It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
I’d like to say my entrepreneurial mindset was fostered through being a global citizen. Due to my parents’ work, I’d lived in five cities around the Asia Pacific region by the time I was 19. I lived in countries with some of the lowest and highest GDP per capitas in the world. I witnessed how people made money under the unique circumstances they had, and more pertinently, valued employment and education. As the time came for me to go through the university admissions process I found myself in a unique position having sympathized with multiple sides of the narrative as both an international and domestic student to Australia. Recognising the value of the international network I was provided, I wanted to democratize this experience for students who aren’t as fortunate as I was. Before we knew it, Oracui was born and on a mission to change the way students received education. Alongside this, I’ve used the resources and skills I’ve learnt from starting Oracui to run charities, start a podcast, host international events and speak at the Parliament of Victoria.
I’m sure building Oracui to this point has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
One of the biggest challenges to founding Oracui has been consistency, in both an internal and external sense. You don’t necessarily factor in the chance of a global pandemic when you start a business. Here in Melbourne, we were under a state of lockdown for over 250 days. This inhibits the extent to which you can do the most important aspect of business, networking. The inconsistency of what the world would look like in 2 years or even 2 months disrupted how we set our goals and scaled. Secondly, in a more internal sense. We often needed to remind ourselves that we had lives outside Oracui that needed to be maintained. Outside of Oracui, I find myself attending full time university, running charities, training for university-level running competitions and much more. Our private lives can often erode our consistent commitment to Oracui. I often had to make choices on whether to attend a business meeting or show up to a university class, or attend a call at 2am and wake up for training the next day. As we went along, it became clear that our priorities needed to be realigned for the sake of the business.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
Oracui provides services to the two key stakeholders in the university admission process. Firstly, as a student, you can access Oracui’s global pool of mentors free of charge. Instead of paying thousands for university admission agencies which provide you with a decentralized and outdated idea of the university experience, get linked to current students who are immersed in the universities and courses you are aspiring to take. Conversely, as a university, Oracui is providing you with the ability to host a 24/7 open day for potential students. Oracui acts as the bridge that connects your current students with prospective ones before they even reach your university. Marketing your university to students should be done no longer through overused buzzwords and statistics, but otherwise through genuine anecdotes and peer to peer conversations.
What is your best piece of advice for young entrepreneurs wanting to build a business?
My biggest piece of advice would revolve around exposure. Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, you must make it an effort to proactively expose yourself to environments, people and cultures that will challenge and push you. Unlike school or university, you can’t learn entrepreneurship through reading books and lectures, but otherwise through genuine experiences. Attend networking events, coffee meets, working groups, any kind of environment that puts you in a room with people who know more than you do. As an entrepreneur, it’s your duty to actively find these opportunities and make the most out of them. This advice goes beyond just starting a business, but can be applied to any sort of human endeavor. The people you expose yourself to will define the person you will become.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
In my opinion, success can be defined by legacy. Whatever the realm of our accomplishments may be in, business, sporting, academic, etc, I’d argue that the measurement of our success isn’t necessarily defined by what we do today, but otherwise what we leave behind for tomorrow.
What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?
The greatest piece of advice I’ve received comes from a man who has been a pivotal figure in my entrepreneurial journey. As an executive coach and advisor at Oracui, Johannes Romer has come across thousands of CEOs and top executives in his coaching career. The main lesson from his years working with these individuals revolves around authenticity. As opposed to carrying two faces to conduct business and balancing a personal life, we should instead stay true to ourselves and find a passion that allows us to be who we are in spite of what we may be facing.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?