Nari Shakti: Two Shades of Success

29 November, 2021 0 Comments

            Two shades of Success

Women Empowerment & Inspirations

Becoming an entrepreneur and achieving monetary success when you are close to 50 years of age isn’t easy. And doing it in a category where the target consumers are all under the age of 30. Falguni Nayar has defied all stereotypes, becoming India’s only second self-made woman billionaire after Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. And the market lapped up the IPO, oversubscribing it almost 80x times. Most importantly the shares debuted at ₹2,001 in the BSE, against an issue price of ₹1,125. The valuation makes her the country’s second richest woman after Savitri Jindal, but ahead of Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and others. All the others, barring Mazumdar-Shaw and Nayar, are inheritors of businesses originally promoted by men.

Falguni started her career in consulting with A.F. Ferguson & Co. She then spent 18 years at the Kotak Mahindra Bank, helming several businesses and was the Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Investment Bank.

Falguni Nayar’s company, Nykaa is interesting in other ways. It reported a profit of ₹62 crore on a revenue of ₹2,441 crore for the FY 20-21. Most digital startups, including Zomato and Paytm (One 97 Communications) are burning cash despite being around for more than a decade. Falguni realized early that adding value to the product beats being a trader. Most of her sales come from its own Nykaa and Kay Beauty brands, unlike Amazon or Flipkart that largely hawk others’ brands/products.

Falguni has received many accolades throughout her career. She was awarded the ‘Woman Ahead’ award at the Economic Times Startup Awards 2017. Recognising her contribution to the Indian beauty industry, Falguni was awarded the Businesswoman of the Year at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in 2019. She is listed as one of Asia's Power Businesswomen by Forbes Asia and was named Businessperson of the Year 2019 by Vogue India. She is also on the board of several companies, including ACC, Dabur, Endurance Group and Tata Technologies.

However, why should we measure 'Nari Shakti' success stories in monetary terms only?

Following are some of the great examples of Padma Shri awardees who had nothing to do with revenues, profits and market capitalization.

Padma Shri Smt. Tulasi Gowda from Karnataka was awarded for Environment Protection, because of her immense contribution towards conservation of trees. Gowda, regarded as an encyclopedia of forests, belongs to the Halakki indigenous tribe in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. She gained immense knowledge about plants while working alongside her mother when she was just 12. Now 60 years later, she has planted more than 30,000 saplings and is involved in environment conservation which is hugely inspiring to the next generation.

The veteran environmentalist won hearts after she was captured walking barefoot in the Rashtrapati Bhavan's Durbar Hall, to receive India’s fourth highest civilian award.

Another Padma Shri this year, Smt. Lakhimi Baruah, from Assam was recognized for her efforts to financially empower the Assamese women. After working for more than a decade in the region, Lakhimi realised that to bring a change, she had to start a bank. It had to be a bank for women and run by women. She started the Konoklota Mahila Urban Cooperative Bank in 1998 in Jorhat, Assam, to help women from underprivileged backgrounds become financially independent and secure. The bank has provided credit to thousands of women and made a positive change to their lives. Again, a hugely inspiring figure for women looking to make a difference in the world.

“Most women were unaware of how banks functioned. My job at a cooperative bank made me realize that these women needed a bank that they could access easily, save their earnings and take easy loans when in need. That is how the idea to set up the bank came.”

- Lakhimi Baruah

India is changing. The youth today are more purpose driven than material driven. While the stories on business behavior and returns make sense in a broad perspective, the millennials and Generation Z are more purpose driven. They are looking at the larger picture. They want to be inspired.

We urge you to have conversations with financial advisors who have seen and navigated these cyclical rises and falls. They are in the best objective position to help you understand and mitigate the risks of letting emotion get the better of you.

We urge you to have conversations with financial advisors who have seen and navigated these cyclical rises and falls. They are in the best objective position to help you understand and mitigate the risks of letting emotion get the better of you.

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