Fostering entrepreneurship: Insights from iStart Townhall in Jaipur

A recent iStart townhall in Jaipur showcased a fireside chat with Vineeta Singh, Co-founder of SUGAR Cosmetics, and Shradha Sharma, Founder of YourStory, and also offered a tour of the expansive Techno Hub

Fostering entrepreneurship: Insights from iStart Townhall in Jaipur

Wednesday September 06, 2023,

3 min Read

The iStart Townhall, held in association with YourStory, brought together visionaries, innovators, and emerging entrepreneurs at Rajasthan International Centre in Jaipur on August 11, 2023. Organised as part of the iStart initiative by the Department of IT and Communication, Government of Rajasthan, the event focused on creating a culture of innovation and building an ecosystem where entrepreneurship thrives.

The day featured an inspiring fireside chat featuring Vineeta Singh, Co-founder and CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics, in conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory. Singh's message of perseverance resonated powerfully with the young, aspiring entrepreneurs in attendance: "It is not a failure as long as you don't quit." Her journey as a successful entrepreneur served as a testament to the spirit of resilience and determination.

Singh, a renowned entrepreneur and a mother of two, led the team at SUGAR Cosmetics to achieve Rs 100 crore in annual revenue in just four years – a milestone that many legacy brands took almost two decades to reach. The direct-to-consumer (D2C) makeup brand also saw an improvement in its bottom line by about 15% in FY23.  

An incubation space spread over 1,00,000 square feet

One of the core highlights of the event was a guided tour of Bhamashah Techno Hub, one of the largest government owned startup hubs in the country, with a seating capacity for over 700 startups. Spanning 1,00,000 square feet, this incubation space supports technological and knowledge-based innovative ventures. Entrepreneurs who seek guidance from seasoned professionals will find a nurturing environment, dedicated to entrepreneurship and development.

The Government of Rajasthan's visionary initiative in establishing Bhamashah Techno Hub underscores its commitment to accelerating the growth of a vibrant startup ecosystem. This incubation centre serves as a launching pad for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch ideas and connect with potential investors. Beyond financial support, Bhamashah Techno Hub offers unfettered access to essential resources such as high-speed internet, workspace, and other infrastructure necessities, ensuring a conducive environment for registered entrepreneurs to thrive.

East or West, India is the best

The event transitioned seamlessly from the tour of Bhamashah Techno Hub to a deeper exploration of entrepreneurial strategies and tactics. Moderated by Shraddha Sharma, the fireside chat with Vineeta Singh provided valuable insights into factors that underpin entrepreneurial success.

Sharma shared an intriguing perspective on changing consumer perceptions, highlighting that quality was once synonymous with products made in Europe or America. The paradigm shift has been exemplified by brands like SUGAR Cosmetics, which not only manufactures products in India but also delivers exceptional quality.

Singh emphasised that entrepreneurs can garner consumer trust without hefty marketing expenses, by focusing solely on creating products that resonate with their audience. She stated, "If your product has consumer love, it will automatically grow on its own, with zero marketing."

The founder underscored the need for patience in earning the trust of India's vast population, numbering 130 crores (1.3 billion). She spoke about the simplicity of the Indian consumer mindset, affirming that entrepreneurs aiming to establish product or brand businesses must prioritise building trust within this demographic.

Singh highlighted that while foreign brands delivered high-quality products, they didn’t understand Indians or Indian needs. As a makeup brand, SUGAR understood and knew about the different skin colours, diverse shades of brown, and the weather in India, and created products that match each individual’s natural skin colour.

In conclusion, the iStart Townhall was an inspiring confluence of entrepreneurial wisdom and innovative spirit. It laid the groundwork for a dynamic startup ecosystem in Rajasthan, forging connections, and fostering resilience among emerging entrepreneurs.