Top D2C Brands In India And Their Heros


In a direct-to-consumer (D2C) business model, brands can connect directly with their customers without involving middle sellers. This allows brands to understand their customers better and improve their overall shopping experience. Customers are also becoming more vocal about their preferences and are gravitating towards brands that prioritise quality, timely shipping, and good post-delivery support.
Let’s walk you through the different approaches these D2C start ups are implementing.


Sugar Cosmetics is one of the premium vegan beauty brands in India. The makeup brand is known for its high-quality, natural ingredients and its unique packaging.

The Road to Success

In 2012, alumni Kaushik Mukherjee and Vineeta Singh had a big idea. They wanted to create a cosmetics line that was fun, colourful, and most importantly, affordable. So they quit their jobs and started Sugar Cosmetics.
They managed to get their products into a few local boutiques, and slowly but surely, word started to spread about the new brand on the block.
Their first product was a range of brightly coloured lipsticks, which quickly became a hit among Bollywood celebrities and everyday women alike.

The Ongoing Journey

Sugar Cosmetics has now on boarded Ranveer Singh as its latest investor. This comes after the company raised Series D funding in May 2022. It is the first startup investment made by the actor. With this new partnership, the company will be able to “create new pathways for customer acquisition" and plans to become a new favourite cosmetics brand among millennial and Gen Z customers.


The Road to Success

Lenskart is an Indian multinational optical prescription eyewear retail chain. Lenskart has over 5000 styles of eyewear, which is 5 times more than that of any retailer in India. It completely transformed the disorganised eyewear sector in India. Initially, the company began as an online platform exclusively for contact lenses. However, it quickly expanded its offerings to include prescription glasses and sunglasses as well.

In 2010, Peyush Bansal, along with his friends Amit Chaudhary and Sumeet Kapahi, established Lenskart. The idea arose when Peyush discovered that a significant number of visually impaired individuals in India were not wearing eyeglasses. This inspired him to make eyeglasses accessible to a large number of people in order to enhance their vision.

Piyush Bansal swears by “If the customers are not responding to your solution, then you need to find better solutions to their problems. And keep testing these solutions; don’t chase perfection at the risk of customers moving onto a completely different need.”

The Ongoing Journey

Lenskart recently unveiled a new campaign that showcases its CEO, Peyush Bansal, alongside Bollywood celebrity Karan Johar. The aim of this campaign is to use humour to promote Lenskart's wide range of eyewear products through various channels, both online and offline.
From sunglasses to reading glasses to contact lenses, they make everything that can help you see this beautiful world with more clarity.


mCaffeine is the first homegrown start-up to create caffeine-infused personal care products for a premium millennial audience. Currently, the brand offers 55 caffeine-infused products, including bathing bars, shampoos, scrubs, oils, etc. Having sold upwards of 10 million products to date, the brand has achieved cult status within the Indian D2C personal care industry.

The Road to Success

Back in 2015, Tarun Sharma ( Founder ) met with an accident and had a sore eye. Someone suggested that he put a brewed but lukewarm green tea bag on his eyes to reduce the puffiness. Surprisingly, the puffiness actually went away. He did a bit of research and found out that the caffeine in the green tea had an amazing effect on his swollen eye. Thus, began the story of mCaffeine

After researching about caffeine and caffeine-related products, in January 2016, Tarun Sharma, along with friends Vikas Lachhwani, Vaishali Gupta, Mohit Jain and Saurabh Singhal started mCaffeine

The Ongoing Journey

mCaffeine has announced the launch of its new campaign, "Up For Life," featuring Alia Bhatt. They are also planning to launch 15-20 products by the end of 2023 and expand to 12 countries across the globe in the next 3 years.


Bewakoof is the fashion e-commerce startup that stands out from the rest. It offers a trendy collection of apparel based on dazzling and upbeat designs that resonate with the millennials.

The Road to Success

Prabhkiran Singh and Siddharth Munot, the founders of Bewakoof, were sitting outside their campus and brainstorming on possible ideas for their venture. The idea of t-shirt printing was finalised as it resonated with their mission of bringing the humour factor into the lives of college students.

The founders finalised this name because 'Bewakoof' (stupid in Hindi) is what the society considers people who perform silly stunts and 'out of the box' activities; actions that don't adhere to the society’s norms and methods.

The Ongoing Journey

Bewakoof has signed Sidharth Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh to promote the brand across its digital platforms for its campaign ‘Never’.


Boat is an India-based consumer electronics brand established in 2015 that markets earphones, headphones stereos, travel chargers and premium rugged cables.

The Road to Success

Boat set sail in 2014. During one of their many explorations, founders Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta discover that the dopest people of this land were in search of affordable and ultra fashionable audio products to groove to. Thus, in 2014, they kickstarted a great voyage in Indian consumer waters.

The Ongoing Journey

Boat bets big on cricket, ropes in Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, and Prithvi Shaw as brand ambassadors. Also onboarded it’s first female ambassador Rashmika Mandanna to promote its wearables category for their women’s day campaign ‘#DanceThroughLife’.


Thela Gaadi, a homegrown brand for socks and accessories, is a delightful tribute to the stories we all grew up with. It brings kindness, humour, and wisdom into our lives over the years. Their products fill your home with brightness, happy memories, and creative energy.

The Road to Success

Kapil Garg, an IT professional with a passion for colours, felt lost in the sea of corporate formals. Inspired by a childhood nickname and a desire to express himself, he searched for vibrant socks but couldn't find what he wanted. One fateful day, he stumbled upon the perfect socks during a holiday, and they transformed him, unleashing his true, joyful, and unique self at the office.

The Ongoing Journey

This was how the seed for ThelaGaadi was sown. Now, after two years, the vision has evolved to make ThelaGaadi India's 1st Integrated accessory brand. The invaluable guidance and unwavering support provided by Marwari Catalysts have played a significant role in helping ThelaGaadi achieve this milestone.


ThelaGaadi, with its delightful collection of socks adorned with whimsical cartoon prints, joined the league of innovators. Sugar Cosmetics painted the town with colourful lipsticks, Lenskart opened eyes to a new vision, mCaffeine brewed up caffeinated beauty potions, Bewakoof danced to its own fashion beat, and BoAt sailed through audio waves, making hearts skip a beat. Together, they redefined direct connections and transformed brands into a sweet retreat for all.

Also Read : On A Journey Towards Vibrant CleanTech Startup Ecosystem


Brand Name


Unique Selling Point

Notable Achievement

Sugar Cosmetics


High-quality, vegan products

Ranveer Singh as investor, Series D funding



Wide range, prescription glasses

Campaign with Karan Johar, extensive online and offline presence


Personal Care

Caffeine-infused products

"Up For Life" campaign, international expansion plans



Trendy, humorous apparel

Collaboration with Sidharth Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh



Fashionable, affordable audio products

Cricket-focused brand ambassadors, female ambassador for wearables



Vibrant socks and accessories

First integrated accessory brand in India


1. What is a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Business Model?

The D2C model involves brands selling directly to customers, bypassing traditional retailers or middlemen.

2. Who are the Leading D2C Brands in India?

Key brands include Sugar Cosmetics, Lenskart, mCaffeine, Bewakoof, Boat, and ThelaGaadi

3. How Has Sugar Cosmetics Gained Popularity?

Through high-quality, vegan products and unique marketing strategies.

4. What Sets Lenskart Apart in the Eyewear Market?

Lenskart offers a vast range of eyewear, transforming the Indian eyewear sector.

5. What is Unique About mCaffeine's Product Range?

mCaffeine specializes in caffeine-infused personal care products.

6. How Did Bewakoof Create Its Fashion Niche?

Bewakoof focuses on trendy apparel with a unique, humorous twist.

7. What Makes Boat Stand Out in Consumer Electronics?

Boat offers fashionable, affordable audio products and has strong brand ambassadors.

8. What Inspired the Founding of ThelaGaadi?

The brand started from a passion for vibrant, unique socks and accessories.