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Falguni Nayar quit her job at 49 to start Nykaa, a successful beauty retail

Transitioning from the most successful career woman to a businesswoman at the age of 49 years is a feat in itself. Falguni Nayar, the self-made female Indian billionaire, has proven – if you think it, you can do it! She is the woman behind Nykaa – India’s largest omnichannel beauty destination.

The beginning

Falguni Nayar was a successful investment banker. She was the former Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Capital. Furthermore, she also served on several boards, including the Aviva Insurance Board, Dabur India, and Tata Motors. 

In 2009 Falguni Nayar had had already begun to think about a second innings as an entrepreneur. Finally, in March 2012, she launched Nykaa from her father’s office at Lower Parel, Mumbai.

Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa with the vision of building a multi-brand retail beauty business. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nayaka’ for an actress or one in the spotlight, Nykaa symbolizes celebrating the star in each woman.

A Rough Road

Despite having sufficient experience, Falguni faced multiple hurdles in her entrepreneurial venture. Her founding team quit within a year of launch, CTOs kept changing, and the website kept crashing every time it hit 100 orders. 

Finally, the turning point was Raksha Bandhan in August 2013. The demand grew to about 60-65 orders a day. Also by the time Nykaa participated in the second edition of the Google Online Shopping Festival in December, their numbers had reached 1,000 orders a day.

In a short span of 10 years, the company redefined the art of e-retailing beauty and personal care products in India. Today, Nykaa offers makeup, skincare, haircare, bath and body, fragrance, grooming appliances, and more. It has over 72 Luxe and On-Trend and Kiosk Stores, and a well-established online presence. 

Image credits: Business Today

The Milestones

2012 Incorporation of FSN E-Commerce Ventures Pvt Ltd

2014 Nykaa opens its first physical store at Mumbai International Airport

2015 Launches Nykaa Cosmetics

2016 Launches Nykaa Naturals

2019 Introduces Huda, Masaba, Kay collections

2021 Nykaa goes public on November 10, 2021. The Rs 5,352-crore IPO was oversubscribed nearly 82.5 times. Nykaa’s shares debuted at Rs 2,001 on November 10 against the issue price of Rs 1,125. On the same day, the company’s market capitalization touched the Rs 1 lakh crore mark-making Phalguni Nayar, India’s richest self-made woman billionaire, with a net worth of $7.03billion (Bloomberg Billionaires Index). 



  • Retailer of the Year (Beauty, Wellness & Fitness) Award by ET Now Global Awards for Retail Excellence – Nykaa
  • IBG Annual Business Excellence Awards in the “Startup” category by the India Business Group – Nykaa


  • One of Asia’s Power Businesswomen by Forbes Asia
  • Businesswoman of the Year’ at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence
  • Business Person of the Year by Vogue India
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Start-up’ by Ernst and Young


  • Best Launch of the Year Award by ET Now Star of the Industry Awards For Excellence In Branding & Marketing – Nykaa Network


  • Health & Beauty Retailer of the Year Award at the Star Retailer Awards –

Today, under the guidance of Falguni Nayar, the 1600 strong team has built a beauty empire with a portfolio of 1500+ brands, including its own private label, available online and across 68 stores in India. Subsequently, the offline business has also grown to 84 physical stores across 38 cities over three formats—Nykaa Luxe, NykaaOnTrend, Nykaa Kiosk.

And this is just the start of Falguni Nayar’s beautiful second innings!
Rukshana is a freelance content and communication strategist based out of Mumbai, India. She mingles her expertise in PR with comprehensive domain knowledge and creative writing skills to assist and propagate business, worldwide. Being a quick learner, she utilizes her diversified digital expertise to provide copywriting and content writing services to create highly profitable brands, products, and services.

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