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The Unmatched Beauty Mogul: Story of Falguni Nayar & Nykaa

by Krishnendu P
by Krishnendu P

The beginning:

Hailing from a humble abode, Falguni Nayar was born into a Gujarati business family on 19th February 1963. Genetics played its part and Falguni was born with a basic sense of business instilled in her and her business-oriented family helped her sharpen those natural skills. 

She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in commerce from the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics. Later, she pursued her Master’s from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

It was during her college days that she met her now husband, Sanjay Nayar (who is currently the CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts India). They married in 1982 and have 2 children, Adwaita Nayar and Anchit Nayar. Both the children are into the business with their mom currently. 

Nykaa is born:

Falguni Nayar always dreamed of a business of her own, a multi-branded e-commerce store. Running towards this dream, she had to leave behind a comfortable and lucrative job as a Managing Director in the Kotak Mahindra Capital in 2012 to launch her own business. 

As a woman who loved skincare, makeup, and glam, Falguni found a serious shortage of a multi-brand e-commerce store in the Indian Marketplace. Even with passion and a deep knowledge of how a business works, the road to Nykaa’s success wasn’t all that rosy. She began working in a small office offered by her father and had three employees onboard, taking care of everything.

After a lot of hard work and perseverance, it was in 2013 that Nykaa got its deserving share of publicity. Falguni hasn’t had to turn back since! Nykaa is a word rooted in the Sanskrit word ‘Nayaka’, meaning being in the spotlight. The name became a luck charm and now in 2023, Nykaa is single-handedly India’s largest online cosmetics seller.

The reasons behind Nykaa’s success:

From selling a mere 100 orders in its first year to being the first-ever Unicorn in India to be initiated and led by a woman- that’s what everybody calls a well-calculated risk which turned out big! All thanks to the business and market skills of Nykaa’s co-founder, Nykaa is expected to reach over 300 crores by 2027. It is currently growing at a CAGR of 6.32%.

Hailing from a Gujarati business family had its positives in Falguni Nayar. The genes and her inherent sense of business stood her in good stead even through the rough patches of COVID-19. Here are a few pointers that everyone can take from Falguni to make their business a big success:

  • Falguni Nayar noticed that Indian beauty stores weren’t up to par in terms of quality and customer convenience, so she seized the opportunity to enter the market.
  • She prioritized quality over everything else, emphasizing the importance of selling the perfect shade of lipstick rather than cutting prices.
  • With her 20 years of corporate experience, Nayar had a deep understanding of the market and used that knowledge to strategically plan the business’s growth.
  • Nykaa offers a wide range of national and international beauty and wellness brands, ensuring customers get authentic products directly from the source.
  • Instead of splurging on marketing, Nykaa focused on product quality, which ultimately led to customer satisfaction.
  • Nykaa identified and catered to the specific needs of Indian girls and women, deviating from traditional beauty standards to provide products that resonated with their desires and satisfaction.
  • They made sure their product range was inclusive, offering shades suitable for all skin types and expanding their scope to include products for both genders and even fashion items. This approach made every customer feel valued and represented.

Falguni Nayar’s journey embodies courage in every aspect. It teaches us that there’s no expiration date on pursuing your dreams. Nykaa’s growth, both online and offline, is remarkable, and just observing its expansion activities hints at the vast potential ahead. It’s a story that inspires, reminding us that with determination, the sky’s the limit.

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