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Vineeta Singh is known as one of the prime sharks on the Shark Tank India Show. She is the founder of Sugar Cosmetics.
Even she had undergone a lot of pain and ups and downs in her entrepreneurial journey. Yes, Vineeta Singh rejected her 1 cr wroth job offer from her IIM Ahmedabad Placements.
She needed to plunge into the world of entrepreneurship. So, she went on to choose the unconventional path to success.
Her first venture also did not do well and then she started FabBag in 2012 with Kaushik Mukherjee her husband.
FabBag is a subscription-based cosmetics product model. Where users can purchase cosmetics from different brands under a subscription. It was like a marketplace model.
From this startup, they got feedback from the customers and learned that customers were not satisfied with the products. Then with a lot of research, they found that all the customers need more long-lasting cosmetics products. Also with more choices.
This made them start their own cosmetics brand Sugar Cosmetcis in 2015. Gradually, they tailored the cosmetics products as per the needs of the customers. This made them unique in the market. So, with the customer’s first approach, they came up with successful cosmetics products every time.
By the end of March 2020, Sugar Cosmetics hit 100 crore revenue. So, this was a pleasant moment for the Sugar Cosmetics founders Vineeta Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee.
Covid: Vineeta Singh We hit zero from 14 crores per month
Their success did not last for long. Unfortunately corona pandemic hit India. Then there was a national lockdown and many people lost their jobs.
Due to pandemics, many lost their dear ones, and there was a global economic slum. So, all these factors indirectly shattered many businesses across the world.
Sugar Cosmetics was not an exception. Because they have seen the darkest moment in their startup journey. As 2 months back they celebrated making 100 crore revenue. But then they did not have any kind of cash flow.
Even all the Sugar Cosmetics offline stores were shut down and people’s purchasing power was hampered by corona pandemic.
Soon, Sugar Cosmetics had hit zero revenue from having 13 to 14 cr per month. He even had a huge team of 200 members. Vineeta Singh founder of Sugar Cosmetics, had no idea to deal with the situation.
No Salary for Sugar Cosmetics Employees
Due to lockdowns, many businesses across the world were facing downtime. Even Sugar Cosmetics had the dark times ever in their journey.
Their monthly expense as a Salary was around 4 crore. But they had no cash flow from their business. Even they had only 5 months runway. So, even Sugar Cosmetics founders were clueless.
Vineeta Singh told openly employees that they couldn’t give salary to everyone for the next 2 to 3 months. Sugar Cosmetics founders were trying to explain the tough phase of the business to the employees.
Even they made a plan to give more ESOPs who are ready to take salary cuts. Vineeta Singh was at her lowest point and did her best to explain to her employees.
Sugar Cosmetics employees understood the situation more than 95 employees were ready to take a cut in their salary. So, that company can survive the situation.
Vineeta Singh recently opened up about the company’s situation in Ranveer Podcast.
So, building a successful startup is not a play or a trivial thing. But it takes a lot from both the founder’s and the employee’s spirit.
Therefore startup is a game of rise and fall. It is the persistence of the founders that makes it possible to build a great and successful venture. As a founder, they have to think about survival in the tough times and also about growth. So, entrepreneurship is like a game.
Now Sugar Cosmetics is doing great and in 2023 they made 400+ crores of revenue. Even they hold the majority of the shares in the online cosmetics space.
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Vineeta Singh about Sugar Cosmetics customers
Vineeta Singh said that they hold a very strong relationship with the customers. As a company, its success rate depends on its customer feed. Since Sugar is a D2C brand, its biggest advantage of being directly connected with the customers.
But in the traditional FMCG business, there will be layers like manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. So, many FMCG brands cannot easily get feedback from their customers.
Whenever Sugar Cosmetics launches a new product, its team will eagerly wait for the response from its customers via social platforms. So, that they can learn and implement customers’ feedback to their upcoming products.
Vineeta Singh said that they get 90% visibility of the products from social platforms. So, Sugar Cosmetics is leveraging Social media for high sales and visibility.
Therefore, any successful brand needs to constantly listen to its customers. Even want to establish a great bond with the customers. Because it is the customers who show the right direction for the companies.
“Vineeta Singh We hit zero from 14 crores per month”