Mumbai: Shreya Rao Kamvarapu stood as the second runner-up in Miss India 2018 but says her family was initially "scared" to send her into the beauty pageant competition.
Andhra Pradesh's Shreya, 23, was the second runner-up in the beauty competition which saw Anukreethy Vas being crowned as the fbb Colors Femina Miss India.
Last year, when a friend insisted she audition for Miss India, Shreya did not think she would make it. To gain an experience, she auditioned and eventually made it.
"I didn't know how to do the make-up or how to walk the ramp. I was not a very 'girly' girl. But I thought the Miss India organisation sees some potential in me. They said if you work on yourself a little bit, get more fit, work on your walk, I could do it because I had that personality.
"So I decided I will talk to my parents because five years down the line, I don't want to regret saying I never gave it a shot. So then I worked on myself," Shreya told PTI.
Being an architect by profession who was already working, the decision to try for Miss India was not met easily at home.
"They felt why am I changing my career now, they thought I want to enter the glamour world and were very scared to send me here (Miss India). But when they came with me to all my auditions, they saw that the pageant isn't just about beauty. They realised their daughter was growing.
"It was a shocker to them because at home I was a different person, like an introvert. So when they realised it was teaching me a lot of things, they realised the importance of it," she says.
Shreya will now be representing the country for Miss United Continents 2018 and says the focus is clear - to get a bigger crown for India and not to enter the glamour world.
"The responsibility now is to focus for the next one year on winning the International crown. The only aim is to get a bigger crown. I have never imagined myself even as a Miss India so to imagine myself in the glamour world is something I have to think of, but right now I have no plans.
"I would love to go back to my profession, architecture was my passion. I want to open several educational institutions, it is still a dream. I always wanted to get into it. I would love to do that," she adds.