Introducing Neha from Foreign Wedding Planners
December brings wedding bells along, and we decided to introduce our member Neha Mehrotra to our community. Neha is the founder of Foreign Wedding Planners, and you’d find it flooded with snapshots of her work! Until a few months ago, she has been organizing amazing weddings single-handed. She comes from a very interesting background, and we couldn’t be more excited to be sharing her story!
A daughter of an army officer, Neha has always been used to traveling and exploring different cultures – which has made her quite independent and flexible. Her father’s final posting was in Delhi, which made her stay back even after he retired and went back to Lucknow, where she is originally from.
She pursued interior designing and went on to pursue MBA from Pune, which gave her more exposure to International Business because that’s what she specialized in. “I’ve always been a creative person, but yes, interior designing was the first thing I took up, and I used to do it with college, along with a couple of event management and freelancing jobs and here and there.”, says Neha.
After she came back she worked with the India Today Group for a couple of years and then moved on to work with World Wide Media, which is a joint venture of BBC News and Times Of India (Hello, Femina, Filmfare etc. are from the same group). She then moved on to heading North India Sales for a fashion magazine called L’officiel, from Paris. Simultaneously, she started her own work. Looking back, Neha says,”I never interned under anyone, and hadn’t had much to do with events. I just started my own company one morning!”
“I used to dream about it over and over again. Initially, I could not muster up enough courage to leave a normal job. I tried for a month or two — I wanted to pay my own bills as I’ve always been very independent. It’s a fairly big decision for a young girl to leave all of that and start something of her own.”
At that time, in 2009, startups were not as widely accepted as now. Neha was one of the lucky few to have supportive parents! She says, ”My father, after school, didn’t want me to do graduation and always wanted me to do events and specialize in something like this. I didn’t listen to him then and fate had its own way, and I ended up doing this.”
Neha started her venture with an INR 7,000 investment on her website. With certain skepticism from some of her family members, she decided to start doing this from abroad. Four months in, she had her first client – and she has not stopped since! She went from the UK to India to Thailand – all of this made possible by her website.
On how she managed to stay on top of the latest trends and wedding practices in foreign countries, Neha says, “Google has always been my
best friend. Not that it will help you with everything. My creativity, international business exposure, and sales expertise have always helped me out throughout.
It’s not just about wedding planning. It’s about what happens in that country. I gave the Tourism Authority of Thailand a long presentation about my work, and they were quite excited about it!”
Now with time, Neha is a well-known figure in the event management space. Last year, she started with wedding planning in India, and already has a couple of projects up her sleeve, including Delhi/NCR, Shimla, Goa, Ghaziabad etc. She says, “I’m gradually spreading my wings here in India, but yes, Thailand is my main market. It’s my second home.” She has also established her footprint in Bali & Mauritius this year. Her clients come from across the world – UK, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Kenya and of course India!
Having done this for so many years, we asked her which project has been closest to her heart. She says, “Every project is close to my heart. I still get palpitations on the night I am leaving. But yes, I know I have to give my 100% in all weddings, and I have always done that.”
Experience as a Woman Entrepreneur
With Neha, there have been times when her work has been imitated by a team of bigger players who have won awards because of it, but she has only taken it as a compliment and continues on her journey forward, only stronger than before. She says, “I could have gone down that path as well but I’m very content with where I am. I am ambitious but only ambitious as per my own limitations. I’m happy in the current scenario and my biggest critic is me-myself. If I have to fight with my own self then I have nothing else to prove.”
One advice to women entrepreneurs
Neha says, ”I am a big feminist however, I don’t want to say – ‘ A woman is any less than a man – for it is way too-cliche. There is absolutely no way that a woman should be compared to a man. She has her own strengths & weakness, as do men. Woman entrepreneurship is the same way as others. You are basis your qualifications and hard work. So when there is something you strive or desire for yourself – just go out and get it! There should be nothing stopping you!!”
“I have huge respect for women who are balancing homes, have unsupportive husbands or have in-laws and kids they have to take care of – I do understand that aspect. They do beautifully well with all of it. So can we and hence I look unto those women as my inspiration? I am a third-generation woman entrepreneur in my family, with my grand-mom setting the beacon by handling 5 kids and string of schools and colleges. My mom followed the same and now I look at them and get all my strength.”
Favourite Wedding Destination
Neha’s favourite wedding destination would be Thailand. She says, “Thailand has everything a couple can enjoy. The mindset and the quality of life are liberal and excellent in terms of affordability, beaches, destinations, food, and it’s a mecca for shopping! I’d have happily resettled there but for some reason, I never moved from here. It has a mixture of everything good you can admire.”
The biggest project that’s coming up for Neha is her own wedding this January!
December is a busy month of the year so we wouldn’t be sure, but you could catch her around in our Business Centre at Good Earth City Centre if you wish to know more about her journey as an entrepreneur, to get your wedding planned, or simply congratulate her!
PS. The website is currently undergoing a revamp, so it might not be accessible. The new one is coming soon.