Ms. Shilpa Agarwal, 36, is winner of Mrs India Globe and Mrs Universe Lovely 2017. Shilpa is also one of the leading industrialists in the central India. She is the CEO of Akash Furnitech Pvt Limited. She is also involved in various corporate training programs. She also guides and mentors over 100 aspiring participants of Mrs. India and other Beauty Pageants. But Shilpa’s life hasn’t been the same throughout. In fact she is a suicide survivor and the one who overcame severe depression.
Shilpa Agarwal was just like any other young traditional Indian girl, from Nagpur. Her parents were quite strict, no parties, no western dresses & friendship with boys was a big taboo. She was good in studies and wanted to become a doctor. But her family married her to Akash Agarwal just after her class 12th exams, at a tender age of 19. With marriage come lots of responsibilities. A married girl is expected to take care of her husband, in-laws and all the household chores. Shilpa’s situation was no different. In a big joint family, she was expected to mold herself to in her new life. At a very tender age, she had to undergo a lot of pressure. All this took a heavy toll on her. She wasn’t considered a girl capable of doing mistakes anymore, a woman who must be infalliable. Shilpa tried her best to fulfill the family’s expectation in every possible way by taking care of household and be an obedient daughter-in-law, still somehow things didn’t work.
Motherhood is a dream of every woman but at the young age of 20, for Shilpa it brought worries than joy. She delivered a baby boy just after one year of her marriage. Motherhood made her life more complicated. Change in lifestyle, up and downs in married life, uneven relationship with family members and little help from Akash, her husband made things worse. So she decided to take the extreme step. Shilpa tried to end her life. The doctors told husband ‘Her condition is critical and she is battling for her life’. Akash, holding his two-year-old son, broke down. He wondered how could Shilpa take such an extreme step? Trying to commit suicide when life becomes unbearable often seems to be the easiest option to people under severe depression at tender age of 22. Shilpa was also one of them. She attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills. While sitting in the hospital, Akash blamed himself for her situation. He proved non supportive husband for her, but he decided to change this. He knew Shilpa wants freedom. So, he decided to support her.
Fortunately, Shilpa Agarwal survived. Once, she regained her full consciousness in a week Akash said to her, ‘You are not a coward. You are born to excel in your life, all you need to do is something creative’. These magical words changed her life. Akash promised her his unwavering support for the rest of life. The worst incident of her Life turned out to be the best thing that can ever happen. Akash introduced her to some of his social contacts & the family business of Furniture, based in Nagpur. She started giving 2 to 3 hours to the family business everyday. Later, she took Business courses to enhance her skills. Slowly, Akash made her the head and himself became her guiding assistant.
Shilpa Agarwal visited few countries like Singapore/Malaysia & Thailand in 2004-05, where she saw women entrepreneurs working hard giving tough competition to their male counterparts. It motivated her to challenge the male-dominated Furniture Business in India. She worked hard to compete in unorganized patriarchal Business sector. With new challenges, she learned the basics of production, sales, marketing, wholesaling, retailing and acquired new skills. Soon she took Akash Furniture to great heights and made it the biggest brand in the Furniture in Central Part of India. There was no turning back for her. Many competitors & renowned industrialists jealous of her success tried to pull her down by maligning her and spreading false rumors of unethical favors. But nothing deterred her.
Shilpa Agarwal won “Best Lady Industrialist of the Region”,2013, awarded by then CM of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan. She has also been named in “Times Of India- Nagpur Heroes” and many more Awards & Achievements. Shilpa soon became a popular face in various Business Magazines.
After getting confidence from success in business, she went on to winning beauty pageants. Her husband encouraged her to participate in various Beauty Pageants. She participated and won Mrs. Nagpur in years 2004 & 2005. Shilpa participated in Mrs. India WorldWide 2015 but narrowly missed the title. She won “Mrs. India WorldWide Inspirational” title. She participated in Mrs. India Globe 2016 and became 1st runner-up there. She is also Mrs. India Universe 2017 and Mrs Universe Lovely 2017.
Shilpa Agarwal’s story is extremely motivating to every woman. A woman who escaped a suicide attempt and severe depression a few years back is now at the top of success. She has taken Women Entrepreneurship in small cities to a different level. She has successfully transformed herself from an ordinary woman to Leading Lady Industrialist. Shilpa Agarwal is a true example of beauty with brains as she manages a business empire with one hand and wins Beauty Pageants with the other. She has proved that for a woman, career does not stop after marriage. Shilpa is a true inspiration for every Indian woman. She has shown that even if we undergo a severe crisis in our life, we should not give up, we can still stand and re build our life.