Leading exporters share pearls of wisdom

Posted by James Ferre on 24th August 2009

Three of Australia’s leading exporters have shared their wisdom and experience with a Sydney business audience during the Export Breakfast Panel – “Financing exporting success in good times and bad”.

Australian Export Awards winners from 2008 were on the panel including Chris Vonwiller from Appen, the Prime Minister’s Australian Exporter of the Year; Dr John Russell, from Russell Mineral Equipment – a three time Award winner and soon to be inducted into the Australian Export Awards Hall of Fame; and Doug Austin, from Divex Pacific, winner of the Small to Medium Manufacturer Award.

The panel discussed the difficulties and challenges of exporting in the current financial climate, but also focused on the positives such as the potential of emerging markets like China and India.Dr John Russell said one of the most interesting aspects was learning the cultures of each market and advised that risk-taking was a key to success when it came to exporting.

“The entrepreneurial flare is a constant tension,” he noted. “You accommodate an exposure to risk more when you’re a small company. You can know too much and get swamped by it.”

Mr Austin’s tip for budding exporters was to know your market, talk to your buyers and be aware of the risks.

The event was a lead up to the 2009 Australian Export Awards, which will be announced on November 20.