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Member Spotlight: 5 Minutes With Mark Sjolander, Ceo Of Sjoli Advisory

ACBC ( NSW ) Member Spotlight: 5 Minutes With Mark Sjolander, CEO Of Sjoli Advisory

1. Tell us about your business and how you've leveraged your Australia-China connections to build your success in China?

Sjoli Advisory is a political risk and policy research consultancy. Political risk is the adverse impact of political decisions on profitability. Our vision is to be a trusted source of insight and advice for clients needing to understand of how political and policy decisions shape their business environment – no matter where they operate globally.

With a global network of advisors and analysts, we empower clients to understand, engage with, and confidently navigate political and policy uncertainty. We support clients with access to leading strategic insights, best-practice analytical frameworks, and practical strategic advice including:

  • market entry political risk analysis
  • political trend analysis and reporting
  • industry sector policy analysis
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Licence to Operate advice.

In addition to the business relationships we started with, membership of the ACBC has helped to build business relationships in China, and also with Chinese businesses operating in Australia.

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

Each day is pretty exciting at the moment! Whether it’s the latest domestic developments Federal politics or changes in investment incentives across States/Territories, there is always something that needs to be analysed and passed to clients.

The international business and investment environment is being shaped by decisions coming out of the White House, and its focus on unilateral trade policy. The focus at the moment is on monitoring and understanding the impact of the ongoing US-China trade dispute and how that is impacting business in Australia.

3. What would you say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business in/with China?

Patience, persistence, investment (in networks), due diligence on your partners, and having a clear and concise value proposition.

4. How do you go about marketing your business in Australia/China and what has contributed to this success?

Active engagement with prospective clients through ACBC events, follow-ups, and direct engagement through social media platforms. There are some very useful lead generation opportunities that come from social media (LinkedIn in particular). Marketing in China is more challenging but there are some good business networks that can be plugged into in the first instance.

5. 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?

It’s been challenging identifying the companies to engage with, but the ACBC network has been very useful in providing insights and in some cases introductions along the way from other members. I think the value of continuing to reach out and talk to people can never be underestimated.

6. What's your motto/mantra?


We’re passionate about politics, policy and understanding the business risks/opportunities they present, no matter where you are doing business globally. There’s so much information available about political decision-making that can provide confidence for business executives. With the right advice, you can be empowered to know more, not less about how events are shaping your business environment.

We’re very pleased to offer ACBC members a 10% discount on any engagement.