Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar on Wednesday became India's seventh woman billionaire and the wealthiest self-made billionaire in an ongoing initial public offering (IPO) boom which saw the e-commerce giant making a blockbuster debut on Dalal Street, its parent company FSN floating on the Mumbai stock exchange.
Moments after the markets opened on Wednesday, Nykaa shares were being listed at ₹2,018 with around 80 per cent premium. According to the Bloomberg news agency, the market cap of the beauty and fashion retailer hit an overall valuation of 1 trillion rupees ($13.5 billion) in the first five minutes of trade. Within an hour and a half, Nykaa's market cap had already matched industry giants such as Britannia, Godrej, and IndiGo.
Nykaa, India's first unicorn startup headed by a woman, was founded by Falguni Nayar in 2012, selling beauty and personal care products via its mobile app and website. Eight years later, the 58-year-old Nayar has joined only six other Indian women billionaires, as she joined the ranks as the wealthiest self-made billionaire. At the listing ceremony on Wednesday, Nayar said, "I hope the Nykaa journey – an Indian-born, Indian-owned, and Indian-managed dream-come-true – can inspire each of you."
Nykaa (the Sanskrit word for actress) quickly became popular with young tech-savvy Indians – predominantly women – who preferred the wide selection of brands compared with what was on offer at their local shops. "The best part about Nykaa is that it lets me access so many global brands that had never been sold in India before," said 30-year-old loyal customer Sanaeya to the AFP news agency.
Moreover, as Nykaa's popularity grew, so did its brand appeal, with top Bollywood actors such as Katrina Kaif, and other social media influencers and celebrities helping the e-commerce platform break new ground in skincare and makeup carts of tech-savvy Indian women. The brand has also manufactured its own in-house brand of products since 2015 and recently began selling clothes and household products. It has a growing high street presence with 80 stores across 40 Indian cities.