June 13, 2024

Makeup seller SUGAR Cosmetics is targeting Rs 300 crore in revenue by end of FY21-22, compared to Rs 100 crore in FY2019-20. This development comes at a time when the beauty and skincare category is booming supported by increasing consumer demand and ease of digital commerce.

The Mumbai-based firm is also entering the hair care category through its latest acquisition, and plans on testing between 14 and 22 stock keeping units (SKUs) in the final quarter of FY22. 

“During the pandemic we realised that a few other categories were taking off better than the lipcare category, which was still under recovery when things started to stabilise after the second wave. So, we launched many SKUs in the face category, and all of them have done phenomenally well,” Vineeta Singh, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, SUGAR Cosmetics, tellsYourStory.

Lipsticks are a major seller for the brand, contributing about 60 percent towards sales. But in the last few months, face products are making up an estimated 45 percent, according to Vineeta. 

Vineeta Singh, CEO and co-founder, SUGAR Cosmetics

Founded in 2015 by IIM-Ahmedabad graduate Vineeta with her husband Kaushik Mukherjee– Sugar Cosmetics sells lipsticks and foundations, among other makeup products, through retail and digital channels. 

This multi-channel sales approach, among other factors, led the Vellvette Lifestyle Pvt.Ltd-run brand to clock Rs 100 crore in annual revenue, in FY 2019-20. It took legacy brands like Revlon 20 years to reach this revenue rate in India.

Sugar Cosmetics has launched many new products including mask sticks, matte lipstick topper, brow pens and gel eye shadows to increase their consumer base. The brand is also experimenting with natural ingredient-based products with its majority stake acquisition in ENN Beauty, a Delhi-based skin and hair care brand. 

“We have been in talks with Nandeeta (ENN Beauty’s founder) for more than two years because even though SUGAR has a lot in skin category, we are not a natural brand. We can’t take ghee and amla and make it into a product. But young women, who wear a lot of makeup, still want to go back to something traditional that they think would be safe (on their skin), in the form of ingredients,” says Vineeta.

Acquisitions have become a new route for both young and legacy consumer brands to quickly expand their product offerings. Cosmetic seller MyGlamm went on an acquisition spree, in 2021– acquiring Sirona, a digital women-hygiene brand, Baby Chakra, content platforms Miss Malini and Scoop Whoop– and became The Good Glamm Group.  

Skincare player Lotus Herbals acquired 25 percent stake in Conscious Chemist, a D2C clean-beauty brand, and Sequoia Capital India-backed Mamaearth also bought majority stakes in Mompresso. 

India’s beauty and personal care industry is expected to grow at 12 percent per annum to reach $28 billion by 2025, from an estimated $16 billion in 2020, according to RedSeer.  

SUGAR Cosmetics in backed by Elevation Capital, A91 Partners, Stride Ventures and India Quotient, among others. It competes with Hindustan Unilever’s Lakme, and L’oreal, among other legacy and venture-backed cosmetic brands.

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