Estée Lauder Companies and Nykaa reveal 2023 winners of Beauty & You incubator awards for Indian beauty

By Austyn King | Published: 7-Nov-2023

Biome Laboratories, Call of the Valley and C16 Biosciences were among the Indian beauty players who scooped up to US$500,000 to grow their businesses

Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has revealed the winners of its Beauty & You incubator awards for Indian beauty businesses, in partnership with Indian beauty retailer Nykaa.

The awards’ second edition, announced earlier this year, honoured Indian beauty brands and creators across a variety of sectors, from active ingredients and perfumery to sustainability and brand communities.

Inclusive skin care company Biome Laboratories and perfume manufacturer Keva Fragrances scooped the Breakthrough prize, recognised for their innovation in active ingredients targeting key areas for Indian consumers.

The businesses received US$50,000 each.

Taking the Grow prize for in-market businesses was Mumbai-based perfumery Call of the Valley, founded by flautist Jean-Christophe Bonnafous, which aims to highlight traditional Indian wellness and perfumery practices using single ingredients. 

Luxury bath and body brand Baboski, which utilises natural extracts and advanced SPF technology, was awarded the Imagine prize for pre-launch concepts, receiving $75,000 to grow its business.

Recognised for its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) with the Impact award, meanwhile, was C16 Biosciences, the makers of the Palmless platform for sustainable palm oil alternatives.

Founded by Shara Ticku, the company specialises in biomanufacturing to develop ingredients that address challenges including climate change, food security and the impacts of natural resource extraction.

Also awarded in this category was up and coming ethical beauty brand Sohrai Beauty, which works to support India’s tribal communities by employing them to collect mahua seeds to be used in the brand’s products, which include lipsticks and body butters.

The two businesses each received a $50,000 prize.

New for 2023 was the Community prize, which was awarded to dermatological supplement brand Beautywise and art-inspired fragrance brand Havah for their high level of community  engagement and support, with each receiving $10,000.

Finally, in the newly developed Create category, UK-based director Priya Minhas took home a $50,000 prize for her short film Honey & Mud, which explores the relationship between perfume, memory and identity.

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“This year’s winners represent an exciting mix of entrepreneurs, creative visionaries, innovative scientists, and impact-focused founders — a true representation of the larger beauty ecosystem with the qualities required for long-term success,” said Shana Randhava, SVP of ELC’s incubator arm New Investment Ventures. 

“We are excited about the opportunity to mentor and provide support to the winners so they can share their vision with a broader, more global community.”

The winners were chosen by a panel of industry experts from ELC and Nykaa as well as the likes of Deciem, Intercos, Live Tinted and Kay Beauty.

As well as the funding, the winners are expected to benefit from continued mentorship, increased awareness and distribution support from ELC and Nykaa.

They follow Bahut Beauty, Skinvest and Yaan Man, who were named the winners of the awards’ debut edition in 2022.

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