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Wed, 26 Sep 2018

Northeast Today

From a Blogger to a Woman Entrepreneur from Assam

From a Blogger to a Woman Entrepreneur from Assam
March 08
14:12 2018

NET Bureau, Kingson Chingakham

Nilakshi Bharali, known as Nicole to her friends and fraternity, was born and brought up in Guwahati. After six years of white collar jobs, she decided to quit and start following on her passion. She has always been an artist back in Assam. She loves traveling and theatre and has also performed on the stage. After four years of struggle and hard work, she has become an entrepreneur. She founded NAVigenes-a YouTube Media Channel, Do Musafir- women centric YouTube travel Channel, which was launched in Guwahati recently and TLCF NICOLE-her personal brand which includes travel, lifestyle, fashion and cuisines. She has been shuttling between Delhi and Goa currently.

She has realized the profound importance of social media to run a business and market her work.NAVigenes has around 15,000 followers on the Facebook page, Do Musafir has around 8500 followers on Instagram and her personal brand TLCF NICOLE has around 16,000 followers on Instagram.Therefore, most of the awareness has been done on these platforms. Being on the domain of creativity and travel, she feels the utmost necessity to have a good social media presence.

A Challenging Journey

Nicole said that the foremost challenging task is to understand what exactly one wants to do and whether we are prepared to take the risk.We should question ourselves whether we are ready to think of something beyond the regular salaried jobs.There is a need to understand yourself, your strength and weakness and self-motivate.

Nicole

She said, “I went through all these issues. It took me ages to finally get an answer. I was prepared to take the risk. I tried my hands on a lot of things. Changed cities. I invested all my savings in trying to open a boutique in Goa as I was interested in fashion clothes, which didn’t work that well. Tried few BD jobs but was not to my liking.I was unemployed for a year. Even did part-time jobs so that I can meet my daily needs. There were days when I was not sure if I will be able to arrange food next day. Lived in houses half broken so that I can cut down on my expenses despite having my personal room since my childhood and a decent flat while working in Delhi. Had to change 2 to 3 buses to reach my work place whereas I was getting AC cab facilities to and fro for my work”.

She further narrated that, “I remember once I was so worried about arranging food for the next day as I just had only 10 rupees left with me.But I didn’t quit. Miraculously, a decent amount was deposited in my account, which happened to be my PF of my earlier company. My father sent me few bucks many times from his pension as he felt I needed it (I didn’t tell him what situation I was in). I used to get around 2000-3000 rupees as my birthday gift from him which I spent on treating myself with a good meal. I broke down many times. Cried alone many nights and was confused about my decision. How can I forget about the questions and speculations of the society? This is the most difficult part to tackle. Two years after marriage I decided to quit my job and decided to try my luck in other cities. It was again a different battle altogether”.

Any Life changing moment?

Nicole lost her mom when she was 9. Since then, it has become a learning experience each day. She grew up with her father and an elder brother.It was hard for her to understand and overcome the mental and biological changes without a mother or a sister. She had not planned on quitting her well-paying jobs. But it happened impromptu and impulsive. It changed her forever. Because she has been passionate about travel and lifestyle, she, later on, decided to start blogging and got the job satisfaction. Her fellow blogger and neighbour, ‘Aditi Malhotra’ shared common interests and got guidance. That’s from there, a blogger turned into an entrepreneur and now owns three companies.

Nicole’s works

DoMusafir: It is a travel company, a joint venture by Nicole and her friend and partner Aditi. Two people with diverse backgrounds and strengths but one goal, to make a difference in the current travel and tourism industry. Nicole said, “Within our diverse backgrounds, travel has played an extensive role in being part of our respective careers and shaped us as individuals. Exploring the unbeaten paths, experiencing regional culinary delights, meeting the locals, indulging in varied cultures and traditions, has been something that always sets our pulse racing. A mere chance to travel, and we are always ready for the opportunity. Having travelled the length and breadth of the country, from chic urban cities to deep rural villages along with some footprints on the world map, we now want to take up travel not just as a passion but also translate our passion to rest of the world”.

Nilakahi Bharali

Do Musafir is coming up with web series, where it would cover everything from packing essentials, to stay and accommodation options, food, shopping, and sight seeing apart from some unique and personalized experiences. In the first season, it will cover a minimum of 5-6domestic and 3-4 international destinations.Nicole and Aditi would be seeking for collaborations from relevant brands, hotels, tourism boards and other associates to partner with them.

NAVigenes – It is a media-marketing agency which has been in operations since June 2017.NAVigenes has already made its presence felt across platforms and with various brands.The agency has successfully done a chef-based recipe video series which has met with an overwhelming response.

TLCFNicole – This is her personal brand.She blogs about travel and lifestyle.Active in almost all social media platform along with a YouTube channel.She blogs and collaborates with different brands to promote them on social media.

Note for the aspiring entrepreneur

Giving a motivational advice, Nicole said, “I would like to say to all the women and girls out there…. don’t get lost in the materialism of the world and rather find your inner skills and go for your dreams. Have a solid planning and keep yourself motivated throughout. You may face defeat a lot of times but never ever give up. Don’t get disorientate in thinking about the end results rather enjoy the journey throughout. Start taking pleasure in small achievements and get extra prepared for that ultimate goal. I am on the same journey and I am loving every bit of it”.

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