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Nykaa IPO: Meet Falguni Nayar – Founder of India’s First Woman-Led Unicorn, an Inspiration for Millennials

Jagran Josh

Nykaa IPO Opens: With the opening of Initial Public Offering (IPO) of FSN E-Commerce Ventures Limited, the parent company of popular online platform Nykaa, its Founder Ms Falguni Nayar has also become a household name. Nykaa, which is a Sanskrit word for an actress, has taken rapid steps to become one of India’s leading multi-brand omnichannel beauty-focused retail business and a common name among the beauty buffs. And with the company going public now, it is a favourite among IPO hunters and will soon be a common name for investors too. But, how did a start-up that primarily focused on beauty and cosmetics turn into a unicorn.

Here’s a look at Founder of India’s First Woman-Led Unicorn and how she has become an inspiration for millennials across the country. Get Details Here.

The Journey

Falguni Nayar’s journey towards leading India’s top e-commerce site for beauty products started through her foundational education. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (B.Com) from Sydenham College, Mumbai. This was followed by an MBA in Finance from the best B-school of the Country i.e. IIM Ahmedabad. 

Like many finance graduates from top b-schools, Ms Nayar’s professional journey started her journey as an investment banker. Her first job was with A F Ferguson & Co. In her corporate stint, Falguni Nayar has served as the Head of International Business and later on as the Director and Head of Institutional Equities Business for Kotak Securities. From there she moved to Kotak Investment Banking as the Managing Director before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey.  

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The Spark

The spark to launch a venture which has transformed into India’s top e-commerce site for beauty products came to Nayar during her corporate years. During those years, she saw met and interacted with several die-hard founders, who truly found a motivating business mission. The central premise that Nayar wanted to capitalize on was to help India’s women look after themselves, moving away from the country’s traditional deference to men. The name Nayka, which means an Actress or Heroine in Sanskrit, truly embodies the spirit of the firm which aims to promote women enabling them to be the key character of their story. 

The Success

What started in 2012 as an idea, resonated with its customers and audiences to transform into a brand that is endorsed by Bollywood stars and has a fervent following among twenty-somethings. Nayar and brainchild Nayka has become synonymous with beauty and wellness and offers 4,000 beauty, personal care, fashion brands to its customers. In line with aspirations of the young India, the e-commerce platform through its website, apps and 70-plus brick-and-mortar stores earned Rs 24.5 billion ($330 million) in revenue and other income in the last fiscal year. 

Despite the challenges of pandemic, the venture turned profitable and Nayar attributes this to their resistance to cutting prices to lure buyers, in contrast to other e-commerce startups. In an interview, Falguni Nayar said that despite challenges and pressures, she resisted the urge to become a discount store. “We'd rather sell the right color of lipstick at full price, than the wrong shade at half off which would make the buyer unhappy within minutes of wearing,” she added.

The Unicorn Start-up

With stars on her side, Nayar is very optimistic about the next step as far as the future of FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd, the parent company of Nayka is concerned. The company is going public and has become already become one of the most awaited IPO listing of all time. As per Bloomberg News, if the IPO goes as planned, the total valuation of the business could be more than $4 billion. If the IPO goes as planned, Nykaa will be India’s first women-led unicorn to go public. After going public, Nayar plans to strengthen company’s core brands such as Nykaa Cosmetics, Nykaa Naturals and Kay Beauty, and to establish and promote fresh brands.

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