The Weekend Leader - Winston India's Success Story: How Himanshu Adlakha and Nikita Built a Rs 11 Crore Turnover Brand From An Instagram Page

Couple Turns Instagram Hair Trimmer Sales into Rs 11 Crore Brand in Three Years

Bilal Khan   |  


Vol 15 | Issue 11

Himanshu Adlakha and his newly married wife, Nikita, both coming from a business background and having experience in startups, didn’t wait long to start a new business together.

Living in Faridabad, they started selling hair trimmers on an Instagram page in 2021. Under the brand name of Winston India, they promoted their products through social media influencers.

Himanshu Adlakha and his wife Nikita launched Winston India from an Instagram page in 2021 (Photos:Special Arrangement) 

In less than three years, their brand has grown rapidly, crossing a turnover of Rs 11 crore. From hair trimmers, their product range has expanded to include items like callus removers, head massagers, and LED masks and combs.

"The aim was clear - to change the personal care game for those who were spending too much time and money in salons,” says Himanshu, 31, who is running the business on an outsourced model.

“The market didn't have many options for good quality products that came with trustworthy services,"

Himanshu, who had been involved in a few startups before and faced losses in each, found a turning point in teaming up with his wife, Nikita.

Nikita, who graduated in from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, was already making her mark by selling makeup products on her Instagram page under the brand name, Milagro Beauty.

Himanshu and Nikita met in 2019 and tied the knot in 2020. "We both shared a vision to create a brand, specifically in the beauty and wellness domain," says Himanshu.

In October 2021, when Himanshu and Nikita were setting up Winston India, they chose to go with an asset-light model. This meant getting their products from China, branding them locally, and promoting them through their social media channels.

Himanshu's previous startups had ended in losses 

They spotted a gap in the personal care market, which was dominated by international brands and their imitations. "There was a need for a local brand that offered quality products and services. That's where we saw our chance," explains Himanshu.

Starting from their home in Faridabad, the couple launched Winston India with their first product - a trimmer.

They imported 5000 units of the trimmer without even having a website, relying solely on an Instagram page for sales. "The market reaction was beyond our expectations. With the help of 8-10 influencers, we sold out in just a week," recalls Himanshu with pride.

Starting with Rs. 30 lakh, Himanshu and Nikita's venture was off to a focused start. "The initial capital was invested in inventory. We kept marketing minimal initially, and started focusing on it as we started making profits," says Himanshu.

In the first year, they expanded their grooming appliance range to include face and eyebrow trimmers, among others. By the second year, they had introduced skin care and hair styling appliances.

"Our turnover for the first year (2021-22) was Rs. 60 lakh. The next year, we saw a jump to Rs. 5.5 crore, and for this year, we are on track to reach Rs. 15 crore, with earnings already over Rs.11.5 crore," says Himanshu, sharing the company's financial milestones.

Currently they have a product line of over 14 SKUs. “The LED comb, for example, is one of our unique products, designed to provide therapeutic effects on the scalp using LED technology," explains Himanshu.

Their trimmer, which offers a way to cut hair at home and save on salon visits, remains their bestseller.

Winston generates 25% of its sales from its official site, while the rest, 75%, comes from online marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, and Tata Cliq.

Himanshu emphasises the importance of educating potential customers about their products to drive business growth. "To educate our customers, we rely on social media, blog posts, and partnerships with beauty experts,” he says.

Winston India's product lineup includes items like the callus remover priced at Rs. 1449, blackhead remover at Rs. 2099, LED mask aimed at providing light therapy for the face at Rs. 2399, and the head massager at Rs. 2099, among others.

Winston India currently sources its products from China, but Himanshu and Nikita have plans in the pipeline to start assembling their products in India.

Winston India operates from Faridabad with a team of 18 employees

"We use my father's office in Faridabad as our workspace, where our team of 18 members is stationed in the basement, while my father's electronic products distribution business occupies the upper floors," he shares.

The company manages all its functions in-house, from marketing and handling social media to managing e-commerce operations and logistics.

Himanshu’s father is a well-known distributor of electronic products in Faridabad, servicing various brands.

Following his graduation from Lingaya's Vidyapeeth in Faridabad in 2013, he dabbled in various startups including an online platform for watches and traditional Indian attire, aiming to promote artisans.

He also completed his MBA in Marketing from the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, in 2016.

His first ecommerce venture ended with minimal financial losses of a few lakh rupees. Later, he ventured into a cloud kitchen in Gurgaon, offering North Indian dishes packaged in traditional handis, which was unfortunately closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, incurring him losses of around Rs. 20 lakh.

Nonetheless, marrying Nikita and founding Winston India in 2021 marked a turning point in his career.

One key factor behind Winston India's success is their one-year warranty, promising repair or replacement for any damage or manufacturing defect.

"If a customer reports a problem, whether it’s a manufacturing defect or damage, we arrange for the product to be picked up by a courier service," Himanshu explains. Depending on the issue, they either replace the item or repair the defective part.

"With our one-year doorstep replacement warranty, customers are assured of receiving a new product or getting the necessary repairs without any hassle."

The co-founders of Winston recently appeared on Shark Tank India and received funding from the Sharks.

Himanshu and Nikita with their bundle of joy

Their roadmap to hitting a Rs 100 crore target involves a stronger focus on YouTube branding and expanded marketing efforts. "We are also planning to step into offline stores and events for wider promotion," Himanshu adds.

Describing his daily routine, he says, "I usually spend 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the office. But, being an entrepreneur and hailing from a business family, we are always discussing business even beyond business hours."

To relax, Himanshu loves playing snooker. Adding to their joy, the co-founders have been blessed with a baby girl a few months ago. - ©TWL

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