India is a land of ironies and paradoxes. On one hand, it takes pride in leaving a high watermark in erotology with Vatsyayana’s magnum opus- Kamasutra while on the other, carnal or romantic subjects are considered as a major social and moral proscription.
Here’s a startup which challenges this taboo and aspires to make Indians comfortable with their corporeal needs.
Founded in September 2015 by Rahul Haria and Vikas Dudia, Mumbai-based Yours Secretly is an online shopping portal which catalogs adult products that one desires to buy but can’t, sometimes out of social embarrassment and most often due to unavailability.
Commenting on the vision of the company, the team said, “We specialize in products that would help couples take a pause from their busy stressful life and rekindle romance by the way of experimentation and help turn their fantasies into reality. We have a diverse range of international products like bridal and special occasion lingerie and innerwear, role play costumes, sensual massage oils and candles, lubricants and other personal products”.
They added that customer privacy is of paramount importance to them as the products are very personal in nature. From packaging to delivery, the entire process is coveted as the company wants its customers to celebrate romance without being fearful of societal embarrassment. From cart boxes to tamper proof plastic bags, the company avoids branding just to maintain discretion of its clients who have all rights to practice secrecy.
Yours Secretly has tied up with various delivery partners to provide discreet delivery. It is very soon to launch “Dynamic Pick up” service. As per this delivery option, the pickup location would be a public place or a popular landmark of the customer’s choice. Customers who do not want the product to be delivered at their home nor they have time or means to pick it up from nearby delivery center, can choose Dynamic Pickup. The service will be rolled out within the next two months in 10 major metros.
For payments, one can either use a credit card or avail the COD option.
As a step further in the direction to maintain secrecy, all the transactions made by credit card would will reflect the company’s corporate name and not “Yours Secretly”.
Yours Secretly is directly competing with That’s Personal and IM Besharam.
The startup is currently self-funded. But according to the team, it would be soon looking to raise external fund.
It claims to have around 10,000 monthly unique visitors. Its average ticket size is Rs.1500/-. Men’s and women’s inner wear (Lingerie) and sensual Massage products are its top selling products.
Challenges Faced in Running Such an Unconventional Business
There are significant challenges around interpretation of law permitting the sale of adult products in India along with the Indian Customs Regulations. It requires a lot of patience, explanation and documentation to legally import these products.
Given that the segment considered a taboo, marketing and creating customer awareness is one of major challenges, the startup is currently facing. It is investing a lot of money in educating couples.
Future Plans and Growth Strategies
Elaborating on the matter, the team says, “Being a company that calls itself Yours Secretly, we ensure that we deliver our products in the most discreet manner. We will be taking another step forward in that direction by providing the option of “Dynamic Pickup”. Further, we intend to increase our catalog to include more European Brands. We would focus on educating Indians on why they should buy these products and help them identify right product for them”.
They added that the Adult Products market expected to grow from Rs. 2450 crores in 2016 to Rs 8700 crores in 2020.