India Inc is Moving Towards Gender-diverse & Inclusive Products

Iconic Savlon decided to make the brand more inclusive in 2018 and decided to roll out packs in Braille in order to help their visually challenged consumers with the advertisement showing a blind woman using the product to clean a cut on her finger from chopping vegetables. Recently, FMCG company, RSH Global which also owns Joy, a personal care brand, launched a sensitive skincare line aimed at acid-attack victims to cater to their skin needs. What is being called “purpose-led branding”, more companies in India are seeking to become a cut above the rest by catering to “unconventional” customers, ensuring that everyone feels included.

If Indian companies want to remain relevant, they must catch up to the times

“This is our way of contributing to the lives of people who have been affected by this heinous crime. The idea is not to be sympathetic, but enable them to lead a normal life,” said Sunil Agarwal, Chairman RSH Global. There is now a strong trend among Indian companies to become more diverse and inclusive and if they want to remain relevant in a country that has so many young people, they must catch up to the times. Brands like Fastrack has also launched a line of gender-neutral perfumes, while cosmetic giant MAC also released a unisex makeup line to show consumers that makeup is for everyone, not just women. New startups like Super Smelly are also disrupting the personal care industry by catering to the skincare needs of everyone even the LGBTQI community because don’t we all have skin that needs some tender loving care. 

Startups are giving old companies a run for their money

“Our brand caters to the GenZ who understand inclusivity. Therefore, we have tried to break stereotypes.” There is the myth that if you are a man, you should not be using skincare because skincare is feminine and the brand wants to break this stereotype. Brands are also rethinking branding and packaging which is what makes people want to buy or shun the product. Hence, a lot of thought goes behind making the product inclusive and more importantly gender-neutral. Inclusion has been quite the buzzword in the west with brands like Nike launching the Nike Pro Hijab and Rihanna Fenty Beauty releasing a whopping 40 shades for its foundation so that people of every skin tone can find their perfect match. Back in India, there is still a lot of catching up to do, since people today cannot find their perfect shade of foundation from any Indian brands and are still resorting to international ones. However, new startups are giving the old brigade a run for their money and attracting a younger demographic, all while standing up to conventions and this is what is needed today.

Image credit: Wavemaker

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