Adult toys: Bold business in coy India

How many times have you gone to the drug store and hesitated to ask for a pack of condoms because a nosy neighbor happened to be standing next to you or an elderly aunty was looking curiously up at you? For a country that pioneered the art of sexual education and seduction, we Indians are a little too conservative when it comes to sex.

This secrecy revolving around intimacy is exactly what entrepreneur Samir Saraiya took advantage of. He quit his regular 9-5 job at an MNC to start his online retail venture firm, Digital E-Life. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo; Saraiya talks about his adult lifestyle product website thatspersonal.com


Did you know: India contributes between 5% to 10% of the global searches for adult products.


Thatspersonal.com is India’s first legal online retailer for adult products. This online retail store offers not just condoms but a host of products that would cater to your fantasies and fetishes; products one would otherwise find difficult to purchase physically. The website also assures complete privacy and discreet packaging that is tamper proof and unmarked.

You can also go and pick up the package yourself from various pick up points that have tied up with the website incase you don’t want the products delivered to your home (Imagine your kids or parents opening up the package; Yikes!)

Click here to view some of their products

 Are sex toys legal in India?

India is silent on sale of sex toys and apparels. The concern arises more from the manner in which these sex toys/apparels and related products are displayed and exhibited for sale, publicly rather than perhaps their actual sale. “Of course, this does not mean that a pornographic magazine or a movie can be freely sold or distributed in India simply by camouflaging its physical appearance,” says Saraiya.

The fact that sex toys/ articles and such related products ‘carry the impression’ of being ‘obscene’, any commercial dealing in such articles always carries with it a certain element of risk of attracting Section292. 

The laws in India relating to sex and sexology (human sexual interests, behaviour and functions, etc.) are not as evolved as in the Western and European countries. We still follow over a 150 year old law that was drafted by a man who lived over 1000 miles from India (Thomas Macaulay). So definitely there is a lot of change to be desired, given that Indian society(like any other society in the world) is dynamic and has since evolved over a period of time.

How did he set up shop? 

Saraiya did some basic research on the availability of adult products in India, he then got in touch with global brands that sell sex products like Pjur, Wet, Shunga, Elegant Moments, Male Basics, and so on to negotiate an exclusive agreement to sell their products in India through his website, thatspersonal.com

What were the challenges faced while setting up? 

My biggest issue starting up was the social stigma issue that I had. I could not tell my family and friends what business I was getting in to. Today I am super comfortable to tell people. The challenge is to understand what the Indian market wants in terms of product range, price points, complexity regarding the flavours involved, level of apparel risqué, etc. We are constantly learning and doing deep analytics to learn the Indian consumers tastes and preferences.

"Convincing capitalists to invest was easy; it was telling my family and friends my plan that was difficult and awkward"



Will there be a boom in online adult stores soon?

Saraiya's research shows that about 100 million Indian would be interested in such products. The industry is worth Rs 1,200-1,500 crore and he expects it to grow to Rs 2,450 crore in 2016 and Rs 8,700 crore in 2020, spurred by a rise in the number of people who want to spice up their sex lives. 

With strict laws in place is marketing the product one of your biggest challenges?

Marketing is not a challenge today because we are doing perfectly legal products and we are doing only online marketing cause there are almost 140 million internet subscribers which is a big enough audience for us.

While the website will not be able to offer sex toys like vibrators as their sale is prohibited in India; it does offer a wide range of erotic games and costumes which are not easily available in retail stores. This may be the start to a new online business in India soon.  Popular online retailers such as Flipkart, Jabong and Zivame now started to offer exotic lingerie and one or two website offering adult products, are on the verge of being launched.

Is India finally ready to embrace its sexuality? Post your views here

Latest News

  • Oil jumps 8 pct, biggest three-day surge since 1990
    Oil jumps 8 pct, biggest three-day surge since 1990

    Oil futures soared on Monday for a third consecutive day, rising more than 8 percent, as a downward revision of U.S. crude production data and OPEC's readiness to talk with other producers helped extend the biggest three-day price surge in 25 years. U.S. crude oil prices have skyrocketed more than $10 a barrel in three days, erasing the month's declines as a series of relatively small-scale supply disruptions and output risks prompted bearish traders to take profits on short positions, which …

  • Stocks drop on Fed concerns; U.S. oil jumps 8.8 pct
    Stocks drop on Fed concerns; U.S. oil jumps 8.8 pct

    World stock indexes fell on Monday as a Federal Reserve official's comments added to investor concerns the bank may start raising interest rates in September, while oil prices jumped more than 8 percent, ... …

  • Wall Street's worst month in three years ends on a sour note
    Wall Street's worst month in three years ends on a sour note

    Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Saturday said U.S. inflation would likely rebound as pressure from the dollar fades, allowing the Fed to raise interest rates gradually. Many analysts took Fischer's comments as a sign the Fed would raise rates in September, instead of December. "What you see in the market today is caused by Fischer's comments over the weekend. …

  • Gold rebounds on oil rally, awaits U.S. rate hike clues
    Gold rebounds on oil rally, awaits U.S. rate hike clues

    NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Monday, bouncing up from session lows as oil prices rallied and the U.S. dollar fell, after bullion felt earlier pressure on indications the Federal Reserve may still raise interest rates this year, despite recent market turmoil. Spot gold (XAU=) was up 0.04 percent to $1,134 an ounce at 3:20 p.m. EDT (1920 GMT), and was on track to close August up 3.5 percent, the strongest monthly gain since January after worries over a slowing Chinese economy …

  • Online event on CSR funds for skill development on Wednesday

    New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy will on Wednesday hold an online interaction with top CEOs on ways in which Indian companies' corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds can be used for skill development projects, said an official statement. The event, held in partnership with the World Bank, will be on 'Google+ Hangout', according to a release by the union skill development and entrepreneurship ministry on Monday. Chairpersons …

  • RBI asked to reverse Rs.1,274.21 crore deduction from Telangana

    New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) The union finance ministry on Monday asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to reverse the deduction of Rs.1,274.21 crore from the the account of Telangana as the action was "not in consonance with the principle of co-operative federalism. The RBI had deducted the amount from the principal account of Telangana held by the apex bank in response to an income tax notice, towards the tax liability of Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation Limited (APBCL). "After careful …

  • India plans to amend RBI Act by Feb to set up monetary panel - officia …
    India plans to amend RBI Act by Feb to set up monetary panel - officia …

    The government plans to change the Reserve Bank of India Act before the end of the fiscal year so it can set up a new committee to direct the country's monetary policy, retiring Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told Reuters. The committee would be comprised of appointees from the government, the Reserve Bank of India, and independent members appointed by the government, but any changes have to be approved by the parliament, which has blocked other government bills. On Monday, Prime Minister …

  • Ratan Tata invests in data analytics firm

    Bengaluru, Aug 31 (IANS) Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata invested an unspecified amount in the US-based Infinite Analytics, a predictive data analytics firm from MIT, with sales operations in India, the company said on Monday. "We have received funding from Tata to expand our predictive analytics technology to verticals beyond retail and e-commerce," the three-year-old analytics firm said in a statement from Boston. Existing investors like Nikhil Vora of Sixth Sense Ventures and new …

DON'T MISS

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    22.05-0.10-0.45%
    SUZLON.BO
    60.00+0.05+0.08%
    HDIL.BO
    24.80+0.15+0.61%
    SPICEJET.BO
    60.70-0.35-0.57%
    TATAPOWER.BO
    67.90+0.35+0.52%
    JINDALSTEL.BO
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    116.75+28.75+32.67%
    PALRED.BO
    52.00+12.25+30.82%
    HATHWAY6.BO
    409.50+68.20+19.98%
    ALPHAGEO.BO
    124.20+20.25+19.48%
    DSKULKARNI.BO
    1,180.35+152.60+14.85%
    HDFCBANK6.BO
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    12.00-27.50-69.62%
    BSX.BO
    33.60-8.35-19.90%
    AJIL.BO
    30.75-7.25-19.08%
    LOOKS.BO
    13.40-3.05-18.54%
    ASISL.BO
    31.50-6.70-17.54%
    MAHASTEEL.BO

QUOTES

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

Yahoo Cricket