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Shakti Sood: “PNE helped me navigate the complexities of setting up a business”

Shakti Sood Sons of Adonis

PNE interaction:
Shakti accessed business support through PNE's flagship programme for founders running socially impactful businesses with high-growth potential, now called PNE Pioneers.

Sons of Adonis is one of an exciting new generation of start-ups powering the male make-up movement, with the brand not only offering cosmetic products but advocating equality of choice and self-expression. 

Our sessions have been crucial for the continued growth of my skills and networks. Through their business support, I have been able to build my own confidence in bringing my vision to life.

The company has very quickly started to turn heads, with Shakti being named North East Fashion & Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2020.

Shakti explains, “We help men look and feel more confident. Our business is built on the foundation that makeup does not have to be gender specific, whilst our product performance comes from a deep understanding of the specific needs of men. Many close friends and family told me it was a silly idea. I proved them wrong because I listened to my instincts.”

That instinct came from a very personal place, with the idea for Sons of Adonis born through Shakti’s own experiences. “The motivation and drive for creating the cosmetics for men comes from my own internal confidence struggles after suffering from a severe allergic reaction that left me with noticeable eye bags. Men can equally benefit from the confidence inducing effects of cosmetics.”

In 2019, Shakti approached PNE for support to realise his vision, attending sessions with a business advisor. In 2020, after launching his company, he was invited to join our flagship programme for founders running socially impactful businesses with high-growth potential – now named PNE Pioneers.

“Mentorship by PNE has been absolutely key to my success. They have helped me navigate the complexities of setting up a business and to minimise mistakes, which can be costly.

“Our sessions have been crucial for the continued growth of my skills and networks. Through their business support, I have been able to build my own confidence in bringing my vision to life. At first this seemed like a dauting task, however through regular mentorship we were able to break down the steps into manageable and achievable actions.”

Shakti is passionate about the environment and believes businesses, including Sons of Adonis, have a responsibility to ensure their practices are sustainable. “As a founder, I have ensured that our ethos has sustainability at its core. 80% of our packaging is made of glass that is fully recyclable and we give our customers the option of ordering refills to minimis plastic waste. Additionally, our formula does not contain silicone microplastics, which are common in many cosmetic products.”

Now, ready to launch his first ‘hero product’, a concealer targeting dark circles, Shakti has advice to share with others seeking to start up in business.

“Have a strong reason for starting your business and don't look back! The key to success in business is to have a vision - an overall plan of what you want to achieve. Then, be prepared to spend the time needed to research your niche and learn everything there is to know about your competitors and industry.”

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