A helping hand

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Esha Oberoi is committed to redefining the healthcare landscape in Australia

When most youngsters were out partying, Esha Oberoi was already working night shifts, as well as weekends, at a nursing home, driven by her passion for social welfare. At the age of 24, Oberoi founded Afea, a not-for-profit health care services provider for the frail and the aged community in Australia.

“As a teenager, one of the first books I read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and it drew me to the workforce straight away as opposed to following the conventional route of high school and then university,” Oberoi said.

Originally from Delhi, Oberoi moved to Australia in 1991 and lives in the beautiful suburb of North Sydney with her husband and baby boy. A self-taught entrepreneur, most of her learnings are from her professional and personal experiences.

Perturbed by the environment and care offered to the residents at the nursing home, Oberoi came up with Afea. “It was quite evident that anyone would want to age gracefully in the comfort and privacy of their own home if they were provided with an option that delivered quality care and attention,” she continued.

Esha Oberoi and Afea have come a long way. Starting Afea with just a computer and a phone, Oberoi was recently a finalist at the Telstra Young Business Women’s Awards 2014.

That there is a dire need for large-scale quality care facilities for aging members of our society is something Oberoi realised from personal experience too. “My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and we were looking at care facilities for her at home,” she recalled. “We wanted to be around her as much as possible. This made me realise the gaps of home care that need to be bridged.”

Oberoi attributes her success to her supportive family, which helped her manage motherhood and business smoothly, and the challenges that she faced, which pushed her out of her comfort zone every time.

“In the second year of business, we experienced a 282 per cent growth rate and in 2012 our business grew by 111 per cent,” Oberoi said. “We did not have the manpower or the infrastructure to manage the growth. We reinvested massively and created our own technology platform which enabled us to scale to what we are today.”

Afea Care Services is now one of the leading providers of qualified and compassionate community support workers, carers and nurses to hospitals, nursing homes and care facilities around Australia, including providing carers for personal support services at home.

It offers a range of nursing services, from skilled nursing and personal care to rehabilitation and therapies, for paediatric, adult, and geriatric clients. Services are personalised after a detailed consultation and a tailored solution is offered to cater to the specific needs of each client.

The increasing innovation in the health services industry and ensuring that all Australians receive quality homecare is what drives Esha Oberoi the most. “I want to maximise resource capacity in our industry and ease the fiscal pressures on our government from effects of the ageing population,” she said.

“You are what you think – what you think about the most is what you end up doing,” she continued, revealing her business mantra. “As an entrepreneur, it’s very important to understand where your industry is heading and to reflect on your business road map. If you know the changes in government legislations and upcoming reforms, you are well prepared to manage those changes once they are implemented.”

In the next five years, Oberoi wants to focus on growing the franchise network of Afea and creating a mobile phone application, instead of the current software platform, to streamline recruitment and scheduling, to deliver seamless connectivity between clients, employees and franchisees.

A training institute is also in the pipeline to enhance the skills of the workforce and provide more employment opportunities in the healthcare industry in Australia.

Saroni Roy
Saroni Roy
Saroni is a senior writer, editor and a PR professional. Her forte is lifestyle journalism, art, food, beauty, films and travel writing.

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