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Bombay Shaving Company eyes Rs 260-280 crore topline in FY24: Founder Shantanu Deshpande

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It also expects a possible $60-80 million pre-IPO round in 3-4 quarters, and gameplan to scale up Bombay Shaving Company to Rs 2,000-3,000 crore, and Bombae to Rs 1,000 crore businesses in his 5-year vision

New Delhi: Bombay Shaving Company is “on track” to achieve Rs 260-280 crore topline in FY24, driven by its “big bet” on razors and trimmers, focus on hair removal products, and wider distribution network to grab a larger slice of the market,  its Founder and CEO, said.

In an interview with PTI, Deshpande talked about his expectations of breakeven this fiscal, a possible $60-80 million pre-IPO round in 3-4 quarters, and gameplan to scale up Bombay Shaving Company to Rs 2,000-3,000 crore, and Bombae (a line up of women’s products) to Rs 1,000 crore businesses in his 5-year vision.

The brand — which now bears an all-new look-and-feel after a refreshed brand identity — is also looking to scale its presence from 65,000 stores to 3-5 lakh stores in 2-3 years, Deshpande said describing offline mode as the “belly of Indian retail market”.

For FY23, the company logged a revenue of Rs 186 crore. Bombay Shaving Company is hopeful of exiting FY24 at a breakeven, Deshpande said.

The top line for FY24 is seen at Rs 260-280 crore, he said, adding that the company is so far “on track” to reach it.

Deshpande — who belongs to a growing tribe of outspoken founders scaling their companies in India — likened the play in the razor category to “entering a deadly battlefield” (where well-entrenched brands have a stranglehold).

“It is a battlefield that is deadly…the incumbent is strong, very powerful…consumer has a lot of love, so you are entering a battlefield where you know if you are not a gladiator, you are done for,” he said, adding that there are many “variables” and “volatility” but the company has a ‘razor-sharp’ focus on capital efficiency.

Bombay Shaving Company is a “lot more cautious as the responsibility of large scale business rests on our shoulders”.

“In five years for Bombay Shaving Company, we should be 20 per cent of the share of the market we compete in…shaving consumables, razors, trimmers, and select personal care categories…my view is Bombay Shaving Company should be Rs 2,000-3,000 crore business depending on the 5-year horizon,” he said.

Bombae, he said, should be the first port of call for women looking at hair removal solutions.

“There, we should have 5 per cent share of the total market and possibly 20 per cent share of product market…that is another Rs 1,000 crore in terms of business,” he said.

Overall, it can easily be Rs 2,500-3,500 crore topline company across Bombay Shaving Company, Bombae and services business, he envisioned.

Bombay Shaving Company will also move to a higher gear on the expansion of its offline footprint.

Accordingly, the business will scale up from 65,000 stores to 3,00,000-5,00,000 stores in 2-3 years.

“That is the weighted distribution needed for our brand to hit critical mass or escape velocity. We are not there yet, and I think the focus of the business will now be on penetration,” Deshpande said.

Offline is one of the hardest things for online-first brands to do because it is a margin-depletive to start off with, and involves upfront investment, he explained.

Initially, going deep into existing cities will be a priority, Bombay Shaving Company will then move wider from its existing presence in 25 cities to 50 cities and onwards to 75 cities.

On whether a funding round is in the offing, Deshpande said that Bombay Shaving Company has a significant amount of runway left, having raised a large round of capital in December 2021.

“I don’t actually want to raise more capital, it puts a lot of burden on value creation for the company and timing becomes a problem. Will we need external capital to grow…yes…my view is we might go into the market maybe 3-4 quarters down, to see how we can raise capital,” he said.

The company is looking at a fiscal 2025-26 timeline for IPO, and the pre-IPO round could be timed in FY25.

“The moment you are profitable you don’t need capital, there is never a runway question anymore. My view is that it will be a growth round…it will be USD 60-80 million round, including secondaries and exits to current investors,” he said.

Bombay Shaving Company, a homegrown personal care brand, is all set to empower the entrepreneurial zeal of the youth through their latest initiative ‘Razorprenuer India ka edge.’

This unique proposition is crafted to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship among the young minds of the country.

Deepak Gupta, Co-Founder of Bombay Shaving Company, said the current brand revamp is focused on targeting younger audiences, especially in the age group of 16-25 years.

“They want to associate with the brand at a far more deeper level in terms of value they associate with, and how the brand is looking at innovation and sustainability, and what kind of language is the brand speaking,” Gupta said.

Asked if connecting with male and female audiences requires different approaches, Gupta replied in the affirmative.

“Men buy, and women shop…Men focus a lot on functionality and utility and women want to connect a lot more at an emotional level while buying a brand,” Gupta said.

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