Online retailer Nykaa moves beyond ecommerce and cosmetics for profit

Photo credits:Siddhesh Teli,
1st row: R-L, Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Sanjay Suri, Chief Technology Officer, Madhavi Irani, Chief Content Officer
2nd row: R-L, Reena Chhabra, CEO FSN Brands, Nihir Parikh, Chief Business Officer, Manoj Jaiswal, Vice President Operations, Sachin Parikh, Chief Financial Officer

After raising $35 million earlier this year, online beauty retailer Nykaa has been widely expanding its offerings. The six-year-old company has launched NykaaNetwork, an interactive beauty forum where subscribers can chat with each other.

With community building, an essential factor in consumer internet businesses, NykaaNetwork enables subscribers to join groups to discover content of their interests, upload photos and chat with like-minded people. They can also get video advice from India’s leading makeup, skin, hair and wellness experts. Nykaa claims that the content generated on the Network is completely authentic and brand agnostic.

From cosmetics to apparel

Founded by investment banker Falguni Nayar, and backed by angel investors, Max Ventures and TVS Capital Funds, Nykaa is now valued at Rs 3000 crore. Nykaa follows inventory-led model, with inventory spaces in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. The Mumbai-based company claims to offer over 1,000 brands including Mac, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and Estee Lauder, among others.

Recently, Nykaa also launched the NykaaDesignStudio for apparel in designer and premium brands like Ritu Kumar and Masaba. Although no major ecommerce players have turned profitable in India yet, fashion is the largest margin category in retail – which Nykaa seems to be well aware of.

In 2015, Nykaa launched its own private label, an essential tool to attain profitability in ecommerce.

Turning to men’s fashion

Earlier this month, Nykaa also launched ‘NykaaMan’, an ecommerce platform for men’s personal care products in haircare, skincare, wellness, and sport nutrition, among others. Although provides a limited range of men’s grooming products, the new platform is intended to focus on the category, which is growing fast in online retail. The mother platform also gets 20 percent traffic from men.

Notably, online fashion market leader Myntra has been growing its cosmetics category with brands like MAC and L'Oreal becoming increasingly popular. Nykaa essentially competes with horizontal marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon too, in addition to offline retailers and chains like Health&Glow. Over the past three years, Nykaa has followed the omnichannel model by opening brick and mortar stores - with curated, best-selling products and luxury brands under ‘Nykaa On Trend.’


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