I come from a Gujarati upper-middle-class family, my father a businessman and mother a housewife. An above average student, highly passionate about sports. All through my growing years, I could hardly manage to look decent. I was more of that sporty girl who used to wear track pants to play table tennis and salwar kameez to college. Whenever I used to observe some good looking stylish girls, I used to wonder, will there be a day when I will be able to pull off a short skirt with elan.
After College, I enrolled for CFA , failed twice and finally took up a job at Motilal Oswal Securities. I believe I have inherited my interest in stocks from my dad. Though I excelled in my work, I could never leave an impression on my colleagues and clients. About a year later I got engaged, left my job, cleared all exams to become a CFA. Finally!! After my marriage, I wasn’t sure of doing a 9-5 job, so I thought of giving myself some time. I still remember that early morning when my father was hospitalised and I was sitting in the waiting room reading Bombay Times. It had an article about something unheard of Image Consulting. I went for the seminar. I was completely blown by the concept and could sense that this is next big thing in India.
For me, it was kind of a dual treat. It will first help me transform myself and then if everything fell in place, I would start my own company where I will transform people. Slowly and steadily I could bring about a change in my dressing, grooming, body language, etiquette and communication skills.
I still remember, an old society friend texting me on facebook, ”is it you Bijal..?? U look different and lovely .“ So come April 2010, I was amongst the first in India to certify as an Image Consultant from ICBI. It is 2014, Panache Image Consultants is four years old. I have now graduated from an employee to an employer. Feels superb. But know what, I get that immense satisfaction when I see my students, (youngest being 15 yrs and oldest 54yrs) get that desired transformation. I have been lucky to get the best of students, they have all made me very proud of them.
The last four years have definitely been the biggest learning curve of my life. But the one worth it. I am glad I took the decision to be an Image consultant, but not without my husband’s support. He has been my strength in all ups and downs, but now is the time where everyone is awaiting, “Achhe Din.” I foresee the need of Image consulting for a lot of individuals like me who have the talent and courage to make a mark in this world. Dear friends, let us look at the global picture. For the longest time, we have been the centre of attention, lets now also be the centre of attraction.
See video of Bijal Mamniya sharing her journey