Falguni Nayar has become India’s most successful female entrepreneur by building Nykaa, the online beauty platform†
Here are 5 lessons from Nayar, and how she fits into the unicorn profile.
#1. Probability of an emerging trend: Almost every unicorn entrepreneur started or turned towards an emerging trend. Nayar is no exception. She started her beauty platform on the internet, especially when broadband entered India and empowered the internet as a tool to start and grow businesses.
#2. Imitate and Improve: Nayar followed in the footsteps of great unicorn entrepreneurs including Gates, Jobs and others who imitated opportunity and improved strategy. There were other beauty platforms. Nayar launched hers in India with a strategy to capture Indian consumers who are low on beauty products and services. Nayar saw the products used in the West and brought them to India and sold them online. By bypassing the limited space in physical stores, Nayar was able to offer a wider choice of products and services and inform consumers.
#3. Focus on the unmet need and the neglected segment: Just as Sam Walton focused on the unmet need in rural America and Brian Chesky focused on the unmet need of American property owners and travelers, Nayar focused on the unmet need of Indian women to learn more about the different types of beauty products and how to use them, just like in other countries.
#4. Be financially smart: Nayar raised the right amount to start her business, maintain control and reduce dilution – even though ‘people’ advised raising higher amounts from VCs. By limiting the amount collected, especially from highly dilutive VC resources, Nayar retained ~54% of the wealth created by Nykaa.
#5. Get the right skills: Unicorn entrepreneurs had three skills to start their business (and six additional skills to start and build their business. These startup skills included technical skills in the emerging industry to start with less, financial skills to need less to grow more and sales skills to grow more with less Nayar had financial and sales skills as an investment banker and learned retail skills IT skills were readily available in India.
MY TAKE: The “first-mover” concept is emphasized by many. About 90% of first movers fail to dominate† Unicorn entrepreneurs rely on their skills and strategies, not on first-mover ideas. Falguni Nayar followed the unicorn profile and built her business with unicorn startup, launch and leadership and the right strategies.