Female Founded— Falguni Nayar, India’s richest self-made billionaire, thinks more women should bet their family capital on startups

Published: February 21, 2022
Updated: February 21, 2022
Female Founded— Falguni Nayar, India's richest self-made billionaire, thinks more women should bet their family capital on startups
Female Founded— Falguni Nayar, India's richest self-made billionaire, thinks more women should bet their family capital on startups
CEO/FOUNDER: NYKAA

Female Founded— Falguni Nayar, India’s richest self-made billionaire, thinks more women should bet their family capital on startups

Falguni Nayar is not like any other company’s CEO. She is not a social media person and began her business in 2012 when she was around 50 years old. In reality, she has only tweeted once in the nine years since Nykaa’s inception.

“Being active on social media, in my opinion, necessitates a significant amount of time and effort. And I am someone who uses my time in a unique way. Numbers inspire me, and if I’m sitting in front of a spreadsheet, I’ll spend a long time on it. I believe in social media, but I can’t keep up with it “According to Falguni Nayar in an interview with Money Control.

Falguni Nayar made headlines on Wednesday as the share price of her company, Nykaa, nearly doubled after it went public. Nayar’s stock is now worth more than $6.5 billion, making her one of India’s richest female entrepreneurs.

Falguni Nayar is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and was born and reared in a Gujarati family. Her father was the owner of a small bearings company. Nayar previously worked at Kotak Mahindra Capital as the managing director and head of its institutional equities unit.

Female Founded— Falguni Nayar, India's richest self-made billionaire, thinks more women should bet their family capital on startups

Falguni Nayar, the multi billionaire founder and CEO of Indian beauty e-commerce company Nykaa, is more concerned about the types of wagers that female innovators are ready to make on their own. In November, Nykaa went public, valuing Nayar’s ownership stake at $7 billion; during its nine years as a private company, the startup raised $77 million in outside funding, a relatively small amount for a company with ambitions to transform e-commerce across the world’s second-most-populated country.

The main difference that enabled Nayar to flourish, she claims, was not the money she received from investors but rather the financial decisions she made at home.

“What I accomplished in 2021 was the culmination of my 2012 commitment to declare, ‘I want to do this, and I want to stake the family capital on a firm.’

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” In a new interview in the February/March issue of Fortune, Nayar reflects. “Women do not want to risk family assets on business.” Men are constantly creating new firms and taking for granted the availability of family cash, whereas women do not wish to impose.”

However, the lessons she imparts to prospective entrepreneurs are applicable to anyone who aspires to form an investor-backed firm that will take one day exit or to a woman who wants to devote her time and resources to a small business or another initiative closer to home.

“If women want to dream for themselves, they must not feel guilty,” Nayar argues. “The name Nykaa translates to ‘actress.’ Let the spotlight of your life shine on you, was our message to our customers. For far too long, women have been the family’s support system. They believe that if they want to live their lives, there will be disturbances or they would not be able to do so. And I believe that fear must be extinguished.”

The wealthiest self-made woman billionaire in India has demonstrated that gender, age, background, and education are not barriers to being an entrepreneur.

When asked about her decision to begin her trip at the age of 50, Nayar told Money Control, “Women, I believe, place unnecessary limits on their brains. Many women nowadays manage their businesses while raising their children. I don’t believe there is a single playbook. I did it when I did it, and I’m glad I tried it when I tried it.” 

As someone who doesn’t wear her emotions on her sleeve, Nayar’s debut in the stock market caused her to “experience an emotion that was extremely strong.”

“Any entrepreneur requires a great deal of enthusiasm, hard work, conviction, and time. If I imagined I’d be here in three or five years when I first started, I’d be wrong. Long innings are required. Somehow, I knew I’d need at least ten years, which is why I started before I turned 50,” she added.

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