How Much Do India’s Top Ecommerce Founders Get Paid?

How Much Do India’s Top Ecommerce Founders Get Paid?


The founders of top ecommerce startups took home around INR 37.4 Cr in remuneration in FY21

Nykaa's Falguni Nayar received a total remuneration, including variable pay, of INR 9.4 Cr in FY21

As per Inc42’s calculations, the median salary of founders of ecommerce unicorns stood at INR 64 Lakh in FY21

The ecommerce sector is the heart of the burgeoning Indian startup ecosystem. The rise of homegrown ecommerce player Flipkart, followed by the entry of US-based ecommerce giant Amazon, in the first half of last decade (2010 – 2020) gave Indians the taste of home delivery of products, which their counterparts in Europe and North America had enjoyed for years. 

The convenience of ordering online from home, coupled with the option to choose from millions of products and at jaw dropping discounts, initially caught the attention of the Tier-I population. However, rising internet penetration, improved logistics, and support for local languages on the apps made people from Tier-II cities and beyond hooked to ecommerce. 

While the ecommerce sector was already growing at a phenomenal pace, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic gave a further boost to it. The fear of contracting coronavirus made many people, who earlier used to prefer buying products from retail stores, resort to shopping from ecommerce sites.

The growth in ecommerce users is also reflected in the number of unicorns produced in the sector. Till date, the Indian startup ecosystem has produced 106 unicorns, with ecommerce sector having the highest share with 23 unicorns. 

Mumbai-based Purplle was the latest ecommerce startup to enter the coveted unicorn club after raising $33 Mn in Series E round at $1.1 Bn valuation. Another ecommerce startup, Nykaa, led by Falguni Nayar, made a stellar debut on the Indian stock exchanges last year. 

Along with this growth, the salaries of the founders of the top Indian ecommerce startups have also soared. The founders of top ecommerce unicorn startups took home a net salary of INR 37.4 Cr in the financial year 2020-21 (FY21). 

As per Inc42’s calculation, the median salary of founders of unicorn ecommerce startups was INR 64 Lakh in FY21, a jump of 27.8% from INR 50 Lakh in FY20. Interestingly, Indian ecommerce unicorn founders’ median salary is less than that of the median salary of fintech unicorn founders in FY21. Fintech unicorn founder have reported a median salary of  INR 1.07 Cr in FY21.

Already listed Nykaa’s founder and promoter Falguni Nayar received the highest remuneration of INR 9.4 Cr in remuneration in FY21, MCA documents reveal.  

How Much Do India’s Top Ecommerce Founders Get Paid?


Note: It must be highlighted that some founders have lower remuneration on paper. In some cases, either the founders have done larger secondary sale or the founders’ expenses may have been taken care by the company.

Read How Much Do India’s Top Edtech Founders Get Paid

As per Inc42’s ‘The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem Report, 2022’, the ecommerce sector received the highest amount of funding at $30.4 Bn during 2014 to H1 2022 period. During the same period, the ecommerce sector stood second in terms of total deal count – 1,284. 

The report further highlighted India has over 726 funded ecommerce startups which have received investment from over 1.8K investors. 

The sector also saw over 164 mergers and acquisitions during the period, with the biggest one being US-based hypermarkets store chain Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart in 2018 for $16 Bn. 

As per the report, the market opportunity for ecommerce is expected to reach $400 Bn by 2025, with direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands accounting for over 25% of the market share. 

Moreover, the Centre’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is anticipated to further increase ecommerce penetration to 25% in the next two years from the existing 8% in India.

Update| 5th September, 20:15 PM

The previous version of the story, based on FirstCry’s regulatory filing, mentioned Supam Maheshwari’s annual remuneration to be INR 23.8 Cr. However, the same has been updated after FirstCry’s clarification.

Note: We at Inc42 take our ethics very seriously. More information about it can be found here.

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