Giovanni Siano



Deakin Master of Business Administration


Melbourne Burwood

Graduation year


Current position

Founder of Home Instead Geelong


Deakin alum Giovanni Siano is the owner-operator of the most successful and fastest-growing branch of global in-home aged care provider, Home Instead, but he didn’t get there alone.

A Geelong aged care success story from the Deakin MBA

In the past five years since launching, Home Instead Geelong has grown to manage 400 carers and 55 head office employees, turning over more than $20 million per year. The business is now a leading provider of high-quality home-based services to ageing adults and people with disabilities and degenerative conditions.

Home Instead Geelong was named Geelong’s ‘Business of the Year 2021’ and received a Geelong Business Excellence Award for ‘Emerging Business (under three years)’, while Giovanni received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the same year.

As Home Instead Geelong’s founder and director, Giovanni is driven by a keen determination to transform the industry. He’s also benefited from an effective and complementary partnership with his wife, Giselle, a Deakin MBA alum.

But to what does Giovanni attribute his business success?‘ Of course, the Deakin MBA!’ he laughs – but he’s not really joking.

Not only has what he learnt in his MBA helped him run and grow the business, but Giovanni – originally from Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy – believes having these credentials helped open this door for him.

‘The master franchisor saw something in me and gave me an opportunity,’ he recalls. ‘I’d never run a business in Australia or Italy, I was only a sales rep and a project manager. But someone believed in me at the right time, and I was prepared.'

‘When preparation meets opportunities, wonders happen.’

Seeding a vision of a successful life

Giovanni was 21 and visiting relatives in the US when he first decided to work towards leaving regional Italy to seek work and lifestyle opportunities abroad.

‘I couldn’t speak a word of English but my uncle inspired me to become the best I could be,’ Giovanni recalls.

While living in Italy, Giovanni taught himself English from books and videos and gained his masters degree in industrial engineering. He got a taste for work in the English-speaking world during an internship in the US with firearms manufacturer, Beretta, then returned to Italy to work for a global logistics company in the oil and gas industry.

‘It was very challenging being a fresh graduate being thrown into the deep end into a project management role, particularly in Italy where there’s not a strong culture of support,’ he recalls.

Realising he needed a change, Giovanni decided to move to Australia on a working holiday visa.

A rough start as an Australian immigrant

Without local experience in the engineering industry, Giovanni found work opportunities in Australia scarcer than he had expected – unsuccessfully applying for more than 300 jobs over six months.

Eventually, he resorted to working as a waiter in Lygon St, Carlton – the one place where Italian immigrants are prized employees, “for $13 cash in hand!”

Next, he worked on his resilience selling Optus contracts door-to-door, fully commission-based, in what he describes as a ‘gym of rejection’.

Then one day, he literally knocked on the right door—of someone with the right connections who would recommend him for a job as a logistics manager with work rights sponsorship on a Bacchus Marsh farm. After a while of working 75-hour weeks for low wages, Giovanni had local experience under his belt, allowing him to move his career forward.

Next, he moved into a business development role in the solar industry and then into aged care, where he found his calling.

My advice is to stick to your vision, don’t listen to the naysayers, have a growth mindset and give back

Giovanni Siano

Deakin MBA

Siezing a vision to transform the aged care industry

While working for clinical management provider Autumn Care as a business development manager (BDM) and IT project management consultant, Giovanni spent four years researching the aged care industry.

During this time, he also studied for his Deakin MBA, taking advantage of the online classes and residential programs.
‘I fell in love with the aged care industry,’ he shares. ‘I was primarily working for residential aged care facilities, and I saw a gap in the market for people who were well enough to stay at home but needed a little bit of support.’

Hungry to go out on his own and grow a business where he was able to set the agenda and treat his people well, Giovanni weighed his options and decided buying into a franchise was ideal. But it wasn’t as easy as it might sound, he warns, likening the process to applying for a CEO role.

‘A lot of due diligence goes into it because it's crucial for them to verify that you possess the necessary skills to manage well, expand the business effectively, fully embrace the brand's ethos, and serve as a distinguished ambassador.'

However, with little business experience and with Giselle's background as a pharmacist, he felt the Deakin MBA gave them the credibility they needed to be given a chance.

Empowering others and giving back

It’s been a busy few years for Giovanni and Giselle, with two kids coming along and Giselle also completing her Deakin MBA then resigning from her role as a pharmacovigilance specialist to join the business full-time.

‘The partnership works really well because I’m more focused on the strategic vision and setting goals with the team, whereas Giselle is more on the quality management side, making sure everything is compliant,’ he explains.

Although ‘the challenge is being able to detach yourself from the business after hours,’ Giovanni appreciates being able to work through business challenges at home.

Determined to ‘run a culture of empowerment’ at Home Instead Geelong, Giovanni makes a point of hiring people from outside the industry, 80% of whom have no educational background.

‘There’s not enough new people coming into the industry to give fresh perspectives and with the motivation to drive change and make it better,’ he says.

Giovanni says he’s approached his business with a strong vision, clear goals and an entrepreneurial mindset that is ready to grow, take risks and try new things.

‘I attribute my success mostly to my ability to finetune a process, delegate, entrust people to do the job, and hiring the right people,’ he reflects.

What’s next for Home Instead Geelong?

As part of their vision to provide holistic healthcare services to people at home, Giovanni and Giselle have big dreams for further expansions.

They’ve recently built two ‘beautifully designed, fully accessible’ four-bedroom houses in Geelong’s Armstrong Creek, which they rent out to people with disabilities for short to medium-term respite via the NDIS under the name G&G Accessible Lifestyle.

They’ve also recently launched Conversations with G&G: Caring for the Carers, a podcast and video show sharing resources for paid and unpaid carers. Soon, they’ll be looking to complete the holistic service package by acquiring an allied health business.

‘If I can be an inspiration to other people, my advice is to stick to your vision, don’t listen to the naysayers, have a growth mindset and give back,’ Giovanni shares.

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