14 Queensford College


$6.24 million




Rupesh Pathak, 34, Santosh Pandey, Bikash Bhandari and Badri Jaishi

Head office


Year founded





Education and training



Rupesh Pathak and his three co-founders started Queensford College with the aim of educating international students, however the entrepreneurs quickly expanded the scope of their business.

“We still recruit international students from the international market, however now we have our presence in the domestic local market as well to help local Australians upskill and provide a skilled workforce to Australian industries,” Pathak says.

“We realised there was a big demand for vocational qualifications in the local Australian workforce. We added a few other qualifications such as childcare, aged care and hospitality, which are in high demand.”

As well as showing a capacity to respond to market demand, Queensford College also examined how to make its courses more convenient for students.

The result was making sure the business offered online courses so students could study at a time that suited them.

Today, the business turns over more than $6 million and employees around 40 people despite major upheavals in the education market.

Pathak and his co-founders started the business during the Global Financial Crisis, so they also know a thing or two about what it takes to stay afloat when everything else is working against you.

His advice for other business owners going through tough times? Go with your gut instinct and not just expert advice.

“We try to solve the problems by ourselves instead of relying on someone as we are the people who know about the organisation,” Pathak says.

“Business is always up and down, it’s never stable. During the uptime we need to make sure we have all other backup plans in place so we can survive the downtime.”

Pathak also points out it’s never OK to simply quit when the going gets tough.

“Instead of that, find a way how you can survive by cutting overheads in business,” he says.

“But you cannot compromise the quality of the service you provide. Persistence and consistency is the key is to overcoming any challenge.”