Nykaa Ipo Creates First Self-Made Female Billionaire

Falguni Nayar becomes India's first female self-made billionaire after her e-commerce company's IPO.

At the close of online beauty retailer Nykaa’s first day of trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange, its initial public offering (IPO) resulted in its founder, Falguni Nayar, becoming India’s first female self-made billionaire.

Nayar founded Nykaa in April 2012, at the age of 50, with $2 million of her own savings. However, unlike other e-commerce startups, Nykaa funded itself through investments from high-net-worth investors rather than venture capital funds.

The vendor’s growth has been attributed to the absence of intermediaries and selling via the company’s websites, mobile apps and company-owned stores.

The IPO of FSN E-Commerce Ventures, the owner of Nykaa, was a watershed moment for India’s financial industry and women-led startups across the subcontinent. Nykaa shares were oversubscribed nearly 82.5 times. And shares allotted for qualified institutional buyers, noninstitutional investors, retail investors and employee shares were oversubscribed 92.3, 110, 10.3 and 1.9 times, respectively.

The online retailer set its initial price band between 1,085 rupees ($14.60) and 1,125 rupees ($15.14) before the Bombay Stock Exchange listed it at 2,001 rupees ($26.93), a whopping 79% premium.

With her and her family holding a 52.6% stake in the online business, Nayar’s net worth has swollen to a reported $6.68 billion, making her the wealthiest self-made female billionaire, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index 2021. She is India’s first female self-made entrepreneur to become a billionaire at 50, and the first woman to take a unicorn startup public. In terms of net worth, she ranks behind Savitri Jindal, chairperson emeritus of O.P. Jindal Group, and above Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson and founder of Biocon Limited.

Nayar studied finance at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in India before working with Kotak Mahindra Group as an investment banker for nearly two decades. She led the group’s global operations in the US and UK, and held the post of managing director of the group when she chose to depart.