Priyanka Ganjoo

Kulfi Beauty

After a five-year-long career in the corporate beauty industry building brand recognition for indie beauty companies, Priyanka Ganjoo saw first-hand how South Asians were being underrepresented in “traditional” beauty. Constantly searching for products that matched her skin tone and targeted quirks of South Asian skin, Ganjoo recognized that, overwhelmingly, people who shared her background weren’t made a priority in beauty. Tired of constantly feeling like an outsider in the industry and waiting for established brands to celebrate South Asians, Ganjoo took it upon herself to bridge the gap in the market. When existing brand options tokenized South Asian culture, Ganjoo created Kulfi Beauty, a curated line that celebrates people with her background, too often neglected in popular marketing culture, as the singular top priority. Kulfi’s vision is to celebrate South Asian beauty with fun beauty essentials and a platform that creates space for self-expression.

What inspired you/your team to create this company?
I didn’t see myself in the beauty industry I worked in. I spent years in the beauty industry at Estee Lauder Companies and IPSY in the background helping indie and established brands grow their business, but I rarely saw South Asians represented at the forefront. For years, I kept waiting for a brand that celebrated and centered us South Asians in its narrative. All I found were brands that tokenized and appropriated our culture, without even creating shades that worked for our skin tones! I always felt like an outsider. In 2019, I said to myself, this isn’t good enough. So I left the world of corporate beauty and started Kulfi.

As word spread about Kulfi in the South Asian community, writers, designers, marketers, and even ex-bankers, came and joined hands with me to build our company.

Kulfi is the result of my journey rediscovering the joy in makeup for myself and reclaiming my beauty for myself. It is an ode to the girl growing up in Delhi spending summers eating kulfi and to the woman I am today.

What distinguishes your company and product in the market?
“Fun” is often underutilized in beauty. Kulfi is changing the conversation from using beauty products to achieve unrealistic beauty standards or hide flaws to embracing our unique beauty. Existing brands offer a handful of shades for South Asians and BIPOC. Their lack of intentionality means that they are a hit or miss. We design our products specifically with and for South Asians with an understanding of our undertones and features. Our products are clean, vegan, and cruelty free and formulated with skin loving ingredients.

Our core customer is the Gen Z & Millennial South Asians and BIPOC. We don’t feel beautiful, included, seen. Mainstream brands aren’t doing enough to challenge the narrow beauty standards defined by euro-centric beauty ideals. Existing products fail because they are made without a deep understanding of our unique undertones. They don’t address our specific beauty needs such as products for two toned lips, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, and more. Our product development panels & people we uplift in our content are 100% South Asian and BIPOC of diverse skin tones, features, body types, and genders. It ensures that no stone is left unturned in making this large but underserved demographic feel celebrated.