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India is opening up! Hitherto it has been considered a conservative nation where its taboo for one to talk about sexuality except in hush hush whispers and where such talk is more or less confined to the bedroom. The sexually adventurous are now being accoutered with a series of tantalizing products that are offered by India’s first online adult products store, www.Thatspersonal.com. For the adult products market pegged at Rs 1200-Rs. 1500 crores which is plagued by the privacy concerns of cautious customers, e commerce’s association with adult products seems to be a marriage made in digital heaven.
Speaking to Adgully about the venture, Samir Saraiya, Founder Digital E-Life and CEO of that’s personal.com said, “We have been witnessing tremendous response since the launch. The site had visitors from 121 countries within the first two weeks of launch and has around 25000 to 45,000 unique users a month. We want to build on this.” Furthermore what is interesting is that almost 20% of the customers are women and around 25% of the orders are coming from small cities, towns and districts.
Digital E-Life has entered into exclusive agreements with well-known global brands such as Shirley of Hollywood, the American lingerie brand, PJUR (Germany), Sensuva (US), Shunga (Canada), Male Basics (US) and Premium Bodywear (Germany). These brands continue to dominate the sales on the website as the country experiments
On asked if there are any government laws regulating the industry, Saraiya says they have followed the applicable local laws in order to launch the website. Indian laws prohibit the sale of all global sexual wellness products and hence their product portfolio follows two important criteria. One they market only products manufactured in India for sale in India. Second the company sells products that may be imported under the Open General License under the Export Import Policy prescribed by the Government of India and are duly cleared through customs by paying the relevant import duties and surcharges. Adds, Saraiya, “Since we comply with all the regulations put in place by the Government, we are not affected.”
The company is in talks with various local and global brands to increase the product offering that cater to various price points and sub-categories. Says Sariya, “We expect to grow by over 50% month on month. Our plan is to partner with other online portals to create a wider distribution for our products and also partner with offline channels to take our exclusive products mass market.
Given the sensitive nature of the industry that they are in, Thatspersonal.com has taken full steps to maintain confidentiality about clients and their purchases. Says Sariaya, “Confidentiality is the one thing we are most fanatical about. From using unmarked, unbranded boxes for delivery, to introducing Customer Self Pick-up in a few pin codes across the country, we are committed to maintaining discretion at every step of the shopping and delivery process. We don’t even use the name, ‘ThatsPersonal’ in our return address, instead we use our corporate name ‘Digital E-Life Pvt. Ltd.’ Even your credit card statements will have the latter mentioned as the merchant name.” Moreover employees of thatspersonal.com have to sign a bond that they will keep the names of clients a secret.
Given the fact that the company is a niche and nascent segment, the marketing strategy is fluid and evolves constantly. Adds Saraiya, “It is two-pronged: focusing on both brand and performance and is largely online-skewed.” The company will employ a mix of social media, PR, SEM and word of mouth alongwith display and co-marketing initiatives for driving sales.
The company aims to close the year with a turnover of Rs 5 crores. Although it expects competition to set in very shortly, it is aiming high and wants to be the leader in the personal product space for the next decade.