Focus on Technology Delivers Breakthrough Growth Advice to Local Businesses
With a growing reputation for delivering business networking opportunities that help SME's to grow, the Oberoi Business Hub, located on Pride Park, Derby, recently played host to an inspirational Santander 'Breakthrough' event.
'Breakthrough in the Hub', one of Santander's national series of business growth events, offered businesses from around the East Midlands the chance to network and hear from local business leaders on how to successfully grow, increase sales and build better profit margins through the use of evolving technology.
The event featured a high profile line-up of speakers, including Dean Jackson, founder of HUUB Design, Ben Edmonds, owner of Blok Knives, and Kavita Oberoi, a well-known healthcare entrepreneur, business mentor and founder of the Oberoi Business Hub.
Each of the speakers shared incredible stories of how they they've effectively embraced and adopted new technology to provide an edge over competitors and drive business growth in their respective markets.
The talks included enlightening insight into how always concentrating on making small changes to improve products and services through the use of technology, brings about marginal gain and constant growth in revenues and profitability, regardless of where a business sits in its development or even its size.
Well received by the large audience who had gathered to learn how fellow businesses continue to move forward, the speakers then fielded many questions to provide lots personal advice to attendees.
The event then moved into a relaxed networking phase, one of its main intended attractions, where likeminded business owners were able to meet and discuss mutual business opportunities.
Commenting on the event, Paul Richardson Relationship Director Santander said:
“It’s important we support local businesses in achieving their ambitions and help them to prosper. This event provided business owner with new knowledge to facilitate growth, and the opportunity to build a stronger and a more active network of connections. It was great to be able to collaborate with the Oberoi Business Hub on this project and to hear directly from some really successful Derby business leaders.”
One of the attendees at the event, Carl Bridge from Birchwood Residences Ltd, added:
“I was attracted to the event because we have a couple of start-up businesses in our group and knew we would benefit greatly from many aspects of the evening. It was a good opportunity to listen to interesting and engaging speakers from fast-growing local businesses HUUB, Blok Knives and the Oberoi Business Hub, and importantly take up a unique networking opportunity with like-minded individuals.”
Kavita Oberoi OBE from the Oberoi Business Hub said:
“It was great to be able to work with Santander on this event, and we tried hard to ensure the guest list included businesses who could realistically work together in the future. Some fantastic local businesses came along, and I'm already hearing feedback that many have now connected with one another. I thank our speakers and hope we all provided key business lessons that guests can apply to their own businesses.
“Delivering business inspiration and providing the right networking environment for businesses to meet and then actually work together has always been my vision for the Oberoi Business Hub, and it's great to see that all coming together with this event displaying true entrepreneurial spirit at its finest.”
Focus on Technology Delivers Breakthrough Growth Advice to Local Businesses
This Breakthrough in Hub event aims to give you the inspiration, practical insights and professional support you need to start or develop your own business, as well as see it survive and thrive.
Leading City Entrepreneur and Derby City Council Breakfast Initiative Impacts Schoolchildren
Throughout October, children in six of Derby’s schools started to regularly eat breakfast, for perhaps the first time in years, thanks to an initiative instigated by Derby City Council and leading city entrepreneur, Kavita Oberoi OBE.
School breakfasts for this academic year have been solely funded by donations from Kavita, managing director of Oberoi Consulting, and Aaron Thalmann and Mike Copestake, directors of Copemann Ashby Ltd. Kavita is leading the fundraising so it can continue next year, and possibly expand to include fruit and bread.
Costs are low because His Church, a charity, redistributes cereal manufacturers’ surplus stock to schools; so far, deliveries to Derby have come from Kellogg’s. A bowl of cereal for one child, every day of the school year, costs just £15.60.
“Imagine what would happen if children’s ability to learn improves because their bodies are properly fuelled in the morning. I believe the knock-on effects will be seen in exam results, and the emerging workforce employers will interview in years to come.
“It costs so little to ensure a child has breakfast every school day. I implore other businesses to support this so it can be sustained beyond the first year. Imagine the children’s faces if business donations fund breakfasts for a period and then stop,” said Kavita.
The scheme follows two years of persistent work by Cllr Sarah Russell, Cabinet member for education and skills, her team at Derby City Council, and Kavita, who first heard about the project at a Derby Renaissance Board members’ meeting. The board works with the council to support economic development across the city.
Councillor Sarah Russell says, “I am passionate about the future of our children in Derby. Enabling them to receive the best education possible is a key priority for myself, as Cabinet Member, and for this administration. I encourage as many businesses as possible in the city to get involved, support his initiative in our schools. We can all afford to donate, no matter how small the sum, to ensure this continues beyond its first year.”
Neil Wilkinson, executive head teacher of The Bemrose School, a primary, secondary and sixth form, explained the predicament many pupils are in:
“65% of the 1000 children in our school receive Pupil Premium, which means the government considers their households to be below the income threshold. All students need breakfast, though sometimes they don’t take it at home.
“We started the breakfast scheme in mid-October. Within a few weeks the uptake rose in each year. In the primary school, in the first week, around 30 children had breakfast with us each day, two weeks in, we have 50 – that’s a quarter of our primary school children. There’s a similar uptake in our secondary school, which suggests that many weren’t eating properly in the morning before the scheme started.”
If school staff noticed a child skipping lunch, the school would investigate from a safeguarding point of view, as it might signpost care issues.
The predominant short-term effects of eating breakfast are improvements in memory and a reduction in errors in tasks that require attention.
“In the long term, we expect the breakfasts to improve pupils’ punctuality, and provide more energy so children engage and concentrate for longer, which will ultimately improve their behaviour,” added Neil Wilkinson.
“We’re making the most of the opportunity to extend the children’s education through play and the environment in which they eat. For example, we lay out board games during the primary school breakfasts, and the reception year eat in the Maths Club area.
“In addition to the physiological benefits of breakfast, older children make the most of the opportunity to socialise with their peers, and even our staff. This can only be a good thing,” concluded Neil.
Other schools taking part in the scheme are Derwent Community School, Springfield Primary School, St John Fisher RC Primary School, Ashcroft Primary School and First Estate School.
TV Entrepreneur's brainchild in Derby purchases Milton Keynes success story
On 3 October, Oberoi Business Hub in Derby, owned by entrepreneur and TV personality Kavita Oberoi, officially took over Star21, the friendliest business telephone answering and virtual office service in Milton Keynes, as its locally well-respected founder, Ethel Morris, retires.
Some of Star21’s clients have been with Ethel since she went into business in 1998.
“People who do a good job stay in business for a long time. Ethel’s business is all about caring for clients and delivering exactly what they need – they’re all different,” said Kavita.
“You get to know people really well. Some clients have been with us for so many years that they’ve started, grown and sold their first business, but have stayed with us for their second venture,” added Ethel.
“The working ethos of both companies benchmarks service quality at an extremely high level – the kind of service level you’d normally only get when you’re dealing directly with a good business owner. We have to work hard, but it’s a pleasure to maintain these standards when you see client organisations grow – and that’s our aim at Oberoi Business Hub.
“Maintaining the best standards humanly possible is one thing, but we go the extra mile to make introductions and create a client community so they can support each other in business growth. This is a cornerstone of being an on-site or remote client of Oberoi Business Hub,” explained Kavita.
Kavita’s and Ethel’s story started three years ago when, former colleague,Susie Seui, who owned the first call answering business Kavita acquired acted as ‘secret shopper’, to test the services of the Oberoi Business Hub.
Susie investigated the call answering services at the Oberoi Business Hub on behalf her clients as she wanted to retire, but wanted a new owner who would run the business to the high service standards that she did. Secret shopping was the best way of finding suitable potential buyers. Susie was so impressed with Oberoi Business Hub she sold her business to Kavita in 2013 and handed over the names of three other telephone answering companies with owners who were planning for retirement.
Star21 is the third and largest of the companies that Oberoi Business Hub has acquired, with 164 service lines and 124 clients, of whom 38 have more than one company.
Kavita is meeting or speaking to every single client to understand their specific needs and build the trusted relationships they’ve enjoyed with Ethel.
“It’ll take many years before I see a return on investment from the merger, but I feel that the money is secondary. I can testify that, if you keep clients happy, the reward comes later.
“We treat every business as if it were our own. If we see an issue that needs addressing, it’s flagged to the owner. We’re often able to resolve issues or bridge gaps ourselves, with client agreement.
“Word-of-mouth recommendations are our route to further growth – which is why we only engage with those of a similar ethos,” commented Kavita.
Ethel will continue to support Oberoi Business Hub until clients and staff are well-aligned, so her clients won’t notice a difference in service, and the Milton Keynes virtual office address will remain unchanged.
“This goes to show that when you answer a business phone call, you never know who’s on the other end, so we aim to treat everyone like royalty. Letting go of Star21 will be a wrench, as it’s been such a huge part of my life for so long, but I know it’s in the best possible hands,” concluded Ethel.
Additional space sees occupancy reach new high at Pride Park business hub
Oberoi Business Hub welcomes new businesses and expands space to meet growth of existing tenants
Following the recent acquisition of an additional 6000 sq. feet of office space, Pride Park’s Oberoi Business Hub in Derby has been able to increase the availability of its high specification serviced offices. The expansion has not only attracted new clients but allowed existing clients to support their ambitious growth plans.
The Oberoi Business hub has a range of service provision currently supporting more than 200 businesses with back office support for businesses ranging from start-ups to large corporations.
Businesses that have outsourced the invaluable back office support through the Oberoi Business Hub have realised significant costs savings compared to the alternative of employing their own staff.
New serviced office clients include specialist engineering consultants, DGauge and crowd-funding travel specialists, The Resort Crowd. Both selected the Hub because of its prime location on Pride Park as well as the mind set and ethos of the team behind it.
Risk management firm, RiskTec first opened their satellite base at the Pride Park Business Hub in 2013 with a small serviced office of only two people. They are now poised to expand for the third time in three years as their business booms capitalising on the recently acquired space.
Founder Kavita Oberoi OBE established Oberoi Business Hub in 2012 as a way to support start-ups and SME businesses with a range of extended back office services such as a virtual office address, fulfilment, call answering services, conference room hire, virtual PAs, mentoring as well as serviced offices.
As one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Kavita knows all too well the needs of both start-ups and growing businesses, saying: “I started my first business 15 years ago from a desk in my bedroom, having a strong brand, presence and back office support is absolutely mission critical for the growth of any successful business.”
Phil Williams, Principal Consultant at RiskTec who has increased staff numbers at its Business Hub base from two people to 12 people in three years said: “Setting up our business from the Oberoi Business Hub has proven to be one of the best decisions we made in the early days of starting out. The facilities, such as conference rooms, access to IT infrastructure, and being able to have a custom built office at the second recently acquired Oberoi Business Hub, means there has been nothing stopping us from growing and expanding our work force.
“Had we tied ourselves into a five year lease on a standard office rental elsewhere, we’d still be stuck there now with just two members of staff – being able to have the flexibility to move and add more space (and even a server room in our case) has been crucial to our success.”
DGauge’s Project Engineer, Steve Cartledge, who is due to move with his team to the Business Hub in September added: “As a national service provider, location was absolutely intrinsic to the final decision about where our office should be – we already work with companies based in Pride Park, and being so close to the train station provides us with the connectivity we need as a business.
“We’re all looking forward to moving operations to Oberoi Business Hub and utilising the variety of services on offer to support our aim of expanding the team to meet growing customer demand.”
Kim Collier, Operations Manager at The Resort Crowd reiterated the benefits of the location and facility, saying: “For us, The Business Hub portrays much more professionalism than some of the shared work spaces we looked at and we’re confident that we’re working alongside like-minded progressive businesses. The extra services on offer add real value and have made choosing the Hub an easy decision.”
Kavita Oberoi OBE added “The Oberoi Business Hub is more than just being about space, my vision is one of creating a network of businesses that work together and support one another - true entrepreneurial spirit at its finest. Our clients’ success is our success.”
Leading British entrepreneur Kavita Oberoi OBE has invested over 2 million pounds in the recent acquisitions of high value offices on Pride Park as she expands both her Oberoi Consulting enterprise and the highly successful Oberoi Business Hub.
Acting on behalf of the landlords, Derby city’s largest commercial property consultancy BB&J Commercial secured the sale of 17a and 20 St. Christopher’s Way to Ms. Oberoi, taking her total assets to five at this prestigious address and further establishing her commitment to the city.
The expansion comes following a period of successful growth for Ms. Oberoi’s Pride Park businesses. After the launch of the Oberoi Business Hub just over three years ago, the venture has continued to go from strength to strength, providing all aspects of support to fledgling businesses and start-ups.
Services provided by The Hub include both virtual and serviced offices, virtual PA, conference and meeting rooms, packing and distribution, call answering and back office support which can be tailored for individual needs.
As the only provider of its kind on Pride Park, The Oberoi Business Hub now boasts more than 200 businesses, from local start-ups to national corporations, all tapping into the unique and varied services offered to members. A further call answering acquisition is planned in the next 6 months.
Ms Oberoi said of the expansion: “The work space environment has completely changed in post-recession Britain. We’ve seen a huge number of companies review and overhaul the traditional long lease office concept in order to improve efficiencies and maximise flexibility as well as seeking to avoid the risks and costs associated with long-term leases and issues affecting owned offices.
“There’s a tendency to think that the Hub is exclusively for start-ups and small businesses but that’s not the case. We’ve seen an influx over the past year of large nationals who see the financial benefits of using our serviced offices and back office support . The call answering alone has saved companies an average of £1,000 a month through outsourcing their calls rather than employing in-house, it’s a no brainer, no matter the size.
“As a result of the surge in membership we were seeking new premises alongside expansion plans for Oberoi Consulting which meant that the purchase of the new offices at Pride Park was ideal, staying close to our existing businesses and with possibility for further expansion to nearby properties in time.
Ms. Oberoi has now appointed BB&J Commercial as retained agents, working together on her property portfolio and providing ongoing support and advice concerning existing assets: “This is the first time I have appointed property consultants to work with me on a longer term basis and I’m excited about the opportunities it will present”, commented Ms. Oberoi, “BB&J really impressed me throughout the process, they have an extensive database and a unique and in-depth knowledge of Derby’s commercial space which is exactly what I’m looking for.”
Chris Wright, of BB&J Commercial added: “Ms. Oberoi has made vital contributions to Derby over the past few years through her work on Pride Park together with leading community initiatives and we’re delighted to be working together to help fuel future growth and expansion within the city and beyond. We’re confident that the new office space at St. Christopher’s Way will provide the platform needed to take The Hub to the next level.”
Telephone service provides a perfect answer for Kavita
Serial entrepreneur Kavita Oberoi has added to her business portfolio with the purchase of an established call-handling firm.
The Oberoi Business Hub, on Pride Park, has become home to the four employees of Call Answering Service, an operation that boasts more than 100 clients in the UK and Europe.
The acquisition has been tied in with an investment in a state-of-the-art telephony system and a reorganisation designed to allow it to increase its client base to 500.
Call Answering Service, founded 17 years ago, provides professional telephone answering, mailing and virtual PA services.
Part of the strategy behind acquiring the operation was to be able to add call-handling services to the serviced-and virtual-office space at the Oberoi Business Hub.
The new arrival will be able to help tenants outsource back-office procedures such as telephone answering and secretarial services.
Ms Oberoi said: "The acquisition of Call Answering Service is the perfect fit for what we're trying to achieve at the Oberoi Business Hub.
"The Hub provides business support, virtual office services and affordable workspace to help businesses to grow, and the addition of an established call handling service strengthens the case for business owners to use the facilities available there.
"Having only officially opened in December 2012, the Hub has already achieved great occupancy of its serviced offices and has been inundated with clients using its virtual office services, so this latest acquisition increases its capabilities in a competitive marketplace and really does mean that the Oberoi Business Hub is the first stop for entrepreneurs who are serious about achieving business success."
Susie Seui, the previous owner of Call Answering Service, will be staying with the business for the next three months in order to ease the transition.
She said: "With a growing demand for the services we offer from businesses looking to expand in an affordable and sensible manner, the timing is perfect for Kavita and her business hub to take Call Answering Service to new levels.
"The service does indeed sit perfectly alongside what the Hub already offers and fits perfectly with its ethos of supporting business growth, which all means exciting times certainly lie ahead for existing and new clients of the business."
A mobile software development firm has become the latest high-tech business to open an office on Pride Park.
TAAP this week started operating a satellite office out of the Oberoi Business Hub, in St Christopher's Way.
The business, which is headquartered in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, has moved three of its employees to Derby in order to serve clients in the Midlands.
It designs software for businesses whose employees need to use mobile devices for recording data, workflow or deliveries.
Although it is a relatively small company with about 15 employees, it has a number of high-profile clients, including the RAC, public services provider Amey, outsourcing giant Capita and housing charity Shelter.
The new Derby office will deal with sales and support as well as software development.
TAAP managing director Gordon Smillie said: "It seemed a logical step in TAAP's growth plan to open another office in the Midlands to better support our customers. We can now provide permanent meeting space for our expanding client base in the central and northern areas of the UK and increase our head-count.
"Derby was selected based on its importance as a business district, its access to skilled personnel and excellent transport links."
The company's products are designed for a range of different operating systems including Windows 8, Android and iOS for iPhones and iPads.
Photography company is in the frame for Hub expansion
The Oberoi Business Hub in Pride Park has welcomed another tenant.
Propictures Photography has taken space at the building in St Christopher’s Way.
The company was set up in 2007 by photographer Austin Page and started trading out of a studio in rural setting in Mackworth Village, focusing on studio portraits, weddings, commercial and corporate photography.
In 2009, the business also began offering free event photography coverage, allowing private and charity clients the opportunity to buy prints on the day.
However, in June 2012, Mr Page was diagnosed with prostate cancer, making him take a closer look at his business.
He said: "If anything, the diagnosis made me look at the direction of the business and has made me more determined to succeed."
The initial period of treatment resulted in Mr Page having limited time to spend on the business, rendering the Mackworth studio too costly and stifling his ambitions.
As a result, when Propictures Photography’s lease expired, the company relocated to the Oberoi Business Hub, allowing it to expand without the pressure of high overheads.
Mr Page said: "I’m positive about the future as our services have evolved with our relocation into the Hub which has been a great move."
Oberoi Business Hub owner Kavita Oberoi also offers support and mentoring to tenants.
According to Mr Page, Propictures Photography is already seeing more interest in its services due to its high-profile location.
Recent work includes photographing the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, Repton School and an event in aid of charity Cry.
Training centre opens to help jobless young people kick-start their career
One of the UK’s leading training providers, Elmfield Training, has further strengthened its commitment to improving the skills of young people and adults across the East Midlands, by launching an exciting new training facility in Derby.
The recently opened Oberoi Business Hub on Pride Park will house Elmfield as they help hundreds of local unemployed people get ready for either their first job or re-joining the workforce.
Commenting on the new training facility, Anne-Marie Hurst, Elmfield Training’s Regional Programme Manager said: "working closely with local employers, referral partners and charities, our 1-day and 4-week pre-employment programmes help participants understand the world of work and develop the behaviours needed to kick start a career.
"The decision to base ourselves at the Oberoi Business Hub was an easy one. The look and feel of the new hub provides an inspirational environment for people to learn and to improve their employability chances. And it’s ideally situated for both candidates and local companies to reach us from across the whole of the East Midlands."
Founder of the Oberoi Business Hub, successful entrepreneur Kavita Oberoi added: "We’re delighted that Elmfield decided the business hub was the right location to roll out their latest East Midlands’ offering.
"Our new facilities have allowed them to move quickly in the delivery of this much needed training, and at a time when we’re looking to up-skill individuals and workforces in general, this kind of high level support is vital to the future prosperity of our economy."
To find out more about the Oberoi Business Hub, please ring 01332 224 251.
Kavita's Pride Park hub to help entrepreneurs do business
A business hub designed to foster Derby’s future entrepreneurial talent has been launched in Pride Park.
The brainchild of Kavita Oberoi, the Oberoi Business Hub, in St Christopher's Way, offers a range of services that, it is hoped, will give fledgling businesses the support they need to grow and help boost the local economy.
It also offers serviced offices for firms looking to take a step further.
Meeting rooms, conference facilities, IT support and business mentoring is being made available to tenants.
Networking events will also be help individuals grow their operations.
Mrs Oberoi, managing director of Oberoi Consulting, said: "I started my business in my bedroom and, when planning the business hub, I wanted to include all of the support that I would have found invaluable in those early stages.
"To the young businesses that move into the hub, I'll be offering start-up surgeries because I want them to succeed and I love finding out all about the firms that are here. The beauty of it is that if they start to grow, they will be able to take additional space within the building and potentially move into serviced offices."
Established businesses already operating from the centre include training firms Remit IT and Elmfield.
Work is nearing completion on a business hub for entrepreneurs.
The Oberoi Business Hub, which is due to open next month, will provide space for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business or expand an existing venture.
When complete, the Pride Park hub will offer flexible letting arrangements on serviced offices, meeting rooms and conference facilities.
Tenants will also benefit from administration support, IT help desks, business mentoring and networking events. The idea for the hub came from Kavita Oberoi, the boss of IT and business healthcare consultancy Oberoi Consulting, which is also based in Pride Park.
She said: "It's long been my ambition to provide a suitable environment where fellow entrepreneurs can really prosper and succeed.
"From experience, I know that trying to get a business off the ground and make it financially viable can be extremely difficult without the right kind of support being accessible.
"Running your own business can also be a lonely place to be. So, by creating this new business hub, we aim to provide the facilities, support and, most importantly, the right environment for businesses to mix, learn from each other and, very quickly, start to see significant rewards and business growth."