Esha Oberoi is the founder and CEO of Afea Care Services, an in-home aged and disability care service.
A true Bold Women, Esha’s mission is to empower our most vulnerable members of society, through the provision of loving and compassionate care.
It was a string of unfulfilling jobs that led Oberoi into the world of care, a world where she realised many people were left feeling isolated and lonely, here she found an immense sense of purpose and a mission to improve the care system. So, at just 24 years of age, Afea Care Services was launched… built up on the foundations of compassion, grit and resilience Esha now sits at the helm of Afea, a multi-million-dollar company with over 550+ staff.
Afea Care Services bought me purpose and confidence – I migrated to Australia at just 7 years of age, speaking little to no English it came as a huge culture shock. Growing up I had a string of jobs that didn’t fulfill me, and it wasn’t until I fell into care work that I felt my real sense of purpose. This environment opened my appreciation for the diversity of situations we are all living in, I developed a strong sense of empathy for those around me. For many of the residents I worked with, I realised they didn’t need to be in a nursing home and could have been living in their own home with a bit of extra support around the house… it was here that I started the foundations and principles of Afea Care.
In the early days I had to constantly prove my credibility because of my age and lack of experience – This came with many people questioning my intensions for being in a ‘care’ service. For me, I was very clear on my purpose and the impact I was making on people’s lives, having clarity around what my motivations were allowed me to remain focused when challenges would arise. Prior to starting Afea Care Services, I felt I didn’t have a voice at all, let alone a voice that would be heard by others – I could see many residents in the nursing homes I worked for feeling the same way due to their conditions, they were my driving force and my intentions.
“To me, living boldly means being very clear on my personal values and living in alignment with them, despite the number of distractions and conveniences we are surrounded by in the modern world. It also signifies the impression of leaving a legacy, whether big or small, it’s about having a meaningful, positive impact on our community.”
Mental health begins in the heart –
There are many things we can do to reshape our mindset, but I believe the first step is to recognise how we’re feeling. Many of us are surrounded by stress, particularly now, and if we aren’t careful it can completely consume us. So, first we need to acknowledge the stress we are feeling and be forgiving of it. The next step is to learn how to rest and recuperate so the stress doesn’t take over, for many people, this can mean different things – for me, mindful mediation is a non-negotiable part of my daily routine – for others it may be a walk every day or a warm bath at the end of each night. Finally, I believe being grateful is an effective way to re-shape the mindset; thinking about the little things we are thankful for, even as simple as a beautiful sunset.
“Everybody needs to rest and reset and should never feel guilty about prioritising it in their day.”
Share your losses, just as much as your wins –
I don’t believe you can be a true leader without sharing your failures as well as your wins. In fact, giving off the perception of perfection is not authentic, it is not relatable, and it doesn’t allow other people in our organisations to feel safe when they make mistakes. When mistakes aren’t recognised openly, neither are the learnings for them which means over time, everyone loses. To truly live boldly, sharing the wins, the losses and everything in between becomes imperative to thrive – which brings me back to the importance of retrospect, it is essential, and allows us to recalibrate our thinking and rationalise our fears which may be serving as limiting illusions in our life.
“It is so important to build up a tribe of women around you, for me, I am passionate about supporting and developing female leadership. As women, we need to back one another, and lift each other up. It is here, we can come together to celebrate the wins and talk through the losses – it is open communication, that allows for complete transparency.”
My one key piece of advice – Find your purpose, and dive deep into it!