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How to Build a Startup From Scratch to Scale It (500M -1000M Dollars?)


Key Takeaways 

  1. It's not what you sell that matters as much as how you sell it!

  2. Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.

  3. Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day

  4. Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.

  5. Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.


Building a startup from scratch and scaling it to a value of 500 million to 1000 million-dollar business requires careful planning and strategic execution. This guide will explore the key steps and considerations involved in this ambitious endeavor. 

From identifying a viable business idea to securing funding, assembling a talented team, and navigating potential challenges, we'll cover the essential elements of building a successful startup. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or an experienced business owner looking to expand, this guide will provide valuable insights into the intricate process of growing a startup to a substantial valuation.

    Is He An Underrated Founder?

    An underrated founder is someone who has started a successful company but doesn't receive as much attention or recognition as other more well-known entrepreneurs. This could be due to factors such as a quieter personality, a focus on building the business rather than self-promotion, or operating in a less visible industry.

    A real-life example is Katrina Lake, the founder of Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service. Despite leading a successful public company, she is not as widely recognized as some other tech founders. Similarly, Ben Chestnut, the co-founder of Mailchimp, has quietly built a multi-billion dollar business without the same level of fame as some of his peers in the tech industry.

    Related topic: From Beardo to Villain to RENÉE Cosmetics: Secret of serial entrepreneur Priyank Shah’s Success

    Building Beardo, Villain & Renee Cosmetics


    Here is my research that I found to share with you, there are three main steps:

    1. Identifying Gaps:

    1. Beardo: Saw men were neglecting self-care products. Created beard oils, trimmers, etc., for the "modern man."

    2. Villain: Noticed lack of cool, affordable men's fashion. Offered edgy, street-style clothing with high-quality basics.

    3. Renee: Recognized limited options for Indian women seeking premium, natural makeup. Focused on inclusivity and diversity in shades and formulas.

    2. Building the Brand:

    1. Strong online presence: Launched e-commerce sites and used social media heavily to connect with target audiences.

    2. Creative campaigns: Built brand personality through engaging content, influencer partnerships, and innovative marketing.

    3. High-quality products: Focused on good ingredients, effectiveness, and stylish packaging.

    3. Growing the Business:

    1. Direct-to-consumer model: Controlled the entire chain, from manufacturing to delivery, ensuring quality and cost-effectiveness.

    2. Expansion: Diversified product lines, opened physical stores, and entered new markets within India and abroad.

    Remember, these are just the basic steps. Each brand's journey was unique with its own challenges and successes. The key takeaway is that they understood their target audiences, built strong brands, and adapted to the Indian market to achieve massive growth.

    Beauty & Grooming Market in India

    The Beauty and Grooming Market in India is BOOMING! Think big pots of gold filled with kajals, beard oils, and fancy face creams. Here's the gist:

    1. Size: It's HUGE, about $30 billion, and growing faster than your best buddy's hair after forgetting shampoo for a week.

    2. People: Everyone's getting in on the action, from men wanting shiny beards to ladies chasing glowing skin. There's something for everyone, no matter your age, style, or budget.

    3. Hot Trends: Natural ingredients, online shopping, and locally-made brands are all the rage. People want good stuff for their bodies, delivered to their doorsteps, made right here in India.

    4. Growth: This market is like a superhero on caffeine - unstoppable! It's expected to be even bigger in just a few years, reaching new heights like a well-conditioned beard.

    5. Future: Bright as a Bollywood star's smile! With a booming population and rising incomes, India's Beauty and grooming Market is a goldmine waiting to be explored.

    So, if you're thinking about joining the party, get ready for some serious glitz and glam! This market is full of opportunities for anyone with a knack for making people look and feel fabulous.

    Hope this simple explanation gives you a good picture of the Indian Beauty & Grooming Market!

    Related topic: Top 25 Influential Books About Business and Leadership

    5 Viral Products of Renee Cosmetics


    Renee Cosmetics has gained major traction in India's beauty market with several viral products that caught fire among makeup enthusiasts. Here are a few of their biggest hits, known for their innovation, effectiveness, and of course, stunning visuals:


    1. Hydra Bomb Primer: This lightweight, gel-based primer infused with hyaluronic acid became an instant favorite for its ability to plump and hydrate the skin, creating a flawless canvas for makeup application. Plus, the holographic packaging with a dropper added to its viral appeal! 

    2. Spotlight Highlighter: This liquid highlighter, available in various shades, delivers a blinding, buildable glow that sculpts and illuminates the cheekbones. Its versatility and ability to cater to different skin tones made it a winner with beauty influencers and everyday users alike. 

    3. No Drama Setting Spray: This setting spray keeps makeup locked in place for hours on end, even in the sweltering Indian climate. Its lightweight formula and refreshing scent earned it rave reviews, making it a must-have for any makeup bag. 

    4. Brow Perfector Pen: This micro-tip pen allows for precise, hair-like strokes to fill in and define brows. Its smudge-proof formula and wide shade range cater to various brow preferences, making it a popular choice for achieving natural-looking, polished brows. 

    5. Moonlit Highlighter: This baked highlighter in a compact with a moon-shaped design offers a pearlescent sheen that's perfect for adding a touch of ethereal glow to the skin. Its unique formula and limited-edition packaging made it a collector's item and a social media sensation.

    These are just a few examples of Renee Cosmetics' viral products. Their focus on innovation, high-quality ingredients, and catering to diverse needs has resonated with the Indian audience, propelling them to the forefront of the beauty scene. 

    Who knows what viral sensation they'll come up with next? Keep an eye on Renee Cosmetics, because they're a brand to watch in the Indian beauty space!

    Why D2C Brands Don’t Work

    It's not quite accurate to say D2C brands don't work. Many are thriving! But some struggle, and here are indeed some common reasons why:

    1. Tough Competition: Lots of other D2C brands chase the same customers, making it hard to stand out. Plus, established companies can also sell directly online now.

    2. Marketing Costs: Reaching new customers through ads and social media can be expensive, especially for young brands.

    3. Building Trust: It's harder to build trust online than in a physical store. Customers might worry about product quality or after-sales service.

    4. Not Understanding Customers: Sometimes brands don't know what their customers truly want or need, leading to products that don't sell well.

    5. Logistics and Delivery: Getting products to customers quickly and cheaply can be tricky, especially in a diverse country like India.

    BUT: If brands avoid these pitfalls and focus on high-quality products, strong customer relationships, and smart marketing, they can succeed in the D2C world. Beardo, Villain & Renee Cosmetics are great examples of D2C brands thriving in India!

    So, remember, it's not about D2C not working - it's about doing it right!

    Beardo’s Strategy to Go Offline First Viral Campaign of Beardo

    Beardo, the men's grooming brand, took a bold step in the age of online everything: they went offline first! Instead of launching their brand online like most startups, they started with physical "Beard Bars" in major Indian cities. This unique strategy not only helped them build brand awareness but also created a viral campaign that propelled them to national fame.

    Here's how Beardo's offline-first approach went viral:

    1. The Beard Bar Buzz:

    Beardo set up trendy and inviting Beard Bars in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. These weren't just stores; they were hangout spaces for men. They offered beard grooming services, hairstyling, and even live music, creating a unique experience that went beyond just selling products.

    2. Influencer Power:

    Beardo partnered with popular male influencers and YouTubers who documented their visits to the Beard Bars. These videos showcased the cool vibe, the expert barbers, and the high-quality products, reaching millions of potential customers online.

    3. The Power of Touch and Try:

    In a world dominated by online shopping, Beardo's offline approach allowed men to actually touch, smell, and try the products before buying. This built trust and confidence in the brand, something that's often missing in the online experience.

    4. Word-of-Mouth Marketing:

    The unique Beard Bar experience led to organic word-of-mouth marketing. Men shared their positive experiences with friends and family, creating a buzz that spread far beyond the physical locations.

    5. Social Media Amplification:

    Beardo used social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to share engaging content from the Beard Bars. User-generated content, featuring men sporting their "Beardo looks," further fueled the online virality.


    Beardo's offline-first strategy was a masterstroke. The Beard Bars became cultural hotspots, the brand gained national recognition, and their products flew off the shelves (both online and offline). This innovative approach not only challenged the conventional D2C model but also proved that sometimes, going against the grain can lead to explosive success.

    So, next time you think about launching a brand, remember Beardo's story. Don't be afraid to break the mold and try something different. You might just create the next viral sensation!

    The Story Behind the Name Villain 

    Villain's name carries a bit of mystery, just like the brand itself. There's no official statement from the founders, but here are two main theories floating around:

    1. Rebellion Against the Ordinary:

    This theory plays on the name's inherent edge and anti-hero vibe. Villain aims to break away from the usual, boring menswear and offer something bold, unconventional, and daring. The name "Villain" reflects this rebellious spirit, challenging traditional sartorial norms and embracing individualism.

    2. Embracing the Anti-Hero:

    Instead of the villain as someone purely evil, this theory sees it as an alternative hero, someone who marches to the beat of their drum. Villain's clothes are for those who defy expectations, express their individuality, and stand out from the crowd. They're not following fashion trends, they're setting them.

    Ultimately, the meaning of Villain is open to interpretation. It's a name that sparks curiosity, invites intrigue, and perfectly captures the brand's unique identity. Whether you see it as defying the ordinary or embracing the anti-hero, one thing's for sure - Villain isn't afraid to be different, and that's what makes it so appealing.

    So, choose your favorite interpretation, wear your Villain with pride, and own your kind of cool!

    Perfume Market in India

    Imagine a pot of gold overflowing with fragrant flowers, spicy notes, and cool ocean scents - that's the perfume market in India right now! It's BOOMING, and here's the gist:

    Big Size, Big Growth: It's HUGE, like a Bollywood blockbuster budget, reaching about ₹30 billion and growing faster than a cricket batsman with the wind behind them. Everyone's getting in on the action, from young folks splashing on trendy colognes to aunties choosing elegant attars.

    Smelling Good for Everyone: There's something for every nose and budget, like a bustling Mumbai bazaar. You've got international brands with fancy names, local companies crafting unique blends, and even natural, homemade fragrances made with love.

    Hot Trends: Think natural ingredients, like rosewater and sandalwood, because people care about what they put on their skin. Online shopping is all the rage, with everyone scrolling for their next scent adventure. And guess what? Indian brands are leading the way, creating perfumes just for us!

    Future So Bright: This market is like a firework on Diwali night - sparkling and full of potential. With a growing population and rising incomes, people are ready to smell and feel fabulous. So, if you're thinking about joining the party, get ready for some serious olfactory magic!

    Here are some cool facts to keep in mind:

    1. Fragrances are considered auspicious in India, often worn for religious ceremonies and special occasions.

    2. The Indian perfume market is unique because of the diverse climate, cultural preferences, and love for natural ingredients.

    3. Mobile wallets and UPI payments are making online perfume shopping even easier, reaching people in every corner of the country.

    So, the next time you walk into a store or scroll through your phone, take a deep breath and explore the amazing world of Indian perfumes. You might just find your new signature scent!

    Building One Product vs Multiple Products

    Deciding to build one product or multiple products can be a tough call for any entrepreneur. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for you will depend on a variety of factors, such as your resources, target market, and business goals.

    Building One Product: 


    1. Laser focus: You can concentrate all your energy and resources on developing and perfecting one product, which can increase your chances of success.

    2. Deeper learning: You'll gain a deep understanding of your target market and their needs, which can help you create a product that they truly love.

    3. Stronger brand identity: By focusing on one product, you can build a strong and recognizable brand identity that resonates with your customers.


    1. Higher risk: If your one product doesn't succeed, you could lose everything.

    2. Limited market reach: You may miss out on potential customers who are looking for something different.

    3. Slower growth: It may take longer to grow your business if you only have one product to sell.

    Building Multiple Products:


    1. Spread the risk: By having multiple products, you're not putting all your eggs in one basket. If one product doesn't do well, you have others to fall back on.

    2. Reach a wider market: You can cater to a wider range of customers with different needs and wants.

    3. Potential for faster growth: With multiple products, you have more opportunities to generate revenue and grow your business.


    1. Thinner focus: You may not be able to dedicate as much time and resources to each individual product, which could lead to lower quality.

    2. Brand confusion: It can be difficult to build a strong brand identity when you have multiple products that are not closely related.

    3. Higher overhead costs: You'll have to cover the costs of developing, marketing, and selling multiple products, which can eat into your profits.

    4. Ultimately, the decision of whether to build one product or multiple products is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer, and the best choice for you will depend on your specific circumstances.

    Here are some additional factors to consider when making your decision:

    1. Your resources: Do you have the financial and human resources to support multiple products?

    2. Your target market: How large is your target market, and how diverse are their needs?

    3. Your business goals: What are your short-term and long-term goals for your business?

    I hope this information helps you make an informed decision about whether to build one product or multiple products.

    Perfume Brands for Men vs Women

    In the world of fragrance, catering to both men and women can be a smart business move. But simply slapping "for him" or "for her" on a bottle isn't enough. Building distinct brands for each gender, including targeted pricing strategies, can unlock greater success. Here's why:

    Understanding Different Scents and Preferences: Men and women generally gravitate towards different scent profiles. Men often prefer fresh, citrusy, or woody notes, while women tend to favor floral, sweet, or musky aromas. Building separate brands allows you to tailor your fragrances to these specific preferences, creating a more satisfying experience for each customer.

    Branding That Resonates: A strong brand identity is crucial for any product, and perfume is no exception. By building separate brands for men and women, you can craft unique narratives and visuals that resonate with each target audience. Think rugged adventure stories for men's colognes and elegant, floral imagery for women's perfumes.

    Pricing Strategies for Diverse Budgets: Men and women often have different spending habits when it comes to perfume. Men might be more likely to invest in a single, high-quality fragrance, while women might prefer to have a wider variety of more affordable options. By offering different price segments within each brand, you can cater to these diverse buying behaviors and reach a broader customer base.

    Targeted Marketing and Advertising: Marketing and advertising play a vital role in building brand awareness and driving sales. By creating separate campaigns for men's and women's fragrances, you can ensure your message reaches the right audience and resonates with their interests and aspirations.

    Top Profitable Businesses in India

    In India, the top profitable businesses often tap into growing trends and cater to the specific needs of the diverse population. Here are some examples and why they're booming:

    1. Cloud Kitchens:

    Why popular? Busy lives, growing demand for online food delivery, and lower investment compared to traditional restaurants.

    Home chefs deliver mouthwatering biryani through apps, or healthy salads prepared in shared kitchens at a fraction of the cost.

    2. Organic Farming:

    Why popular? Rising awareness of health, food safety, and sustainability, plus increasing disposable income.

    Fresh, chemical-free vegetables and fruits delivered to your doorstep, often grown by local farmers using traditional methods.

    3. Online Education and EdTech:

    Why popular? Easier access to quality education across geographies, diverse learning styles, and affordable options.

    Interactive online courses in everything from coding to yoga, live sessions with expert teachers, and personalized learning platforms.

    4. Fintech and Digital Payments:

    Why popular? Growing smartphone penetration, financial inclusion initiatives, and convenience of cashless transactions.

    Mobile wallets for quick payments, easy access to loans and investments, and innovative financial services tailored to rural and urban populations.

    5. Healthcare and Wellness:

    Why popular? Rising life expectancy, focus on preventive care, and increasing demand for affordable healthcare solutions.

    Telemedicine consultations with doctors, fitness apps and wearables, and affordable diagnostics and screenings are offered closer to home.

    6. Renewable Energy:

    Why popular? Government support for green initiatives, rising energy costs, and environmental concerns.

    Rooftop solar panels for homes and businesses, electric vehicle charging stations, and investments in renewable energy projects.

    7. Content Creation and Digital Marketing:

    Why popular? Booming online space, increasing demand for high-quality content, and the power of influencer marketing.

    Creating engaging content for social media platforms, managing brand online presence, and helping businesses reach their target audience effectively.

    Remember, these are just some examples, and the "top" can vary depending on your definition and specific industry. However, the key themes behind their success include:

    1. Addressing growing trends and needs: Identifying what people are looking for and providing solutions.

    2. Adapting to the digital age: Utilizing technology to reach a wider audience and improve efficiency.

    3. Prioritizing affordability and accessibility: Catering to diverse budgets and making products and services available to everyone.

    4. Focusing on innovation and differentiation: Standing out from the competition by offering something unique and valuable.

    So, if you're looking for inspiration for a potentially profitable business in India, keep these things in mind and explore the exciting possibilities!

    How Are Indian Consumers Different?

    Understanding Indian consumers requires acknowledging both their unique qualities and the diversity within this vast population. Here are some interesting aspects to consider:

    1. Value-Conscious: Indians are known for their savvy shopping habits, seeking bargains and value for money. They appreciate products that offer quality and durability at competitive prices.

    2. Brand Loyalty: Once they find a brand they trust and connect with, Indian consumers often stick with it, forming strong bonds with companies that resonate with their values and aspirations.

    3. Digital Adaptability: India has witnessed a phenomenal surge in internet and smartphone penetration, making digital engagement crucial for reaching consumers. They embrace online shopping, e-payments, and social media like few others.

    4. Family-Oriented: Family plays a central role in Indian society, influencing purchasing decisions and product preferences. Multi-generational households are common, and products catering to family needs are often successful.

    5. Diverse Preferences: With hundreds of languages, cultures, and lifestyles across the country, India is a land of immense diversity. Understanding regional preferences and tailoring products and marketing accordingly is key to success.

    6. Festival-Driven: Indians love to celebrate! From Diwali to Holi, festivals are a significant part of life, influencing everything from food choices to gift purchases. Businesses that tap into this festive spirit can connect with consumers on a deeper level.

    7. Entrepreneurial Spirit: Indians have a strong entrepreneurial streak, valuing self-reliance and innovation. Businesses that empower consumers and offer opportunities for individual growth can find a receptive audience.

    8. Sustainability Awareness: Environmental consciousness is growing in India, with consumers increasingly opting for eco-friendly products and supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability.

    Remember, these are just broad brushstrokes, and individual preferences can vary greatly across such a diverse population. Conducting market research and understanding specific target demographics is crucial for any business catering to Indian consumers.

    By appreciating their unique qualities and adapting to their evolving needs, businesses can tap into the immense potential of the Indian market and build lasting relationships with consumers.

    Story of Building Renee Cosmetics

    The story of Renee Cosmetics is one of dreams, glitter, and girl power. It all started with Aashka Goradia, a popular Indian actress, who yearned for high-quality, yet affordable, makeup that catered to the diverse needs of Indian women. Here's how the magic unfolded:

    The Seed of an Idea: Aashka, frustrated by limited makeup options, dreamed of creating a brand that celebrated inclusivity and individuality. She wanted makeup that made every woman feel beautiful and confident in her own skin.

    Planting the Roots: Aashka teamed up with makeup experts and savvy businessmen, Priyank Shah and Ashutosh Valani, to bring her vision to life. They conducted extensive research, understanding the desires and challenges of Indian women when it comes to makeup.

    Blooming into Business: Renee Cosmetics launched in 2018, offering a vibrant range of lipsticks, eyeliners, highlighters, and more. The focus was on high-quality ingredients, cruelty-free formulas, and shades that catered to various skin tones.

    Watering the Growth: Renee embraced the power of social media, collaborating with influencers and beauty enthusiasts to showcase their products and connect with their target audience. Their playful, relatable online presence resonated with women across India.

    Reaching for the Sun: Renee's success wasn't overnight. They faced challenges like scaling up production, competing with established brands, and overcoming stereotypes about Indian-made makeup. However, their commitment to quality, diversity, and customer satisfaction set them apart.

    Blossoming Today: Renee Cosmetics is now a leading force in the Indian beauty market, adored by celebrities and everyday women alike. They've expanded their product line, opened physical stores, and even ventured into skincare.

    The Renee Legacy: Renee's story is an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women. It shows that with passion, hard work, and a unique vision, anything is possible.

    Think of Renee as:

    1. A sparkling eyeshadow palette of possibilities.

    2. A bold lipstick shade that whispers "confidence."

    3. A reminder that makeup is about more than just covering up; it's about unleashing your inner glow and celebrating your own unique beauty.

    So, next time you see that Renee logo, remember the story behind it - a story of dreams, glitter, and girl power, painted beautifully on the canvas of the Indian beauty world.

    I hope this simplified version of Renee Cosmetics' story brings you joy and inspiration!

    Best Advice & Worst Advice for Entrepreneurs


    In Consumer Brands Ashutosh Valani. He has launched, scaled, and sold off 2 D2C brands (Beardo & Villain) in 4 years and is now working on his third startup Renee Cosmetics. He holds a degree from Brunel University, London, and Co-Founded 3 startups. He disrupted the beauty & grooming industry not only once but thrice. In this article, he has shared all the insights on how to build a startup from scratch to how to scale it and sell it. 

    He shares the key factors that led to the resounding success of all three of his startups, insights he noticed about Indian consumers, and How he built Renee Cosmetics in such a crowded market and set it apart from the competition. He also shared the challenges of the Indian beauty & grooming industry and insights into India's perfume market. It’s his favorite quote.

    "It's better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven"

    It conveys the idea that independence and control, even in a difficult situation, are preferable to submission and subservience, even in a seemingly ideal place.

    Real-Life Examples:

    1. An artist choosing to create works that might be controversial but express their true vision, even if it means facing criticism, over working for a corporation that restricts their creative input.

    2. A person trapped in an abusive relationship chooses to leave, even if it means starting over with uncertainty, rather than staying for the sake of security and comfort.

    3. A whistleblower risks their career to expose wrongdoing, even if it means facing powerful opposition, instead of remaining silent out of fear or convenience.

    Remember, the meaning of the quote can be subjective and depend on individual experiences and perspectives. It's up to each person to decide what "heaven" and "hell" represent in their own lives and whether they would rather rule or serve in those situations.

    11 Million in 11 Months

    Ashutosh Valani made a whopping 11 million dollars in just 11 months by using a special marketing plan. He teamed up with popular social media personalities and even got Bollywood stars and actresses to promote his products. This made it easy for him to connect with the people who might be interested in buying what he was selling.


    Building a startup from scratch to scale it to a valuation of 500M - 1000M dollars requires a solid foundation. It begins with a clear vision, innovative ideas, and a strong business plan. As the startup grows, focusing on scalability, efficient operations, and a dynamic team becomes crucial. Leveraging technology, embracing change, and staying adaptable are also essential. By prioritizing customer needs and maintaining a growth mindset, a startup can position itself for success and significant financial growth.

    Hope! You enjoyed this article, Thanks for reading it. to get more actionable ideas on each day visit our website. If you still have questions about the same topic, feel free to drop a comment below. We'll do our best to help you out as much as we can.

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