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The Cosmetic Mogul of India: Falguni Nayar

Women have always broken the glass ceiling, and proven the gender stereotypes wrong. While entrepreneurship in India is heavily male dominated, women have not failed to make their mark. One such female entrepreneur is Falguni Nayar, the founder of Nykaa, the one-stop destination for cosmetics and other beauty products which has now expanded to apparel as well.

Falguni Nayar, an IIM Ahmedabad alumna, was a former managing director at Kotak Mahindra Capital Company. At the age of 50, when she was at the peak of her career, she took a leap of faith and quit the security and prospects of a comfortable future and founded Nykaa, an online ecommerce portal providing a range of beauty and wellness products in 2012. The brand name Nykaa is derived from the Sanskrit word nayaka, which means ‘one in the spotlight’.

The idea behind Nykaa came to Nayar’s mind when she visited a Sephora store in the US. The sales associate recommended her best products and showed the best ways to use them. Though she wasn’t a regular customer of beauty products, still she had spent hundreds of dollars. She was fascinated with Multi-Brand Beauty Stores and how the sales executives there were not biased towards a particular company and always wanted the customers to get the best out of their store. This concept was somethingshe felt a need to bring in India, to have all the brands in a single store. She realised the fact that beauty products were still a segment to be tapped in India and with that she was now ready to go for the gamble, and ultimately Nykaa came into existence. She wanted the women using her products to feel empowered and happy.

Nykaa’s growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. The company has grown over 100% year on year for the last three years. Today Nykaa’s portfolio includes over 1,000 brands with over 50,000 products across makeup, skincare, hair care, fragrances, bath and body, luxury and wellness products for women and men. Nykaa has entered the unicorn club, and commands more than 40% percent of the online beauty market in India.

Falguni Nayar is an inspiration and a role model for every woman out there. She is the living example that proves determination and will power can destroy any hurdle.

Written by: Visaaya Bamba

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