Falguni Nayar – Self Made Woman Entrepreneur!

 Falguni Nayar –  Self Made Woman Entrepreneur!

Nykaa is a cosmetic e-commerce business that is an initiative by women and for women. The brand had been originally established as a sole e-commerce medium by a banking veteran Falguni Nayar. Later, it began setting up various retail outlets in many metropolitan cities across the nation. She listened to her passion, followed her gut and started up when she was in her early 50s, in spite of being an MD at Kotak Mahindra. In today’s article we are going to get our hands on the story of a myth buster woman entrepreneur Falguni Nayar, displaying the true meaning of women empowerment.

Early Life

Falguni Nayar was born on February 19th, 1963. She was great with academics and also is a top-woman achiever in the banking industry. Falguni’s Alma Mater is from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, where she pursued an MBA in Finance. Her father was a prominent face in the business world at that time. She was working as a management consultant at A.F. Ferguson & Co. She has tremendous experience of 18 years. She was in the position of a Managing director at Kotak Mahindra. I am sure that the above lines definitely described a strong career growth, so what made this Managing Director move away from a desk job to something innovative?

Entrepreneurial Journey Inception

“I WANTED TO EXPERIENCE THE JOURNEY OF CREATING SOMETHING FROM SCRATCH!” says Falguni Nayar. The urge to build a castle from the first brick made her switch from a Managing Director to Woman Entrepreneur. It is often said passion has no age and she is a living example of this quote. It is a salute to her spirit of starting something new at the age of 51 in a society that has a traditional approach to everything and anything.

As soon as she turned 50, Falguni’s attraction towards beauty and wellness sparked an instinct to open a venture. She recognized that the Indian startup scenario was going to be a grand hit in the beauty sector. She started off with $2 million as seed capital from family savings, she thought the time was ripe for an Indian version of Sephora, the international cosmetics chain.


Starting off as an online retailer, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nayaka’ meaning actress or one in the spotlight, Nykaa is all about celebrating the star in each woman, and being her confidante and companion as she embarks on her own journey to discover her unique identity and personal style. The company now has 70 stores across 34 cities and its website and app draw 60 million monthly visitors.

It is an India-based brand that specializes in multi-beauty and personal care products. The brand specialises in facilitating an extensive collection of cosmetics, skincare, haircare, fragrances, bath and body, luxury as well as wellness products for both women and men. The platform facilitates suitably prepared and priced branded products, claiming to receive more than 1.5 million per month across India.

Nykaa disrupted India’s beauty market by selling luxury brands such as Clinique and Bobbi Brown online. By sourcing products directly from authorized distributors, Nykaa built a reputation of quality and authenticity in a market rife with spurious cosmetics. The online model allowed Falguni Nayar to create an endless aisle of products from across the globe, Nykaa currently offers more than 700,000 products.

Falguni’s strategies

Falguni Nayar has shunned discounting and used marketing strategies such as beauty blogs by influencers who provide updates on new products and trends. Realizing that customers like to touch and feel and try on cosmetics before buying them, she added bricks to clicks, opening the first Nykaa store in Delhi in 2015.

Nykaa, which became a unicorn last year, has so far raised a total of $70 million in primary funding from marquee investors, including consumer goods billionaire Harsh Mariwala and commodities billionaire Harindarpal “Harry” Banga.“It has been remarkable watching Nayar transition seamlessly from one of India’s leading investment bankers to a phenomenal entrepreneur in the beauty, fashion, and technology space,” says Angad Banga, son of Harry Banga, whose Hong Kong-based family office holds a 10% stake in Nykaa. 

Journey so far

Falguni Nayar’s entrepreneurial journey has been far from smooth. She faced a big learning curve as she navigated the worlds of beauty, tech, and retail. Three chief technology officers quit in the first four years. Despite being a banking veteran, fund-raising was a challenge initially—a far cry from the current circumstance that sees Nayar being wooed by investment banks seeking to list her business.

As the Covid-19 pandemic stifled businesses from airlines to tourism, Nykaa, an online retailer of beauty products, was sitting pretty. Hordes of shoppers, stuck at home due to pandemic-imposed restrictions, flocked to its virtual shelves, buying up everything from skin creams to lipsticks. Thanks to this sales surge, Nykaa expects to report a 40% rise in revenue for the year ending March 2021, up from $247 million in March 2020.

She has been an inspiration and motivation to all the women out there that they can make it large and achieve their goals by breaking societal norms and she has set a benchmark for all women globally.

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We manifest the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem for enthusiastic entrepreneurs by helping them build their entrepreneurial skills and encouraging them in job creation rather than finding ones. These episodes aim to provide much-needed guidance & motivation among the youth and bridge the knowledge gap.

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