There is a D2C revolution going on in India, and women entrepreneurs are at the forefront.
Digitalization has played a significant role in paving a comfortable path for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and reach out to their consumers. The D2C market, valued at US$ 44.6 billion in 2021, is set to expand to US$ 100 billion by 2025.
So, what exactly has changed in favor of D2C businesses, making them such a massive market in the last few years?
One is the change in the mindset of young local consumers, who are more inclined toward buying homegrown brands as long as they promise to fulfill customers’ expectations. The new consumer has money and is open to experimenting based on how their sentiments align with a brand’s values.
The second reason behind the incredible growth of D2C brands is women’s empowerment. Today, as entrepreneurs and consumers, ladies have come out in the open to pursue or enjoy their love for what interests them. They are independent enough to make a career out of their passion.
With the increase in women’s purchasing power, Indian consumers are changing the face of the D2C market.
Here, let’s look at the phenomenal five women D2C entrepreneurs to watch out for in 2022:
Sayantani Mandal, founder of What’s Up Wellness
In April of 2021, Sayantani and her business partner Vaibhav Makhija took the plunge into the D2C market. What’s Up Wellness was established to make wellness easy and fun for people of all age groups.
Taking care of oneself is a habit, and when a habit is hard to replicate repeatedly in our busy routines, we tend to give it up quickly. Thus, Sayantani ensured the products they come up with could be added to one’s lifestyle without much fuss. Take their skin and hair gummies, for example.
These multivitamin gummies are a blend of 13 essential nutrients, including superfoods such as Aloe Vera, Sea Buckthorn, and Grapeseed Extract. These gummies are an intelligent replacement for multivitamin pills and tablets.
They taste and smell beautifully of strawberries. But they aren’t any magic pills. They impact the best when a healthy lifestyle is maintained on the side.
Sayantani is the epitome of Strength and persistence. One can very well understand her courage because she dared to start her business in the thick of covid. She has completed her graduation from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, and has a great understanding of content and marketing.
Ruchi Pathak founder of Orahana
Ruchi Pathak, the founder of Orahana, has created a clothing and home furnishing brand that represents her style. It is warm, quirky, and colorful. It assimilates beautiful Indian aesthetics with pop-up colors that make heads turn. The brand was established to bring art, artists, and artisans together in one place.
Orahana is for the people in the truest sense. They like to personalize clothing and furnish objects to the best of customers’ liking. A simple glance at their clothing range will explain how much love Ruchi beholds for nature. Every piece is a riot of comfort, colors, and combinations of nature’s purest elements, such as flowers, leaves, etc.
Ruch is a dedicated person who prefers solace to company. Because only when she is alone, the creativity hits the hardest. She likes to stay by herself and curate designs people love wearing. She is a painter who brings her imagination and creativity alive on the fabric of the most premium kind.
When asked what kind of clothing is her favorite, “comfortable one,” she responds without thinking. Ruchi is as quirky as her designs. She is easy to talk to and has an affable personality.
Malika Sadana, founder of Mom’s Co
A woman might not be capable of doing everything. But as soon as she becomes a mother, she becomes a superwoman too.
The same happened with Malika Sadana, co-founder of Mom’s Co, when she became a mother. She searched for natural and toxin-free safe products for newborns but unfortunately couldn’t find any in India.
And then begin the cycle of asking friends going abroad if they would buy a moisturizer, an oil, a soap, etc., for their little princess. However, once it happened, one of her friends who was supposed to bring these products from the US got stuck in heavy snow and couldn’t return home on time.
Then the duo, Malika and her husband, called on the hunt to research why such products aren’t available in India. Soon, Malika realized that her concerns weren’t hers alone.
Numerous families across India wanted toxin-free products for their kids, but in the absence of any such products had to compromise with their children’s safety. This gave Malika the idea and the encouragement to establish a brand that would care for the needs of new moms and their kids.
Gunjan Sachdeva, founder of Matra Skincare Essentials
Gunjan Sachdeva is the mind behind Matra Skincare Essentials. Through this brand, she has tried to tie her two love interests, beauty and nature, together in one thread. She holds great respect for the ancient Indian tradition of medicine called Ayurveda and seeks to learn its secrets to create a range of safe and non-toxic skincare.
She graduated from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and after that, did her master’s in Business Administration with a major in Marketing. Her idea of enjoyment is to sit around natural ingredients, infuse them with her creativity, and bring the best out of them to give consumers natural yet effective beauty products.
You would be surprised to know that in order to give their consumers authenticity, Gunjan and her team source natural ingredients from as far as the Amazonian rainforests. It is not just their products but also their natural, minimal, and safe packaging. They have incredible customer support that guides consumers through product usage or other issues and provides skincare consultations without any fee.
Vineeta Singh, founder of Sugar Cosmetics
Who doesn’t know Vineeta Singh? She is one of the Sharks on the reality show Sharks Tank, India. But let’s keep our focus on her journey of creating one of India’s fastest-growing beauty brands.
Vineeta’s story is as unbelievable as it is inspiring. An alumnus of IIT and IIM, India’s two most prestigious universities, she declined a package of Rs.1 crore to pursue the path of her inner calling, entrepreneurship.
Today, Sugar has more than 35000+ outlets in more than 540+ cities. In India, her products give tough competition to some big international brands. Just by looking at her on television, one could tell of her fiercely independent nature.
In her personal life, she is an athlete. Probably, running taught her the importance of enduring tough times, keeping up the hustle, and winning big.
Recently, Sugar Cosmetics has raised a whopping funding of $50 million, led by L Catterton.
The beauty of digital platforms is that they allow female entrepreneurs to directly connect with their consumers, understand their pain points, and design customer-centric products. This helps women in small businesses as it removes any gender-based hurdles they might have otherwise faced in a brick-and-mortar setup.
With the government noticing the potential of women entrepreneurs, the investment scene has also improved. To cater to the financial needs of women entrepreneurs, Niti Aayog, in association with SIDBI, launched a Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) in 2018. It helps women entrepreneurs with tools, technologies, and funding.
There is a beautiful quote by Shahnaz Hussain, founder, chairperson & managing director of The Shahnaz Husain Group, India-
“I am a typical creator or pioneer. I pay the price; the next generation bears the fruit.”
Through this article, I want to acquaint young girls with ordinary women who became extraordinary leaders by breaking many stereotypes. Their stories inspire us to see how anyone can make it big in a man’s world through sheer hard work and persistence.