Raj Armani, COO, Besharam, An Adult Webstore
Raj Armani is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Besharam, an adult web store, and adult wellness brand. Besharam is a Hindi word that translates to “shameless” in English.
India is the second-largest populated country in the world. Yet, sex is considered to be taboo. A practice, that is a part of every human being, is supposed to be discussed only behind closed doors or with medical professionals. Pleasure is mostly considered to be a sin by many. However, what one fails to realize is how it might boost relationships. Also, the tight scrutiny over it leads to several crimes.
Today, we discuss the issue with our guest, who is the founder of an adult web store.
About Raj Armani
Raj Armani is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Besharam, an adult web store, and adult wellness brand. Besharam is a Hindi word that translates to “shameless” in English. Raj Armani has worked in fashion, advertising, food and beverage, and telecom industry before starting his entrepreneurial journey.
Raj explains his vision to spread the message of accepting yourself without fearing outside stigma and judgment. He says, “Besharam, may literally translate to shameless, but it is a summary of extension of ourselves. In India, your pleasure is looked down upon. We are the voice of modern India.”
He talks about the journey of starting the wellness brand as an attempt to democratize sex and pleasure in India. Raj states that India is the second-largest consumer of porn, thus it is ironic that sex is a taboo in our country.
The web store is a medium to showcase the products that Indians can access openly.
Unlike the challenges of funding that the startups generally face, Raj mentions that they were more worried about the legal complications. They went live in July 2013.
He further talks about the challenges they faced in imports. Raj talks about the situations when people at customs duty offices applied moral filters before allowing the products to go. However, he shares that there is a demand for the products because they managed to get the audience on the website without real-time marketing.
Trends Amongst Indians
Raj feels that the major change of Indians becoming open to the topic came in 2016-17, as the movies speaking about the subject were released. He says, “Though, those movies had a different purpose to achieve, it led to open-mindedness.”
He also talks about the trends of genders expressing their openness to products. Raj mentions, “Earlier, females were mostly visitors and less of actual buyers. Post this, we saw the rise of female buyers. Pleasure is something no longer to look down upon, it is something that people are embracing. It is a human need like hunger.”
Urban Vs. Semi-Urban Cities
Raj states that the demand has become more from tier two and three cities because of the scale, but the kind of products differ between metro cities and tier two and three cities.
He mentions, “What is interesting is that purchasing power of tier two is much higher than tier one.”
More About Indian Trends
Raj lists down the three categories which depict the rising conversation around the topic amongst Indians:
- Video Content
- Cam sites
Raj ends the conversation by sharing his views on the cultural impact of conversation related to sex, calling it the framework of thinking.
Raj has over 26 years of entrepreneurial experience in fashion, advertisement, marketing, F&B, and cellular telephony. Before launching Besharam, he had moderate success or failed in most earlier ventures, but if not for the learning and knowledge from them, he would not have been in place to fight the government of the World’s largest democracy, archaic traditions, and the social judgments as faced by Indians in India.
He is also an avid sportsperson having won quite a few shiny medals in Badminton, travels quite often to save money on office rent and wants to fly to space soon.
Lately, he has been shy with public speaking, though a TedX opportunity awaits him, he is quite outspoken when you challenge his abilities and intellect.
He works and lives in Atlanta, USA, and operates Besharam, an E-commerce company that markets to India, while managing a team spread in 3 continents and 4 countries.