Nykaa’s CEO Falguni Nayar: Smashing The Patriarchy
In 2012, Falguni Nayar decided to quit her high profile job of Managing Director at Kotak Mahindra Group. A valuable Indian Bank, Kotak recalls her telling that she was passionate about doing something in the world of Internet and Beauty. After nine years, On November 10, her start-up FSN ECommerce Ventures, the parent firm of beauty products retailer Nykaa and India’s first woman-led unicorn, made a debut on the stock exchange with its market valuation crossing the Rs 1 lakh crore ($13.47 billion) mark. The net worth of Nayar, who owns around 52.56% stake in the company, surged to US $7.90 billion (around Rs 58,635 crore), making her the second richest businesswoman after Savitri Jindal of the O P Jindal Group (net worth $18 billion as per the Forbes list).
While Nayar decided to float Nykaa at the age of 50, after more than two decades in banking, may have taken some aback, no one who knows her is surprised at her success. Nykaa was a complete break, with Falguni Nayar starting the firm whose name means ‘heroine’ in Sanskrit with no experience in the beauty business or in retail.
It priced its initial public offering at the top end of a marketed range, raising 53.5 billion rupees ($722 million). The stock was up as of 10:36 a.m in Mumbai. However, as Nayar had pointed out on Nykaa’s stock market listing day, it was “a giant leap of faith”,to build a platform “which at the time had few believers and many critics”.
Nykaa has comfortably broken into the club of India’s top 100 most valuable companies. At the 52nd spot, it is ahead of the likes of Godrej Consumer, Bharat Petroleum and IndiGo.
Building on her experience as a banker, Nayar has created a capital-efficient and asset-light business model. Before its $720-million IPO, Nykaa had raised only $100 million in equity.