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Meet The Fast42 Jury: Stalwarts Who Helped Us Shortlist India’s Fastest Growing D2C Brands

Meet The Fast42 Jury: Stalwarts Who Helped Us Shortlist India’s Fastest Growing D2C Brands

In October 2021, Inc42 announced FAST42, seeking to identify & recognise 42 of India’s fastest-growing D2C brands

The pitches witnessed startups dealing in various segments ranging from raw pet food, skincare/beauty products, clothing, furniture and many more

The FAST42 list will be announced on 3rd March 2022, with a launch event and an exclusive coffee table book! 

Last October, we announced the first edition of FAST42 – D2C Edition 2022, in partnership with Trell, seeking to identify & recognise 42 of India’s fastest-growing D2C brands.

Supported by Simpl and Wigzo, the goal of the initiative is to identify 42 of India’s fastest-growing D2C businesses, across emerging and growth categories. For the ‘Growth category’, startups have been selected and ranked based on the highest revenue growth rates between 2019 & 2021. However, for the former, Inc42 shortlisted 30 startups to pitch before a panel of esteemed jury members. 

The pitches saw startups from across segments such as raw pet food, healthcare/skincare/beauty products, clothing, furniture, toys and games, and many more, come together to present their ideas and business models to the jury.

Based on Jury and Inc42 editorial scoring, our team of analysts shortlisted the final 13 D2C brands who will be featured in the emerging category and of course, 29 brands who made it to the growth category of the list!

Fast42: Meet The Jury

Here are the ecosystem stalwarts who joined the session as jury members and helped us evaluate the D2C brands that have the potential to disrupt categories!

Nikhil Vora, founder & CEO, Sixth Sense Ventures: With over 27 years of experience in the consumer domain, Vora has worked with names such as Nestle Global Consumer Board, Hindustan Unilever, Marico, Godrej and Aditya Birla Group to outline their strategic roadmap. He has been amongst the first investors in One97 (Paytm), Vini Cosmetics (Fogg), Parag Milk (Go), Purplle.com, Bewakoof and more.

Sanil Sachar, founding partner, Huddle: As the founding partner of Huddle, Sachar has helped the scale of startups across D2C, FMCG, consumer-internet, EV, and more. An avid angel investor with a portfolio of over 50 ventures across industries, he helps startups build teams, revenue strategy, marketing, distribution partnerships and capital raising. 

“The startups that made the pitch were diverse not only due to their sub sectors but the reason they’re succeeding. The one common element was their focus on constant communication. Listening to them definitely reinstates the rise of new age brands due to a more aware consumer that’s risen,” Sanil sai.

Bimal Kartheek Rebba, cofounder & COO, Trell: Rebba founded Trell in 2017 with Arun Lodhi and Pulkit Agrawal. The platform enables users to create and share 3-minute vertical videos in over 20 categories like fashion, beauty, recipes, in eight Indian languages. Today, it is empowering over 40 Mn Indians to establish small businesses and create a significant growth in the economy. 

“The D2C (direct-to-consumer) ecosystem has come a long way this year with the startups ranging from sleep solutions to playing with toys. To add to this delight, most startups have achieved considerable scale and show potential to be international brands soon,” said Rebba.

Prasun Agarwal, partner, A91 Partners: Prior to joining A91 Partners, Agarwal has worked with names such as Sequoia Capital and Bain & Co, before joining. He enjoys spending time with consumer and healthcare entrepreneurs and is a Harvard Business School and IIT Bombay alumnus. 

“It was a wonderful session and it was inspiring to see so many companies growing fast and building wonderful businesses. It is clear that the advent of new age brands has just started in India. There is a big opportunity to serve the unmet needs of a number of consumers,” Prasun said.

Arjun Vaidya, Ventures Lead – India, Verlinvest: Ex-CEO of Dr. Vaidya’s, Arjun took on his 150-year-old family legacy of Ayurvedic formulations left behind by his grandfather in 2016. The brand has successfully reached more than 1 Mn consumers across over 500 cities and more than 16.5K pin codes in India. Currently, he leads venture investing for Verlinvest in India ( a consumer brand focussed fund) and is also an active angel investor mentor to brands in India’s D2C and ecommerce ecosystem.

“I was very happy to see a group of strong, high growth and very mission driven founders as part of this cohort of Fast42!”

Fast42: Promoting India’s Burgeoning D2C Market

“As I have always said, this is the decade of D2C. 100s of large brands will be created and consumer behavior is rapidly evolving. So, we are the cusp of something super exciting!” – Arjun Vaidya, Ventures Lead – India, Verlinvest

In the last six years, India’s D2C ecosystem has grown at an exponential rate — from $6.6 Bn in 2015 to $44.6 Bn in 2021. There is no denying that tech-powered innovation has been a big growth engine especially for the ecommerce market. But the Covid-19 outbreak forced large-scale digital adoption practically instantly — with over 50,000 digital-first firms vying for market share from legacy players. 

Agrawal added, “From India, For the World’ is the next step in the d2c revolution. The rails of reaching the global customer have been built and have taken down previous barriers. And that has led young startups to build world class products and brands from the word go.”

Monitoring and reporting this industry since its rise in 2020, Inc42 has been contributing to the growth with playbooks, reports and events around D2C. Taking a step ahead, we partnered with Trell, to host Fast42 – D2C Edition 2022. Co-presented by Simpl and Wigzo, the initiative is a first-of-a-kind listing to identify and recognise India’s fastest-growing 42 D2C brands and narrate the tales of their digital disruption.

The FAST42 list will be announced on 3rd March 2022, with a launch event and an exclusive coffee table book! 

Stay tuned for more details…

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