24 Year Old Yale Grad Becomes CMO of India’s Hottest Beauty Start Up

Adwaita Nayar loves to play soccer and when she does she is upfront as one of the forwards, always ready to score.

She takes the same stance on her career, recently leaving her cushy consulting gig to join her mother, Falguni Nayar’s two year old start up, Nykaa, as Chief Marketing Officer.

In 2012, while Adwaita was majoring in economics at Yale, she realized it wasn’t for her. Midway, she chose a tougher course of study, applied mathematics. “I wanted to learn a technical subject. Math was a challenge, but because I did it, I now feel I have nothing to fear”, she stated in a recent interview with the Economic Times.

After graduating, Adwaita spent a year in New York at Bain & Company, but as much as she enjoyed it, she felt as if she was lacking the thrill that comes with ownership of your work and product. So she returned home a year ago and now work’s on her mother’s entrepreneurial endeavor, Nykaa, a beauty and wellness e-commerce portal in India. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, as her own mother quit a successful job as an investment banker to focus on her start up.

“Being a part of a start up like Nykaa in India is exciting. There’s a potential to be dynamic and world-changing because the market is still evolving…My mother and I had no interest in the beauty make up [a few years ago]. But given her investment banking experience, she identified this vertical [beauty, women, e-commerce] as a great space.”

Since then, Adwaita has learned to love what she sells. Every time she makes a trip abroad or goes to a local mall, she visits make up stores to understand how they work. The firm recently concluded a fundraising initiative which raised $3.4 million and these two women’s passion will continue to propel them to the top.

“We may be tiny now, but the potential is massive”, Adwaita states. We couldn’t agree more.