Vineeta Singh, Founder-CEO SUGAR Cosmetics, Reveals Her Not-So-Sweet Journey!

Vineeta Singh, founder and CEO of SUGAR cosmetics, earns approximately 22 crores per annum, and her brand is worth 750 crores today! 

If you have also been an avid fan of Shark Tank India like myself then you must already be familiar with many of the amazing female entrepreneurs on the show, one of them being Vineeta Singh, the founder & CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics.

She appeared to be one of the kindest, free-spirited, and highly intellectual advisors on the show. Vineeta Singh with her ever-smiling face and bright personality was loved by a lot of viewers.

But who is Vineeta Singh? What’s the story of the founder of Sugar Cosmetics, one of India’s biggest cosmetics brands, who FYI recently was also included in WEF’s young global leader’s list of 2022?

Vineeta Singh, the founder & CEO of SUGAR cosmetics

Meet one of the most successful women in the beauty industry and the co-founder and mind behind the Cosmetic brand Sugar, Vineeta Singh.

Vineeta is an alumnus of IIT Madras where she studied electrical engineering as well as IIM Ahmedabad, where she pursued her degree in business studies.

She first made headlines when she was featured on the cover of the WEEK at only the age of 23. She became India’s first and youngest to decline a placement offer of INR 1 Crore per annum from a global investment bank.

                                               Founder of SUGAR cosmetics

It takes a lot for any one of us to even dream of a 1 crore job offer, let alone reject it. But Vineeta had her mind and heart set on starting her venture since her MBA days.

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For her it was about making bigger changes and taking charge, being boss of her own life, and what better way than to start her own company. There was nothing that could have deflected her from her goals at that point, not even 1 crore.

Failures didn’t bring Vineeta Singh down but led her closer to SUGAR

Vineeta decided to create her own HR services company after rejecting the job offer, and she launched a bootstrapped organization that provided background verification services to its customers.

Initially, she earned only 10,000 each month. Later, she was appointed as a Director of Quetzal Online Private Limited in 2007 and worked there for roughly 5 years.

In 2012, she took her first step into the beauty industry when she became the co-founding member of the  Fab Bag brand.

It was a subscription-based beauty brand but lasted only for three years. But this allowed her to survey and understand the working of the beauty industry as well as the young audience it targeted.

Vineeta never shied away from openly speaking of her failures on the show. She believes eventually led her to where she is now, running one of the biggest cosmetic brands.

It was the experiences and the feedback from her previous ventures which helped her take her now one of the most successful cosmetic brands SUGAR. From starting with just two products initially to having all possible kinds of makeup available for every woman, that’s SUGAR for you!

SUGAR cosmetics made its mark in India

From her previous venture, Fab Bag, Vineeta realized the need for quality cosmetics in India. Inclusive beauty products which were also cost-effective were not there and that’s how SUGAR was born!

Cosmetics has a rising business in India. People typically move to huge international brands when they can’t locate the proper shade or product. This is when Vineeta decided to produce something made in India.

With a diverse selection of shades and textures available to the Indian people, Vineeta and her husband Kaushik Mukherjee set out to create cosmetics specifically for Indian skin tones and for the Indian market.

SUGAR Cosmetics, Founders Vineeta & husband Kaushik Mukherjee

The beauty industry was not always, particularly her goal. Raised in a family where both her parents were scientists, Vineeta never had any interest in makeup or beauty. However, she did want to do something with women as her targeted audience.

In an interview with talking more about the motivation behind Sugar, she says, “So what I was very clear about is the fact that women were becoming more confident and independent in their decision making was going to change many industries that revolve around them. And I wanted to be a part of that.”

In 2015, the company started by creating a buzz around social media, as it targeted Gen Z and Millennials most.

The journey of SUGAR Cosmetics was not all sweetness

While the market was ready and the products were ready to go, Vineeta had to overcome numerous obstacles to enter the digital-first beauty business. They were informed that solely selling online would make it tough to compete with other businesses.

Her problems were not limited to that; as a woman in a male-dominated society, she had to deal with her fair share of casual sexism.

In a post shared by the Instagram page Humans of Bombay, Vineeta recounts, “Once, an investor refused to meet me. He wanted to talk business with a ‘man’. But I let my work do the talking.”

Being a mother of two, she also had to juggle motherhood with her work. In that same post she writes, “At times I’d be pumping breast milk, working out, handling office calls, & hoping to not wake my son up.”

SUGAR cosmetics Founder-CEO Vineeta SIngh, husband Kaushik Mukerjee

After several sleepless nights of attempting to strike a balance between her personal and professional lives, it paid off for her. SUGAR was named one of the finest cosmetics brands in India!

The sweet success of SUGAR cosmetics

After overcoming all of the challenges, the company is now reaching new heights and making a reputation for itself in the cosmetics sector. Since 2015, the company has grown to over 1500 employees, with women accounting for 75% of the workforce.

Sugar cosmetics CEO

SUGAR Cosmetics app has more than 1 million downloads

Every month, it sells over 650,000 goods. The Sugar Cosmetics app has more than 1 million downloads and a large social media following. SUGAR began as a digital-only beauty product market, but it has since expanded to 130+ physical locations in India, making it one of India’s most successful and top cosmetic businesses.

From rejecting a 1 crore job offer to having a net worth of 22 crores

Today, Vineeta Singh earns approximately 22 crores per annum, and her brand Sugar cosmetics values more than 750 crores.

Vineeta Singh has also been featured on the cover of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in Business and several business magazines. She was also named one of the top 100 mindful women in the world by The Economic Times 40 Under Forty Award 2020.

Forbes' Most Powerful Women in Business

Recently, She was also one of the five Indians to be included in the WEF’s Young Global Leadership 2022 list.

Vineeta is also a sportswoman who has competed in over 14 marathons, including the 89-kilometre Comrades Run in South Africa for three years in a row. She has competed in various sports, including running, cycling, marathons, and badminton.

Founder SUGAR  Vineeta

Vineeta Singh, Founder & CEO of SUGAR cosmetics, has covered a journey that will encourage other women to take risks and trust in themselves.

Failures happen, and life isn’t always sweet, but if you work hard enough and don’t give up when you’re down, you just might be able to find your SUGAR.

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Image Source: Vineeta Singh/ Instagram

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Mrigya Rai

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