How Neha Nagar went from being an underconfident, shy girl to a leading businesswoman
Here's how this 25- year- old girl from a village faced a lot of 'ladki ho Tumse nahi hoga' and still started her startup.
Neha vividly recalls instances of being body shamed because of her weight. "Body shaming in the social circle became my new normal at that time," she recalls. Neha narrates instances at social occasions where she would be compared to other girls at the gatherings. People used to comment on her looks and body, and this constant body-shaming made it difficult for her to attend school and family gatherings. She never had any friends in college or school. It affected her to an extent where she started hating herself and lost all confidence.
Before starting this article any further we would like to say 5 words to everyone out there who doesn't feel confident with their bodies, 'Bodies aren't ugly. Bullying is.' Always remember there are no notions of beauty.
The muddy steps
Neha was born in a small village where people were very orthodox even when it came to everyday topics like girls' education. She moved out with her family when she was 14. She understood that the environment was completely different in Delhi and for apparent reasons she couldn't adapt to it. At school, she couldn't join conversations because her classmates used to talk in English and discuss 'economics'. She hardly had any friends in school as she always carried this thought with her 'it wasn't her SPACE'.
Neha was average in her studies and chose a career her family wanted.
Later, as her family wanted her to pursue CA, she attempted for that but unfortunately, failed 3 times at a stretch. "Those 3 years were the toughest and worst," Neha admits. She broke at that time. Neha lost all her confidence and felt like she couldn't achieve anything now. Not only this, she was body-shamed by her classmates and closed ones. "I still remember the comments for my face and looks that made me feel like I am the ugliest girl on the planet."
She started losing her hopes and started thinking that she couldn’t achieve heights now, that she was ugly, that she was of no use, and many such things.
Most of us are potential victims of 'body shaming' – the widespread phenomenon of receiving cruel feedback when our bodies don't meet our time's unrealistic beauty standards. We spend our time lost in self-critical thoughts, despising our body and comparing ourselves unfavorably to others.
Girl in the city
She had nothing by then. Disturbing suicidal thoughts started troubling her, But there was always this glitch of hope that there must be something for her on this planet because every person has a reason to come, she just needs to find hers.
She wanted to explore and learn many things, but her parents were quite conservative and were convinced that she needs to get married. At that time, Neha tried many things, she switched her career to MBA to explore but more importantly, to save herself from marriage.
This is where we are living where girls are not really studying to study, or it's their passion but to save themselves from marriage. It's for all the parents out there that an unmarried, happy, educated girl is a lot better than an unhappy, illiterate married girl.
She was pursuing an MBA, but those 3 years of failure still used to haunt me. "Do you know how it feels when you are always insecure about yourself, when everyone just ignores you in school, college & when your family stops talking about you? It's a feeling that I can't even express."
She stopped talking to almost everyone. Being the eldest daughter, it was expected of her to be successful. But till then she was not. Her parents found the perfect solution for it 'MARRIAGE'. In MBA she made some friends but then fought with all of them, and at the end of college, she again had zero friends. That time she moved her focus from friends and society to earn a lot of money, just money. After completing her MBA, she wanted a startup. But nobody except her was thrilled about it. All she got was, "Go do a proper job and get married."
During her MBA, she started modeling and acting and shot with Mary Kom for tribe India as a model, wearing a kurta. And one for zee news (crime series) and a lot more. She took the opportunity to get featured in the Zee Music video, knowing her parents won't support the decision. After release, again that period started where she stopped talking to everyone.
Again, everything was happening as her parents wanted. She got a job in Delhi and got married after a year. However, she knew giving up was not for her. After marriage, she started giving auditions & tried a lot of other kinds of stuff. She dreamt of being a businesswoman, so she began exploring all different fields and found her interest in business planning. Neha started her venture- Taxationhelp. It is a technology-driven platform, offering services that cover the legal needs of startups and established businesses. Some of their services include incorporation, government registrations & filings, accounting, documentation, and annual compliances. In addition, they offer a wide range of services to individuals such as property agreements and tax filings. It started by helping companies and businesses, but today it has expanded its roots and is helping startups with their business ideas. The company's vision is to provide startups with everything starting from business planning to App/Website Development, Social Media Marketing, and all other services (legal & taxation).
The power of the internet
She couldn't sit idle in this lockdown hence made small videos and TikTok. Few weeks into it, one of her videos went viral and got a million views. Neha noticed that even though her videos were value-based and free of cost, only 15 percent of her audience were women. She realized that women need to take advantage of free resources and participate more in finance and business.
Today she has 600k followers (133k on Insta, 320k on Tiktok, 36k on Youtube, and 8k on LinkedIn and other social media apps)
Filling in big shoes
She faced a lot of 'ladki ho Tumse nahi hoga' in her life, which always made her doubt herself. But Neha always fought back and proved herself. She had fought with her parents on things like wearing jeans, making friends, and many more such things, today she counts all of them as baby steps towards her journey.
Neha started with zero investment and faced difficulty finding her first client; she worked 24*7 to find a client. Today she has helped 120+ clients to start their business, and they have started earning and growing. Still, she faces a lot of – ‘ladki ho tum’ in her business also, and her in-laws forced her to become a mother soon. But now she has found her goal, and she is not willing to stop, no matter what.
She came up with the idea of Taxationhelp when she saw that many people want to start a business but had no clue how to begin; she started helping people start their business from scratch to scaling up. Neha has faced many challenges in her life be it body shaming, discrimination, underestimation by family, setting up a business of services about which not everyone is aware of, taking business planning services is also a step before setting up a business, etc. She always came up with a high spirit, a spirit that we all must-have.
On asking what she thinks are the essential qualities of a successful entrepreneur?
Without even thinking twice, she said: "You need to be a great communicator & consistent with your work with a never giving up attitude."
Neha is zestful, full of life, and ambitious, finding ways to get what she sets her heart on.