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Falguni Nayar: Banker’s Instinct

Falguni Nayar: Banker’s Instinct

Increasing Nykaa stores to 300, taking in-house brands to the Middle East, Europe

Falguni Nayar, 58, Nykaa Falguni Nayar, 58, Nykaa

What does a typical, senior investment banker do when closing in on 50? Resign? Turn entrepreneur? Start a (startle, startle) beauty and fashion retail business? Raise funding and compete with fierce, purse-throttling e-commerce rivals? Nah. Pretty absurd, eh? Well, these are the exact things Falguni Nayar did, when she quit as MD of Kotak Mahindra Capital in 2012, to set up Nykaa. Observers sniggered, but Nayar did the unthinkable. She made a success of the beauty business. Made it profitable (shock, shock). Delivered a blockbuster debut on the stock markets—with a valuation of nearly $13 billion. And became India’s wealthiest self-made woman entrepreneur with a net worth of almost $7.4 billion. It hasn’t come easy. The alumna of IIM Ahmedabad spent eight years building the brand that now has a consumer base of 11 million. “It’s very exciting when you can impact company strategy and performance so meaningfully,” says Nayar, Founder and CEO of Nykaa.