Bengaluru: In the ever-evolving landscape of grooming and lifestyle products, few brands manage to strike the delicate balance between functionality, innovation, and a distinctive touch of elegance. Enter Rohit Bachhawat and Ankit Bachhawat, the dynamic duo behind Litmus, a trailblazing company that has taken the industry by storm with its exceptional range of grooming and lifestyle offerings. In this exclusive interview, I sit sit down with the visionary co-founders to unravel the story behind Litmus and gain insights into their journey of shaping a brand that transcends mere functionality to become a lifestyle statement.
For The Balcony Stories, as I delve into the minds of Rohit and Ankit, the architects of Litmus, I explore the inspiration behind their venture, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the principles that guide their commitment to quality and innovation. Join me on a journey through the entrepreneurial landscape as I uncover the nuances of Litmus, a brand that seamlessly blends the art of grooming with a lifestyle philosophy, creating products that resonate with the modern consumer’s desire for both utility and luxury.
In this candid conversation, the co-founders share their vision for Litmus, their approach to product development, and the values that underpin the brand’s success. From the inception of the company to its current standing as a symbol of refined living, Rohit and Ankit’s story is not just about grooming products; it’s a narrative of passion, resilience, and a commitment to crafting an exceptional lifestyle experience for their discerning clientele. Join me as I explore the world of Litmus, where grooming isn’t just a routine but a celebration of individuality, and lifestyle is an art form curated with precision and care.
Could you provide an overview of Litmus and its primary services or products?
Litmus is a design and technology company that aims to enrich consumers’ lives by creating premium yet affordable lifestyle products that offer true value to its consumers. Founded by second-generation entrepreneur duo – Rohit Bachhawat and Ankit Bachhawat, their mission is simple yet profound: making technology accessible and enjoyable for everyone in everyday use.
Rohit is an alumna of SP Jain School of Global Management and has worked in the retail industry across India & UAE, helping technology brands boost their retail presence in these markets. Ankit is an alumna of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore & Christ University.
Rohit and Ankit together have founded Source Right – a leading aggregator and distributor of technology products in India, in partnership with his brother Ankit Bachhawat in 2011. The business helped them understand consumer sentiments in the lifestyle technology space in India, and later helped them start an affordable consumer technology brand of their own: Litmus in 2020, during the peak of pandemic.
Tell us about Litmus.
We are a lifestyle technology brand that’s focused on developing products with high technology specifications and best-in-class built quality.
We currently offer a diverse range of technology assisted grooming products catering to both men and women, ensuring that everyone has access to top-notch tools for self-expression and self-care. We believe that grooming should be a universal pleasure, and our products reflect that ethos.
While we have started with the grooming sector, we intend to add more categories to product offering.
- Men’s Grooming products: Hair Trimmers, Beard Trimmers, Body Trimmers
- Women’s Grooming products: Hair Straighteners, Hair Curlers
- Lifestyle Grooming products: Garment steamers and more
What inspired the creation of Litmus, and what were the initial goals of the company? What has been the response for your best-selling men’s grooming line?
While we both got into entrepreneurship 12 years ago to take our 35-year existing business to the next level, we wanted to start a lifestyle brand that offers top-notch technology products. We started research on the sector in 2020 collecting consumer data and understanding consumer behaviour and zeroed in on the grooming sector to start with.
The response to our products has been good and this has led to us expanding our product offerings from 2 SKUs to a portfolio of 18 SKUs as on today. We are also working on 6 new launches which are scheduled in the coming months. I believe the reason we could make inroads in this segment is because we focussed on solving very real and practical challenges that consumers face in this category.
The first product we launched (LITMUS Stubble Pro Corded and Cordless Waterproof Beard Trimmer with Digital LED Display and Fast Charging, 60 Mins Run Time) was built after a lot of research and design inputs. It was India’s first digital display Smart trimmer with Length setting indicator, battery and charging indicator and cleaning reminder. It also offers a length setting upto 22mm making it one of its kind product in the industry.
Only through word of mouth and customer references and reviews we were able to sell out our entire stock within the first few months. It is still our highest selling product.
What is it like working together as brothers?
It is fun but it can also be challenging at times because we know each other so well. Sometimes we speak for each other and other times we can talk endlessly about business ideas into the wee hours of the morning, much to the annoyance of our families.
We have segregated our job roles at work too. While I take care of product Design and Development along with the overall brand strategy of Litmus, Ankit is leading the sales and marketing of the brand.
And we both hustle for the business every day.
In what ways does Litmus differentiate itself from other existing brands in the market?
We define ourselves on how we conceptualise a particular product. The whole idea is, that we start from a grassroot level of what a consumer would need. We do an analysis about how a particular product is going to solve a specific problem. Designing plays a very important role in Litmus. We spend a considerable time making sure that we get our ideas right in terms of how and what the product has to be compared to the problem it intends to solve.
Second, the build quality is very important for us. The product performance, the technical specification and the input that we use in designing the whole product must resonate with our customer. We aim to not only meet but exceed expectations. We work not only to satisfy our customer but our aim is customer delight.
Our vision is making consumers realise that anything coming from the house of Litmus will always be of premium built quality with best-in-class tech specs along with also being affordable.
That is our USP.
What is the one insight you worked with when developing the products?
Consumer experience and practical insight is what drives us to develop and perfect a product.
Can you provide insights into your best-selling products for men and women?
Surprisingly, there were very few insights that were available that could give us a head start. So, we decided to take in consumer feedback and refine our product across all categories and solve practical challenges for the consumers. This led to a lot of interesting insights:
One, since this is a grooming category, consumers were very conscious of the kinds of products they are using on their skin especially in intimate areas. The blade played a very critical role in that. Not just its quality but the ability to clean it in an easy and convenient manner was essential to consumers.
Second, the usage was driven by battery. The battery backup was a very big challenge which took 8 hours for charge with a very short usage time. All our products come with quick charge and a much longer usage time. More than the product, we focused on the whole solution, and it led to many more innovations across all categories that consumers love.
What is your vision for Litmus over the next five years, and how do you plan to achieve this vision?
In the next 5 years, our intention is to introduce more products across all three categories and establish an offline presence as well to reinforce our online success. We are also subsequently working on new products and we intend to be market innovators in the category that we operate in.
When will you launch an all women’s line of grooming products?
Very soon. 😊