People, in India, die to get a regular job such that they can become financially secure for their future. And then, imagine a lady in her 51st year, leaving her job at a prestigious bank and deciding to start something of her own. Falguni Nayar quit her career as a Managing Director at Kotak Mahindra Capital Company and successfully holding a position amongst India’s top 10 entrepreneurs. Yes, you read that right, Falguni Nayar is the founder of Nykaa- India’s hub for beauty products. Know her full story to get inspired.
“Set yourself earnestly to see what you are made to do, and then set yourself earnestly to do it.” - Phillips Brooks.
Life before Nykaa
Falguni graduated from IIM, Ahmedabad and worked with the Kotak Mahindra Group as an investment banker and broker for around 19 years. For 8 years, she worked with Kotak’s international operations in the UK and the US. Later she went on to head the Institutional Equities Division of Kotak. Need more? She became the MD in 2005 and helped Kotak become India’s leading IPO banker. Mergers and Acquisitions were just too easy for her. She carried herself with the charm of her hard work and determination. Whatever she did for Kotak was successful. But was she satisfied?
“Ever Tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
Change in thoughts
Satisfaction is often seen beating everything else and inspiring a person to excel even further. Falguni had dedicated decades to Kotak and achieved tremendous success. But at the end of the day, whatever she did could have been for a company of her own. The entrepreneur in her was at work now; life was at a crossroads with two options to choose from- current life(stable) or a new endeavor (risky). At the age of 50, she chose the second option. The resignation letter was given to Kotak, and an incorporation letter of a new company was in the making for Falguni.
“No matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sights on a higher one.”- Jessica Savitch
Welcome to Nykaa
There was a plan of doing something, but Nykaa was never on the cards until the idea struck. She felt empowered whenever she visited beauty stores. One thing she likes about the Multi-Brand Beauty Stores was that the sales executives there were not biased towards a particular company. The executive always wanted the customers to get the best out of their store; they even taught the customers how to use the products. This was something, Falguni felt, that had to be brought to India. She brainstormed over the fact that beauty products were still a segment to be tapped in India. 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.
“They can conquer who believe they can.”- Virgil
Every idea rides upon how it was implemented. Falguni started a website and then began the journey towards success, this time it was for her own company. With products from different brands getting listed on Nykaa’s website, customers began coming in. Initially, it took time to get customers on board, but once they were satisfied with the services offered by Nykaa, they started making repeat purchases. Within a few years, Nykaa has become a 200 crore plus company and is eyeing for more. There are around 850 brands and more than 50,000 products. With stores of the company available in 17 states of India, Nykaa is unstoppable.
“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment over which you have any control: now.”- Denis Waitley.
Though she is her own inspiration, there were others as well who did that job for her. Successful entrepreneurs like PVR’s Ajay Bijli and UTV’s Ronnie Screwvala were the ones who inspired her. She found their way of taking a small idea to the masses very incredible.
Falguni is an inspiration for every woman out there. She is killing stereotypes in her way. She thinks that the mentality of the business community and society as a whole needs to change. The perception that only men can take risks has to be bid a goodbye. Determination and will power are her weapons to destroy any hurdle. There are still miles to go on this journey, and she believes that she will do it, for sure.