Nykaa – Startup Story

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Nykaa is an Indian retail seller of beauty, wellness, and fashion products.

Nykaa was established in 2012 by Falguni Nayar, an IIM A alumna and a former managing director at Kotak Mahindra Capital Company. After being an investment banker with Kotak Mahindra for almost 19 years, she decided to start her own venture, hence the foundation of Nykaa was kept.

She was aware of how big the beauty space was in the US and other countries like Japan, and she knew that it would have a positive future in India. She decided to start in an industry that Indian business houses were not focused on; they have deep pockets and she did not want to fight them. Falguni somehow gravitated towards e-commerce, and that too the beauty segment within it. It was at that time that Myntra and Jabong were taking off and online fashion was on the rise. The space was something she was closely following, and she decided to look at beauty as a segment. She did believe in e-commerce, technology, and the power of being able to supply beauty all over India from a centralised location. It was launched as an eCommerce portal curating a range of beauty and wellness products. The brand name Nykaa is derived from the Sanskrit word nayaka, meaning ‘one in the spotlight’. Nykaa.com, the e-commerce platform went live in 2013. In 2015, the company expanded from online-only to an omnichannel model and began selling fashion products. Nykaa launched a private label of its own in 2016.