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Member Spotlight: 5 Minutes With David Thorn, Managing Director & Founder, Darway

David Thorn, Managing Director & Founder, Darway Pty Ltd 

1. What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on? 

My days are never the same but they generally revolve around keeping buy-side and sell-side mandates progressing with a view to achieving an optimal outcome for each of my clients. I am currently working on two buy-side mandates (ie. assisting investors to find businesses to invest in) in the beef sector and multiple sell-side mandates (ie. assisting agribusinesses to source growth capital) across the beef, seafood and plant protein sectors as well as the horticulture, cereal grains, sugar, food packaging and agronomy services sectors. In my spare time, I’m a Board director and shareholder of a company looking to develop greenhouses in Northern Australia and helping that company with its plans to raise seed capital. I also undertake business development activities in New South Wales for a Melbourne-based fintech called Banjo Loans which provides working capital finance to SME’s.  
2. What would you say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business in/with China? 
  • You must have a compelling offer and one that can differentiate (and protect) itself in the market.
  • Ensure you have the capital and patience required to succeed.
  • Ensure you have the right partners in Australia and China.
  • Ensure you understand the route(s) to market and the risks and regulation associated with those channels.
  • Continue to challenge the status quo eg. don’t be afraid to seek help even if you think you’re already successful.
3. How do you go about marketing your business in Australia/China and what has contributed to this success? 
Most of my marketing is done by word of mouth. There’s no finer advocate for a successful business than a very happy client. Having said that, the website is now under construction and the ACBC and other industry forums are excellent media through which a company like Darway’s services can be promoted. 
4. You have been very successful to date, but there have no doubt been challenges - what's been your biggest challenge that you have overcome in your business journey with China?
Being a one-man band is always challenging but keeping the network alive and growing in China has been the most important key to success.
5. What's your motto/mantra? 
Family comes first but clients come a very close second.
About David 
Having spent most of his 30+ year career in the global banking and finance sector, David now consults to the Food & Agribusiness Sector, helping clients to grow their businesses through trade and investment, particularly within the Australasian corridor. With an extensive Australian and international network of investors and market players, David’s consulting company, Darway Pty Ltd, is well placed to assist companies with their growth plans while helping them manage known and potential risks in their businesses. David is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, offers strategic advice and governance to his clients and is a Board member of two privately-owned agribusiness companies.