Cafe Inspiration

My journey from Hospital to Mrs Universe Lovely- Shilpa Agarwal

I was Born in a  traditional marwari family with four sisters & a brother! Although my father was very loving & caring …..  but he never allowed us to wear western clothes & go out for party etc. But I enjoyed at home … Since we sisters were very close to each other & never felt any need for outside friendship !! 

I was a very good student & I always dreamt of becoming doctor one day, but I was married off before I turned nineteen and I was just 12th pass then!

Marriage was a new beginning …. but it came with lot of responsibilities & expectations from all the members of my new family !!

At the age of 20, I was a mother!! I was barely coping up with various pressure of married life & additional huge responsibility of motherhood without much support from my in laws proved too much for me !! 

I tried to commit suicide when I was 22 …. during the week I was in hospital,  my husband Akash told me don’t run away from the situation ……. u r not a coward…… something creative in life ……. u r born to excel !!! these lines were the turning point in my life …….. After that I  never looked back and immediately after that I joined our family business.

When I joined Akash furniture group it was running in losses. Initially I use to come for 2/3 hrs per day ….. but slowly business world started fascinating me ……  I took keen interest in our business & slowly with my effort & passion, Akash furniture group became one of the most recognised & biggest furniture brand in central India . 

I was content that I am doing enough as women entrepreneur but my perspective changed entirely when I visited China, Malaysia, Singapore & Thailand to study furniture industry & visit furniture exhibitions there. On seeing women entrepreneurs working very hard & rubbing shoulders with their male counterpart, I was further motivated to become full time women industrialist!!

It also inspired me to be a role model for other Indian women to motivate them to come into industry.

Awards and Recognitions

I got one of the biggest award in my life from the then CM of Maharashtra, Shri Prithviraj Chavan, “Best lady industrialist of the region”. 

My entrepreneurial journey was never easy ….. Since furniture industry was totally male dominated industry , I was the only women entrepreneur it had !!  But my shining light … My pillar of strength……  Akash stood behind me like a rock !!

Today a 12 pass lady is visiting faculty to various MBA, BBA, Engg colleges such IMT Katol, Tirpude college,  Lad  college & many more  &  professional organisations like VIA , TIE , VMA etc.

Regarding my participation in beauty pageants …….it all started in 2004 when Akash saw advertisement in newspaper & motivated me to participate in Mrs Nagpur contest ! 

I won Mrs Nagpur 2004 & then also won Mr & Mrs Nagpur contest along with Akash in 2005 !! Then I participated in Gladrags Mrs India & Mrs India World contest but couldn’t get selected  for finals!! 

After 10 years in Sep 2015 …. Akash heard of Mrs India worldwide competition I participated after a gap of 10 years and managed to win Mrs India Worldwide Mrs Inspirational title!! 

I have been appointed as the brand ambassador of Fit India Movement on August 29, 2019, on the National Sports Day of India, as apart of Fit India Movement launched by our PM Narendra Modiji.

Other notable achievements:

  • Maharashtra state powerlifting championship in Aug 2019  
  • TEDx speaker 
  • Brand ambassador of various national brands for consumer products 
  • Bharat Icon award at Mumbai 
  • Mentor at National women parliament 
  • Best lady Industrialist of region
  • Mrs Universe Lovely 2017, winner at Durban South Africa 

Managing personal & professional life 

Managing personal & professional life is one of the biggest challenge every women has to face world over!! They only need some support & motivation which I received from my husband !! 

My son Aryan studies in residential School in Panchgani & whenever he is on school holiday we go for family vacation & that vacation is a great stress buster for me !! 

Creating niche for myself in business & pageant world without any education

Life is the best education- I was fortunate to enter the college of Life at a very young age of 22. Also I learnt a lot through my failures & mistakes which were the stepping stone of whatever little success I could achieve in my life.

Family & husband support 

It has been mixed bag for me. I was very fortunate that in Akash I have world’s most loving, caring, friendly but very strict hubby who is very passionate about his wife’s success.

Success & failure 

For me Success is not built on success it is built on failure ….. A person who avoids failure also avoids success ! 

Do life come to standstill for women after marriage & mother hood ???? 

No not at all!! I would say it is the beginning of life for every women. 

Infact it is only marriage & motherhood which converts a girl (who is always protected, restricted) to a powerful women!! 

Life mantra 

My mantra in life is that people can guide you, motivate you …. but it upto you who has to rise like phoenix from ashes in order to be somebody in this world !

Shilpa Agrawal

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