NEW DELHI: Fifty eight-year-old Falguni Nayar, CEO and founder of specialty beauty and personal care platform Nykaa, is now India’s richest self made woman billionaire. She called it quits at the peak of her career as an investment banker and built her own beauty empire that today crossed Rs 1 lakh crore in market capitalisation on its listing debut. FSN E-Commerce Ventures, Nykaa’s parent entity, is India’s first woman-led unicorn to hit the stock exchange. Shares of Nykaa surged as much as 89% in morning trade on Wednesday, valuing Nayar’s wealth at $6.5 billion. The Nykaa founder and CEO has joined only six other women billionaires in India. Apart from Nayar, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Biocon) and Divya Gokulnath (Byju’s) are the only other self-made billionaires. She owns about 51 per cent stake in Nykaa, with her husband and their twin children. She will continue to own a majority stake along with her family after the IPO. A graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, she spent over 18 years at Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. She left in 2012 when she was 50 to pursue her dream. At the time, her kids had gone to college in the US. Capitalizing on the scope of beauty and skincare products online, she steered herself towards Nykaa, and out came a platform that created history with its arrival. Nykaa was set up by April 2012. This was followed by a soft launch of the beta site in November 2012, and commercial marketing in April 2013. Nykaa is now India’s first profitable startup to have taken the IPO route. Falguni Nayar has also served on the boards of various companies, including Tata Motors Limited and Aviva Life Insurance Company India Limited Presently, she serves as an independent on the boards of various companies including, Kotak Securities Limited, ACC Limited and Dabur India Limited. She has won many awards, including ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 – Start-up’ by Ernst and Young and ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence, 2019. Nayar was also listed as one of Asia’s Power Businesswomen, 2019 by Forbes Asia and named as ‘Business Person of the Year’, 2019 by Vogue India. Nayar met her husband Sanjay Nayar at business school. He is now the CEO of global investment firm KKR India, and specialises in IPOs. Anchit, her son who graduated from Columbia University in the US, runs the beauty e-commerce business, while daughter Adwaita, with an MBA from Harvard Business School, operates the fashion vertical. The story of Nykaa is nothing short of phenomenal. The company has grown over 100% on a year-on-year basis for the last three years. Today, Nykaa’s portfolio includes over 1,500 brands across makeup, skincare, hair care, fragrances, bath and body, luxury and wellness products for women andmen. Seeing the potential for luxury beauty in India, Nykaa was the first to make luxury beauty brands available online. Nykaa also led the Korean beauty phenomenon in India, launching leading K-Beauty brands. It has set up Luxe stores as well as Luxe store mode on the app for luxury and prestige products. These bespoke services have caused several global luxury brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, Huda Beauty, Mario Badescu, Pixi and Tangle Teezer to allow Nykaa to import, launch and sell their products to consumers in India. The company has even opened 68 brick and mortar stores in the country. Nykaa posted revenues of Rs 1,860 crore in FY20, making it possibly the only profitable unicorn that is going public. Endorsements from social media influencers and celebrities has helped cement Nykaa’s popularity as it battles giants like Amazon and Flipkart. Today Nayar positions Nykaa as a platform for women empowerment. Just last month, the company launched a new film campaign that celebrates uplifting stories of six women from varied backgrounds, each of them with their own challenges and struggles.