The Empress Of Beauty And Personal Care Nykaa Sets The Bar High

Falguni Nayyar’s Nykaa will soon be valued at $4 Bn post a successful IPO listing.


Falguni Nayyar, India’s first woman entrepreneur who has led her company to the coveted unicorn status is now taking it to the IPO (initial public offering) stage. She has not just raised the bar for women entrepreneurs, but her company has set new benchmarks for India’s budding internet based beauty companies. 

Falguni Nayyar’s Nykaa IPO 

Falguni Nayyar’s Beauty Retailer Nykaa filed its IPO documents this month for a share towards the end of 2021. Nykaa is currently one of the most exciting IPO bound companies that could soon be valued at $4 Bn. The company has filed with the regulatory SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) and plans to offer up to 43 Mn shares worth $70.8 Mn 

How Falguni Nayyar set the bar high for IPO-bound internet companies

Nykaa built an internet giant through a traditional yet unconventional e-retail model that’s now moving towards IPO. The first domestic unicorn backed by a woman founder to go for a public listing, Nykaa is the largest player among Indian internet companies in its segment. Despite being surrounded and dominated by global giants like Amazon and Sephora, Nykaa is India’s one-and-only niche player in e-commerce to go for IPO after declaring a profit. 

How Nykaa quietly scaled up the personal care and beauty segment

Nykaa quietly scaled up in personal care and beauty while its big tech competitors like Amazon and Flipkart were looking the other way towards the fashion market. Nykaa reported a net profit for the financial year ending in March 2021. Whereas profitable businesses like Indiamart listed for IPO two decades after getting backed by venture capitalists and declaring a profit. However, Nykaa managed to reach the IPO stage by raising just $78 Mn of primary capital. On the other hand, sector-focused e-tailers like Lenskart and FirstCry raised hundreds of millions of dollars in primary capital. With just 78 Mill, Nykaa reached the same valuation as these companies and is now IPO-bound

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The first domestic unicorn backed by a woman founder to go for a public listing, Nykaa is the largest player among Indian internet companies in its segment.

What’s in it for me?

Industry analysts have declared Nykaa’s IPO as a timely event, despite the pandemic. Nykaa’s success can be attributed to their strong segmentation of verticals for consumers by providing divisions within beauty. They attracted consumers with several different verticals they may be interested in like men’s, naturals, fashion, jewellery, etc. Also, their large and considerable inventory has been a profitable factor for them. 

Nykaa’s inventory-based business model proved to be successful in the beauty space. The single biggest takeaway from Nykaa’s success for D2C and Internet companies is to focus on the core objective of the business. They mainly focused on the top 5 popular brands including Lakme and Maybelline which kept them on par with their competition, most of which were giants like Myntra, Amazon, and Sephora. Internet and D2C companies in the beauty sector must go for a definitive, authentic selection of make-up and beauty brands, through direct sourcing directly from the brand. 

You also need to focus on an inventory led model along with providing stellar customer experience. Target the top 15 cities in India before rolling out to Tier II and III cities eventually. Other crucial pointers for start-ups and small businesses in this space would be to showcase exclusive ‘cult brands’ in beauty. Most importantly, invest on your technology as well as on retention and re-engagement strategy, just like Nykaa did. 

Anju Nambiar
Anju Nambiar
Anju has 5 years of experience covering business. She writes on startups, business life cycle and startup ecosystem. Her stints include Amazon and Adjetter Media Network.

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