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Welcome to the
CommBank
Entrepreneurs
Hub.

The exclusive resource for entrepreneurs.

Episode 9:
Shesh Gale's
double act

Melbourne Institute of Technology's CEO believes trust is the key to working well with your partner

Learner
Shesh Gale
is a
Learner
Individualist

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Entrepreneur

James Tuckermann 

James Tuckerman is an entrepreneur, angel investor, professional speaker, and Editor-In-Chief at Anthill Magazine. He is best known for launching Anthill Magazine in 2003. In 2009, he reinvented the business model towards 100% digital production. In 2004 and 2005, he was named Best Small Publisher in Australia by ABA (now Publishers Australia). He founded the 30under30 among other programs and initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs in Australia.

Shesh's half an
entrepreneurial partnership,
a 'dual driver'
By James Tuckermann 

It's often said that entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. And, for most of us, it is.

But, for a rare few, entrepreneurship is all about partnership.

Shesh Gale is the Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Institute of Technology. It's a private higher education institution. That's right. His organisation operates in the field of higher education. It's not exactly an industry known for its entrepreneurial flair.

However, like others in this series, Shesh has been compelled (out of desire and circumstance) to make bold moves. He has pioneered new ways of doing things. He has seen opportunities where others saw risk.

Let's face it. How many people wake up one morning and decide to start a vocational education business? And how many then go on to transform that into an institute of higher education?

It's a massive undertaking. Yet, unlike most others in this series, he didn't have to do it alone.

This is because Shesh is one half of a rare thing; an entrepreneurial partnership. He is a 'dual driver'.

While Shesh is the CEO, his wife, Jamuna Gurong, is the Managing Director. We saw a similar situation in this series, with Cathie Reid and her husband, forming a very dynamic entrepreneurial duo.

It's not a common situation. There are no audited figures on dual drivers (that I can find, at least). Yet, it is a situation that I, personally, have often not just admired. It is situation that I have envied.

And I doubt I'm alone.

Only several nights ago, I found myself in a pub with an old buddy, Alex, talking about the early days of my business. I was reminded that I had offered Alex a partnership when the idea was its infancy. ($25k was the buy-in amount for 50%. Good deal?)

Alex, who now runs his own highly successful boutique advertising agency (with 20 staff and international clients) expressed sadness that he'd never taken me up on the offer.

And I was astounded. He'd done so well!

Of course, I'd forgotten another theme of this series. While wealth creation is important, successful entrepreneurs value other things; freedom, the opportunity to cause change and the process of creation itself.

As humans, we also seek another thing; camaraderie. And this is something very special.

Elsewhere in this series, I have talked about the constant battle between fundamentals and flair. I've talked about balancing a split personality and about the close ties we build with staff. Our entrepreneurs have talked about hiring people to fill their own skills gaps.

With that all said, it's easy to understand the value of having an entrepreneurial partner, a dual driver, to share the highs, the lows and help manage the constant evolving nature of any business.

Shesh is not just a highly successful entrepreneur. He has been smart enough to realise and embrace the fact that entrepreneurship need NOT be a lonely journey.

The one constant theme throughout this series is that business is an artifact of human nature. It focuses on 10 human journeys and each heavily features the people around them.

We like to pretend that business is all impartial. (It's just business, right?) But the desire to work with others to bring about change is about as human as it gets. And successful entrepreneurs, despite the stereotype, are team players. Because it could not be done any other way.

Are you a dual driver? Or a lone wolf? If you had the chance to do it again, which path would you take?

James Tuckermann 

Entrepreneur

James Tuckerman is an entrepreneur, angel investor, professional speaker, and Editor-In-Chief at Anthill Magazine. He is best known for launching Anthill Magazine in 2003. In 2009, he reinvented the business model towards 100% digital production. In 2004 and 2005, he was named Best Small Publisher in Australia by ABA (now Publishers Australia). He founded the 30under30 among other programs and initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs in Australia.

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