Working mum quits corporate job to follow her dream at age 50
Nykaa founder builds an empire with her children and becomes self-made billionaire at 58
I had some interesting responses to my last post that probed whether anyone had a plan b. It seems like it is something many think of, especially those of us in full-time corporate jobs.
Finding the headspace to work on a plan b, and then being brave enough to go with it, seem to be most the most common conundrums.
I’ve written here before how it’s never a good time to do anything. With kids, and work, and errands and life in general, our bandwidth is pretty limited.
And then there is that comfort zone. That cozy place where mediocrity thrives and growth dies while we float in complacency. The status quo that feels so hard to disrupt, especially as we get older.
I must say it’s so easy to stay in your comfort zone as a mum of young children. A lot of pressure is relieved when you know your salary will come in every month, your health insurance is taken care of, and you get paid holidays.
However, we know that great things never came from comfort zones.
It is between this comfort zone and desire to follow our dreams that complacency hovers. I fear that one day I will wake up at the age of 60 and wonder, why didn’t I chase my dreams when I was younger? You always regret what you didn’t do.
The recent news of Falguni Nayar, founder of Indian online beauty firm Nykaa, who started her business with no experience and became a self-made billionaire, is a story of great courage in ditching the comfort zone at the age of 50 and taking a leap of faith.
A working mum like you and me, Nayar worked in the corporate world for 19 years as an investment banker. With a longstanding dream to be an entrepreneur and a self-imposed deadline of 50 looming, she quit her comfy job and launched her own beauty business. “Once I turned 50, I thought I would become complacent," she said. “It was very hard to quit my job where everything was going right.”
Nayar started her company with two things, her own money and the desire to become an entrepreneur. She saw a market gap in the online beauty business in India, and inspired by French company Sephora, launched her online beauty retail company Nykaa. Today they employ over 1,600 staff, represent over 1500 brands and have over 60 stores across India.
After five rounds of funding, the company recently went public with an oversubscription of shares making Falguni a self-made billionaire (valued at $7 billion) and the second richest woman in India. According to India Today, Nykaa is India’s first women-led unicorn to go public and Nayar is one among only 24 women in the world who have managed to scale their business to a successful IPO.
What’s more, her son and daughter joined her business after graduating from Columbia University and Harvard respectively. Her son now runs the beauty e-commerce business, and daughter heads the fashion vertical, making Nykaa a wonderful family business success story.
A mum with a dream, grit and determination, building a family empire with her children at the age of 50. I’m amazed that she did it. I’m sure it didn’t come easy. “It takes 10 years to be an overnight success,” as Jeff Bezos once said.
“I started Nykaa at the age of 50 with no experience. I hope the Nykaa journey can inspire each of you to be the Nykaa (superhero in Sanskrit) of your lives.”
If you found this inspiring, you may like this too:
Another IPO story of mumpreneur: The mum and female founder behind Bumble makes IPO history and takes her 1-year old son to Nasdaq opening bell. So great!
Wishing you all a great week!
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