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Breaking Barriers: The Entrepreneurial Odyssey of Vineeta Singh, CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics

INTRODUCTION

Vineeta Singh, co-founder and CEO of the renowned cosmetic brand SUGAR Cosmetics, rose to prominence as one of the female sharks on Shark Tank India. Throughout Season 1, she garnered recognition not only for her shrewd investments across diverse industries but also for her striking resemblance to the beloved character “Raju ki Maa” from the film 3 Idiots. This similarity sparked a flurry of memes, further enhancing her appeal. Viewers admired her poised presence and astute business acumen on the show.

EDUCATION

Vineeta was born on August 6, 1983, in Anand, Gujarat. Her mother holds a Ph.D. degree, and her father, Tej P. Singh, is a biophysicist at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences. Vineeta’s father is deeply passionate about his work, and it’s clear she has inherited this trait from him. She attended Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram for her early schooling.
From a young age, Vineeta showed exceptional intelligence. She effortlessly cracked the entrance exams for both IIT and IIM. She studied at IIT Madras, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2005. Later, she pursued an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, graduating in 2007.

ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY

It was during her MBA that Vineeta decided to become an entrepreneur. At just 23 years old, she turned down a job offer from Deutsche Bank, even though it was worth INR 1 Crore. Vineeta wanted to pursue something unique, so she teamed up with a friend to start her own startup.
Vineeta, known as the co-founder and CEO of SUGAR, didn’t start her entrepreneurial journey with this brand. After completing her masters
initially wanted to launch a lingerie brand for women. However, due of funding, this idea couldn’t take off. She then founded her first startup, Quetzal, which provided HR services and designed curriculum for B-schools. Unfortunately, the business didn’t succeed, partly because people hesitant to work with her due to her young age and lack of experience.

Undeterred, Vineeta started her second venture, Fab Bags, in 2012. It was a subscription platform delivering monthly beauty product packages. During this time, she realised the need for affordable and quality beauty products for Indian women, leading her to establish SUGAR Cosmetics in 2015 with her husband, Kaushik Mukherjee.

Within a few years, SUGAR Cosmetics became a favourite among Indian women. Vineeta constantly experiments with her products. After securing a $50 million deal with private equity firm L Catterton, she emphasised catering to the preferences of women with diverse skin tones.

In 2022, Bollywood star Ranveer Singh came on the board of the company as investor, becoming a “brand evangelist” for SUGAR Cosmetics. Despite facing challenges along the way, Vineeta has emerged as one of India’s successful women entrepreneurs

SHARK TANK INDIA

Vineeta Singh became a household name after her appearances on Shark tank India. She joined the show in Season 1 and continued to appear in Season 2 and 3. She also won hearts with her humour and playful mimicry of other sharks at different events. Throughout the show, Vineeta made several strategic investments, further enhancing her reputation as savvy entrepreneur.