Reetesh Dhingra, Co-founder, WiZ

An industry veteran with unparalleled FMCG expertise, Reetesh Dhingra is the co-founder of Wiz, India’s one of the fastest-growing brands for personal care and hygiene products, a subsidiary of Cossmic Products – a brand renowned for its extensive experience, focus, and expertise in high-quality, affordable personal care and hygiene products since 1978. At Wiz, Reetesh spearheads the Strategy and Finance departments and oversees new product development. Having completed his B. Com from the University of Mumbai, Reetesh went on to pursue an MBA in Marketing from the Mumbai Educational Trust and later attended the SEED of Transformation Program from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

 

What is the most common, routine, and fundamental thing in a person’s daily schedule? It’s brushing your teeth. However, experts believe that COVID-19 has brought some tremendous and permanent changes in our lives, so wearing masks, carrying an alcohol-based sanitizer, and washing hands frequently have become as usual as brushing teeth every day.

Owing to the Coronavirus fear, doctor’s recommendations about proper hygiene and cleanliness, and increasing awareness, people are notably more informed about personal care tools like antibacterial wipes, anti-chafing creams for men, herbal sanitary napkins, tampons, urination devices, and disposable towels. It’s a testament to rapidly changing consumer behavior that brands have started investing enormously in personal care and hygiene products.

On the back of young consumer trends, the market will continue to flourish

In the pre-pandemic world, most people didn’t care about hand hygiene and other personal care aspects, but COVID-19 has forced people to adopt some much-needed habits. Realizing that hands are the prime factor that can quickly transfer germs, bacteria, and viruses from one place to another, carrying at least one hand sanitizer has become a default habit for most people.

Secondly, unlike boomers and previous generations, the millennial and Gen Z crowd are more conscious and concerned about their health and well-being. Young generations are also exposed to social media channels that continuously talk about various personal care products and widely influence their consumer mindset. In addition, the instant and efficient availability of e-commerce platforms has made shopping more convenient and frictionless. Together these aspects have made young consumers the driving force behind the growth of the present-day Personal Care and Hygiene Market.

Since consumers have become more enlightened about personal care safety, the market is automatically picking up pace. Currently, the Beauty and Personal Care market is valued at USD 26,853 million. It is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 8.51% between 2021 to 2025. With a market volume of USD 12,261 million, the Personal care segment is the largest aspect of this expeditiously evolving market. And, considering the current consumer dynamics, this number is expected to grow tremendously.

Pre-pandemic, during pandemic and post-pandemic

In the pre-pandemic world, only some people were using hand sanitizers and other hygiene products. Of course, people were using basic products, but using the same soap by an entire household was common too. However, from using separate products or at least bottled ones to using disposable masks and cleaning hands frequently, the pandemic has certainly brought many untold and crucial habits in consumer’s daily lives.

The initial phase of the pandemic brought panic, and suddenly hygiene products were flying off the shelves. The unexpected demand was at its peak, and people started using non-branded and self-made products to no one’s shock. This trend was far more dangerous, and consumers quickly realized the importance of carefully made hygiene products that experts properly test, which led to a swift rise in consumers buying branded hygiene products.

However, as the pandemic started to subdue and consumers came to realize that hygiene and personal care products can serve more than the sanitization process, they started opting for products integrated with natural ingredients, paraben, and SLS-free elements and moisturizing abilities. Witnessing the changing consumer behavior, brands also started serving a variety of hygiene products to cater to the distinctive needs of each consumer.

In the post-pandemic world, though the viral fear has comparatively mitigated, many Indian companies have mandated wearing face masks and using hand sanitizers inside the office campus. These trends are not likely to break anytime soon, leading to continuous market growth in the personal care sector. This is an indication that the personal care and hygiene industry will continue to grow manifold in the near future.

Moving Forward

Personal Care and Hygiene brands have risen like a phoenix by leveraging the advanced attributes of e-commerce platforms. With many government-led programs promoting female hygiene and private institutions spearheading overall awareness initiatives, consumers are likely to continue their hygiene practices even during the post-pandemic period.

Even before the unprecedented pandemic came snowballing with several challenges and changes, modern-age brands were under extreme pressure to overhaul product innovation and out-of-the-box ideation. This was mainly due to the rising role of digitally native brands in the contemporary market ecosystem, with their ability to go from concept to cupboard in a limited time. Since new-age consumers are careful while investing money, personal care and hygiene brands will largely depend on creativity, innovation, storytelling, and seamless product delivery to continue being the forerunners of the fantastic journey.

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