Simran was born in Chennai; her father is Ashok Naval and mother is Saradha. She has two sisters, Monal and Jyothi Naval and a brother named Sumith. She did her schooling from St. Anthony's high school, Versova and finished her B.Com in Mumbai and was modelling simultaneously. Then she came to the film industry. She speaks Punjabi, Hindi, English, and Tamil. Simran is a trained dancer and can perform Bharatanatyam and Salsa. She married Deepak Bagga, her childhood family friend, in December 2003. They have two sons, Adheep and Aadit, born in June 2005 and March, 2011.
Simran made her debut in the 1995 Hindi film Sanam Harjai directed by Saawan Kumar. Jaya Bachchan (ABCL Corp), who saw her in Superhit Muqabla on Doordarshan’s Metro channel (produced by Nimbus TV & Sports and directed by Sushil Datta), offered her a leading role in Tere Mere Sapne. She then starred in supporting roles in Muqaddar, Angaara and Daadagiri, Bal Bramhachari, Agni Morcha, Gunda Gardi opposite Ayub Khan and along with Dharmendra. Meanwhile she was acting in South Indian languages and was a huge star in Tamil and Telugu. In 1999 she starred in Anari No.1.
She moved to south Indian movies by acting first in a high-budget Malayalam film, Indraprastham with megastar Mammootty in the lead role and she tasted success, too. Then she was introduced in the Tamil movie industry by Vasanth with Nerukku Ner opposite Surya in 1997; the movie was a huge success and she was highly appreciated for her dancing in the song "Manam Virumbudhe." Then Simran starred in several successful movies such as V.I.P (1997), Natpukkaga (1998), Aval Varuvala (1998) and Kannedhirey Thondrinal (1998) with leading actors Prabhu Deva, Sarath Kumar, Ajith Kumar and Prasanth respectively . She got her first break through the movie Thulladha Manamum Thullum opposite Vijay in 1999.It was a super hit Movie.
In the same year she acted in blockbuster Vaali opposite Ajith Kumar and she won several awards for her acting which includes a Kalaimaamani award; she was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actress. Later in 1999 she acted in Jodi which was a super hit. Her success streak continued in 2000 with the films Priyamaanavale and Parthen Rasithen in which she acted in a negative role. She saw a new low in her Tamil career in 2001, as she concentrated in Telugu, and once again became the leading actress in 2002 with several successes such as Ramana opposite Vijaykanth, Pammal K. Sambandam and Panchathantiram opposite Kamal Haasan, Thamizh opposite Prasanth and Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal opposite Madhavan. She won several accolades for her performance in Kannathil Muthamittal including a Filmfare award.But the Film was a average grosser,any way the movie won several accolades from the audiences.
Simran appeared in the 2008 blockbuster Tamil film Vaaranam Aayiram directed by Gautham Menon, costarring Surya Sivakumar, for which she won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
Simran enjoyed stupendous success in Telugu movie industry as she acted with the superstars of Tollywood such as Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, Nagarjuna and Venkatesh. Her debut Telugu movie was Abbai Gari Pelli in 1997 opposite Suman which was a flop. After starring in some unsuccessful movies in 1997 and 1998, in 2000 she starred in Kalisundam Raa opposite Venkatesh and Nuvvu Vastavani opposite Nagarjuna. Both of the movies were blockbusters.
2001 was a mixed year in her career since her movie Mrigaraju opposite Chiranjeevi becoming a flop and Bava Nachadu opposite Nagarjuna and Daddy opposite Chiranjeevi becoming above-average grossers. But her movie Narasimha Naidu opposite Balakrishna became a huge blockbuster.
In 2002 she starred with Balakrishna in Seema Simham and the film was just an average grosser in spite of great openings. This was her only release in 2002. With Seetayya opposite Harikrishna in 2003, she left the industry after her marriage. She made a comeback with Okka Magadu opposite Balakrishna in 2008. It was a failure. Her next movie John Appa Rao 40 plus was also a failure.
Simran participated in the Olympic Torch Rally as one of the escort runners selected by Coca-Cola India. She was one of those represented India in the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay on June 10 at New Delhi.
On March 2002, Simran was signed up to endorse Fanta, the tangy orange-flavoured drink from Coca-Cola. According to a company spokesperson, "Film stars cut across various segments to establish a direct connect with the brand." The ad eas been conceived by the Lowe and directed by filmmaker Latha Menon. On the same year, Jyoti Labs launched Jeeva soap with Simran to endorse the brand and the ad. The brand uses the tagline "The complete Ayurvedic Soap" which is further reinforced by the focus on 27 ingredients.
On June 4, 2008, PepsiCo India Holdings (FritoLay Division) announced superstar Simran as the new brand ambassador for Kurkure for their first brand ambassador in the South Indian market. She joined the brand's long-standing endorser Juhi Chawla as a part of the Kurkure family.
Simran was chosen as the brand ambassador for a low calorie sugar substitute — 'Sugar Free Gold' by Cadila Healthcare Ltd. Anand Deo, senior vice-president, consumer division told reporters that the star was chosen since she was a "fitness icon." Simran says it's her fitness secret and poses for that brand with her slim figure. She is also tied with General Mills India for Pillsbury Atta to help spread the health message and has appeared in several TV commercials.
Simran's real estate firm in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board for low-income groups has developed a proposal to buy acreage in the outskirts of major cities and develop them into self-sustained communities for people under the poverty line. She has donated rupees 10 lakhs towards Kargil cause. Simran's has 70 acres of land on Mumbai Nasik Highway named Rishi Farms out of which 7 acres was donated for old age homes managed by her father.