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The Hindu - Business Line (July 17, 2014)

The sexual wellness category just got a little competitive with India’s largest e-commerce player Flipkart launching it on its portal. Until now, it was the forte of certain small niche players such as ohmysecrets.com, tradus.com and IMbesharam.com, who have explored the potential of this highly unorganized and untapped market.

However, other online marketplaces such as Snapdeal and Amazon are also selling a few products in this category. For Flipkart, the entry into the category is to tap these unorganized players, for whom selling sex-related products is still seen as a taboo, experts feel. Also buying such products online is comfortable for Indian women and men, who are opening up to new ideas of intimacy.

 

Potential goldmine

E-commerce experts peg the Indian market for adult sexual products at about Rs. 1,500 crore, which is expected to double by 2016 and touch about Rs. 8,700 crore by 2020. Vinodh Reddy, founder, Ohmysecrets says, “The online market today is growing and the sexual wellness category will see a boom here as customers can shop from the privacy of the home. Investors are watching the numbers and the scope for future growth.”

He said that going forward, his company can also be a seller for Flipkart. It already sells on Amazon and Snapdeal. “More companies coming into this category will widely and quickly reach consumers because of their marketing bandwidth and it will be a great support to all the players” Reddy added.

The portal sells merchandise ranging from sexual enhancement products and edibles to massage oils, gels, lotions and lingerie among other personal products.

 

 

 

Another portal IMbesharam.com not only caters to Indians customers, but NRIs across the world. It attracts over 15 lakh visitors every month with an average billing of Rs. 3,900 per order.

“The larger investors are waiting and watching. Even though they may be attracted to this segment, they are apprehensive about its sustainability due to speculations concerning the legal aspects as well as public perception,” remarks Raj Armani, COO, IMbesharam, adding that the segment will witness huge funding in the coming months.

 

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