Hyderabad: As soon as you enter the office of Xavier Augustin you get a sense of his travelogue and also of him being a family man. While on one side are paintings and collections from different countries, then on the other are memories captured in pictures of his family. And that is what makes him the man he has become today.
An entrepreneur since the age of 20, Augustin shifted to Hyderabad in 1999 from California to help Indians go abroad, which led to the birth of Y-Axis. The company, that started off as an H1B visa provider saw its first downfall in the year 2000 when the dot-com fall happened. And Augustin made his first innovation of shifting the focus from being just an H1B visa provider company to helping all kinds of Indians go abroad. “We realised there is a whole new opportunity to help all Indians go abroad and to pursue a career overseas. We help Indians in five ways – work, study, visit, migrate or invest – to go abroad and help professionals, businessmen and students pursue a career. We are purely a career counsellor and not a travel agent,” Augustin informs.
Y-Axis stood the test of time and has grown to become a 40 office company with 1,100 employees and 10,000 enquiries per month in not only India but also overseas with two offices in Dubai and Melbourne each.
Augustin, who calls himself a true blue Hyderabadi, completed his graduation from Nizam College and went to the University of South Carolina to pursue his postgraduate studies in International Business. And this he terms as the biggest inspiration for him to become an entrepreneur as this was where he learnt the concept of the borderless world.
“The idea of the borderless world inspired me the most to start an immigration company. I always dreamt of a world where if a person is good at a particular skill then she should get work anywhere in the world without restrictions of place and time. Y-Axis creates global Indians who through their global mobility and employability can make a huge difference,” Augustin says who recently had even attended Harvard for an Owner/President Management Programme to upgrade his management skills.
If schooling and college were one part of learning for Augustin, travelling was another great learning tool for him. The founder of Y-Axis has travelled about 70 countries and 350 cities in a span of 30 years. From scaling the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro to riding the horse to sledging dog in Sweden, each travel experience has made him a better human being and a better leader and entrepreneur. “If the mountains taught me that to get to the top you need to persistent and once you reach the top you also need to come down, the horse riding taught me that your employees need to know who the boss is otherwise they will lose track. And dog sledging taught me that leaders need not be show-offs and can work very silently and make their actions speak louder than words,” he says.
And if you thought that maintaining work-life balance with so many passion is a difficult path to take, then Augustin has a solution for it as well. “I don’t believe in work-life balance, I believe in work-life harmony. As an entrepreneur, my personal space, my work and my family go together and that is how it has been since the start. And I only take up work which allows me that kind of freedom and does not tie me down to a cubicle,” he informs.
After about 18 years of existence, Y-Axis is now looking for Private Equity investment in order to take the business to newer heights and to make it a global brand. The company is focusing more on student counselling and coaching and wants to close the PE round in the next three months. It also plans to go public in the coming years as well.
For budding entrepreneurs, he has the only piece of advice, “Stick to one goal and pursue it with all your heart. Finding your purpose and able to die for it is what makes a great entrepreneur.”