Twenty-one-year-old Sini Shetty, a finance graduate, was aiming to complete the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) programme and help her parents in their hospitality business. However, destiny had different plans. She took a plunge into modelling to test the waters. And today, Sini is Miss India 2022.
"More than the tag, I am overwhelmed with the love and respect that I have been getting. I feel blessed to have had scores of people supporting me to get to where I am," she says. What was going through her mind during the final moments of the competition.
"I was praying... was also feeling grateful for having come that far. I knew how big the moment was. When my name was announced as the winner, I went through a roller-coaster of emotions. I was in disbelief for a few moments. It was difficult to process. I was overwhelmed," she says, but recalls that after a few minutes, the idea began to sink in, and she felt happy. Her 40 days at the competition were physically and emotionally taxing.
Sini feels it was her curiosity and confidence — "Curiosity about the next step and confidence that I would achieve what I set out to do" — were responsible for success. The win has made her a better version of herself.
"From being a normal college going girl to being a pageant winner, the entire journey has been very emotional. Every stage in the competition gave me a different insight into various things," she shares, adding that the grooming session was the turning point in her life.
Though entering a beauty pageant was never in her plans, Sini recalls that when she was doing her Plus Two, a woman in her college told her that she should try modelling because she looks ‘camera-friendly.’ "I kept that advice in mind, and I got into modelling soon after starting my undergrad course," she says.
However, the pageant industry was a bumpy ride! Sini didn’t know how to walk the ramp or carry herself during several of her auditions. "Many people said I was raw but at the same time they liked my honesty. My mentors felt I had something to offer. So I started learning the ropes of the modelling industry," she says.
After completing her graduation in finance, she started working in a youth marketing organisation as a product executive. Her colleagues encouraged her to take leave and focus on the competition scene. "Without their support I wouldn’t have come this far," she notes. Born and raised in Mumbai, her family is from Karnataka, and she visits her grandparents in Udupi. MISS WORLD CONTEST NEXT The young woman is very excited to represent India at the Miss World competition soon. "I am not nervous and there’s no pressure either. But I feel more responsible. Representing India on the world stage will be a great honour," she notes."
Being a pageant winner, what does she think her responsibilities are? "To find what is unique in yourself and align that with the competition’s goals," she replies, adding that she wanted to focus on women empowerment. Sini, who started working at 15, says, "I have always loved challenges and grab opportunities."