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Sunday Edition #6 Sid Baveja

Anatomē has been recently launched on Humanery, an online marketplace whose goal is to create an inclusive destination dedicated to men’s grooming, beauty and self-care needs. Last week, we met with Sid Baveja, Humanery's founder and CEO. Sid shared with us his exciting story around the world and how he founded Humanery. We also discovered his passion for anatomē botanical formulations. 

Tell us your story from where you grew up to your most exciting phase (is it now)?    

I am the founder and CEO of Humanery, an online marketplace that offers a unique and curated experience for men to discover better grooming products and elevate their self-care routines. I was born in New Delhi, India, however, I grew up in five different countries, most of that in Jakarta, Indonesia. This gave me a unique perspective on the world and living experiences that shaped my desire to launch an international business that serves the needs of an underserved consumer, which is also much like I felt, an immigrant moving to a different country. I attended Middlebury College in Vermont, USA, where I studied Economics. After graduation, I started my career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. In 2011, I moved to London, where I spent more than ten years building global multifunctional teams at online consumer marketplaces such as Viagogo and Just Eat. I have a great passion for travel, sport, connecting with people and cultivating a strong community spirit. 

I would say that “now” is the most exciting phase of my life. I am a first-time entrepreneur in a consumer category that I have a strong passion for, I live in my favourite city (London) with my wife in a post-pandemic world with huge new opportunities and surrounded by a team that is setting new standards every day. I could not have asked for more!

What is your London? What is it about?  

My London can be defined by 3 things:

  • Incredible food. My favourite restaurant is Alounak, a Persian restaurant in Westbourne Grove (Notting Hill). I have been going there for ten years and it is incredible every single time.
  • London’s parks: nothing is like Kensington Gardens anywhere in the world.
  • London’s retail: co-incidentally Redchurch Street, in Shoreditch, where your shop is located is my all-time favourite location to shop.

Redchurch street

What is your morning routine? 

I do some stretching, have breakfast, and mindfulness, just 5-7 minutes of mindfulness. I answer emails and calls after a quick shower.

Coffee or tea when you wake up? 

Coffee all the way. I invested in a bean-to-cup machine during the lockdown so I could get the kind of coffee I was accustomed to having from my favourite local coffee shop.

What do you do to motivate/ switch up your energy throughout the day

A bit of deep breathing and listening to music helps me re-centre.

With a demanding work life, how do you keep your focus?  

I organise my to-do list. I am still old-school and write down my list in a notebook. I drink a lot of water and practice mindfulness exercises, like coherent breathing techniques.

What is a relaxing evening like for you? 

A nice healthy dinner, a glass of red wine and watching Netflix at home with my wife.

What are you listening to at the moment? 

An assortment of Louis Armstrong on Spotify and Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on my record player.

What are you reading at the moment? 

The Bhagavad Gita. My friend and our in-house cinematographer Bhav Sonigra recommended this to me and it is really changing my perspective on life.

Where in your home have you created your haven? 

We have a dedicated study in our flat, which has a lot of natural light and wonderful acoustics. It is a great little haven to work, listen to music and think.

Sleeping is one of our clients’ main goals. How do you sleep better?

I try to switch off all screens by 10:30 pm. I read a book before sleeping and I use the Sleep + Recovery Essential Oil to create a relaxing environment.

What is your self-care routine?  

In the morning I exercise and do some stretching, I have a balanced breakfast, take a shower and do daily skincare. I apply a moisturiser and SPF (super important). I take my morning supplements. I am currently taking your Daily Men's Immunity Support Essentials.

What are your 5 top tips for living well?  

  1. 1. Focus on your own goals: stop comparing yourself to others and living somebody else’s truth.
  2. Invest in your mind and body every day: no better investment than yourself
  3. Stay connected with your friends and family: communicate often and communicate openly. Enjoy the company of others who love you.
  4. Make time to serve others: giving back, helping others, and improving the lives of those in your community is beyond rewarding
  5. Give yourself permission to take a break and enjoy things you love doing. Be kind to yourself.

What is your go-to meal? 

 My wife is an exceptional cook. Anything that she cooks.

What is your favourite recipe and why?

 Oh, there are so many! Perhaps the one I enjoy cooking the most is a Japanese Omelette called Tamagoyaki. Healthy and super tasty!

Who in life has inspired you the most? How?  

Both my grandfathers. Both were displaced from their homes during the India-Pakistan partition, came to India to build their lives from scratch, and led lives of honour, honesty, hard work and service to others. The values they taught me as a young child have stuck with me and the example they set continues to inspire me.

Where do you go to find space, or to be with yourself when you’re not at work? 

Typically for a run in the Paddington Recreation Ground or a coffee at the Monocle Cafe on Chiltern Street, so close to the Anatomē store!

What is the mantra or philosophy to face life’s challenges? 

There are no downs without ups and no ups without downs.

Stay true to the process and take it one day at a time. My father always says this.

Can you tell us more about your journey with Humanery? What does Humanery mean (to you)?

The inspiration to become an entrepreneur and build Humānery came from my personal experience of not being served by the traditional beauty retail industry.

I was looking for better products to help men with hair loss and post-shave sensitive skin problems, but the traditional retailers had a lack of choice for male self-care products, sparse information, and an underwhelming product selection.

I looked for new ways to discover products, browsing online marketplaces and borrowing some of my wife’s skincare products to solve my aesthetic concerns. I also turned to the beauty halls of big department stores in the hope I might find support and better products, but as one of the few men in these stores, the experience still led me to feel excluded and underserved.

During the pandemic, I started taking self-care more seriously and realised there was a two-sided opportunity to reshape this category, enabled by tech.

 On one hand, I could create a marketplace platform with a focus on innovation, that would curate the best products from around the world for men and deliver them to consumers seamlessly and conveniently. On the other hand, I could introduce the successful and disruptive marketplace model to the beauty industry, which often operates in the staid and inequitable wholesale model. The wholesale model squeezes the profits of independent beauty / personal care brands and often leaves them with limited data insight and a poor connection with their customers. With this mission in mind, I quit my job, raised some pre-seed funding, and set out to build Humanery to disrupt a US$166 billion category worldwide.

It hasn't been easy, there have been plenty of self-doubt and confidence issues along the way, but it's been hugely rewarding to see the business has grown from an idea into a reality and we are now partnering with nearly 100 incredible premium brands from around the world serving customers in the US, UK, and Europe. It has been particularly rewarding to change minds and hearts in an industry that is often associated with a lack of technology innovation, and exclusionary practices, such as not serving people of diverse ethnic backgrounds or various gender associations and run by an oligopoly of big online beauty retailers.

What’s the next step in the Humanery journey?

Continue to build out our discovery, education, and curated selection to help and serve more customers around the world. It would also be a dream come true if we could help incredible brands like anatomē acquire new customers, grow their product offering and expand into new territories with the growth of the Humanery platform.

Visit Humanery

Written by:
Laura Scalas

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