Name: Deepali Phadnis
Location: Chennai, India
Industry: Arts & Entertainment
Reason for starting? After I participated in and won Mrs. Asia international, I realized it is important for married women in India to have a platform through which they can express themselves. We at Mrs.India focus less on finding models and more on creating role models who can inspire women in our country. Catering to an age group of above 25 years, this pageant is aimed at rebuilding confidence that women tend to lose after getting married and being focused on family and children. We hope to propagate the mindset of breaking free from societal prejudices that are associated with women and help them support the causes and beliefs they stand for. It is not as important for a woman to look beautiful as it is for them to feel beautiful, as when you are content with yourself from within, you no longer need any external approval. Anther reason for initiating Mrs. India is to support a cause close to my heart; Diabetes. I try to spread awareness and provide help to those suffering from this disorder.
How do you define success? When you take the initiative to begin something on your own without any external help and support, either monetary or otherwise, it is difficult to bring your innermost desires to life. However the happiness you feel when you see your effort flourish is what I consider success. It is also important for one to be able to balance their professional and personal lives and when you achieve this balance, you feel successful.
Biggest success: My greatest obstacles have claimed to be my biggest successes as well. Being an IT professional with a background in engineering, the fashion world was absolutely new to me. However, I have been able to balance both of my professions successfully and I now represent India at several international platforms holding exclusive licenses to these gateways. I started my journey in the fashion industry from scratch with no prior experience and have still managed to win various titles and elevate our country to a level of international recognition. I also juggle the full-time job of caring for my beautiful 3-year old daughter alongside my professional jobs. The feeling of achieving success in a world that was recently unknown to me has been one of my most cherished achievements so far.
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What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? As a new-comer in the industry, competing against other well established pageants was challenging as you have to start from scratch and it can be very difficult to gain the trust of sponsors and vendors as they did not believe in me and the fact that I held the license to international platforms. So I had to convince designers as well as jewelry brands that I want to represent them at an international platform and this was a challenging task to have them on board. Also my aim was to tap the grandest and most well recognized brands as my vision for the pageants was at a grand scale and so I was unwilling to settle for less than the best. Fortunately after toiling endlessly, my hard work managed to pay off.
Being a married woman with a young child has been one of my greatest personal challenges so far. As a woman, you are expected to always put your family first which in turn causes your business to take the backseat. However, being an enterprising new age woman, I took the bold step of giving utmost importance to my profession. The balance between my work and motherhood as proven to be a challenging task but after much effort to divide my time equally among the two, I have managed to achieve a peaceful amalgam.
Who is your most important role model? Kiran Bedi is a woman of great strength and integrity and has proved her bravery by pursuing a career in the 100% male dominated field of the police industry. Being the first female IPS officer in an era of gender discrimination was a very bold move and she not only achieved success, but also proved that femininity is a major strength and can create transformations if used correctly.
Edited by The Story Exchange