South Australia’s Next Crop of the World-Beating Business Leaders Revealed the Keys to Their Success at a Recent AICD Lunch in Adelaide

A SHARED attribute of the business leaders featured at the AICD’s recent Leader’s Edge lunch in Adelaide, was that they identified a problem which needed to be solved, then attacked it in a determined fashion.

When asked by facilitator Dr Jana Matthews, director of the University of South Australia’s Centre for Business Growth, what gave them the courage or conviction to start their business, Edible Blooms founder Kelly Jamieson said it was obvious to her that there must be a better solution to only having the option to gift flowers by delivery, which would wilt or often not reflect what was actually ordered.

The business which she started from home now makes a delivery every 2 minutes across Australia.

“I saw a great opportunity combining food with the floral bouquet and creating the Edible Blooms experience, and we could be really consistent from day one,’’ she said.

“Delivering what we were advertising was really important for me … and I thought it was a problem I could solve.’’

Kelly Engineering managing director Shane Kelly said his company was born from a desire to solve issues the family were having on their own farm.

The company focused first on the Australian market then branched out into exports. Mr Kelly said a key issue for him was having the self-awareness to know when the time was right to hand over the chief executive role to someone else, so he could focus on the areas he was strongest in.

Associate Professor Claudine Bonder from the Centre for Cancer Biology said SA had a great opportunity through organisations such as the one she worked for, to play a role in the global fight against cancer.

“In our Centre we brought in close to $10 million last year of competitive funding.’’

A treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia, now in Phase 3 clinical trials, was an example of the work being done in SA made possible by the new medical precinct, which would have long-term positive benefits for the state both in terms of health and business outcomes.

Assoc Prof Bonder said the Institute modelled itself on peers such as the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. In collaboration with such institutes “we can learn and aspire to be a leading international discovery-type research centre’’.

Waterfind Australia founder Tom Rooney, who created Australia’s leading water trading market in 2003, said entrepreneurs had to be “comfortable with being unsafe”.

Mr Rooney said when he founded his company, he decided to give it everything he could for five years. Had it not worked, he could have walked away with his head held high, but as it turns out, 14 years later the company is going strong. Mr Rooney said his family’s background in citrus gave him a good perspective.

“You put a tree in the ground and don’t get any fruit from it for eight years. Five years seemed a reasonable period of time to give an idea a go. I think a lot of people don’t give their ideas enough of a crack.”

Article originally published by Cameron England in The Advertiser on June 6 2017: