Nykaa’s Falguni Nayar – Face Behind India’s First Woman-Led Unicorn To Go Public

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In 2012, a 49-year-old Falguni Nayar started Nykaa – now one of India’s leading e-commerce websites – defying two stereotypes that are often used to define women at the workplace – age and gender.

In under 10 years of its journey, Nykaa is slated to become India’s first and only woman-led unicorn to go public. On Thursday, 28 October, Nayar, who has helped multiple companies go public, will be seeking to raise funds for her own through an IPO (initial public offering).

With price band of initial share fixed at ₹1,085-1,125 per share, Nykaa is seeking to raise $700 million through the IPO, which will value the company at over $7 billion.

Falguni Nayar, the owner of Nykaa, needs no introduction to those familiar with the richest Indian women. After Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Falguni Nayar is the only second Indian self-made woman billionaire. In March 2021, the Nykaa owner made plans to go in for IPO with her fashion beauty e-commerce business, which lest we mention, has become the kingpin in its category. Back then, for a June placement, Nykaa was valued at $2.3 billion, bringing Nayar’s estimated net worth in the billions with an estimation of $1.1 billion, per Forbes.

But, while that was a little earlier in the year, Nykaa’s valuation has grown over the past few months. The e-commerce website has been in business all through the pandemic with the rise of online shopping since buyers were confined to their homes. Since Falguni Nayar is planning the Nykaa IPO, here’s what her net worth figures look like.

Nykaa owner billionaire Falguni Nayar is all set to triple her net worth to an estimated Rs 28,000 crore

Nykaa owner Falguni Nayar is not new to the numbers game. The former veteran banker, who turned entrepreneur with Nykaa, has led many companies to their successful IPO. Hence, achieving one for her own company isn’t the most daunting task the 58-year-old has faced.

Nykaa, which offers more than 4,000 brands across the beauty, personal care and fashion platforms, is looking to deepen its presence in the Indian beauty and fashion market which is expected to more than double to $152 billion in 2025 from $70 billion in 2020, according to Bangalore-based RedSeer Management Consulting.

Under Fire for Toxic Work Culture

But Nykaa’s success story also has some unsavory bits. In June 2020, anonymous accounts of current and former employees called out the beauty e-commerce company for harassment.

Several accounts of unsympathetic and toxic work culture made headlines.

The Nayar-led company has also been criticized multiple times by beauty and fashion watchers for ‘duping’ and ‘copying’ of international brands.

FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd, the parent company of Nykaa, will open for subscription on 28 October and close on 1 November.

The company will reportedly use net proceeds from the issue to invest in FSN Brands and Nykaa Fashion. It also aims to set up new retail stores at the cost of Rs 42 crore, various reports stated.

Nayar and family will, however, continue to hold a stake in the parent company, which is one of India’s few profitable unicorns, unlike many other start-ups.

Ms. Falguni Nayar 

Founder & CEO at Nykaa.com quit her 25-year career in finance to chase her dream of building India’s premier online retailer for beauty and wellness.
With a start in early 2012, Nykaa launched its online portal Nykaa.com by December 2012 and has since progressed to offering 300 leading brands on a single platform. Within a short span of 18 months, Nykaa has become India’s no. 1 online destination for beauty products.
Currently, Falguni serves on board a number of blue-chip companies including Tata Motors Limited, ACC Limited, and Dabur India Limited. She also served as India Advisor at Temasek, a subsidiary of Temasek Holding Singapore. She was a Founding Member of the Asia Society in India and a Board Member with Business Standard.
Earlier Falguni had a long stint at Kotak Mahindra Bank where she started with setting up the firm’s international operations in London & New York. She was later Head of Institution Equities business and then moved on to take on additional responsibility as Managing Director of firm’s Investment Banking business. At Kotak Investment Bank, she successfully guided the firm to be India’s leading IPO Banker and was instrumental in closing a number of successful M&A deals including the sale of Hutchison to Vodafone, Bharti – Walmart JV for India Retail amongst others. At Kotak, she was part of the operating management committee, a small group of top management.

Journey of Falguni Nayar 

Prior to joining the Kotak Mahindra Bank, Falguni worked as a consultant with A. F. Ferguson & Co. She holds a Master’s degree in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, where she majored in Finance. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics. Falguni has received many accolades through her career including the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) award for top woman achiever in the field of Banking and Business Today award recognizing her as top 25 woman in Business.

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