Vineeta Singh is the Co-founder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics, a digital-first Indian Cosmetic Brand that is making crores in revenue.
As a kid, Vineeta Singh used to fight with her father because he worked 365 days a year. But now she thinks she has inherited the irrational passion for work from her father. Vineeta Singh is the Co-founder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics, a digital-first Indian Cosmetic Brand. From generating a little under ₹2 crores in sales in the early years to now generating ₹2 crores in sales a day, Sugar Cosmetics has come a long way.
Vineeta Singh recalls how it took her and her co-founder husband Kaushik Mukherjee almost five years to go from seed to Series A round in funding. It was difficult in the beginning. The couple had to break their last fixed deposit of ₹30 lakh. Kaushik Mukharjee had even considered taking up a job while Vineetha ran Sugar Cosmetics. But then in 2017, they managed to find Series A funding for Sugar Cosmetics.
Sugar is Vineeta’s third startup. After graduating from IIT-Madras and IIM-Ahmedabad, she ditched a “₹1 crore” job offer from a leading investment bank to dive into entrepreneurship. In 2007, she found Quetzal, a background verification service. That was a failure. But Vineeta did not get disheartened. In 2012, she started FabBag, a subscription business that offered women an assortment of beauty products every month for a small fee. She ran the business for nine years by which time it had amassed 200,000 customers.
This close-knit community of women shared their preferences, skin problems and dislikes with Singh. As she gleaned through the data, she realized the makeup brands that were available—foreign or local—didn’t cater to Indian skin tones or the Indian way of life. “Makeup had to be long-lasting and matte so that even if a customer travels by public transport on local trains or polluted roads, her makeup won’t come off,” says Vineeta.
With this aim in her mind, she started Sugar Cosmetics in 2015. Customer education was at the heart of the business. “Education is a critical step before commerce happens in a category like beauty. Women need to know how to use a winged eyeliner before they buy one,” she says.
Today, Sugar has a physical presence across 2,500-plus outlets in over 130 cities across India. It hit ₹105 crores in revenue in FY20 and raised $21 million in venture funding led by Elevation Capital, valuing the startup at ₹750 crores. And Vineeta is now the judge of Shark Tank India, a reality show that funds start-ups.
Credits: Forbes India