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Emami enters online retail

Calcutta: Emami has picked up a 30 per cent stake in an online retailer that sells male grooming products, marking its entry into this fast growing segment.

Emami, which will have one member on the board of Helios Lifestyle (which owns the male grooming brand The Man Company), has valued the Gurgaon-based company at Rs 80 crore.

Director Harsh Agarwal, who spearheads acquisitions for Emami, said Helios would use the funds brought in by Emami to improve sales, marketing and promotion.

"The male grooming segment is valued at Rs 5,000 crore in India but growing rapidly. This partnership will give us entry to the premium end of this segment. Moreover, Emami will also get a toehold in online retail," Agarwal said.

Emami has always powered its business by acquisitions - it bought out Zandu Pharmaceuticals and Kesh King over the last nine years.

Agarwal said Helios, which clocks sales of Rs 2 crore a month now, will benefit from the experience Emami has in sales, marketing, distribution, logistics and R&D.

"The Man Company offers a range of men's grooming products in bath and body, beard management, shaving and perfumes category. The products are mostly sold online through the company's own website. All the products are based on essential oils and are free of harmful chemicals, a statement from Emami said.

Emami had ventured into the male grooming segment with the 'He' deodorant, which actor Hrithik Roshan endorses. The Man Company will provide a wider basket of products to Emami's stable.

Hitesh Dhingra, co-founder of Helios Lifestyle, said: "The male grooming segment is hugely untapped in India. Barring a few categories, men end up using products meant for women."

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