How This Indian Cosmetic Maker Clocked a Turnover of INR100 Cr

SUGAR Cosmetics aims to grow 20 times and aspires to become a Rs 1000 crore business In the next 10 years. The brand currently has 195 outlets in India.

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Beauty is more than skin deep! And the evidence lies in how premium beauty brand SUGAR has established a Rs 100 crore business in a short span of seven years.At a time when the market was dominated by major players like Lakmé, L’Oréal and MAC Cosmetics, IIM Ahmedabad alumni Vineeta Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee found the beauty brand SUGAR in 2012. “We realised there was a gap in the range of prices offered by the brands. Lipsticks were priced at either Rs 150 or Rs 1400. We introduced SUGAR lipsticks with a mid-range of Rs 500 to Rs 600,” recalls Mukherjee.

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SUGAR products are available on its website and other online platforms like Nykaa and Amazon. Mukherjee informs, “When we introduced our first offline retail with Lifestyle in Hyderabad, we used the database of our online customers to invite them to visit the store. To not use data for your business in today’s age is the most stupid thing.” The launch was a major hit and today SUGAR boasts of its presence in 195 outlets in India.

With a team of 100-115 people, SUGAR has achieved an impressive growth. But there is no stopping for this young warrior. “In the next 10 years, we want to grow 20 times and aspire to become a Rs 1000 crore business,” he beamingly mentions. 

SUGAR does not have a brand ambassador as the brand defies the idea of selling ‘an ideal beauty’ with its products. In its early days, it did collaborate with Instagram and YouTube influencers to create a buzz for its products among millennials as well as urban Indian women. “This strategy saved a lot of money and has been effective,” shares Mukherjee.

The company received a funding of Rs 70 crore from venture capital firm A91 expand its offline presence through multi-brand retail and exclusive outlets.

As Sweet As It Gets

In terms of packaging, a distinct look was created for Sugar using the triangulated illustration stylewith the quirkiness to appeal to a younger demographic.

  • 10 per cent of Sugar’s revenue is generated from international market, 45 per cent from online and 45 per cent from retail.
  • Jet black matte eye liner is one of its bestselling products.
  • All Sugar products are made in six countries, namely, Germany, Italy, the USA, Korea, China and India.

(This article was first published in the August 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)