Falguni Nair- The Founder of Nykaa | Optionable

December 15, 2021 by Vandana S · 7 min read


Falguni Nair- A name not many are aware of, although the brand Nykaa is known to many. Born on February 19th, 1963, is known as one of the top achievers in the banking sector and a powerful women entrepreneur in India.

 She is an IIM graduate in MBA finance and has work experience of over 18 years. She has worked in A.F. Ferguson and Co as a management consultant and in Kotak Mahindra as Managing Director.

With giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Ajio, and many other online shopping platforms, Nykaa is unique as it focuses only on beauty and wellness products. They have a niche to reach 20 billion dollars by 2025. 

According to CAGR, by 2025, the Indian cosmetics market is going to rise by 25% and contribute 5% to the global market domination. Globally the cosmetics market is growing steadily by 4.3% CAGR and can reach 450 billion dollars by 2025.

How Did Falguni Nair Start Nykaa?

In 2013, when Falguni turned 50, she started getting attracted to the beauty and wellness industry. She saw an opportunity that many missed to see. Amidst the popular brands like Lakme, Maybelline, Faces Canada, M.a.c, she saw a new brand, -her brand emerging. 

That’s how Nykaa, an e-commerce portal selling a wide range of beauty products was born. It was named Nykaa as “Nayika” in Sanskrit means” you are the actress of your life” or “one in the spotlight”.

Falguni, a CEO of 1200 crore and raising the beauty industry saw an opportunity and took upon the route that many are afraid to take- A road towards starting something of her own and changing the startup idea in India. Nykaa earns revenue of 1159 crores in FY19.

Over the years Nykaa has raised over 10 funding rounds and has raised around 145.9 million dollars. In March 2020 it raised 100 crores Steadview Capital, thus making it a unicorn start-up (A private company valued over 1 billion). 

This was followed by another rise of capital on May 8th, 2020 of 67 crores totalling its valuation count at 1.2 billion dollars.

In October 2020, Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif invested a sum in Nykaa through secondary funding. In 2019, Nykaa acquired 20Dresses.com, a private platform for women styling, and has launched a partnership with Kay Beauty- a startup of Katrina Kaif.

The strategy of revenue implemented by Nykaa is two-fold. In the offline segment, they follow the idea of the Business Inventory Model, where the goods are produced and stored in the warehouses in Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi. 

Around 68 stores of Nykaa are present which sells over 3 lakh products of over 1500 brands They get the products delivered directly from the cosmetics manufacturers of different brands.

In the online segment- Nykaa Luxe and Nykaa on-trend, they sell their products by charging a commission on luxury-specific elements.

How Did Falguni Nair Lead Nykaa To A Successful IPO?

Falguni Nair started Nykaa in 2013 as a beauty retailer to many beauty and wellness brands. In 2015, she launched her own brand Nykaa in the cosmetics industry. They started from Nail Enamels and have expanded to eyeliners, kajal, lipstick, body mists, and lotions.

Falguni started with Nail Enamels (Nail polish) based on her personal experience and research data. When she visited salons, they never had a wide range of colours and OPI Nail polish where they would have 4 colours of one brand and not many options to choose from.

The entire experience was terrible and not worth it. According to research data, the issue was with the Indian Import regulations, which made registering new colours a long and lengthy process.

Thus, Nykaa started manufacturing nail enamels and launched them into the domestic market. Within months, Nykaa products were sold 8-10 times more than other brands. A range of 120 odd colours is present under Nykaa nail enamels.

Nykaa believes in giving back to society and thus as CSR, they focus on empowering women, through finance, health care facilities, and education, rural development, and disaster management programs.

Nykaa means Heroine in Sanskrit. Its success is due to the dedication and passion fuelled by Falguni. Her never give up stance and need to become better has made the company a ravishing success.

Why Is Nykaa Increasing?

Nykaa is a go to company for many girls and women and this brand was built in a small time span of 10 years. The IPO and the business model entering fashion has definitely increased the profitability and company model.

Nykaa saw an opportunity in the disorganised sector of beauty products. There were a lot of small players locally and multiple international brands that had their independent stores spread across India.  Nykaa wanted to make the market a one stop for beauty products.

 E-commerce business model is one the leading models in the globe and to create a space unique and recognizable that it is listed in the top 100 companies of India alongside Goderej ( A company that is in the market from 1897) is commendable.

With the increase in working women in companies and the influence of social media on the population, beauty and wellness products have boomed in the market.

With its online market constantly increasing, their offline stores are opening up in multiple cities as well. It currently has 84 stores spread over 40 cities in India.

Their survey has observed that in the 2nd tier cities and 3rd tier cities the market is more profitable and in demand as compared to the 1st tier cities.

The integration of online and offline models is the success of Nykaa. When you are in the store, your information will be added to the online database and future offers can be shown in the app. 

Meanwhile if you are an online consumer, it will show you the nearest Nykaa shops for you to try the experience of the products and avail offers.

Beauty and wellness is an industry that not many realised could have an impact and become a unicorn company. Falguni Nyaar definitely showed the path of success is not only by building something unique, but integrating the wants and demands of the customer with comfort, elegance and style.

What Are The Core Values She Followed?

Falguni Nyaar, a graduate from IIM Ahmedabad, worked in Kotak for 19 years before she hung up her coat and started her own venture. Immediately post her resignation many suggested she take a rest and relax, instead she chose to enter entrepreneurship and start something new. This shows how courageous, risk taker and determined she is as an individual.

Her resignation was on 31st March and on 1st April she started her registration process for Nykaa and launched her website in October 2012. Her never give up attitude and time management skills is something to learn from.

Her zeal to disrupt the market and build her brand image and provide quality products to her customers made her a favourite entrepreneur in the 21st century.

The net worth of Falguni Nyaar is an impressive 7 billion and has been on a rise. She is an inspiration to many women entrepreneurs and her zeal to achieve has left many entrepreneurs to learn lessons from her experience, wit and sensibility.

 Within 10 years her valuation is 7 billion and her company’s IPO is shattering records in the market. With expansions and collaborations the company is steadily growing towards its goal.

Since the investment is not on the machines but on the people and their trust, the valuation and profitability is something one cannot put a cap on. With domestic and international markets of Nykaa, Falguni Nyaar showed everyone how one can dream and grow at any age. Its just a number, you create the value and worth.


Falguni Nyaar built a company which inspires millions of people around the globe. The passion, hard work and dedication is seen in the growth of the company. 

A working woman often forgets to take care of herself and Nykaa showed the pathway of how a woman can take care of herself and her company with grace, style and simplicity. 

From celebrities to common man who hold the stock of Nykaa have benefitted and have seen the performance of the company. A company that is built to last and provide quality products to all.