A few years ago, over an innocent conversation between a trio of friends an idea was born. Instead of dismissing the idea, they decided to make it a reality and in 2011 IMbesharam.com was born. For the uninitiated, IMbesharam is an adult products e-store that allows Indians and NRI’s across the world to browse, shop, and experience a bold lifestyle.
Based in New Delhi, the company showcases products sourced from popular brands in US & Europe, ships their products via world class shipping carriers in a non descriptive package and takes care of all duties, customs, and taxes up to the point of delivery to the customers’ door. Considering that we are still a country where buying condoms requires some basic knowledge of sign language and the navarasas and movies like Lipstick Under My Burqa can receive flack for talking about female sexuality, it is amazing to know that such a company has not only been existing but also thriving. The decision for Gaysi to partner up with IMbesharam for the Mumbai Post Pride Party (after numerous such collaborations) was a no-brainer. But once the party high came down, we realised that we had to make sure that our readers knew how wonderful a work the company was doing so we decided to catch up with Raj Armani, the COO and Co-founder of Imbesharam.
Below you can read the transcript of the interview or scroll right down to watch the video online:
Krupa: How did you come up with the idea of the company Imbesharam? What’s the story behind the name?
Raj Armani: Three words: I am curious. I like to think that the idea came up on a three way phone call between my partner now and a friend when we were making fun of life in California, when one of us mentioned– why don’t they have this stuff in India? This led to a conversation, the conversation led to an idea and idea led to the name– Besharam. But I think the brand, as it has become today, is a result of several experiences in our lives and the signs that we probably didn’t notice growing up and getting here. Any kid who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s in India would concur what an amazing idea it would be to have adult toys available so readily. No one will know what you ordered and you won’t have to explain your choice to anyone. That sums up our brands motto – American brands for Indian hands!
K: If the story of your company had to be made into a movie/book, what would it be called?
RA: We would call it ‘The Merchants of KamaSutra’ not because we discovered KamaSutra but because we bring to the reach and access of every Indian consumer, a way to better enjoy their lives, relive their pleasures, enrich their relationships and amplify their satisfaction of physical needs.
K: What have been your most significant/ innovative products?
RA: We represent some of the most popular brands around the world including Fifty Shades of Grey, Fleshlight, Kiiroo, Womanizer, Satisfyer, Rocks Off, AutoBlow, Hustler, Penthouse, Playboy and many more.. So while each brand has its own unique personality and line of products, what I see our most desired brand in India so far has been the Fifty Shades of Grey line. It has everything you need for a romantic or a erotic rendezvous – our fans and shoppers love the variety and our customers have scored us top marks for this hugely popular collection.
K: In over the four years that you have been around, have you noticed any major changes in how our country views sex-products and the other paraphernalia that comes with it?
RA: What I have noticed is that in last 4 years, India has advanced exponentially when it comes to expressing your choices and speaking your mind. Of late I don’t think that it is a ‘bedroom only’ conversation. I am mostly amused at the openness and comfort in discussing sex, relationships and the like amongst friends and colleagues. It’s a slightly different ballgame discussing with family, but even in the West, these are topics discussed either between couples or friends, so in terms of freedom of expression, I think India has caught up pretty well. What needs to change: the ‘taboo’ or the ‘stigma’ attached to conversations about sex could change, but not in a way that you feel you compelled to give in under peer pressure. As the generation matures and newer generation comes in, such discussions shouldn’t attract undue attention and should be a part of daily conversations/lifestyle. I think this change is already in motion, and as more and more influencers like movies, internet and society evolves, the general population will then be done making a big deal of sex or sex products.
K: What pie of your sales revenue is generated from people with alternate sexuality?
RA: While its difficult to determine that exactly, but the collections we have for the LGB audience sells great and contributes to about 7% of our total sales. That equates to about 3000+ strap-ons, masturbators, vibrators and butt plugs for the year 2017.
K: If you had the funds to create a really out-of-the-box toy what would you make?
RA: When you talk about a toy, we have seen some of the most innovative ideas already come out and in production, but for sake of imagination, I think if a mainstream celebrity from movies or sports license their prized possessions and we showcase them, that would become a marketing frenzy, a literal explosion for there would be thousands and thousands of men & women who would come to check it out – what say Mr Ranveer Singh, Ms Bipasha Basu or Mr Virat Kohli?
K: If I were a newbie, what 3 products would you recommend to me?
RA: If you were a newbie and would like to start slow and easy, I would recommend the Funzone line of Masturbators to men and Bswish line of Vibrators to women. For foreplay I would recommend Bijoux Indiscrets which is an amazing line from Spain and for a little kinky and naughty play I recommend checking the Fifty Shades of Grey collection. So boys and girls, we invite you to come and try us out! You can thank me later!
K: In a world where sex toys are superheroes, who would win — vibrators or anal beads?
RA: While vibrators had a lead for the longest time like Spiderman, out came the anal beads and knocked the competition down like Deadpool, so while the avengers decide who to send next, we humans will wait and watch for the next superhero as will come later this year at IMbesharam.com
K: If Imbesharam had to be a colour, which one would it be?
RA: It be Grey & Neon Pink, Grey because it’s the color of dusk and dawn and I think that’s the best time to be Besharam, Neon Pink because its sexy, sensual and sensational, just like the products on IMbesharam.com – delivering happiness to every Indian bedroom and bathroom, one orgasm at a time!