Pulse

Opening up on those uncomfortable conversations on what men want

PT Jyothi Datta | Updated on March 19, 2020 Published on March 14, 2020

Online ventures that have come up recently seek to do just that

If Women’s Day has just been celebrated, then should men’s health and well-being be left behind?

In the last three odd months, not one but two ventures, Misters.in and boldcare.in, have emerged online to address issues involving “men’s confidence” and “men’s sexual health and wellness”, respectively.

Their paths run parallel, as both ventures set out to mainstream concerns that men usually refrain from talking about.

Explaining the why, Rahul Krishnan, a co-founder at Bold Care and its marketing head, says, “ünlike women, who undertake regular visits to a gynaecologist with their health issues, men are unlikely to talk about their problems and usually think it will go away with time.” But sometimes, a common sounding complaint not only gets in the way of a quality life but, worse, could link back to an underlying health problem that needs to be identified and treated, he says.

Describing how men’s health issues were addressed in the past, Suhas Misra, a co-founder of Misters, says they were wall paintings alongside railway tracks, and preyed on self-doubt. Not much has changed. Health and wellness issues are still seen as a questioning of a person’s “manhood”, he says, adding that sometimes impersonal technology can, in fact, be more human.

The team at Misters.in

 

A visitor to Misters’ has a set of questions to answer and that replicates the conversation that happens in a doctor’s chamber, and without anyone being judgemental on the individual’s problems, adds Misters co-founder, Gaurav Gupta. Bold Care’s Krishnan says customers get online consultations that may lead to a product being prescribed and a possible sale of a product from their site. And while the aim is to provide the entire package in terms of consultation, diet, advice, etc, if the problem reflects a deeper medical problem, the individual will be directed to consult a doctor offline.

The fledgeling company manufactures three off-patent medicines relevant to the segment it addresses, including sildenefil citrate, the erectile dysfunction drug popular through its brandname Viagra, originally sold by Pfizer. The products are packed in anonymous, unmarked packs and protect the privacy of the customer, he says. They also have a tie-up with a logistics partner to have the products delivered. “The idea is to give the individual a holistic solution.”

Internationally as well, portals like forhims.com and getroman.com speak to men on issues involving their health and general wellness, ranging across erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety, skin care, hair fall, cold sores, etc

Misters’ Suhas says their aim is to take away the stigma and address self-doubt issues with scientific answers and products that work. Taking care to address the legalities of making medicines, selling them and keeping the venture at arm’s length from doctors who consult on their sites, representatives of both ventures are optimistic on the response they are getting from men. And while it’s early days yet, both ventures have lined up plans to get the conversation started with more more men across the country, be it the big cities or in small towns.

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Published on March 14, 2020
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