At Next Big Brand, we are celebrating Women Week through publishing inspiring stories of Indian Iron Women who established themselves in men dominated business world.
Yesterday, we shared MIVI co-founder Midhula’s entrepreneurship journey. Today, we want to talk about Vineeta Singh, an IIM Alumnus, wife, mother, CEO, and Cofounder. She is playing all roles perfectly. You will be surprised to know that she left a 1 crore package placement offer from Deutsche Bank, one of the most recognized banks globally. She got this offer when she was studying at IIM Ahmedabad.
Inspiring Entrepreneurship Journey of Vineeta Singh
There was a lot of pressure on Vineeta to accept the job offer. The decision was not easy for her. It was 2007 when she rejected that offer. At that time, startup culture was nowhere. Nobody will advise a person to reject such an amazing offer. She did it. She set an example for her batch mates, generation, and of course for the women.
Forget about his relatives and friends, the known media houses were surprised that at the age of 23, a girl left the job offer of a global investment bank. The news was so big that the WEEK magazine featured her on the cover of the magazine. She was the youngest B-school graduate to decline a Rs 1 crore offer. She knew that it is the biggest risk she is taking in her life. Such thoughts did not change her mind.
Finally, she started SUGAR Cosmetics in 2012 with the help of her husband Kaushik Mukherjee who is also the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of SUGAR. In the FY2019-20, the startup recorded a whopping revenue of Rs 100 crore. It all happened when the cosmetic industry is controlled by big players like Lakme, Loreal. SUGAR customized its products for Indian skin tone. Lipsticks and eyeliner are the signature products of the company.
Growth of SUGAR Cosmetics
SUGAR is an established brand in the domestic market now. It targeted the millennials and urban audiences. Latest reports suggest it is growing at a CAGR of 25%. The startup has broken the monopoly of international brands in India. The company has provided better alternatives to the known global brands. In the biggest consumer market in the world, competing with billion-dollar companies is a great achievement.
“A few years back, the Indian cosmetic and beauty industry did not provide any products for Indian skin types. Consumers either used to buy products from other countries or they use the incorrect shades provided by these multinational companies.”
This is the main gap SUGAR wanted to fill. Today, consumers have accepted the SUGAR alternatives. It is visible through the Rs 200 crore sale with a growth rate of 4X in 2020. The company completed the 300,000 orders through its website and app.
Talking about the professional life with Kaushik, Vineeta said:
“We studied together at IIM Ahmedabad and both of us interned at investment banks and ran our own startups before joining forces. I was passionate about consumer businesses targeting women and Kaushik was excited about building an e-commerce company. So, a digital-first beauty brand turned out to be a wonderful overlap of both of our interests.”
She further added that at SUGAR, I take care of finance and products, whereas Kaushik handles tech and operations. The couple also has 2 baby boys. She revealed that being new parents with a startup is quite stressful. Currently, her mom and Kaushik take the maximum responsibilities for the children.
NBB team wishes good luck to Vineeta and Kaushik for the future. We hope that Vineeta will keep inspiring the women of the current era.