Falguni Nayar is the founder, CEO and MD of Nykaa.
Falguni Nayar was born on 19 February 1963 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Her father, Nayar migrated from Karachi, Pakistan to a village in Gujarat during the Partition of India in 1947 with pittance.
Later, he moved to Mumbai and started working as a Hindi teacher.
After a while, he and his brother started a trading business and later, a ball bearing manufacturing business on a small scale which he eventually built to a medium-sized business.
Falguni Nayar saw his father growing his business and also helped him.
Involved in business-
Even as Falguni Nayar was a child, her father started involving her in his business.
While she was in her 6th grade, her father used to ask for her advice on diversification of his business and other business-related things, stock market, etc.
This inspired Falguni Nayar to study the price-earnings ratio in newspapers.
Her father believed in gender equality and so, he provided Falguni Nayar with good educational and other growth opportunities and freedom.
These things played a major role in boosting her confidence.
As a teenager, Falguni Nayar travelled a lot and as a part of the student exchange program she lived with a Muslim family in Kashmir.
She also solo travelled to Europe and the United States.
In 1980, Falguni Nayar joined Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai to study for a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) in Accounting and Business/Management.
She was a good student.
After completing her B.Com. in 1983, Falguni Nayar joined Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad to study MBA in Finance.
She passed out from IIM in 1985.
An interesting fact- Chetan Bhagat also studied from IIM Ahmedabad.
After passing out from IIM, Falguni Nayar joined A. F. Ferguson & Co. in May 1985 and worked here as a manager until December 1993.
Then, in 1994, she joined Kotak Securities and worked as a Head of International Business in London and the City of Greater New York.
While working in London and New York, Falguni Nayar learnt many things about managing businesses and this confidence later helped her in the foundation of Nykaa.
In 2001, she moved to Mumbai and worked as Director and Head of Institutional Equities Business until 2007.
Then, in December 2007 Falguni Nayar joined Kotak Investment Banking and worked as a Managing Director until March 2012.
Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug-
While working at Kotak Investment Banking, Falguni Nayar oversaw the IPOs of companies like Marico, Godrej, etc.
During that time, she saw entrepreneurs building many successful and sustainable businesses and she too was excited to start her own venture.
But for the next 3-4 years, Falguni Nayar wasn’t able to quit her good job at Kotak Investment Banking but she wanted to become an entrepreneur by the time she turned 50.
Finally, in March 2012, she resigned from her job to embark on her entrepreneurial journey.
In April 2012, Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa in Mumbai with her family savings.
Vijay KG was one of the founding partners of Nykaa.
Entering the beauty market-
Falguni Nayar entered the beauty e-commerce market with Nykaa and avoided the overly competitive markets of electronics, fashion, etc.
During that time, e-commerce wasn’t popular but as she was confident about the growth of e-commerce, she didn’t doubt her decision.
Even though Falguni Nayar wasn’t passionate about applying make-up, she was very interested in the beauty business.
The Nykaa website was launched in November 2012 and Lakmé was the first brand to get associated with Nykaa.
Now, Nykaa owns many brands like Nykaa Naturals, Nykaa Cosmetics, Kay Beauty, Nykd by Nykaa, 20 Dresses, RSVP, Mondano, Likha and Pipa Bella.
In 1987, Falguni Nayar married Sanjay Nayar.
Sanjay Nayar was her batchmate at IIM Ahmedabad and has always been very supportive to her.
He works as the chairman of KKR & Co. Inc.
Their children, Adwaita Nayar and Anchit Nayar studied in the United States and worked there for some time before coming back to India to work in Nykaa.
Now, Adwaita Nayar is the CEO of Nykaa Fashion and Anchit Nayar is the CEO of Nykaa.com.
Nykaa is an omnichannel retailer and sells products through its website, apps and physical stores.
As of 2021, Nykaa has more than 80 stores in more than 40 cities across India.
Nykaa is a closed marketplace and its portfolio contains thousands of brands covering skin care, hair care, makeup, etc.
Now, Nykaa is also involved in the fashion business through Nykaa Fashion and has its own range of beauty and personal care products.
Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt have also invested in Nykaa.
Now, Nykaa is one of the top players in the online beauty market place and is growing at an impressive rate.
In November 2021, Nykaa got listed on BSE and NSE by the name of its parent company, FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd.
Her future plan-
Falguni Nayar realized the importance of coding, so in future, she wants to teach coding to girls.
Bill Gates is her favourite entrepreneur.
In 2017, Falguni Nayar was awarded the ‘Woman Ahead’ award at the Economic Times Startup Awards 2017.
In 2019, she was awarded ET Businesswoman of the Year 2019 Award.
Reasons for her success-
Even though Falguni Nayar wasn’t techie and young when she started Nykaa, her varied work experience gave her many necessary skills like negotiation, management, etc. to succeed.
Also, her persistence and confidence helped her to emerge as one of the most successful women entrepreneurs of India.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Falguni Nayar?
Share with me in the comment section below.
Falguni Nayar image credit: Anurag Saboo/Wikimedia Commons