Within the business landscape of fashion and beauty, numerous courageous women have ventured into entrepreneurship and faced failures, but refused to be deterred. Instead of resting, they persistently strive to innovate and devise novel solutions, challenging the conventional notions of business and reshaping how we perceive it in a traditional world. Their resilience and determination are a testimony to all that women can and have achieved so far.
In a similar breakthrough in the beauty industry, inspired by the need to introduce an affordable range of high-performing cosmetics, Vineeta Singh envisioned and founded SUGAR Cosmetics; a new-age beauty brand that stands for creative expression, self-love and body positivity.
This week, IMAGES Business of Fashion delves into the captivating journey of Vineeta Singh, a trailblazer who has transformed the cosmetic industry with her exceptional knowledge and insights.
About Vineeta Singh
Vineeta Singh is the Co-founder & CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics, India’s fastest-growing beauty brand, with a distribution network of 45,000+ branded retail outlets in more than 550+ cities. An alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Ahmedabad, she is also one of the ‘sharks’ on the reality-show Shark Tank India. Additionally, she is a triathlete and ultramarathoner.
- Born in 1983, Vineeta did her schooling at Delhi Public School in RK Puram, Delhi.
- She pursued a BTech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
- After graduating in 2005, she decided to take up education in the field of Business as she acquired an interest in entrepreneurship at a tender age.
- Later, she attended the Indian Institute of Management or IIM, Ahmedabad.
- She finally gained her professional postgraduate degree in 2007.
Career History and Experience
While graduating from IIM Ahmedabad, Vineeta had an offer from a bulge bracket investment banking firm, but she decided to step into the start-up business. Over a 5 year period, she had multiple failed ventures including an attempt to start a lingerie brand, for which she couldn’t raise capital. Thereafter, she co-founded Fab Bag, which went on to become India’s largest beauty subscription commerce company, from where SUGAR Cosmetics was born.
Current Market Standing of SUGAR Cosmetics
Presently, Vineeta Singh is the Co-Founder & CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics – the cult-favorite beauty brand amongst Gen Z and Millennials.
- With an annualized sales run rate of INR 550+ CR, the company has scaled faster than any other and is now one of the top 3 cosmetics brands in the country.
- It has a physical presence of over 45,000+ retail touchpoints across 550+ cities and has a digital community of 10 million beauty enthusiasts across all platforms.
- The company’s own website and mobile app get more than two million unique visitors every month and five million downloads on the app alone.
- The brand’s Instagram page alone garners 2.7+ million followers, making it one of the most followed consumer brands in the country.
Her Strengths and Weaknesses
To this Vineeta said, “Perseverance, Passion and Energy are my greatest strengths and each has a flipside so weaknesses correspondingly are that I don’t know when to give up, can get emotional and can get impatient around slow, low energy people.”
About her aspiration, Vineeta said, “To build India’s largest color cosmetics brand, employ 10,000 women at SUGAR, and take this company public.”
Vineeta Singh’s 3 Game-Changing Retail Technologies
- Augmented reality (AR) enabled virtual try-ons
- Personalized products recommendations and services in stores and online
- AI-enabled inventory planning at store & season level
Skills that Helped Her Succeed
Vineeta said, “Keeping faith in tough times – Setbacks are inevitable, and way too many people interrupt compounding by not having enough belief. Belief is a rare trait because it often defies logic and it can’t be taught at schools or in online courses. It’s those moments when you decide to keep pushing through tough times that end up determining how enriching your startup journey will be.”
Changes that She Inspired at SUGAR Cosmetics
Giving us insights into how she runs her business, Vineeta said, “After joining the business, I have continuously strived for the team to foster a culture of innovation within the organization by encouraging creative thinking, brainstorming sessions, and experimentation. Individuals can introduce initiatives to enhance the skills and capabilities of the workforce. This could involve organizing training programs, workshops, or mentoring sessions to improve employee performance, foster innovation, and promote a learning culture within the organization
Her Take on the Future of the Industry
On the future of the beauty industry, she said, “The beauty industry will grow exponentially around self-care and self-expression and there will continue to be opportunities for brands to get created around all kinds of niches.”