Grooming brand waxes lyrical about growth opportunity across India

27 Mar, 2024
Tony Quested
Premium men’s grooming brand Captain Fawcett is set to expand into India from its King’s Lynn base and expects the opportunity to grow to a six-figure revenue return in the next few years.
Captain Fawcett founder Richie Finney. Image courtesy – Captain Fawcett.

The Department for Trade and Business helped Captain Fawcett make the move and is encouraging other SMEs to take advantage of the huge trade opportunity that India represents.

The range being targeted at the Indian market by the Norfolk company includes moustache waxes, beard balms, hair pomades, shaving products and parfums. The industry was worth around $2.1 billion in 2023.

Captain Fawcett was founded by Richie Finney following two decades working in the British film industry. After making moustache wax at home for personal use, his jars made their way onto movie sets where make-up artists were impressed by their staying power, and the brand began to grow to include beard oil, beard balm and shaving creams.

Already exporting to 41 different countries from Iceland to New Zealand and as a frequent visitor to India, Finney was early to spot the potential: an economy on track to be the third largest in the world by 2027 with 95 million middle class consumers by 2035 looking to buy high-quality, British goods.

After visiting India several times to research the market size and audience, the business was supported by David Earp, International Trade Advisor with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), who helped with developing a launch strategy and access to grant funding.

As a result, Captain Fawcett has now sourced in-country distribution. Founder Finney said: “India is a magnificent country I have visited many times, so the notion blossomed from my profound personal affection for the place and its people, reciprocated by my chum Viraj Singh of the London based Jodhpur Company.

“We had already worked closely to develop Captain Fawcett’s Maharajah Signature Series range, paying homage to the intricately intertwined cultural heritage of India and Britain.

“It weaves together threads of connection and influence that shape the history of both nations, in a style that befits the contemporary international gentleman.

“Captain Fawcett has already collaborated with the Jodhpur Company to create the new ‘Maharajah’ Signature Series range, designed to celebrate India’s princely history, which should prove popular in the country.

“We introduced the Maharajah range at Cosmoprof in Mumbai at the start of 2020. With the added challenge of the pandemic, there followed four years of extremely hard work and negotiation to secure distribution.

Courtesy – Captain Fawcett

“With such promising opportunities for mutual economic growth, getting an early foothold is crucial. Working with the Fawcett team, the assistance of the Department for Business and Trade has been invaluable to help make that happen.

“From Mumbai to Delhi, Rajasthan to Tamil Nadu, this is a pivotal moment for Captain Fawcett and the future of Anglo-Indian trade in general. We are hugely looking forward to expanding into one of our favourite countries.”

Captain Fawcett is one of more than 7,800 UK SMEs already exporting to India across sectors as diverse as wind power to cybersecurity, agriculture to film and gaming. For other SMEs interested in exploring opportunities in India, the Department for Business and Trade offers free workshops, advice, contacts and trade missions.

Lord Offord of Garvel CVO – Minister for Exports said: “It’s fantastic to see Captain Fawcett expanding the business further with support from DBT and exporting to India, which is expected to be the world’s third largest economy by 2027 and have a market of 95 million middle-class consumers by 2035.

“The brand’s success is a prime example of one of the more than 7,800 UK SMEs already exporting to India, taking advantage of access to a huge market of consumers looking to buy high quality, British goods.”

• You can find more information about selling your goods and services to India at