Discrimination is present at every level of society, some we know, others we choose to ignore. There may not be any specific laws prohibiting beards in Malaysia, but some employers do enforce a “no-facial hair” policy within their organisations.
Discrimination against bearded individuals in the workplace fueled the start of a brand that stands against it: Beard.On.
Jeremy Devarajoo, a former finance manager at a local bank, founded Beard.On after being told by his boss that his beard “had to go.”
A remark that sparked a fire within
We all know how many people still believe that beards aren’t part of a professional look. Many people are still advised to shave before job interviews to this day.
Sure, if you’re in the food business and handling food on a regular basis, it probably makes sense to go Kojak, but what about others?
Jeremy worked primarily at his desk, away from other people. “To be honest, I was surprised because I wasn’t meeting clients and I only worked with internal people to get my work done,” he expressed. “At first, yes, I felt discriminated against, but then I understood that they did not understand the beard culture.”
Like all bearded men, Jeremy takes pride in growing a nice beard. So naturally when he felt unwelcome in his workplace, he quit his job to launch his own business, not only to sell men’s grooming products, but also to educate people about beard culture.
The root of the business idea
Jeremy wanted to provide high-quality grooming products that actually work. “We believe that every man should have access to what he needs to maximise his potential and put his best face forward,” he envisaged. He focused on creating beard oil, hair serum, and other related products that could promote hair growth.
During the R&D phase, Jeremy had help from his wife. His sister, who is a certified beautician, also joined. They consulted tutorials online and experimented extensively to arrive at the best possible formula.
“We use only the highest quality natural ingredients for our products which we source from all over the world,” the entrepreneur explained. “We’ve been in the market for over five years and we have been improving our products [almost] to perfection.”
Knowing the significance of market research and the need for customer validation, Jeremy and his team conducted interviews with bearded men in order to collect responses and obtain feedback on whether or not to proceed with specific plans. And, fortunately, the results were clear: they had chosen the correct course of action for the market.
Beard.On’s Growth Journey
Beard.On initially advertised its products on popular local e-commerce giants such as Lazada and Shopee. “They were the biggest online marketplace at the moment, and the cost of entry was close to nothing,” Jeremy stated. “They already have millions of customers, which means we can introduce our products to them.”
During early days, They sold approximately 200 to 250 products per month, which was roughly RM12K-RM15K in sales. The team had established that as their monthly target in order to maintain the sales volume.
However, since the pandemic hit, the company has been forced to adapt by switching to survival mode. “We had spent heavily on R&D, marketing, and other stuff. Yes, we are profitable, but weren’t close to our target yet”, shared the founder.
Jeremy also often collaborates with local celebrities to gain brand and product awareness. In the past, Beard.On has been promoted by Traxx FM’s DoubleD and stand-up comedians such as Prakash Daniel and Kevin Jay, all of whom are in line with their target audience (people growing beards).
Since Beard.On relies heavily on its online presence, it devotes considerable time to creating online blogs committed to educational beard-related content. For instance, some of the content discusses the benefits of beard balm and beard oil, as well as how to stimulate the growth of beards.
“We also use our social media platforms to educate society,” Jeremy said.
Recognising the value of search engine optimisation (SEO), Jeremy understands that blogs can assist potential customers in finding Beard.On more easily when conducting a Google search. Simultaneously, he is constantly looking for ways to improve his search performance over time.
Having recently launched their website in the past year, they can now deliver their products confidently to other parts of the world.
Source: Vulcan Post
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