Managing Director, Magnetic Alliance Pty Ltd
Bachelor of Commerce and Applied Finance, 2003
Entrepreneurship was always running in the veins of Mark Lim, who went from being the youngest leader in the Elders Limited’s Adelaide senior management team, to co-founding an award-winning start-up, Magnetic Alliance.
He and fellow Elders Ltd colleague, Jack Gleeson, founded Magnetic Alliance in 2011. The company works primarily with businesses seeking to achieve solid long-term growth and employs 11 staff in Adelaide and three in the Philippines and had an annual turnover in 2014-15 nearing $850,000.
Having grown nearly 114 percent on average over three years, Magnetic Alliance was recognised as the second fastest growing company in the state through the Fast Movers SA competition in 2016. The competition (which has been running since 2005) aims to find the state’s top three companies by turnover growth and recognise their contribution to the local economy.
“I was always attracted to the entrepreneurial career path because results speak for themselves,” says Mark.
“I wanted my performance to drive my career and to do something more meaningful in line with my values and goals.
“I really enjoy helping clients think of and implement new ideas to grow their business. Usually, they experience many obstacles that keep them awake at night, we help them to navigate through these issues which I find very fulfilling.”
Mark completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Applied Finance double degree with UniSA in 2003 and says if he could go back in time and change one thing, he would put more emphasis on securing practical experience instead of just focussing on his academic performance.
“It would have been valuable for me to participate in a program at university that could offer a high degree of practical experience. When you can apply academic theory in practise you learn so much more,” Mark says.
One of Mark’s favourite memories from his time studying is the opportunity he had to travel to the USA on exchange.
“Because of UniSA’s partnerships with colleges overseas, I was able to study many new subjects and experience cultures that I wouldn’t otherwise had a chance to discover,” he says.
His advice for recent graduates is to: “aim for excellence, not perfection. If you can continuously deliver excellence in everything you do, eventually it will add up and you will start winning consistently.”
Mark likes the idea behind the new Bachelor of Business (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) degree recently introduced by the UniSA Business School.
“I think a degree which encourages people to innovate and work for themselves is a great idea. Small businesses drive our economy, and so many business owners don’t have any background in business to help them understand what they need to know to be a thriving entrepreneur. I see a lot of people struggle because although they know their trade or profession, they lack knowledge in the area of business.”