Inside Nykaa: Falguni Nayar’s Blueprint for Beauty Success


The word Nykaa in Sanskrit means ‘the one in the spotlight’. The Indian Beauty and Personal Care company has been in the spotlight with remarkable success. Nykaa has transformed the way we approach cosmetics and skincare. This e-commerce platform has become a go-to destination for makeup enthusiasts, offering an extensive range of products from both local and international brands. As the reports of an upward trajectory of the Indian Beauty and Personal Care industry hit the market every day, let us take a peek at Nykaa’s inspiring past and promising future.

Falguni Nayar’s early life and career

Falguni Nayar, a former investment banker, founded Nykaa in 2012. Born on February 19, 1963, Falguni Nayar grew up in a Gujarati family in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Her father managed a small bearings company, with support from her mother. Falguni graduated with a B.Com degree from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics. Later, she pursued postgraduate studies at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, graduating in 1985.

In 1987, Falguni Nayar tied the knot with Sanjay Nayar, whom she had met at business school. Sanjay Nayar currently serves as the CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts India. The couple is blessed with twin children named Adwaita Nayar and Anchit Nayar. Adwaita holds the CEO position at Nykaa Fashion, while Anchit oversees the retail and e-commerce divisions.

Nayar has over 25 years of valuable experience working as an investment banker at A.F. Ferguson and Co. and the Kotak Mahindra Group.

The birth of Nykaa and the journey so far

In April 2012, in her fifties, Falguni Nayar established Nykaa using $2 million from her funds and with three employees. The demand for beauty and cosmetic products was high in the Indian market. But the available range did not compare to that in developed countries. Moreover, these products were frequently inaccessible in various regions across the country, leading to the inception of Nykaa.

In 2015, the company transitioned from being exclusively online to adopting an omnichannel model and began selling fashion products. In 2018, Nykaa introduced Nykaa PRO. This is a premium membership program on the Nykaa app that offers users exclusive access to professional beauty products and special offers. By March 2020, Nykaa secured ₹100 crore (US$13 million) from Steadview Capital. With this they achieved a valuation of US$1.2 billion and attaining unicorn status. In October 2020, Nykaa expanded its offerings by launching Nykaa Man, India’s inaugural multi-brand e-commerce store specializing in men’s grooming. The company further diversified its portfolio by entering the fashion segment by introducing Nykaa Fashion.

On October 28, 2021, Nykaa initiated its initial public offering (IPO), raising ₹5,352 crore (US$670 million) and achieving a valuation of US$7.4 billion. Nykaa officially debuted on the NSE and BSE on November 10, 2021. They witnessed an 89.2% increase in its share price on the opening day, valuing the company at nearly US$13 billion. Following the listing, founder Falguni Nayar, who held a 53.5% stake in the company, attained the status of India’s wealthiest self-made female billionaire. Nayar currently has the 88th position in the Forbes India Rich List. As of December 2023, Nykaa has a market capitalization of $5.94 Billion.

The journey to success was challenging, but in 2020, Nykaa became the first unicorn company in India, led by a woman. Falguni Nayar is more than just a founder; she inspires millions of women worldwide.

Business model

Nykaa sells beauty, wellness, and fashion products through its website, mobile app, and over 100 physical stores. Their products are manufactured in India as well as internationally.

Nykaa operates on an inventory-based model, maintaining warehouses in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Haryana, Kolkata, and Bangalore. In 2015, the company expanded from online-only to an omnichannel model and began selling products apart from beauty. As of 2020, it retails over 2,000 brands and 200,000 products across its platforms.

Major brands

The major brands Nykaa features are Maybellene, Lakme, Loreal Paris, MAC, Lotus, Clinique, Colorbar, and many more, along with Nykaa’s in-house brands Nykaa Naturals, Nykaa Cosmetics, and Kay Beauty. Kay Beauty is their first celebrity partnership brand with actress Katrina Kaif.

Some of the in-house brands Nykaa Fashion features are Nykd by Nykaa, 20 Dresses, RSVP, Mondano, Likha and Pipa Bella.

Nykaa also offers guidance on product purchases through their website and the Nykaa TV YouTube channel, assisting customers in making informed decisions about the right products for their needs.


In conclusion, Nykaa’s journey from its inception to its current standing is a testament to the vision and dedication of its founder and team. The brand has not only revolutionized the way Indians approach beauty shopping, but it has also become a trendsetter in the industry. Nykaa’s commitment to quality, inclusivity, and customer satisfaction has undoubtedly paved the way for its continued success in the dynamic and ever-evolving beauty landscape. Nykaa remains at the forefront as the Beauty and Personal Care industry transforms, offering a beauty haven for all.


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