Sabbatical - ICBI


“Within our dreams and aspirations, we find our opportunities”

How a Hospital Management Professional and an Unwilling Shopper Made a Successful Career out of Shopping for others after a Sabbatical of 4 Years?

Diya is a Hospital Management Professional who holds an MBA in Hospital Management, specialisation HR from IMS, DAVV, Indore. Her career started at a high note from campus recruitment by the then third largest pharmaceutical company in India, Wockardt. Reporting directly to the VP HR brought a variety of opportunities to learn well and fast.

She then got married and moved to smaller town Vadodara where she worked full time with a reputed hospital for almost 3 years. It was after her first child was born that Diya consciously prioritised her baby over a job that required a full day commitment. However, when her daughter turned 3 and started school, all the free time she had made her wonder, “I need to do something fulfilling but it has to have the flexibility of working hours”. She started looking for alternative work options that allowed her the flexibility in working hours and started to explore where she could have the ease to balance her personal and professional life. She came across ICBI and joined the program to enhance her own skills to dress well and pursue training in soft skills. However, after completing the program and certifying as an Image Consultant and Soft Skills Trainer, she realised the potential of her skill set and started her own firm Diya Khurana Image Consulting with an endeavour to bring fashion with function to the common man/ woman in a manner that everyone can dress up and look good with confidence at a value that they can afford.

Today, 12 years post certification, Diya is an Image and Business Coach, Corporate Trainer and Etiquette Consultant who has worked with more than 10,000 professionals and over 5000 children empowering and enabling them to achieve their goals in personal, professional and social lives. She has done this through her signature programs for leadership interventions (TLC – The Leaders Creed), corporate training modules (PRO – VISCRED – Visual Credibility of a Professional), and workshops like Lip Chroma, Shape Shifting, Dress to Impress, Dine like a Pro and her most successful dining etiquette workshop for kids – Kidiquette.

She has worked with individuals, institutions and companies which include Schott Glass, Bombardier, Apollo Tyres, INOXCVA, L&T, Sunpharma Pharmaceuticals, BNI, Baroda, Corporate Connections, EO – Entrepreneurs Organisation, AIMS Oxygen Pvt. Ltd., Round Table India, Baroda Ladies Circle, VRA – Vadodara Realtors Organisation, Netafim, MyAdvisor, Elemex, KEHEMS Technologies, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Cygnus World School, VIBGYOR High School, Urban Pod Hotel, BeyondKey etc.


“If you believe in your dreams, nothing can ever come in the way!”

What Made Archana Decide to Become an Image Consultant and Soft Skills Trainer after 5 Years of Sabbatical?

Archana is a Human Resource Professional who holds a postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Management from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune. Her career and life accomplishments have provided her a rich and diverse landscape of experiences. She had a comfortable professional journey as a successful HR consultant.

She then took a conscious decision to prioritize her loved ones and took a step back from her career. Once she had achieved what she wanted for her loved ones, she thought, “What’s next?” What are the other options that can be explored as after 5 years of sabbatical, going back to a regular job structure- seemed almost impossible? She started looking for alternative work options and how she could upgrade her skill sets. She started to explore where she could have the ease to balance her personal and professional life. She came across ICBI and joined its course leading to becoming a Certified Image Consultants and Soft Skills Trainer. As a result of her enhanced skill sets with ICBI, she now has her own firm called Balance – Be Your Own Brand, which aspires to inspire the potential to flourish and thrive people to be their “Best version.”

Archana is a Personal Branding Expert with a vast experience in enabling men and women in leadership positions to become accomplished communicators, acquire etiquette and build a positive image of themselves so that they get empowered with tools that maximize their image and brand for personal and professional success. She does this by empowering them with their appearance, conduct & behaviour.

Her niche is to help individuals find new strengths, talents and confidence in themselves that they never knew existed by making them overcome pain points and obstacles that has been preventing them from reaching the pinnacle of success, through her signature “360° Happiness Program”

She has worked with individuals, institutions and companies which include HDFC, Vodafone, Thermax, India’s Blade runner-Maj. DP Singh, Geneva Business School, Harman, GIPL, JD Institute of Technology, Ramanujan College, Aditya Birla Hospital, Aditya Birla School, Mayo College Girls School, Gorjes Magazine, Symbiosis Institute, Pune University just to name a few.


“Its never too late, you are never too old”

How Monika Sharma Agarwal Became a Globally Practicing Soft Skills Trainer and Image Consultant After 13 Long Years of Sabbatical?

Monika started working as a faculty and corporate trainer with NIIT at a young age of 23. This was the era of Y2K and VRS, when the government sector was turning to computerization. At a young age she got an opportunity to train senior most scientists from Grassland, engineers from BHEL and many senior managers in banking sector.

However life had other plans, after marrying the love of her life Anurag in 2002, she became a part of a huge joint family of 25 members. With matrimonial bliss, 2 amazing kids Raghav and Stuti, time flew and she got fully engaged in concurring the trails and challenges of domestic life. As the children grew she started feeling that in spite of all the luxuries of life, there was a huge gap in her intellectual fulfilment that she has experienced as a working professional.

That is when opportunity knocked, just at the right time. She got to attend one of the women’s day workshops organized by ICBI. It was like finding the missing piece of the puzzle. Training was always her passion and it was all she knew, however going back to technical training after such a long gap did not look feasible. Soft skills and appearance management was something that looked like quite a great match with her passion for training and people skills mastered as a homemaker and socialite during her sabbatical years. The encouragement and handholding provided by ICBI, its faculties and fellow learner’s community at every step helped her get back her lost confidence.

There was no looking back after that. Today she has trained more than 5000 people across the 4 continents, ranging from CEOs of top US firms to the underprivileged kids from the slums of Delhi, and everyone in between. She has also worked very actively on mental heath wellness programs for companies and educational Institutes across India and South East Asia during the difficult times of global pandemic. She is also a visiting faculty at various institutes including The Knowledge Academy UK, Image Consulting Business Institute, The Antarmanh Foundation, Psyche Panacea India, DPS Jhansi and many more. Lifelong advocate of giving back to the society, she is also an active volunteer for TeachIndia – A TOI initiative and The Karyashala Foundation.

She was awarded the prestigious special volunteer award for her work with TeachIndia, along with many other awards for her work in training industry. Her niche includes programs on personal growth mastery, confidence building, public speaking, parenting and relationship building in personal and professional life using PAC model.


“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”

How an Army Wife on Sabbatical Realised her Dream of Having her Own Setup One Day

Kavita Dhillon, a proud army wife has been an accomplished facilitator with some of the best schools and colleges all over the country. She comes with twelve years of teaching experience with a Bachelor’s in Psychology & Education and Masters in English Literature.

She took a sabbatical for three years to be with her young children. She always wanted to be an inspiring mom to her children by walking the talk, and not just by telling them what to do. She has successfully instilled a sense of achievement in them, apart from the core values and skills. As the kids were growing, she had more time to herself and wanted to get back to work. The creativity factor in her always motivated her to have her own setup one day. She never appreciated the 9-5 routine. She always wanted to be her own boss. She personally feels that being your own boss gives you flexibility, financial independence, work-life balance, along with professional identity.

Kavita decided to take a formal plunge into training as this was what she had been doing informally for all these years. She knew a formal certification was required for her second career as a trainer, which she went on to acquire as an Image consultant and soft skills trainer from ICBI. She has had the privilege to work with some of the best brands in the market, Govt sectors, public sectors, and Institutes all over the country.

She assists and guides men and women to express themselves through their personal presentation, both for business and social occasions through training seminars and personal consultations on effective use of colour, style, image, makeup, wardrobe planning and etiquette, soft skills and most importantly, wellness, confidence, and self-esteem. She is of the opinion that if a person is feeling good and balanced from the inside, they will be able to utilise the resources to present a better image outside. She successfully incorporates the elements of the image, soft skills, and NLP to help her clients bring out the best in them which she calls A HOLISTIC IMAGE. She has her own brand by the name EXTRA EDGE IMAGE AND WELLNESS MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING.

She has also worked with some of the leading brands like Casio, Fidelity International, Adani Group, PowerGrid, Oriental Insurance, Ansals, NLU (Gujrat), Care (Chennai), and ULIMS (Gurgaon), NCU(Gurgaon), GD Goenka University and many more. She has trained the Gujrat Police officials and her work was much appreciated by the media as well.

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