To commemorate International Women’s Day this month, THE TEENAGER TODAY brings you a series on women entrepreneurs, ‘Women Mean Business’. Each article will introduce to our readers an inspiring woman entrepreneur or professional and give us an insight into what shaped them and their experience of entrepreneurship.
A couple of months ago, Manushi Chillar was the toast of the nation, indeed the world, as she confidently won the Miss World title in China. However, what many do not know is that the person behind the confidence and poise and, indeed, Manushi’s life-view, was a diminutive young lady by the name of Nidhika Bahl.
Nidhika hails from a middle-class family of entrepreneurs and was born and brought up in Delhi. After securing a B.Com. (Hons) degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Nidhika went on to do an M.Sc. in Finance from Lancaster University (UK). Over the next 7 years, Nidhika held positions in companies across the U.S., U.K. and India.
Finance and numbers came easily to Nidhika; however, that did not mean that a lifetime spent in doing just that held great attraction for her. She decided to take a sabbatical and joined a popular theatre group called ‘Ank’, spending the next two years doing theatre. It was at the end of this period that she was picked up by Marching Ants Advertising Pvt Ltd. as a freelance Creative Director.
In 2005, Nidhika moved to Mumbai with her husband. Her family had always encouraged her to start out on her own and in 2006, Nidhika set up Parallel Circles Entertainment, a media firm. As the founder and creative director of PCE, she had the privilege of working with some of the best names in the corporate world such as P&G, Gillette, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Akzo Nobel, CRY Shiksha, ZOYA by Tata and many more.
However, not all was well on her personal front. Nidhika’s marriage was failing and this had a tremendous impact on her health and self-esteem. In 2008, she was diagnosed with major clinical depression which even caused her to make two unsuccessful attempts to take her life. Thus began a long journey with several doctors and specialists — she had to undergo sedation three times a day and therapy three times a week! This lasted for six long years. In the midst of this, Nidhika and her husband decided to separate.
Nidhika feels that what aggravated her condition was her playing ‘the victim’, blaming the world for what was happening to her and looking for solutions outside and trying to change others instead of looking into herself. One day, after almost 4 years of treatment and medication had caused other innumerable related health issues she was introduced by a friend to a multi-level health products company. These products helped her a great deal and she was invited to share her success stories with the group.
This early success made Nidhika determined to bounce back from this situation in her life. It took her six long years of relentless determination and undying faith in herself to deal with all that life threw at her during that period. She started meeting inspirational people and got addicted to reading, especially self-help books. She read nearly 300 books, and this addiction to reading slowly reduced her dependence on medication. One day, she came upon a book that changed her life forever — Joyce Meyer’s The Battlefield of the Mind.
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