Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar is in a very different orbit – among the world’s richest -- after the blockbuster stock market listing of her company FSN E-Commerce Ventures Limited, which runs an online marketplace for beauty and wellness products under the brand name ‘Nykaa’.
The IPO of India's only woman-led unicorn closed the day with a huge premium of over 96 per cent against the issue price of Rs 1,125, hitting a valuation of $13.5 billion in the first five minutes of trade.
With that the net worth of Nayar, who made her debut in wellness products at 50, when most entrepreneurs are well past their prime, has jumped over $6.5 billion. In eight years, she has become India’s richest self-made woman billionaire. There are only six other Indian women in the dollar billionaires club.
A former investment banker, Nayar turned entrepreneur with the launch of her e-commerce platform in 2012, hawking beauty and personal care products via its mobile app and website.
"I hope the ‘Nykaa’ journey, an Indian-born, Indian-owned and Indian-managed dream-come-true, can inspire each of you," Nayar said at the listing ceremony on Wednesday.
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," 30-year-old loyal customer Sanaeya told AFP.
"They have everything from major luxury brands to smaller niche ones and even lesser-known Korean skin care products. I always find something new there."
Endorsements from social media influencers and celebrities -- Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif has invested in the firm -- helped cement Nykaa's popularity as it battles giants such as Amazon and Flipkart.
Nayar owns about half of Nykaa through two promoter trusts and seven other promoter entities. The company posted a net profit of over Rs 61 crore in FY21 compared to a loss of over Rs 16 crore in FY20. Its revenue from operations recovered in FY21 due to improvement in economic activity after the pandemic. The revenue grew 38 per cent year-on-year to Rs 2,453 crore in FY21.
"I started Nykaa at the age of 50 with no experience. I hope the Nykaa journey can inspire each of you to be the Nykaa (heroine) of your lives," Falguni Nayar said ahead of the listing.
Technology start-ups in India have attracted record investment this year, with more than 33 "unicorns", companies valued at more than $1 billion, created and benefiting from investors spooked by a crackdown on technology giants in China.
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