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2018 IABCA Micro Business of the year award winners Gautami and Rajesh Patel (SBS Gujarati)

Gautami and Rajesh Patel came to Australia in 2008. Ten years on, their business has been named as the Micro Business of the Year by India Australia Business and Community Awards 2018.

(Click above for our conversation with Gautami and Rajesh in Gujarati)

Nital Desai, Vatsal Patel
Published on
Friday, November 30, 2018 - 16:32
File size
21.88 MB
11 min 57 sec

Adelaide based phone services company GR Phones has been awarded the Micro Business of the Year Award by the India Australia Business & Community Awards (IABCA) 2018.

The company’s owners, Gautami and Rajesh Patel, were also nominated for six different awards in 2018, including the Small Business Champion Award and the Indian Executive Club Award held in Melbourne.

Heading for Down Under with lots of dreams

Gautami and Rajesh came to Australia in 2008.

"We arrived here (Australia) with two bags and lots of dreams,” Gautami told SBS Gujarati.

“I was on a student visa when we found out about the skilled migration visa category so we moved to Adelaide."

Gautami was a dietitian by profession and Rajesh, a bio-medical engineer. Before starting their own venture, they worked in the government sector.

"We took a risk starting our own business as we (Gujarati community) are known for taking a risk,” says Gautami.

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From government employees to successful entrepreneur

 "One-time Gautami's phone stopped working and I went to have her phone fixed but I couldn't find any service station in Adelaide who could repair that particular mobile phone," says Rajesh.

"So, I imported that part and repaired it myself. That incident made a big impression on me and I got an idea of starting a service which was not easily available to people."

“We started our business with just a small shop and now we are serving the majority of the South Australian market.”

Gautami's and Rajesh's business has served more than 12,000 customers from as far away as Sydney and Melbourne.

"Gautami's phone proved the turning point in our life", says Rajesh.

Difficulties before starting the business

But their journey has not been easy.

"We faced many problems in the initial stage including finance and other task related to hiring a rented shop," they say.

"Moreover, 10 years ago, Adelaide was not so developed and services were not easily available. So, the initial period was a big challenge for us. But, now there are many business associations where potential entrepreneurs can find guidance for their business.”

Apart from helping Rajesh in the business, Gautami is also working as a dietitian.

"I need to balance my time between both professions and Rajesh helps me a lot," she says.

Meet the small business of the year award winner Jitendra Bhansali
Arriving in Australia 14 years ago on a student visa, Jitendra Bhansali's company now has 450 clients across Australia.

Business is 24 hours a day

They both say that a business and a job each have their own benefits as long as you are giving it your full energy.

According to Gautami, "The business requires 24 hours a day attention and the business owner needs to think about ways to make it successful."

"Hiring the best staff in Australia is a little bit challenging. But if you have a good staff, you can achieve your desired success," says Rajesh.

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