thinking design, creative solutions
About Esha Oberoi
1. What was your first paid job?
At a local chemist in Erskine Park
2. What made you want to start Afea Care Services?
I was experiencing depression and mental health challenges and fell into a role as a Carer in a nursing home. It opened my eyes to the shortage of workers in the industry and gave me a foot in the door to help people who don’t want to live in an institution at home.
3. How did you get your very first client?
I was making 80 cold calls a day to potential clients and after 3 months, a person actually responded “YES I need your service”.
It was on the other side of the city and I used to shuffle my Carers from their homes to the nursing homes to meet the needs of the facilities.
4. What has been your biggest triumph in business?
Overcoming the huge industry reforms in 2016 that changed the funding model from a block amount to providers, to direct to the end-consumer – the NDIS Participant.
We lost 60% of our business overnight and had to cannibalise our operations to serve direct clients as opposed to dealing solely with other providers.
5. Conversely, what has been your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
The biggest mistakes have been around lack of communication and leadership when it comes to implementing change management. I have learnt to over-communicate and the art of storytelling.
I now provide enough context when implementing changes and adjust my leadership style to personalise my approach when dealing with different people or teams I am leading.
6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When you run your own business, make sure you promote yourself every year and have succession planning for the areas that you are adding value so you can scale.
7. If you could change one thing to make life easier as a business owner, what would it be and why?
I would add more hours to the day!
8. Who do you look up to in business and why?
I look up to my life and business partner, Gaurav, who is Co-CEO of Afea Care Services and Inebura. He can handle an incredible amount of workload whilst making it all look effortless.
He has very clear distinctions between his working time and personal time and when he switches off on Friday afternoon, he switches off to completely enjoy his weekend – of course there are always some exceptions! I feel it makes him much more focused and productive during working hours as his work doesn’t leak into his weekends or personal time.
9.What do you do to get away from work?
Every day I meditate for a minimum of one hour to refresh and prepare for the day. This gives me clarity of what I want to achieve and provides me with the strength I need to do so.
As a part of my self-care plan, I do strength training, dance or yoga most days of the week and read a lot of books.
When I’m not at work I love to do arts and crafts and going for walks with my kids.
10. What is the best thing you have ever spent money on and why?
Travelling alone at least once a year and also taking regular travel breaks with my kids.
11. Name a little-known fact about yourself?
I acted in a Pakistani movie 15 years ago!