FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd, which owns online beauty and cosmetics retailer Nykaa, witnessed a stellar stock market debut today. Shares of the company listed at a little over 79% premium. The stock closed with a near 100% gain today. In an interview, Anchit Nayar, who has been at the helm of Nykaa’s beauty and e-commerce verticals, spoke about the company’s public listing, its initial struggles and future prospects. Edited excerpts:
I think people are proud and it’s a very happy moment for them. There’s excitement, there’s enthusiasm, and there’s a sense of accomplishment but more than anything I think there’s a sense of humility and understanding of sheer responsibility we have as a company. I said in my speech at the listing ceremony today and I said that our family was a family of four and Nykaa was the fifth member of the Nayar family, and then it became a family of 3,000 employees and eventually a family of 300,000 shareholders.
What do you think was the biggest challenge for Nykaa, and what will be the challenges for the company in the future given the fierce competition in the market?
I guess the competition has always been fierce in beauty e-commerce since day one. Since 2012-2013 even before Nykaa started as a going concern the horizontal market places were all in India and they were all aware that beauty is a good business because they had seen it in other markets. So, I don’t think people have woken up to the fact that it is a disruptive business as it has always been around. So, we are not worried about competition because we have grown up with it.
What were the emotions you went through in the last one or two weeks when you were doing the roadshows? What were the learnings from what investors were telling you?
The roadshow was a phenomenal experience for us. We met over 100 meetings, met over 150-200 investors, both global and domestic so all institutional investors, mutual funds and all. For us what was amazing was just seeing these very high-quality asset managers, who have seen hundreds of businesses over their decades of experience, appreciating our business, our business model, the way we have built this company, our future plans I think that was quite heartening for us to see. That I think was a very nice affirmation that we as a company have done something right that has created a business that is unique and investors are now seeing that was the biggest takeaway for me.
Do you plan to add verticals in the near-term like Nykaa Man?
Right now, we have classic apparel, jewelry and more. We also have home décor now on the fashion side, we have got some lifestyle categories. I think there was a misconception that Nykaa was a makeup company, today, makeup is hardly 30% of our total business, 70% comes from the rest. We are truly a beauty and personal care retailer in the true sense. But for us, now the focus is definitely on lifestyle, which is beauty and fashion and its adjacencies.