Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Nykaaland sees 15,000 footfall in inaugural edition

India's first ever beauty festival, by Nykaa and BookMyShow Live, saw close to 80 brands showcasing their products. Is offline engagement key to a loyal audience, in the face of growing competition?

Published: Nov 8, 2023 04:23:30 PM IST
Updated: Nov 8, 2023 11:44:09 PM IST

Nykaaland sees 15,000 footfall in inaugural editionCo-produced by beauty giant Nykaa and entertainment platform BookMyShow Live, Nykaaland saw 80 local and international brands at the festival

Over the last weekend, Mumbai’s Mahalakshmi Racecourse was engulfed in a sea of pink. The first-ever beauty festival in India, Nykaaland, featured brand booths, along with masterclasses, interactive games, installations, music, food and more. About 15,000 beauty enthusiasts, including makeup artists, content creators and others, visited the two-day event.

Co-produced by beauty giant Nykaa and entertainment platform BookMyShow Live, Nykaaland saw 80 local and international brands at the festival, inviting attendees to interact with their products. Almost 100,000 samples were distributed. Close to 5,000 participants attended 12 masterclasses hosted by industry experts such as Baltasar Gonzalez Pinel, Daniel Bauer, Namrata Soni, Sandhya Shekar and Mickey Contractor. Acclaimed American makeup artist Mario Dedivanonic brought his masterclass to India for the first time at the festival.

“Nykaaland has been in the making for four years now, I remember talking to Ashish [Hemrajani, founder BookMyShow], when he said that beauty has always been about experiences… and hence, we decided to look at an immersive experience like this one,” said Falguni Nayar, founder and CEO, Nykaa, at the media preview.

The idea was “to create and put together an on-ground experience that covers various pillars of beauty apart from just the sale of products, thus creating a world of beauty that is engaging, immersive and speaks the language that consumers resonate with, across all fronts”, says Owen Roncon, chief of business-live entertainment, BookMyShow. “An experiential, hands-on festival for all things beauty and lifestyle has never been a part of the events’ roster in India and with Nykaaland, we are thrilled to be breaching a new frontier and introducing this experience to our Indian audiences.”

Presenting a range

Nykaa claims that multiple global and local brands were interested in being a part of festival. “We wanted to curate a very unique assortment of brands across price points—from makeup, skincare, hair care, fragrance, appliances and wellness. We wanted to curate brands and experiences that were going to be most relevant,” says Anchit Nayar, CEO, beauty ecommerce, Nykaa.

The festival's curation ranged from global giants such as Estee Lauder and COSRX to homegrown brands such as Plum and Kay Beauty. “A representation of the category at this scale has never been seen before,” says Rohan Vaziralli, general manager, ELCA Cosmetics.

Also Read: How Gen-Z women are redefining Indian beauty

It gave brands a chance to interact with potential customers on ground. “This collaboration offers an exceptional opportunity for our brands to forge deeper connections with this community, empowering attendees to embrace their unique beauty stories with confidence,” says Harman Dhillon, vice president Skin Care & Color Cosmetics at Hindustan Unilever Limited. To many brands, this was also an extension of their existing partnership with Nykaa. Pankaj Sharma, director–consumer products division, L’Oréal India, says, “Nykaaland is the perfect platform to engage and immerse consumers in the worlds of two of our most iconic brands—Maybelline New York and L'Oréal Paris. We will continue to invest in new technologies to enhance product discovery, and experience and connect with new-age digital consumers to build meaningful experiences.”

Facing competition

Over the years, the beauty market has matured, and Nykaa seeks to form a community and build loyalty through events such as Nykaaland, and its beauty awards, called Beauty & You. While Nykaa has dominated the space, it has recently been faced with serious competitors, including Tira from the Reliance Industries stable, and Tata Cliq Palette from the Tatas. They also compete with Amazon, Flipkart and Purplle, which, in fact, have been around longer than Nykaa.

“Other players focus on price, discounts etc. Our focus is to look at the longer term and increase per capita consumption of beauty, which is still very low for India,” explains Nayar.

Platforms like Nykaa have given access to content and brands to consumers which has been a key driver for growth in the beauty category, according to Vaziralli. He adds, “There has been a growth in the average purchase basket of the consumer.” In that Nykaa claims to have an average basket size of $80 per customer, as compared to $15 for the Indian market.

While platforms like Nykaa are bringing the best of global brands to India, what will it take for India to produce a global brand? Nayar explains, “We want to build a global brand out of India. Nykaa has 30 brands of its own, including the likes of Kay Beauty. Through our incubator programme Beauty&You we are hoping to identify the next generation of beauty founders from India—some of who might build the next global brand.”

The company’s quarterly financials, announced two days back, stated that it has seen a 22 percent rise in revenue which stood at Rs1,507 crore this quarter. Net profit also increased by 50 percent to Rs7.8 crore in Q2FY24 from Rs5.2 crore in Q2FY23, led largely by the beauty and personal care business.

But the question on everyone’s mind is, how will Nykaa stand going forward in the face of its latest competitor, Reliance Retail’s Tira Beauty? Nayar clarifies, “Everyone has this misconception that Nykaa was the first mover in beauty, we were not. There is Amazon, Flipkart, Purplle who have all been selling beauty even before we started our business. I can say that it takes time to build a B2C business, you have to earn consumer trust. For any of our competitors, they have to think about what can they do that is very different from Nykaa, since it already has such a large share of the customer base.” The company plans to continue sticking to its core, and claims that so far, they haven’t seen any impact of the new entrant in the space.

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