Beauty is not one size fits all! However, about a decade ago, India’s Indian beauty industry was dominated by multinational brands with products that were not tailored to the Indian environment and complexion. That was the seed of an idea that germinated into SUGAR Cosmetics. Vinita Singh, the force behind the cosmetic brand and whose popularity has soared since her stint as a Shark Tank India judge, is a woman of many colors herself. An entrepreneur, mother, wife, marathoner and a reality show judge – Vinita Singh talks to HealthShots about her inspiring journey as a female entrepreneur and how she balances her world.
Vineeta’s journey started with running a beauty subscription service. This gave her insight into the white space in the beauty industry, and inspired her to establish a brand that aims to achieve and achieve 100 percent annual revenue growth, expanding to over 60,000 retailers last year. outlets, and growing our team size to 3,000 employees by 2023.
Excerpt from an interview with Vinita Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics
1. What are the challenges you have faced in creating and establishing a homegrown brand as a woman?
Vinita Singh: Starting a business can be both exciting and stressful, regardless of your gender. The biggest challenge that I think all new businesses face, and we do too – was working capital. SUGAR Cosmetics started with little funds, and therefore, it was really difficult to manage.
2. Have you ever encountered gender bias?
Vinita Singh: Early in our journey, like any other aspiring entrepreneur, we were looking for capital. It was very difficult for us to raise funds till 2018-19 when D2C (Direct to Consumer) was growing. However, things have changed in the last 15 years. Now, there is a lot of awareness about how women can be role models and entrepreneurs. The women are now going public with their companies. They are creating companies valued at over a billion dollars. Therefore, the assumption that women are incapable of certain tasks has ceased to feature in mainstream discourse. The biggest challenge is fundraising and it will take another decade for the numbers to change. But I am very optimistic about it. We are going in the right direction.
3. Is being at the top of your game as a business woman a lonely place?
Vinita Singh: Being a businesswoman has its pros and cons. The need to work long hours and spend less time with family or friends can take an emotional toll on you. Creativity declines when short-term results are unsatisfactory, and this can lead to dissatisfaction to the point of giving up. However, I can assure you that the support and presence of family on a bad day can make all the difference. If there’s one thing I support, it’s not losing yourself in the process of building something new because it would all be without.
4. How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional life?
Vinita Singh: One way to strike the optimal balance is to organize and plan your day to produce the most during non-work hours, so that you can use the rest of your day as you wish. The mandate will be removed during the next day’s ‘me-time’. For me, this would be my morning run and workout time. Finally, spend as much time as possible with your loved ones. No one will have your back like they did!
5. What motivates you to prioritize fitness with such a busy schedule?
Vinita Singh: Fitness has taught me some important lessons in my life, including the importance of hard work and flexibility. Being active beats the lethargy, which otherwise interrupts my day. On the days I work out, I’m a better version of myself. It also brings out my competitive nature, which has helped me become a better version of myself over the years. Regular exercise provides an escape from the mundane routine. I exercise at least an hour every day. This ‘me-time’ helps reduce my mental stress and increase productivity.
6. Women are breaking the glass ceiling and leading businesses! What do you think is the biggest driver for women in today’s world?
Vinita Singh: My favorite part about this industry is that it employs so many women! At SUGAR, I am blessed and grateful to work with so many inspiring women. More important than a person’s gender is their character traits and what they bring to the team. However, the most important factor I feel is undoubtedly drive and determination. No matter the obstacles you face, a true successful businesswoman will always find a way to overcome them and achieve her goals. This sets him apart from the competition and allows him to succeed where others have failed.
7. What is your message to women who want to manage it all and have a successful business?
Vinita Singh: Investing in self care is my main advice and motto for working women in general. Women today are most powerful when they create their own destiny and fulfill their dreams. On the other hand, women play many roles, and it can be overwhelming at times. From taking care of the household to children and work, women play many roles and fulfill all their responsibilities efficiently. That’s how they break the glass ceiling, push the envelope, and achieve what they set their sights on. So, my one message to women aspiring entrepreneurs is never give up on your dreams. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and you will achieve great things. Keep killing!