For growth, our focus has been on listening to customers & keep innovating: Vineeta Singh

Singh, Co-founder & CEO, Sugar Cosmetics on the brand’s impressive growth trajectory over its five year journey, and expectations from the festive season

e4m by Christina Moniz
Published: Nov 6, 2020 8:35 AM  | 3 min read
Vineeta Singh

Sugar Cosmetics started off as a digital native brand and has made its mark successfully as an omnichannel company over the past five years of its existence. With its retail presence now across over 100 in the country, Vineeta Singh, Co-founder & CEO, Sugar Cosmetics, takes us through the brand’s impressive growth journey and its plans to scale up its app revenues from 60% to 80%

Edited Excerpts

The company turns five this year, and has seen a remarkable trajectory from digital-first to omnichannel. What is the kind of growth you’ve seen for the brand year-on-year? And what kind of growth drivers have you identified to take it forward?

Year on year, we have seen a phenomenal growth jump on an average of almost 200% and we have already clocked in over Rs 105 crore turnover at the end of our fifth fiscal year. For our growth, our focus has always been on what we do best: listen to the customer, keep innovating on product and be obstinately clear about not taking shortcuts that grow sales at the expense of the brand. For the rest of 2020, our focus will be set on scaling up our app revenues from 60% to 80% of all online revenue from brand platforms.

While the brand’s origins were on Digital, now that you’re an omnichannel brand, what is the kind of media mix you employ for your campaigns?

Last year, we took a call to build the brand beyond Digital via various ATL (billboards/radio/newspapers/magazines) and BTL initiatives (offline properties at various on-ground events, mall activations, etc.). This omnichannel marketing focus gave a strong boost to the brand’s visibility in our target audience and has helped place the brand as the leading player in the new millennial makeup space. In the current year, we have changed the mix to largely digital until we see more footfalls in our retail locations where we are ready to pick up from where we left back in March.  


The current pandemic has impacted all sectors, and surely that includes beauty and make-up. Considering cosmetics will not be high on the consumer priority list at this time, what will the main focus areas be for you at this time?

The immediate changes we first implemented back in April were to drastically reduce fixed costs. Discretionary spends like performance marketing ads were pulled, discussions were initiated with business partners for extended credit periods and most importantly - a company-wide request for voluntary pay cuts was shared in lieu of 4X the forgone amount in ESOPs. Our retail store colleagues pitched in by clocking brisk sales via their WhatsApp networks to help the company generate revenues during the lean months. Our focus areas remained customer acquisition at the lowest cost through online channels while retail took a few months to recover completely.  


Now with the festive season underway, do you expect to see a revival of sorts for your brand and sector overall?

We’re definitely seeing a positive uptick towards revival for Sugar Cosmetics and the overall industry. Since May, when the unlock procedures kicked off, we have already clocked in our highest ever online monthly sales and 40-50% of our stores are already functioning. We’re seeing a trend of consumers who are celebrating the festive season to get their dose of normalcy by indulging in ‘feel-good’ items like makeup for themselves and gifting them to their dear ones who are away. We are gunning for a 50% jump from our FY20 numbers by the end of the FY21.

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Dentsu-e4m Digital Advertising Report 2023 to be unveiled on February 2

The event will have a stellar line-up of insightful sessions by industry leaders on the theme ‘Creating Value In The Web3 Digital Economy’

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 1, 2023 7:45 AM   |   3 min read


The digital landscape continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, helping companies to become more innovative, sustainable and resilient. The rapid internet penetration and adoption of digital media have opened various ways for interaction, creating huge opportunities to tap into the uncharted arena of digital space in newer ways. To highlight the significant trends in the digital domain, Dentsu and exchange4media Group have once again come together to launch the 7th Edition of the Dentsu-e4m Digital Advertising Report 2023. The report will be unveiled on February 2 at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai by Divya Karani, Media Chief Executive Officer, dentsu South Asia, Vinod Thadani, Chief Digital Growth Officer, dentsu Media & CEO iProspect, Abheek Biswas, AVP Consumer Insights, DENTSU CREATIVE India. The event is co-powered by Criteo, Bobble AI is the co-gold partner while Lemma is the lanyard partner.

Dentsu, one of the leading global media conglomerates in India, specialises in Media, Digital and Creative offerings. The unveiling of the report will be followed by insightful conversations where industry leaders will come together to discuss the opportunities and future of digital under the Theme ‘Creating Value In The Web3 Digital Economy’.
The conference will kickstart with a welcome address by Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and Founder, exchange4media and Nawal Ahuja, Co-Founder, exchange4media following which the much-awaited Dentsu-e4m Digital Advertising Report 2023 will be unveiled. Divya Karani, Vinod Thadani and Abheek Biswas will share the key insights of the report and highlight the significant trends of 2022-23 and real-time facts and figures pertaining to the entire digital domain.

The event will showcase a stellar line-up of insightful sessions by speakers throughout the day. Rob Gilby, CEO, dentsu APAC, will deliver a keynote address on the topic- ‘Creating value in the Web3 digital Economy’. Following this, will be the first panel discussion on the topic ‘India digital stack for technology and creativity in the new digital economy’. The panellists are Gagan Singla, MD, blinkX by JM Financial, Prasad Pimple, Executive Vice President & Head of Digital Business Unit, Kotak Life, Medhavi Singh, Head of Enterprise - India, Criteo, Abhijit Shah, Head Marketing, Digital & Customer Experience, ICICI Prudential AMC. The session will be moderated by Rashmi Sethi, Chief Strategy Officer, Fractal Ink, a Merkle Company.

The next panel discussion will be on the topic ‘Customer expectations in new digital economy’ where panellists including Raunika Malhotra, President – Marketing and Corporate Communications, Lodha; Sachin Shukla, Head, Brand and Digital Media, ICICI Bank; and Shoorveer Shekhawat, Head of Marketing, Video Banking & TFx Initiatives, AU Small Finance Bank will throw light on the expectations of the Web3 consumer and the ways brands can meet them to create value in the new digital economy. The panel will be moderated by Anita Kotwani, CEO, Carat India.

Gulbahar Taurani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ISC, Philips Domestic Appliances, will deliver a keynote address on the topic ‘Unlocking the potential of Web3 decentralized economy for consumer marketing and commerce’. The insightful evening would conclude with the last panel discussion on the topic ‘Experiential creativity for the modern consumer’ where panellists including Manasi Narasimhan, VP and Head, Marketing & Communications, South Asia, Mastercard, Adrian Terron, Head of Corporate Brand and Marketing Strategy, Tata Group, Sunil Nat, Head - E-commerce & Digital Marketing, Galderma. The session will be moderated by Heeru Dingra, Chief Business Officer, DENTSU CREATIVE India.

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Enigmatic Smile appoints MS Dhoni as its India brand ambassador

Launches launch card-linked offers in India

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 4:15 PM   |   2 min read


Enigmatic Smile has onboarded former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni as its brand ambassador for India.

“Anyone who has ever launched a new product or service, especially when it involves strict compliance, security and safety standards, knows that cool headedness and high integrity are paramount. As Captain Cool, MS Dhoni embodies these two qualities, as well as those of loyalty and reliability. This is why we approached him to represent our brand in India. We are delighted to have him on board and look forward to a long and fruitful association,” said Bish Smeir, CEO, Enigmatic Smile.

MS Dhoni said, “I am delighted to represent Enigmatic Smile and as their exclusive brand ambassador for the rewards space in India. As they launch “India’s largest rewards economy,” Enigmatic Smile promises to improve the lives of millions of Indian people by helping them “Link their cards once. Collect rewards forever.”

That promise is a simple vow which resonates with me, and one I can stand behind. I wish Enigmatic Smile, all connected retailers, reward programmes, offer publishers and consumers every success as we launch this great, and rewarding project together.” He further added.

Commenting on the launch, Chandra Bhushan, India Country Head, said: “Pinelabs, Innoviti and NDTV have come on board with Enigmatic Smile, enabling all their connected retailers to benefit from the brand new card-linked solution, we look forward to many such associations benefiting the end consumer.”



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EssenceMediacom launched with 120 offices globally

The new agency by GroupM will be led by its Global CEO Nick Lawson

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 3:37 PM   |   3 min read

essence mediacom

EssenceMediacom – GroupM’s newest and largest agency – formally launches today with an ambition to deliver marketing breakthroughs for their clients. Disrupting the old models across media, creative, innovation and analytics, the agency has been built to find new opportunity for brands and deliver truly integrated media solutions.
Comprised of 10,000 people across 120 offices globally and led by Global CEO Nick Lawson, EssenceMediacom combines Essence’s performance, data, analytics and creative technology DNA with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel audience planning and strategic media expertise. 

The agency launches with an enviable client roster, which includes global and local clients, and will be responsible for more than $21bn in global media billings (COMvergence, 2021).

EssenceMediacom is part of GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, giving it access to the richest data, most robust benchmarks and most advanced capabilities in the market fueled by the company’s cross-channel performance division GroupM Nexus and Choreograph, GroupM’s industry-leading data and technology services provider.  

In India, EssenceMediacom recently announced the leadership elevation of Navin Khemka as CEO, South Asia, and Sonali Malaviya as Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, South Asia. 

Navin Khemka, South Asia CEO of EssenceMediacom, said, “I am looking forward to this transformational role in leading the merged agency of Essence and MediaCom. India is one of the fastest-growing markets, and with the merger, I am confident that we will be able to future-proof our talent and offer unmatched services. Thanks to all our clients for their continued trust and partnership. Our clients can now look forward to the sophistication from EssenceMediacom that is required to succeed in the new era.” 

Prasanth Kumar, South Asia CEO of GroupM, said, “GroupM’s global merger of Essence and MediaCom has given us a fantastic opportunity to have the top 3 brands in India apart from Mindshare and Wavemaker. Essence and MediaCom together land with complementary skills, and set up an advantage for clients across data, technology, digital and media expertise. It is a wonderful moment for our people as this creates opportunities to work across some top-class brands. I wish EssenceMediacom a fantastic journey - I am sure that EssenceMediacom will continue to demonstrate some groundbreaking work for our clients.” 

Nick Lawson, EssenceMediacom’s Global CEO, said: “This process has been nine months in the making and I am so excited to see our ambition of bringing Essence and MediaCom together finally become a reality. What will underpin our groundbreaking agency is our people, and we will be steadfast in our commitment to provide an environment of continuous learning so they can grow and be the best they can be. Together, and with analytics, data and technology at our heart, I have no doubt we will deliver breakthroughs across our entire client base.” 

Christian Juhl, Global CEO, GroupM, said, “The fusion of Essence’s measurement and data-driven DNA with MediaCom’s scale and strategic expertise creates something truly unique in the marketplace. Alongside Mindshare, Wavemaker, and mSix&Partners, the launch of EssenceMediacom ensures we have the solutions and thinking to meet the needs of every brand and marketer seeking to grow their business in the new economy. I’m personally excited to see the way EssenceMediacom’s commitment to creating breakthroughs will change expectations for what’s possible in business, culture, and marketing and produce enormous value for our clients.”

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Ananya Panday collaborates with for Valentine's Day campaign

Panday stars in a social media campaign for the gifting brand

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 2:16 PM   |   2 min read

Ananya Panday

Bollywood actress Ananya Panday has collaborated with for their latest Valentine’s Day campaign. The actress represents today’s youth and was found to be the perfect fit for the campaign.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by IGP (@igpcom)

The campaign was recently live on social media, the campaign will witness her looking pretty and glowing in love as she gets ready to look her best for a date with perhaps a special someone. She keeps her fans guessing as she gives a glimpse of the many Valentine's Day gifts she has at home, while dropping no names or hints about who she is giving or has received the gifts from. She walks to her living room Laden with flowers, hampers, chocolates, teddy and a cake. Ananya's eyes sparkle as she runs her fingers over the pretty flowers, picks up a beautiful heart-shaped chocolate, looks at a pretty red and white iced cake and then hugs a fluffy teddy bear. Then, sitting down, she addresses her fans by saying how ready she is for Valentine’s day with gifts from IGP. Ananya gushes about the gifting platform's collection of flowers, cakes, hampers and other gifting options as she flips out her phone to encourage fans to go on the IGP app and do the same and choose their perfect Valentine's gifts for their special someone. Finally, she makes a heart icon gesture cheerfully and wishes her fans a happy Valentine's Day before signing off.

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Hoopr launches music licensing plans for brands, digital platforms, production houses

This marks the platform’s entry into the B2B segment

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 11:35 AM   |   2 min read


Music licensing platform Hoopr has now launched plans for brands, production houses, agencies and digital platforms to license music. This marks Hoopr’s entry into the B2B segment after raising $1.5 million in seed funding and the subsequent acquisition of 65,000+ users across India since July 2022.

Giving further insights, Gaurav Dagaonkar, CEO and Co-founder, Hoopr, said, "Businesses today are adopting the mindset of a creator and taking steps to put out content that is relevant to their target audience on a daily basis. Considering the growth of the internet and the increase in consumption of video, a large chunk of this content released by brands or on behalf of brands is in the form of videos. Against this backdrop, the need for copyright safe music that is cleared across multiple platforms has emerged as a strong need. At Hoopr, we’re not only addressing this exact need but are also offering a diverse collection of music that is very diverse and as a result a perfect fit with different use cases and geographic sensibilities across India. We’ve also priced the product in a way that ensures accessibility across the board – from start-ups to large businesses. Furthermore, we’re also offering custom solutions for enterprises such as digital media platforms and brands."

The clearance of Hoopr’s B2B licence covers platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Podcasts, Tiktok, and other avenues such as radio, TV, OTT, etc. In addition to this, the business plans offered by Hoopr also allow for the usage of licensed music in live commerce and on influencer-led videos. With new channels of user acquisition such as these becoming ever more prevalent and providing tangible gains for brands across the board, it’s imperative to utilize the best available resources for such activities. This includes music where not only would an entity want music that is specifically curated for a particular use case or theme, but that which is also cleared for usage on such channels.

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StanPlus rebranded as RED.Health

The rebranding exercise extends to the brand's logo, website and social media channels

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 30, 2023 4:38 PM   |   4 min read


Medical emergency response platform StanPlus today announced four new business verticals to create, build and offer a holistic Emergency Care Network in the country. The company will build the new businesses under a new identity, RED.Health. The name change is rooted in the company’s commitment to strengthen India’s Emergency Medical System through Rapid Emergency Dispatch.

StanPlus, started in 2015, today has been synonymous with saving lives by providing state of the art Ambulances in just 8 minutes. The company built a multi-city network of 5000+ ambulances with top-of-the-line equipment for critical and non-critical care. Known as India's version of 911, the rebranding will further build on the narrative through a broader spectrum of services. Under the RED.Health umbrella, the company will offer four new business verticals inline with its mission to build India’s largest medical emergency response network. These include:

RED Ambulances: RED has redefined the emergency response system by providing ambulances in just 8 minutes. Expanding its ambulance portfolio, RED will now provide Road ambulances, Air ambulances (RED Air Guardian), Bereavement services (Asth), and Standby ambulances for corporates and events for citizens.
RED Assist: RED Assist has two segments, one for the hospital partners which includes Centralised Ambulance Management and Outsourcing (CAMO) and other for Corporate partners which includes doctor-on-call, an online consultation service that links patients with doctors in real time. A doctor can be consulted for a variety of health issues, from general medical questions to specific health concerns.
RED Priority Clinics: This vertical aims to connect rural India to the vital healthcare system and provide day-to-day health advisory. Red Clinics provides integrated facilities for consultation, diagnosis, preventive health checks and medicine delivery. RED Clinics will also integrate with Occupational Health Centers (OHCs) and Infirmary of Corporates, to give best-in-class 1st degree health care and patient preparation in case of emergency evacuation.
RED Academy: It is a dedicated vertical that provides emergency response training for the 'Golden Hour', and it aims to integrate trained paramedics into the healthcare infrastructure. This segment will also help enterprises and corporates to ensure the safety of their employees in case of medical emergencies, through employee training about critical actions during emergencies like giving CPR to a colleague on the office floor.

To expand its current offerings, the company is also establishing a technology center within, namely RED Edge, that will strengthen the existing technical support and work on new product development for all the new business verticals. Red Edge, with a vision to revolutionise India's emergency response system with AI and GPS Mapping, will be leveraged under Suhas Kulkarni’s leadership, CPTO, and Founding member, RED.Health

Highlighting the larger vision for the brand, Prabhdeep Singh, Founder and CEO, RED.Health, said, “India is making progress in addressing the over 500,000 emergency cases through timely interventions each year. Since the concept of EMS is fairly new, The biggest challenge for EMS has been infrastructure and manpower. With the launch of our new verticals, we are embarking on a new endeavour to build India’s largest emergency network. Our mission is to build this through partnerships and training to deliver expert care with speed, empathy and reliability. Our tech-led services are the solution in the time of crisis and as we transition into RED.Health, we are staying true to our mission of patient first approach of saving lives”

The rebranding coincides with the shift in the brand’s logo, website and social media channels with the campaign being visible across multiple communication touch points including digital, outdoor and social. In the process of rebranding, the company has also completely rebranded its ambulances and interiors/exteriors of the Clinics, along with our regional offices. Moreover to strengthen the new brand’s presence, the company also has rebranded the uniforms of its ground staff like drivers and paramedics.

RED.Health (formerly known as StanPlus) has raised $22.6Mn so far from investors like HealthQuad, Kalaari Capital and HealthX Capital Singapore amongst others. RED Ambulances has a partner fleet of 5000+ ambulances, 10+ air ambulances, partnership with 300+ hospitals, and a team of 1200+ medical care experts that is assisting 30L lives every year.

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Melorra shows why jewellery makes a great gift for men and women in Valentine's Day ad

The #PartnerInSuccess campaign advocates equality in love, effort, time and care in relationships

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 30, 2023 2:29 PM   |   2 min read


Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and couples are looking for the best way to express their love and fondness for each other, and it’s often shown through gifts. For this season of love, Melorra , one of India’s fastest-growing D2C brands, is here with its new campaign, #PartnerInSuccess, run across social media platforms. The campaign advocates for equal efforts, love, time & care for partners in romantic relationships.

The idea behind #PartnerInSuccess is that gifting is not a one-way street; women can also express their love through thoughtful gifts for their partners. The campaign emphasises companionship and support in relationships. It seeks to debunk the idea that only men can gift jewellery to their partners. The underlying notion is that relationships have evolved, and so should gifting. This is reflected in Melorra’s video ad.

The ad features a couple supporting each other during challenging times. The video starts with the man, who always stands by his partner during her rough days, ensuring she achieves her goal of being selected for the soccer team. Later, the woman gifts him a ring to appreciate his commitment and trust. The campaign reflects the fact that standing for one another as a couple can go a long way in helping each other fulfil their dreams.

Speaking on the launch, Saroja Yeramilli, Founder & CEO, said, “Valentine’s Day has become just as big a celebratory event as birthdays and anniversaries, especially in terms of gifting. However, it’s often portrayed with only the woman on the receiving end. With our new digital campaign, #PartnerInSuccess, we want to push forward the idea that relationships are about mutual support and efforts, and gifting is not a one-way street. Women can show their appreciation towards their partners through gifts too! Therefore, all customers can choose from our extensive collections that start at the most affordable pricing.”

With 16,000+ designs for Her, Melorra has one of the largest collections of affordable fine jewellery designs that are perfect for gifting.  Melorra has also recently launched men’s collection. This campaign primarily targets men and women between the ages of 25 and 40 and offers jewellery starting at INR 3000. The brand delivers its products in 26,000+ pin codes across India, making its mark throughout, including in villages with less than 10,000 to cities above 1 million.

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