Why Nikhil Daftary decided to quit his job in finance and get into healthcare
From chartered accountant to condom retailer, Nikhil Daftary’s path to success in Australia has been anything but run of the mill. “And that’s what I love about this country,” says Nikhil. “It is a land of dreams and opportunities.”
Nikhil came to the country in 1995 to do his bachelor’s in commerce (Accounting, Finance and Commercial Law) at Deakin University, and then decided to make it home. Today, Nikhil, who started out at a chartered accounting firm as a graduate accountant, is the CEO of Coral Healtcare, a company he founded in 2017.
“I hated doing time-sheets, and that’s why I quit my first job in less than a year,” says Nikhil, who then worked in various industries—manufacturing, health, banking, consulting, mining and health tech in roles that ranged from finance manager to divisional CFO and companies as diverse as Mayne Health (Symbion), ANZ Bank, Rio Tinto and Virtus Health (Melbourne IVF).
Along with his full time job, Nikhil dabbled in a few entrepreneurial ventures from a business in furniture and carpets to another in commercial cleaning. “A learning curve” he calls it, for it finally led him to where he is today. “In 2017 I left my full-time work, maybe a bit of mid-life crisis and a bit of tired of corporate politics, and concentrated on my new venture Coral Healthcare,” he says. “I was a Divisional CFO in a multi-national company with a big pay package. But I decided to give it all up to start out on my own,” he says.
The risk paid off. Within a year of launch, Nikhil’s company made it as finalist for Australia Post’s ORIA Award for the Best New Online Retailer of the Year. “I am proud that I have managed to launch a brand in a stigmatised category—Moments Condoms,” says Nikhil.
In 2018, Coral Healthcare bagged the Indian Executive Club award for Micro Business of the Year Award. “I feel proud that we were selected among some tough competition. This award means a lot to me, as it’s not only judged by prestigious judging panel but especially when this award comes from the Indian community and in front of my fellow Indians. Less than two years ago, I left my full time job and took a gamble in starting this company which already has tough retail competition in the market place and lot of stigma in the industry, but awards like these really motivates and empowers you to succeed,” he says.
“All these awards show me that I am headed in the right direction,” says Nikhil.
In February, Moments Condoms will partner with Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for the 2019 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival. Moments Condoms’ partnership with Mardi Gras aims to further their support for the health and wellbeing of all people, following their existing partnerships with the International Aids Society (Switzerland), The McGrath Foundation (Australia) and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (South Africa).
“Moments Condoms aim to raise awareness though education and removing stigma around safe sex and condom purchase. Through the partnership we hope to help people to feel empowered, informed and in control of their own sexual health decisions,” says Nikhil. As a part of the partnership Moments Condoms will be supplying free condom and lubricant packs at key festival events, Fair Day and Party.
Moments Condoms has also partnered with women’s health organisations such as McGrath Foundation (Australia), Women’s Health and Well-Being Barwon South West (Australia, rural), Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (South Africa) and International Aids Society (Switzerland).