{D2C 100} SUGAR: Redefining Beauty
{D2C 100} SUGAR: Redefining Beauty

SUGAR Cosmetics, one of India's fastest-growing beauty brands, was founded by Vineeta Singh in 2015, with a single-point agenda of creating world-class makeup products with high pigmentation that specifically catered to the Indian skin tone. SUGAR Cosmetics is currently among the Top 3 color cosmetics brands in India.

SUGAR Cosmetics has raised a total of $85.5 million in funding over 4 rounds, including the recent $50 million from its Series D round led by L Catterton, a consumer-focused private equity firm.

With a vision of building SUGAR as ‘fast fashion for the face’, Singh advocates a fast-paced work culture where speed and experimentation lead the way for rapid innovation and a launch-packed calendar. The women-centric brand, with a focus on core business fundamentals and an innate understanding of the customer and her needs, boasts a workforce with over 75 percent being women.

Inspiration to Begin

Indian millennial women started wearing makeup regularly as a feel-good accessory only in the last decade. Their biggest pain was constant re-application of their makeup and nothing would last them from morning to night. Many global brands had shades that weren’t designed keeping Indian women in mind and that made a huge difference in how product shades looked on them. So, when SUGAR launched matte, long-lasting makeup with shades for India, the brand grew virally through women talking about it on Instagram. More than 2 lakh online reviews with 4 to 5-star ratings made the product-market fit evident.

An Omnichannel Brand

Starting as a direct-to-consumer (D2C) cosmetics brand, SUGAR has built its presence in both online and offline channels. Apart from its own website, the brand is available across all major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, Nykaa, etc. Nykaa has been its oldest partner and continues to deliver the highest numbers although the other channels have been aggressively scaling, especially over the last two months.

In the offline space, the brand has a distribution network of over 40,000 branded retail outlets in more than 540 cities. In brick-and-mortar format, SUGAR is available in High-street Stores, Exclusive Brand Outlets, Kiosks, and more. Besides, the brand is available across all leading large format retailers such as Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Central, Health & Glow, NewU, etc. Lifestyle has been its oldest partner and narrowly leads the contribution for the brand across all offline channels

On social media, SUGAR has a fan base of more than 5 million women, and on its own website and app, it gets more than 10 million unique visitors every month, making it one of the largest digital-first brands in India. The brand-owned app has garnered over 4 million downloads to date.

Vineeta Singh, Co-Founder and CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics said, “While D2C contributes 30 percent to our revenue, 60 percent of our current sales come from retail stores across the length and breadth of the country as compared to a pre-pandemic when they used to contribute 35 percent.”

Vision Ahead

The company stands at a current annualized revenue run rate of Rs 550 crore and is in line to double its revenue in the next 12 months.

The brand’s products are sold in over 40,000 stores, with an aim to be present in 100,000 stores by the end of the financial year 2024.

“We plan to focus on building and expanding our core pillars - retail footprint by enhancing the retail marketing & visual merchandising experience, product line, distribution channels, content, and community. We intend to go stronger on our omnichannel approach by building an even stronger D2C base across all our platforms,” Singh stated.

“Continuing to build a strong community - we also will be focusing on creating solid content to keep educating and engaging our SUGAR community across all platforms – digital and otherwise. We will also be strategically collaborating with like-minded personalities, IPs, and events. While this journey of making SUGAR one of the Top 3 Makeup brands in India has been phenomenal, we do envision employing more than 10,000 women and a public listing,” she added.

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