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This article is more than 1 month old.

As Nykaa readies for IPO, meet its founder Falguni Nayar

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An IIM-A alumnus, Falguni Nayar was an investment banker for 19 years before starting beauty and wellness platform Nykaa.

As Nykaa readies for IPO, meet its founder Falguni Nayar
Nykaa is all set to file its draft red herring prospectus with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) over the weekend. The company is looking to go public with a valuation of $4.5 billion. Falguni Nayar, the CEO and founder of the beauty and retail platform, is set to retain a 51 percent stake in the company.
As Nykaa approaches closer to becoming the first profitable startup, it is befitting to shine the torch on Nayar, who has been singularly instrumental in its success.
A graduate from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Nayar did her post- graduation from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. With a specialisation in finance, Nayar soon joined as a consultant with AF Ferguson & Co, a consultancy company. After eight years with the company, she joined Kotak Securities, Kotak Mahindra’s institutional equities division. Serving various roles over the next 19 years, she left the company as a managing director, a post she held for four years.
It was at this point that Nayar started Nykaa. She put together a team in nine months. Since she was involved in every aspect of setting up the platform, Nayar’s choices were critical for Nykaa.
“When I was starting with e-commerce, I carefully chose beauty and wellness because there was not too much competition. The other spaces like electronics and fashion had too many players trying to address them. I consciously chose an area that was small but expected to grow and a bit difficult to do,” Nayar said in an interview in 2015.
The company now boasts over 1,500 brands in its portfolio, including leading luxury labels like Bobbi Brown, L’Occitane and Estee Lauder, and has even opened 68 brick and mortar stores in the country. Nykaa posted revenues of Rs 1,860 crore in FY20, making it possibly the only profitable unicorn that is going public.
Nayar was one of ‘Asia's Power Businesswomen 2019’, according to Forbes Asia. She was awarded the ‘Businessperson of the Year 2019’ by Vogue India and the ‘EY Entrepreneur of The Year 2019 – Start-up Award’ by Ernst and Young.