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Australian Export Award for Indian-origin Geelong family

Care Essentials, the Geelong-based manufacturing and export business run by Abhay and Ishan Sinha, bags an Australian Export Award. FARZANA AHMAD reports

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 Australian Export Award recipients Abhay and Ishan Sinha
Australian Export Award recipients Abhay and Ishan Sinha

An Indian migrant father-and-son duo from Geelong, Abhay and Ishan Sinha have bagged the Regional Export Award at this year’s Australian Export Awards for their medical device
manufacturing and exporting business Care Essentials.

The Sinhas’ hard work and dedication have seen the company which once supplied reusable blankets to just one hospital, blossom into a leading manufacturer and distributor of warming devices to medical facilities in over 60 countries including the USA, UK, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, and Canada.

“My father Abhay Sinha and I purchased this business in 2011,” Ishan Sinha told Indian Link.

“At that time, it was a much smaller and business, floundering and moving towards
administration.”

The main product at Care Essentials is the Patient Warming System which includes Cocoon blankets and warming machines. These are used in operating theatres around the world for
temperature management during surgeries. They prevent and treat hypothermia, inhibit infection and quicken the recovery process after procedures.

Ishan explained that with the use of warming blankets, post-operative recovery has become faster, substantially decreasing the duration of hospital stay for patients. This helps in reducing stress on the hospital system and decreases the financial cost to the patients.

Care Essentials factory won award
Care Essentials factory

Care Essentials produces 6 types of machines and 38 different types of blankets. Ishan explained, “Each market can have different rigorous standards but since we manufacture the machines and blankets in Australia, we can be flexible to meet our customers’ needs and their jurisdictions.”

The company was nominated for the award by an employee, and Ishan admitted he was pleasantly surprised at having won.

“Given the high calibre of the competitors I was not expecting to come out ahead,” he revealed.

He acknowledged the pivotal role Austrade is playing in boosting local businesses. “Austrade has been a great help for our business. We benefit from the Free Trade Agreements in various countries we export to. We have also been the recipients of the Export Market Development Grants which allows us to attend important marketing exhibitions which are great platforms to introduce our products and sign on international
customers.”

In return, Care Essentials provides jobs for local people from Geelong and has raised the Australian profile as a manufacturer on the international stage.

The Australian Export Awards were launched in 1963 and are the longest-running business awards program in the country. This year’s event recognised excellence in thirteen categories including E-commerce, Sustainability, Technology and Innovation, and International health.

Winners were selected on the basis of their international growth, marketing and financial strategies measured against other contenders. The Australian Trade Investment Commission (Austrade) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) typically collaborate with all the States and Territories who each run their independent export awards program. Local winners are then entered into the national awards which are supported by leading corporations, industry groups, and export facilitators. Co-presented by Austrade and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Parliament House, the awards were held in Canberra on 3 December.

The Sinhas’ arrived in this country from India twenty years ago. Ishan disclosed that his company employs 20 people in Australia and a 100 in India. His company’s revenue is currently growing at 30% and exports account for 65% of total revenue.

Ending on a reflective note, he offered a word of advice to his community. “We come from a culture that places a lot of importance on education and encourages hard work. Australia is full of opportunities for anyone willing to work hard.”

It is quite clear that Ishan practises what he preaches.

Read also: Meenakshi Baveja wins at NSW Nursing Awards 2019

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Farzana Ahmad
Farzana is a freelance writer, artist and children's author

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