“I hope the ‘Nykaa’ journey, an Indian-born, Indian-owned, and Indian-managed dream-come-true, can inspire each of you,” stated India’s richest self-made billionaire woman, Falguni Nayar, the CEO of Nykaa, at the listing ceremony on Wednesday. On this very listing event, Nykaa witnessed an exponential rise in its beauty products business, resulting in Falguni’s share accounting for about $6.5 Billion.
Ms Nayar today stands as the perfect example that shatters the stereotypical notions of age and gender prevailing in the business-led corporate world. But how did the inception of the beauty-giant ‘Nykaa’ come into the picture? To trace its commencement, we first need to look at the journey taken by its progenitor, who today has successfully managed to get her name listed on the billionaire chart.
Nayar after completing her post-graduation in management from the most prestigious institution, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad took a fairly ‘non-adventurous path’ leading her into the corporate world where she initially worked with a company called AF Ferguson and Co. and later switched on to Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. Ltd.
Though working within the protocol-guided corporate setup, Nayar, being inspired by her established entrepreneur father, always dreamt of putting her step in the entrepreneurial path. So much, so that she had set for herself a deadline that by the time she would turn fifty, she would be a mother of at least one startup. She indeed did launch Nykaa at the age of fifty in the year 2012, when a majority of entrepreneurs are on the verge of wrapping up.
She had always thought of herself as adventurous and someone who jumped first even if she was not a swimmer, not caring if she broke a leg. Proving that, she had launched Nykaa, an app for beauty products when she was entirely ignorant of how this online industry functions.
Owing to the widespread counterfeit and cheating taking place on online shopping platforms, especially in the case of skincare and beauty products, people were wary of buying these online. Therefore, Nayar with her team’s assistance began to curate beauty products and initiated sourcing high-end luxury products and cosmetics directly from manufacturers to sell online.
“We hardly received twenty orders a day, during our initial days.”- says Ms Nayar, whose company today receives over seventy thousand orders every day, its application being downloaded over fifty-five million times. Around seventy per cent of the gross merchandise value is from repeat customers.
Taking a step further, Nayar and her team decided to open physical Nykaa Stores at multiple locations, and later on, it dared to launch a venture called ‘Nykaa Man’, which sells wellness and personal care products for men. Via four family trusts–Sanjay Nayar Family Trust, Falguni Nayar Family Trust, Adwaita Nayar Family Trust, and Anchit Nayar Family Trust, Nayar held a 54.25% stake in Nykaa.
Nayar owes Nykaa’s achievements over the years to the uncompromised focus on execution, unmatched curation of allied content, and vigorous scrutiny of the beauty products. The company raised only around $100 million in primary capital till the IPO and was still in profit.
The efforts legitimately paid off as the company’s IPO received as high as 4.4 trillion bids, standing as the second-highest position for any IPO ever. On Wednesday, the shares hit ₹2,208.35 apiece, with a market cap of over $13.5 billion, making Nayar the richest self-made billionaire woman in the country.