Falguni Nayar – Founder and CEO of Nykaa
Here’s the story of a woman who is an IIM-A alumnus, a former Managing Director of the popular Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, mother of two children and a fifty-year-old.
It is extremely hard for a woman to quit her job at 50 and then think about starting a business from scratch. Well, if it had been easy, there might not have been inspiring stories like Falguni Nayar’s who bid adieu to her well-established career, just to give birth to her entrepreneurship goal, Nykaa.
She was working as a venture investor (merchant) with Kotak Mahindra Group for around 20 years. After working in group’s global operations in the United States and UK, she managed the institutional equities division. In the year 2005 she saw her as the managing director of the venture saving money business of the group.
In April 2012, Falguni gave herself the tag – Chief Executive Officer of Nykaa leaving her ‘ideal’ life behind. She was considered crazy for doing so but that’s how every entrepreneur begins to face the consequences and it was okay. She learnt about the online market and its growth in India. And decided to choose the beauty segment which came both from her love for make-up and the potential online market waiting for someone to come up with a platform like Nykaa. Thus, the journey of her entrepreneurship began.
She headquartered her company in Mumbai City where she was brought up by drawing inspiration from entrepreneurs like Ajay Bijli of PVR Cinemas and Ronnie Screwvala of UTV. Seeing her father run a small bearings business, she believed that she can become an entrepreneur. Being a Gujarati by birth, stock market and trade were a common discussion in her house during the past growing years.
When the idea and the dream to be an entrepreneur sparked inside her, Nykaa happened when Falguni Nayar had some spare time, after her children (twins -Adwaita and Anchit) were heading for their studies to the US. With a self-imposed deadline of 50, the one woman army dared to quit her job at Kotak where everything was going right and she took a leap of faith.
She identifies herself as an adventurer who would always be the first to jump in spite of not being a good swimmer. Thoughts like, “what if I break a leg?” doesn’t occur to her.
She has successfully bridged the gap and changed the way women shop, by curating more than 35,000 products and 850 brands. Nykaa has its presence in many cities with 17 stores across India. Nykaa On Trend and Nykaa Luxe are two store formats. Luxe has India as well as international beauty brands along with Nykaa Beauty, the in-house cosmetic collection, and On Trend is a collection of popular market products.
The young and super successful online beauty company has a target audience in the age group between 22 – 35 and receives 15,000 orders per day, Nykaa has also manufactured private labeled products in the bathing and body care category, in March 2016. Working in an inventory based model, Nykaa has warehouses in Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi and offers all leading brands including Lakmé, Kaya Skin Clinic, L’Oréal Paris and more.
Naykaa, is derived from ‘Nayika’, meaning the actress of one’s life, is a perfect name to beautify and inspire women at the same time. Falguni Nayar’s Nykaa has now become a popular identity in the market. The brand’s association is deeply engraved with its founder is and is a result of the passion she had for her establishing her dream. Kudos to the woman who exceeds her own expectations and never stops working.