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Nykaa IPO: Here’s how ambitious founder Falguni Nayar became India’s richest self-made female billionaire


Falguni Nayar, India-based former investment banker turned entrepreneur who launched Nykaa in 2012, has become India’s newest billionaire. Besides that, her beauty and fashion company has finally been listed on Bombay Stock Exchange, which means she has many reasons to become joyous. 

Like a mega-blockbuster movie opening, Nykaa hit a valuation of $13.5B in the very first five minutes of trade on November 11, taking Nayar’s net worth to almost $7B. Nykaa’s parent company, FSN E-Commerce Ventures was also touted as the first woman-led unicorn to list on the Indian stock exchange with its IPO. With the offering, the firm raised about Rs 53.5B. Nykaa’s market cap had already surpassed some big companies such as Britannia, Godrej, and IndiGo.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, this not only propelled the 58-year-old into the country’s top 20 wealthiest persons, but it also made her India’s richest self-made female.

Nayar replaced Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the founder of biopharmaceutical firm Biocon, to achieve this feat. Shaw comes with a net worth of $3.6B and is India’s only self-made female billionaire.

Belonging to a Gujarati family, her father used to run a small bearings company and support from her mother. She had learnt a lot about investments, stock market and trade from her family.

Following her MBA, Nayar worked for 18 years at Kotak Mahindra Capital, one of India’s largest investment firms, where she was managing director and head of institutional equities.

The Journey of Falguni Nayar

Falguni Nayar’s journey was nothing short of a miracle. After quitting investment banking, she founded Nykaa at the age of 49 years in 2012. Made by Nayar, Nykaa is a tech-savvy app that helps people order makeup and hair-care products when women used to visit physical stores to buy these things. After that, the company didn’t turn back, and it went on to become the country’s biggest beauty retailer. Celebrity endorsements and investments from Katrina Kaif to Alia Bhatt made Nykaa a well-known brand in the Indian market. 

Cut to 2017, in an interview, Nayar had revealed that “I didn’t want to raise funds, so the company ran on family resources for two years.” “I aimed to make the metrics appear. By the time I reached investors, we had a lot of momentum.” Because my husband and I were both bankers, we had access.” 

However, moods changed, and after five rounds of funding, the company finally achieved the status of a unicorn. 

The company began by selling beauty and personal care products. Picture the growth; it has become India’s largest beauty and fashion retailer, with 80 locations across 40 Indian cities selling over 4,000 items ranging from exfoliating treatments to lipsticks and nail paint.

Since 2015, Nykaa has experimented with its offerings, including clothing and home goods, and the production of its line of beauty products. The projections by Bangalore-based RedSeer Management Consulting showed that this expansion will help them capture a rapidly increasing industry worth $152B by 2025 (up from $70B in 2020).

Nykaa earned a profit of Rs 61.96 crore, up from a deficit of Rs 16.34 crore the past year. In FY21, wealth grew by 38% year on year to Rs 2,453 crore.

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