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Halal Industry

Indonesian halal cosmetics company behind Wardah launches men’s skincare products

JAKARTA – Indonesian halal cosmetics manufacturer PT Paragon Technology and Innovation, the company behind the popular brand Wardah, has officially entered the men’s skincare and grooming market.

Paragon is pouncing on what it sees as a growing niche in men’s grooming in Indonesia with five products targeting the 18 to 40 age group.

The new Kahf brand for men will debut with face wash, hair and body wash, beard serum and oil, deodorant, and eau de toilette.

“Men nowadays, especially the younger generation, they are more selective in choosing skincare products, and some of them are actually seeking halal, natural products that do not irritate their skin. We see this as our opportunity,” Paragon CEO Salman Subakat told Salaam Gateway.

The brand name “Kahf” was chosen from the Surah, or chapter, in the Quran that highlights a group of youth fighting for tayyib, or kindness, said Salman.

The products were formulated, tested and manufactured for all Asian men, he said.  

“We took months to formulate the products along with our R&D team, market researchers, and testing our natural ingredients like Moroccan mint, that is equipped by our dermatologist with technology that we call hydro balance,” said Salman.

Amalia Sarah Santi, Chief Marketing Officer, told Salaam Gateway the men’s grooming market in Indonesia is still wide open for new players. According to a Kantar report, as of June 2018,  only 11% of personal care products in Indonesia were male-specific, with deodorant and cologne the biggest purchases. Meanwhile, the men who are starting to look more to skincare usually use their wives’ products, or products that are recommended by their wives.

“We hope with Kahf, there will be more options for them and they can start to consider buying our products,” she said.

Other than the regular social media influencer campaigns, Paragon is collaborating with local Muslim men’s lifestyle groups as part of its marketing outreach for Kahf. They include Bikers Dakwah, Kajian Musawarah, Terang Jakarta, Bike for Ibadah, Teman Tajir and Rumah Amal Salman.

In a media statement on Oct 9, Paragon quoted local celebrity Dimas Seto as saying that he usually prefers practical and easy-to-carry skincare products, especially facial cleansers. The most important aspect of skincare products for him are packaging and whether or not they are halal, followed by compatibility with his sensitive skin. “Usually my wife gives me the cleansing milk but I will consider “Kahf” as an alternative,” he said.

Paragon founder Nurhayati Subakat told Salaam Gateway in August that the company is eyeing international expansion to Thailand and Turkey, after it started selling in Malaysia in 2017.  Wardah is Paragon’s flagship brand and remains one of Indonesia’s most popular skincare and cosmetics names.

(Reporing by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim

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