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From Indian roadside selling candles to three Australian Business Awards: OCA Group divisions triumph

Awards for Best Value, Product Excellence and Enterprise - OCA Group IT divisions service education export industry - Company founder started business selling candles on Indian roadside - Australian education experience inspired OCA Group
  • 08 September, 2008 16:46

<p>Melbourne, Monday 8 September, 2008 – OCA Group, the education export firm, has won three Australian Business Awards (ABA), via two of its divisions.</p>
<p>Headquartered in Melbourne, OCA Group’s CEO and founder is Naresh Gulati, who came from modest beginnings. He started his business journey at the age of 15, selling candles on the road side in his native city of Chandigarh in northern India. Further entrepreneurial activity then funded study in Melbourne in 1996 at RMIT.</p>
<p>“I’m living an Australian dream. The country gave me an education and several wonderful business opportunities with endless possibilities. Thank you Australia” said Mr Gulati, now an Australian resident.</p>
<p>Oceanic Consultants Australia, now one of three OCA Group divisions, was a direct result of the Australian education experience. “The quality of teaching in Australia is very high and I learnt a lot. But on a personal level I found being an overseas student a real challenge” said Mr Gulati. “Studying during the day and working night shifts to meet my expenses and pay the fees was the only way to cope, and there was limited formal support. But I realised I couldn’t be the only person with this experience. So I decided to start up a business that would guide the students in the right direction and provide them impartial advice.”</p>
<p>Mr Gulati approached the various academic institutions and put a business proposition to enhance their offer to international students. Oceanic Consultants now provides services to prospective international students wishing to study in Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom including course selection and assistance with admission and visa application. It is one of the most successful companies in the international education industry in the world today.</p>
<p>On Friday night, Oceanic Consultants Australia won a 2008 Australian Business Award for Enterprise, which honours organisations that have achieved outstanding commercial success and sustainable growth.</p>
<p>A subsequent business idea by Mr Gulati spawned BPO Intelligence and two more ABA awards.</p>
<p>“Oceanic Consultants Australia helps universities and TAFEs increase their revenue base, and by 2005 we were very successful at it. But I saw that much of that revenue was absorbed by the high cost of prospectus printing, postage and tracking for overseas-based candidates.”</p>
<p>I came to realise that we could further assist universities reduce costs and be faster and more efficient by doing many things more cheaply locally” said Mr Gulati.</p>
<p>BPO Intelligence provides a range of outsourcing services to institutions, including offshore printing, storage and distribution of marketing materials controlled by a customised online system, global mail outs and document processing. Started in June 2005 with an investment of less than $1,000, the company is today the most successful company in the world in its field, boasting more than 65% of Australian universities, more than 40% of Australian TAFEs, and more than 60% of NZ universities as clients. They also have clients in USA, UK and Singapore.</p>
<p>“We’ve calculated that our services save clients from 25% to 60% of their printing, storage and distribution costs, one of their biggest line items” said Mr Gulati. “We allow institutions to focus more resources on their core functions.”</p>
<p>On Friday night BPO Intelligence won a 2008 Australian Business Award for Best Value, an award for a product that delivers a genuine cost saving, and a 2008 Australian Business Award for Product Excellence, which recognises overall product superiority. These are additions to its awards cabinet; in April this year BPO Intelligence was named a BRW Fast Starter, one of 100 companies in the prestigious business magazine’s list of successful start-up companies.</p>
<p>OCA Group has yet to reach its potential in revolutionising the education export industry, according to Mr Gulati. “We have really only scratched the surface of how we can help the education export sector. Institutions readily admit that their IT systems are not well geared to the export market, creating unnecessary costs and inefficiencies. Through our third division, Object Next Software, we have started rolling out cutting edge systems for the tertiary sector, that builds on our own expertise and experience in this area.”</p>
<p>Notes to editors
About OCA Group (www.ocagroup.com)</p>
<p>OCA Group is a holding company for three businesses:
- Oceanic Consultants Australia provides services to the prospective international students wishing to study in Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom including course selection and assistance with admission and visa application. www.oceanicconsultants.com
- BPO Intelligence helps educational institutions around the globe to cut their cost and increase their efficiency. www.bpointelligence.com
- Object Next Software develops state of art IT system for the educational institutions that are involved in the recruitment of the international students.</p>
<p>About the Australian Business Awards
The 2008 Australian Business Awards were presented to fifty-four organisations selected from a field of 1073 entrants across various industries.</p>
<p>All entries have been rigorously evaluated by an independent judging panel of business experts in accordance with the award criteria across seven main areas: leadership, impact, adaptability, corporate culture, customer and market focus, uniqueness and evidence of success.</p>
<p>Commencing in 2005, the Australian Business Awards are an independent organisation recognising organisations that are committed to business and product excellence. More information about the Australian Business Awards is available at www.businessawards.com.au.</p>
<p>Media Contact for OCA Group
- to interview Naresh Gulati;
- further background information; and
- request photographs of Naresh Gulati,
contact Kevin Fitzsimons, The De Wintern Group, +61 3 9428 7588, kevin@dewintern.com</p>

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