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  • Writer's pictureTikona Capital

Falguni Nayar: Illuminating the Path to Success with Nykaa

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Success is not defined by the barriers you encounter, but by how you overcome them and continue to forge ahead.


In the vast realm of entrepreneurship, there are few stories as inspiring and empowering as that of Falguni Nayar, the brilliant mind behind the phenomenal success of Nykaa. From humble beginnings to revolutionizing the beauty and cosmetics industry, Nayar's journey is a testament to determination, resilience, and unwavering passion. This blog delves into the pivotal moments in Nayar's life that helped her ascend the staircase of success, showcasing her entrepreneurial prowess and her commitment to empowering women.

Early Life and Education

Falguni Nayar was born in India, and from a young age, she displayed an innate curiosity and drive for excellence. After completing her schooling, Nayar pursued a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, and later obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School. This strong academic foundation laid the groundwork for her future entrepreneurial endeavors.

Corporate Journey

Nayar embarked on her professional career at A.F. Ferguson & Co., a leading consulting firm, where she honed her business acumen and developed a deep understanding of the corporate world. Later, she joined Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, playing a pivotal role in establishing their investment banking division. This experience provided her with invaluable insights into the financial domain, as well as the opportunity to work with influential industry leaders.

The Spark of Innovation

In 2012, Falguni Nayar identified a glaring gap in the Indian beauty and cosmetics market: a lack of dedicated online platforms offering a wide range of products. This realization, coupled with her entrepreneurial spirit, led her to launch Nykaa, an e-commerce platform revolutionizing the beauty industry. Nykaa quickly became a game-changer, offering customers access to an extensive collection of cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and wellness products, all at their fingertips.

Nayar's Vision and Strategy

Falguni Nayar's unwavering vision and meticulous strategic planning have been instrumental in Nykaa's success. She understood the power of personalization and made it a cornerstone of the Nykaa experience. By curating a diverse range of products from both established and emerging brands, Nayar catered to the varied needs and preferences of Indian consumers. Additionally, she introduced a beauty advice section on the website, where customers could seek guidance from experts, fostering a sense of community and trust.

Expansion and Diversification

Under Nayar's guidance, Nykaa expanded its offerings beyond cosmetics, branching into various verticals such as fashion, personal care, and men's grooming. This diversification allowed the company to tap into new markets and reach a broader customer base. Nykaa also established a strong offline presence with the launch of physical retail stores, creating a seamless omnichannel shopping experience for its customers.

Impact and Recognition

Falguni Nayar's trailblazing efforts have garnered widespread recognition and accolades. Nykaa has been honored with numerous awards, including the prestigious Economic Times Startup of the Year in 2018. Nayar herself has been celebrated as a visionary entrepreneur, featuring in prominent lists such as Forbes' "Most Powerful Women in Business" and Fortune India's "Most Powerful Women."


Falguni Nayar's success story is a shining example of how dedication, innovation, and a strong sense of purpose can transform an idea into a remarkable reality. From her early days as a mathematics scholar to becoming a leading figure in the Indian business landscape, Nayar has shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for aspiring entrepreneurs. Through Nykaa, she has not only revolutionized the beauty industry but also empowered countless women to embrace their individuality and pursue their dreams. Falguni Nayar's remarkable journey serves as a beacon of inspiration, reminding us that with passion and perseverance, the possibilities are truly limitless.

Sumit Poddar

Chief Investment Officer & Smallcase Portfolio Manager

Tikona Capital

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