of INR 45 Cr. But, for me personally, it has been most fulfilling to see the company emerge stronger, sharper and smarter through one of the darkest and most challenging periods in recent memory.
Elaborate on the initiatives (marketing and digital) which were a success in this period?
In July 2021 we unveiled R Ashwin as our brand ambassador with the Shave to Shine campaign – which immediately lifted brand equity making us a brand of substance.
We followed it up with an evocative and culturally relevant Rakhi Campaign in August. In Sep-Oct, we launched the women’s brand campaign –‘SmoothAF’ with Bollywood celebrity, AlayaF as brand ambassador. We also launched our first hyperlocal campaign on the occasion of Durga Puja, in Kolkata. In November, we created a campaign totally in-house for International Men’s Day, which was a very good community building exercise. We ended the year on a high – with the ‘ShaveForGood’ campaign, which exemplifies our brand promise of ‘Put your best Look Forward’. The campaign was able to strike a chord across sections of society, notching up close to 4 million views in just 10 days.