Basics For Bros By Bro Basics
Currently the beauty and wellness market is flooded with brands catering to women, men and teens. The dearth of specialised beauty and skincare products for teenage boys often lands them with no option but to use products designed for men.
Karan Dhingra, a 17-year-old teenager has already acknowledged the situation and has come up with his own brand Bro Basics catering to the skincare needs of the teenage boy.
While most teenagers are playing the field or nose nestled in books, Karan has managed to make a dent with his endeavour.
In an in-depth conversation with BW Businessworld, he shares insights about his idea, the brand itself and his own personal journey.
What is Bro Basics all about and how did you get this started?
The Bro Basics is an all-natural skincare brand, specially created for teenage boys, by a teen himself!”
I had been searching for a face wash and deodorant (natural) for a few months before a summer holiday to London. Honestly, there was nothing of interest nor use in the Indian market. Either the products were for women, men or teenage girls, or a generic teenage brand but not for boys of my age.
While I was in London, I did some research and saw many options for me in Europe. This is when I realised that this is what I want to do, and when I spoke to my peers, they all agreed that we need something natural and good for our Indian skin. The caveat was that it should be affordable as well as we’re just teenagers.
So, I interned with an apothecary to learn extensively and hands-on with the finest of Indian essential oils and natural ingredients. I then spent several weeks with our family dermatologist who encouraged me to pursue this newfound passion. Research and survey amongst my peers gave me the extra boost and confidence to just do it.
With a small loan from my parents, lots of love and support from family and friends, I launched The Bro Basics.
The vision for Bro Basics is ‘An all-natural skincare line based on Ayurvedic recipes, made in India, for the young Indian and Global male’. And we firmly stand against misogyny.
Is Bro Basics all about having exceptional good looks or are you aligned with any social cause?
I would say the brand is all about feeling good and being confident. Boys and young men are concerned about their looks, acne, and body odour just like any teenage girl, but there is nothing out there for them.
We also have a social initiative, ‘The Bro Basics Groom India’, where we have conducted grooming workshops at NGO’s for underprivileged kids and have provided them with our products.
What do you think about your brand in the next 10 years? Will it be able to stick in the target market?
I hope so! I have been getting great feedback from everyone and everywhere which is very encouraging. The only challenge in front of me right now is to find a balance between my school and work.
Further, I am confident that we are here to stay and grow. I have got genuine feedback from boys as young as 11 and from teenagers ageing 19 or 20.
Currently, Bro Basics is selling at Kastros, a men’s cigar shop and lounge, where men in their 40s and 50s have been buying and coming back for more. So, as of now, I would stick to my target market, but I’m tempted to say maybe I will look at a men’s range in a few years.
The Market is huge, what sort of challenges have you faced as a teenager as a start up?
Balancing school and work are tough on a personal level!
As a teen in this market, to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur and for people to look at my product seriously I researched and worked on the ingredients, recipes and getting it approved and endorsed by dermatologists.
Many do not understand it’s not all about vanity, instead, it’s something young boys need and are looking for in terms of hygienic products made especially for Indian male skin.
What are the hygiene levels for men to maintain and how does your brand help them to achieve so?
Ideally, zero Body odour, no Acne, well Moisturised skin, no bacne, and well-maintained facial hair are hygiene levels to be maintained by boys as well as men.
We hone ancient Ayurveda to holistically tackle each issue with the finest natural ingredients and essential oils that work on physical skin with the added psychological benefits of these essential oils.
In our deodorants and jock itch cream, we add real silver as it is the best cooking and anti-odour ayurvedic ingredient. Also, we add green tea with top-quality activated charcoal to fight pollution and keep skin to look clean and refreshed.
How has the market responded?
We started with a word of mouth as the best promotion comes from a happy customer. I have social media accounts across several platforms including Facebook and Instagram. Several of my influencers friends also post for me. We hope slowly but surely the Bro basics will become a basic must for each bro out there.
What is your advice to teenagers looking to get in the start-up space?
For teenagers, I would suggest, ‘Find a passion that fuels the fire in your belly and go for it’. They can get their early funding from their friends and family as I did. I was very fortunate to get a few corporate orders, like from Grant Thornton, which gave me a confidence boost.
Further, we have been successfully selling in several dermatologist's clinics, salons, retail stores and spas, in Delhi NCR, and through our website.
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