Losing Sight of Your Foundations Can Hinder Your Company’s Growth [Podcast #87]

There are times when starting a business can be difficult, especially if you want to build something for which you need to create a demand. As our guest in this episode, Sid Baveja explains, Humanery is different in that they deal in a market where demand and stigma are both high: men’s self-care products. And, with a decade of experience in the startup industry, Sid’s first enterprise is doing very well. Humanery owes its success to staying true to its business foundations, as Sid attributes it to “doing the basics brilliantly.”

Founded in 2021, Humanery is a men’s self-care and grooming marketplace platform where customers can access high-quality men’s beauty, skincare, grooming, haircare, fragrance and wellness products from a single place. Their easy-to-navigate website and no-nonsense guides allow a smooth experience for men in the self-care world. Humanery’s marketplace has exceptional brands all over the world, thus bringing together the “premium and independent” brands with customers.

The Network Effect

Even with his extensive experience in the startup world, Humanery is Sid’s first venture as a founder. Naturally, we opened our conversation with how he decided to launch the business and how his expertise in marketplace and platform businesses work aided his thought process when it came to building his own business. “Being able to found a business in an area where you have prior experience and have seen the kinds of mistakes that can be made and can be avoided is definitely helpful,” explains Sid. 

Later, we talked about the transferable dynamics of marketplaces. Sid kindly shared his insights about these platforms that bring sellers and buyers together across many industries. He also explained what the “network effect” was, which, he claims, is the most foundational dynamic that allowed them to grow their platform incrementally.

Fighting the Stigma Around Men’s Self-Care

Sid says that their aim is to “move the narrative forward towards more inclusive self-care for men.” He explained how they identified what both sides of their platform lacked, which are the buyers and sellers, and how they build a business around it.  

We also touched on the changing notions around gender and how it affects the stigma around men’s self-care and grooming products. In that regard, we asked about the market demand and Sid’s thoughts about the growth trajectory of these products. Sid mentioned that it has become and is becoming more and more acceptable for men to invest in self-care products as well as seek mental health therapy and create appealing and comfortable home environments. Whilst the acceptance gradually rises, Sid pinpoints the pandemic as a cornerstone as more people turned to self-care during lockdowns. “There’s no price you can put on that feeling of feeling incredible,” he claims.

Business Foundations

Then, we turned our attention to Sid’s position as the founder and CEO. Some businesses are more finance driven whilst some can be marketing, branding or community driven. When it comes to the hierarchy of these elements, we wanted to know how Sid approached Humanery’s branding. Moreover, we asked Sid how he delegates his responsibilities and what roles he assumes as the founder.

On the subject, Sid notes that his primary responsibility is hiring and building a team, so he details the qualities he looks for in potential team members. He also mentions the differences between the cultures of Silicon Valley and London around hiring.

Having a team that is invested and clear on Humanery’s foundations seems to be key to Sid, thus he explains their business foundations that they are focused on. “The foundations mean everything and you can never stop investing in your foundations,” is his advice on how to make a business tick.

Lastly, we didn’t let go of Sid without inquiring about their traffic and investments. If you want to know in detail how Humanery drives its traffic and what kind of investments they got and are planning to get you can check the episode above or from the link below.