Entrepreneurial Journey of Adwaita Nayar

Mentorship can create strong careers and strong personalities. My mom has been my biggest mentor. She is my boss, mom, and also my best friend: Adwaita Nayar

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Adwaita Nayar, the Co-Founder of Nykaa and the current CEO of Nykaa Fashion, was majoring in Economics at Yale but then she soon realized that everyone there was an economics student and there won't be any way to differentiate, therefore, she chose Applied Mathematics and graduated in 2012.

Adwaita Nayar, CEO, Nykaa Fashion

After graduating, she spent a year at Bain & Company, the management consultancy firm, in New York. She enjoyed the work over there but the thrill and feeling of ownership were missing. Hence, she came back home to join her mother Falguni Nayar's entrepreneurial venture, Nykaa, as Chief Marketing Officer.

Idea Behind Launching Nykaa

Adwaita's mother wanted to leave her job as an investment banker and take the plunge to become an entrepreneur. She wanted her to follow her heart and that's when they started talking about entrepreneurship and started brainstorming ideas.

They had 3-4 different ideas to build a business. For instance, they thought of building an Airbnb-like model to rent out other people's homes but then they thought it was quite difficult due to safety and hygiene reasons. Another idea that came to their mind was old age homes. But they finally thought of starting a beauty business because the idea was strong and e-commerce doesn't require too much capital.

So, her mother quit a successful job as an investment banker to start Nykaa in 2012.

"Entrepreneurship is not something that I grew up thinking about. I always thought in my college days that I would get into finance. But now I'm grateful that I couldn't do anything but entrepreneurship. It's been an amazing journey but it's not something I envisioned for myself," Adwaita Nayar said.

In terms of the name "Nykaa', actually came from one of her family friends. The background of the name is that it stems from the Sanskrit word "Nika', which means one in the spotlight or the actress, and her family friend put in like anglicized twist to it and made it Nykaa.

Advice for Entrepreneurs

There is advice that she really believes in is that confidence and optimism are the keys to being successful. "I think particularly when you have a team that follows you, you need to be optimistic because your energy spreads and your energy is what carries everyone. There is no room for negativity because, at any time, everything can seem wrong. So, bringing positivity is very important," she asserted.

She says entrepreneurs have to show their team that they believe in their idea. If they don't show that energy that they're going to make it happen then nothing can work because people are writing on their beliefs and optimism.

She further added, "Mentorship can create strong careers and strong personalities. My mom has been my biggest mentor. She is my boss, mom, and also my best friend."