Friends turn love of gin into a million-pound Amazon business

Category: Brands
Friends turn love of gin into a million-pound Amazon business

Today we speak to Kabir Aggarwall, who with his best friend turned their love of gin into a million pound business selling on Amazon.

Who are you and what is the background of your business?

I am Kabir Aggarwall, and alongside my best friend Harks Kohli, we co-founded Vemacity, a business born out of a shared passion for entrepreneurship and a love for gin. We first met when we were at college in Southall and stayed connected through university. After graduating we both entered the corporate world for several years but we felt a mutual desire for more meaningful work. Harks, my go-to sounding board for most things in life, steered me towards entrepreneurship. He yearned for more control over his career path, both financially and personally, and the same resonated with me, leading us to start Vemacity in March 2017. 

How did your business initially get started?

Harks and I, having followed conventional paths in managing cocktail bars and climbing the IT sector ranks, respectively, discovered a shared desire for more freedom over our career paths. The spark for Vemacity came from our shared passion for gin and the realisation that people were missing out on the true essence of gin enjoyment at home. Therefore, our primary product, the gin balloon glass, aimed to create a unique and enhanced gin-drinking experience at home. This marked the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey which turned from a side hustle into a thriving venture.

I’d advise anyone starting a side hustle and a company more generally to be as objective as you can and focus on your numbers. It’s crucial to have a business plan and to start on a modest scale to test the waters. Once we started having success, Harks took the plunge and left his full time job in October 2017, with me following later that year.

What is the current size or scale of your business today?

Vemacity has grown significantly, achieving a turnover of over £1 million in 2021. In the last quarter of 2022, we celebrated a noteworthy achievement by becoming the top seller in Italy within our Amazon category.

2023 has been a challenging year with the cost of living crisis here in the UK. We came up with a plan to expand our Amazon business across the EU and USA. We also launched a number of new products which have played a big role in additional sales. This has proven to be a great strategy and we are up year over year in revenue heading into the end of 2023. If all goes well, we should see our third consecutive year of £1 million in revenue. This is despite the cost of living crisis which is still not over. 2024 will be a year of full rollout across the USA which should see us grow even further.

In what ways has Amazon played a role in helping your business grow?

The decision to sell on Amazon became the ideal strategy to present our vision to a broad audience. We leveraged the educational resources on Amazon Small Business Accelerator and Seller University to enhance our business acumen. With Amazon serving as our primary online sales channel, contributing significantly to 95% of our sales, our remote team of three achieved a turnover surpassing £1 million in 2021 and 2022. From a lifestyle perspective, starting a business on Amazon has been life-changing and has given us the freedom to live the lifestyle we always envisioned.

Additionally, our original plans to grow in the EU markets were hampered by Brexit, but Amazon brought that possibility back into the fold. Diversifying our markets beyond the UK is an important strategy for us especially in the current economic climate and with the help of Amazon Global Logistics, we’ve been able to expand into Germany and Italy, as well as the U.S. this year.

While the United Kingdom remains our core market, we eagerly anticipate further international expansion in the future.

What do you envision for the future of your business?

Moving forward, we plan to continue expanding internationally and building on our success. We also have a number of new products that we are currently developing.

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