Preeti Hoon
May 14, 2024

Behind the brand: Unpacking Bohem’s approach to men's grooming in India

With the men’s grooming market set to touch INR 19,500 crores by 2026, Bohem is the new kid on the brand block. Parent company Piramal Pharma Limited's Consumer Products Division CEO Nitish Bajaj talks to Campaign about their ambitious goals, growth plans, working with brand ambassadors, and more.

Photo: Bohem (used with permission)
Photo: Bohem (used with permission)

Over recent years, the evident change in the perception and definition of men’s grooming in India has seen a plethora of brands hopping onto the bandwagon of the cultural shift, backed by favourable numbers in the niche segment.

With men paying more attention to their appearance, the evolving lifestyle and trends have made way for innovation as the personal grooming category witnesses a rise in product offerings by brands aiming to capture a share in the booming industry.

Bohem is the new kid on the block, eyeing an INR 12,500 crore men’s grooming market that is set to touch INR 19,500 crores by 2026, according to a report by market research firm Euromonitor.

The newly-launched brand by Piramal Pharma Limited’s Consumer Products Division (CPD) has marked the company’s foray into the men’s personal grooming category. The initial range of products includes a hair removal spray, beard growth oil, an underarm roll-on, and Nitish Bajaj, CEO of Piramal Consumer Products Division, says more innovative offerings are on the anvil.

Piramal Pharma CEO, Nitish Bajaj

In an interview with Campaign India, Bajaj shares, “The launch of Bohem aligns with the company's desire to cater to the male grooming market. Our current set of products; beard oil, hair removal spray, and underarm roll-on are just the beginning, and we shall continue this journey with a range of innovative products.”

The existing range will extend to include face washes, serums, and shower gels as well. With Bohem, Piramal Pharma intends to shift the grooming culture among men towards more inclusive self-care routines, leveraging scientifically proven ingredients for tangible results and finding a loyal male customer base as it grows.

“We have already established a successful personal care portfolio of brands. With Bohem, we aim to offer a focused line-up of quality products that provide incremental benefits to male consumers at an attractive price point,” Bajaj states.

Brand Bohem

The word ‘Bohem’ is derived from the word ‘Bohemian’, signifying an unconventional identity or lifestyle, and the company wanted to stay non-contemporary in its strategy while carving the brand identity.

“The launch of Bohem aims at normalising grooming among men. The brief to our agency for designing the look, feel, and messaging of Bohem centred around staying true to the brand promise of being bohemian and unconventional. We requested designs that stand out in the competitive men's grooming market with distinctive colours, fonts, and imagery,” Bajaj shares.

The price range for Bohem products is from INR 199 to 799, and the brand is positioned in the mid-premium segment. Bohem aims to offer quality products at an attractive price, catering to the younger male demographic interested in exploring new grooming products.

“Our chosen marketing mix for Bohem heavily emphasises digital mediums such as social media, influencer partnerships, performance marketing, and online retail platforms. This approach allows us to reach our target audience effectively and maximize brand visibility,” Bajaj informs.

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) all the way

According to a KPMG report published in 2023, the Indian direct-to-consumer (D2C) market value was worth approximately $12 billion in 2022, which is projected to surpass the mark of $60 billion by 2027 by growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40%. The report mentions hygiene and personal care, beauty and skin care as one of the top categories in the D2C market in India. 

While Piramal Pharma already owns the D2C platform Wellify that sells company-owned products, another targeted launch with Bohem has signaled a clear indication of how the conglomerate is bullish to tap into the aggressive D2C market growth in the country by introducing the brand only on online channels in its nascent stage.

“For initial product sales, we opted for our D2C platform, Wellify, and e-commerce platforms since they provide quick feedback on sales, market receptiveness, and product performance. This approach allows us to gather valuable insights and refine our strategy before expanding into retail distribution channels,” Bajaj states.

Offline opportunity

Bohem has already been introduced into the Indian personal grooming market through D2C and e-commerce channels. But, will the brand go offline soon? Bajaj answers, “At present, online channels are prioritised for Bohem due to their ability to target specific audiences, gather feedback, and track customer retention effectively. However, we plan to transition the brand offline once we achieve a sizeable presence and brand recognition in the online space.”

“At present, we are planning to launch the Bohem range on e-commerce and make it a successful brand over the next 12-18 months. In this period, we will capture feedback on these products, launch a range of New Product Developments (NPDs), observe consumer behaviour, and accordingly take this product offline."

The brand has clear demarcation of metropolitans as its focus areas. “Our targeted markets for Bohem are the top cities across India. These markets have demonstrated receptiveness to our products across brands, and we believe they present significant opportunities for Bohem to succeed,” Bajaj informs.

For its expansion and reach in the next phase, the brand is contemplating endorsement by a popular face as well. However, the company’s present focus is to create a stable market for its offerings.

“While we are open to hiring a brand ambassador in the future, we are not currently exploring this option. Our focus is on building a comprehensive product range that resonates with our target audience before considering any brand ambassadorships.”

Campaign India

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