Vineeta Singh, the CEO and co-founder of Sugar Cosmetics, is a trailblazing entrepreneur and an influential figure in India's business landscape. Her remarkable journey, accolades, and impact on the world of cosmetics and entrepreneurship make her a true force to be reckoned with.
Born in 1983 in Anand, Gujarat, Vineeta Singh hails from an academically accomplished family. Her mother holds a Ph.D., and her father, Tej P. Singh, is a biophysicist at the prestigious All India Institutes of Medical Sciences. Vineeta attended Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram, graduating in 2001.
She then embarked on her educational journey by enrolling at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in 2001. Notably, her educational path was guided by her passion for excellence and determination. Her professor, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, recognised her potential early on, believing that she was destined for success and entrepreneurship.
Vineeta Singh successfully completed her electrical engineering studies at IIT-M, earning her bachelor's degree in 2005. Subsequently, she pursued an MBA from the esteemed Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, solidifying her foundation in business and management.
During her time at IIM, Singh made a bold decision that would set the stage for her entrepreneurial journey. In 2006, she turned down a lucrative job offer from Deutsche Bank, which came with a jaw-dropping annual salary of Rs 1 crore. This decision was rooted in her aspiration to build a consumer brand for women focused on lingerie. Together with a fellow graduate who made the same choice, she decided to venture into the world of entrepreneurship.
Vineeta Singh's entrepreneurial spirit came to life in 2007 when she founded her first startup, Quetzal. Although this venture aimed to provide background verification checks to recruiters, it faced challenges on its path to success. However, Singh remained undeterred and launched her second startup, Fab-Bag, in 2012. Fab-Bag was a subscription platform offering monthly deliveries of beauty products.
The turning point in Singh's entrepreneurial journey came with the inception of Sugar Cosmetics in 2015. Together with her husband, Kaushik Mukherjee, whom she met during their studies at IIM Ahmedabad, she embarked on a mission to create cosmetics and personal care products tailored to the Indian market. Sugar Cosmetics quickly gained recognition and market share.
Notably, in 2022, Sugar Cosmetics secured a significant deal with private equity firm L Catterton, marked by an infusion of $50 million. This strategic partnership reflected Sugar Cosmetics' commitment to catering to women with diverse skin tones and preferences.
In a remarkable development, renowned Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh invested an undisclosed amount in Sugar Cosmetics and became the brand's "brand evangelist" in September 2022.
Vineeta Singh's achievements have graced the cover pages of prestigious business magazines such as Forbes India, Business Today, and Businessworld. In her interactions with Business Today, Singh highlighted instances where funding was conditional on her husband joining the company, underscoring her commitment to combating gender discrimination in the business world.
Vineeta Singh's entrepreneurial journey and Sugar Cosmetics have received recognition through various awards, underlining her significant contributions to the business landscape:
Start-up of the Year Award by Entrepreneur Awards, Delhi (2019).
W-Power Award by Forbes India (2021).
BW Disrupt 40 Under 40 Award by Businessworld (2021).
Fortune's 40 Under 40 (2021).
World Economic Forum's Young Global Leadership list (2022).
Additionally, Vineeta Singh is an accomplished athlete with achievements in marathons, ultramarathons, and triathlons. She's a triathlete and ultramarathon runner and completed the 2017 Ironman Triathlon in Austria. Remarkably, during the 2018 Mumbai Marathon, she ran 21 km in 2 hours, 42 minutes, and 51 seconds while being six months pregnant.
Vineeta Singh is more than an entrepreneur; she's an inspiration for countless aspiring business leaders. Her participation as one of the major investors and judges on the business reality show Shark Tank India reflects her commitment to inspiring entrepreneurship and supporting female entrepreneurs.
Her influence goes beyond business; in 2022, she and other Shark Tank India judges appeared as VIP contestants on Kaun Banega Crorepati, India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. She also graced The Kapil Sharma Show alongside her fellow Shark Tank India judges.
Vineeta Singh's journey, marked by determination, innovation, and empowerment, continues to inspire individuals worldwide. She has emerged as a symbol of excellence and a driving force in India's entrepreneurial landscape.