Navpreet Sandhu

Never Back Down

Born to a simple family, Navpreet worked tirelessly to educate herself. This constant fighter fought all odds and is still fighting to make her mark as an entrepreneur.

I am Navpreet Sandhu, presently a small time entrepreneur, working as an Insurance Advisor and a Placement Consultant in the non metro city of Amritsar.

I was born to a simple family. My father was a small time businessman and my mother was a housewife. I completed my education from a Convent School in a small town in Nainital.
After one year of college, my parents could not afford to pay for my further studies, so I started studying privately and started teaching in a small school to fund my studies.

After my graduation, there were some issues within the family due to which my family had to shift from there and had to take refuge from an industrialist in Zirakpur near Chandigarh.
In return, my father and I had to work there on a free basis for some time before we started getting a meagre salary. It was a brand new start for us and we had to spend almost 7 years living there.

For those 7 years, I worked tirelessly without any growth opportunities but I gained an experience of a lifetime. Definitely, this experience helped in the development of my personality and to make me the way I am today. I started pursuing my MBA in HR through correspondence in order to improve my skills (after a gap of almost 6 years, post my graduation).

My parents started looking out for a groom for me. Eventually, I got married in Amritsar and my second phase started for here on. I moved from Chandigarh to Amritsar and into a joint family.

I was struggling to find for my own identity, so I started hunting out for a job. Meanwhile I completed my MBA and I managed to get a job that was paying me a meagre salary as I had time constraints juggling household chores and other responsibilities.

The third phase began after we planned to have a baby. I had worked for two years but I had to leave my job again. My son was born, so now I was a housewife looking after my son and my family.

After 3 years when my son started going to school, I again wanted to start afresh. So I took up a job with a meagre salary as now I had very limited opportunities and I had one more responsibility - to look after my son.

At that time, Amritsar offered very limited opportunities for women and very few jobs were given to married women with a child. I started working with at a prestigious insurance company as a telecaller as an outsourced employee for 6 years until I got promoted to Unit Manager.

I then moved to another general insurance company but again I was transferred to another state where I could not relocate as my son was still very young. So I left this job too and started working with at an export house. Later, I experienced a lot of problems at the export house due to very rigid work timings and leave restrictions; I had to leave this job also.

As Amritsar is a small city I could not get a well paying job there. After working at two more places, my age posed a problem for me as most of the companies wanted younger candidates below the age of 35, which unfortunately I had already crossed. Eventually I had to leave these jobs also.

My fourth phase and present journey began when I realised that a female above the age of 40 years was not preferable in the market. So I decided to start my own business. I cleared the IRDA exam and procured an insurance code for myself so that I could start selling Life Insurance and General Insurance policies.

It was again like starting from scratch, as a person getting a salary of 40k had to start from zero again with no source of income and not much funds to invest. This was all very depressing for me as I had to depend on my husband for every small thing I required. The insurance business alone could not help me make ends meet. The reason being that insurance is a male dominated field and females are not taken seriously. Also people have a mentality of seeking favours either in cash or in kind which I refused to grant.

I then decided to start a job placement agency and to go along with it. I worked hard and for the last two and a half years I am still struggling to get my business on the right track.
Anyway, the crux of the story is that being a female, I always was a victim of circumstances and had to make compromises on my career, but I am always fighter.

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