Yash Bhatia

Shark Tank snub earns Recode Studios an additional Rs 5 crore worth of business

Co-founder Dheeraj Bansal reveals the aftermath of that episode.

Of all the episodes ‘Shark Tank India’ has aired in its second season, the one featuring Recode Studios stands to become the most memorable. Not because the beauty brand received an eye-watering investment, but because it didn’t earn a single penny.

Recode Studios saw its equity soar on social media, after people saw that the sharks had refused to invest in the company because it fell in the same category as fellow shark Vineeta Singh’s SUGAR Cosmetics. 

Emcure Pharmaceuticals’ Namita Thapar and Aman Gupta, co-founder and CMO, boAt, stated this reason and led this round of no investment. 

In a chat with afaqs!, Recode Studios’ co-founder Dheeraj Bansal says that while it didn’t receive any funding from the sharks of ‘Shark Tank’, it, instead, “got virality and support from social media.”

Based out of Ludhiana, Punjab, Recode Studios enjoys a pan-India presence, with 250 shops and three franchise stores in Faridabad, Delhi and Raipur. Its revenue target for FY23 is Rs 30 crore, up from FY22’s Rs 15 crore. 

Bansal reveals that the company changed the packaging of all its products, after “one of the sharks complained about it. We took the feedback seriously, as we’re building a brand.”

Recode Studios has introduced a single holographic design for all its products, whereas earlier, it had different designs for different products. “… with this packaging, our products look more luxurious,” says Bansal. 

“When we started out, we didn’t pay much attention to the fonts and designs. But after the ‘Shark Tank’ episode, we have brought uniformity in the designs and fonts of our packaging as well,” Bansal mentions.

Shark Tank snub earns Recode Studios an additional Rs 5 crore worth of business

Impact on the business

While ‘Shark Tank’ aims to fund aspiring entrepreneurs, several brands that appear on the show, have received national visibility, as an added bonus. 

In the first season, brands like Bummer, Nuutjob, Skippi Ice Pops and Hammer Lifestyle gained popularity that impacted their businesses as well. 

Recode Studios is no different. Bansal says, “After our appearance on the show, Nykaa, Myntra Beauty, Swiggy Instamart and distributors approached us. We also received some queries for our franchise business."

“We are targeting Rs 30 crore (revenue) for FY23. I think we will earn an extra Rs 5 crore after our ‘Shark Tank’ appearance.”

‘Shark Tank’ sale

Recode Studios, on its website, is running a sale, known as ‘Shark Tank Sale’ that offers 75% discount on its products.

“We have just extended the sale due to the ‘Shark Tank’ episode. We did this just to acquire customers. We want them to try our products. I know we can retain these customers easily,” says Bansal.

He adds that the brand did the same during COVID. “We sold all our products at Rs 1. During the masterclass, we also gave our products as a giveaway.”

Unique customer acquisition strategy

The brand offers a customer acquisition strategy by conducting offline makeup classes for women at five-star properties. The Rs 1,500 per class lasts 3-4 hours. 

Famous makeup artists teach the women different techniques. The women also receive products worth Rs 1,500 as a giveaway, along with free lunch at the venue.

The sharks, especially Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal, were impressed by this strategy. Peyush even quipped that he would try and offer free lunch at Lenskart’s eye-testing camps.

Explaining the logic behind this workshop, Dheeraj Bansal says, “Due to the pandemic, people were unable to go to get-togethers and parties. Our target audience is people from the middle-class segment. Attending an event in a five-star hotel, is an attractive proposition for them. Also, they get free goodies and lunch.”

Looking ahead

Talking about future plans, Dheeraj Bansal mentions that Recode Studios is “looking to create a marketplace as well as a brand. On the marketplace side, some brands like Baidyanath have already approached us.”

Shark Tank snub earns Recode Studios an additional Rs 5 crore worth of business

During the pitch, the co-founders of the brand mentioned that SUGAR isn’t its direct competitor.

Talking about the rivals, Dheeraj Bansal says, “When we started out, we were looking to replace international brands like Make Up For Ever, Anastasia beverly hills, etc., that were offering good quality products at a high price point. We entered the market to replace them and sell our products at a normal price point. We aren’t looking to compete with Indian brands.”

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