South Australian Business News

SA business titans unite to form a new advisory board

Anthony Caldwell
Thursday, August 10th 2023

Andrew Downs, John Bastian AM and Ryan Williams are strong advocates for South Australian business, each with decades of experience in starting, growing, leading and advising highly successful businesses across a variety of industries. 

As the founder of SAGE Group, Downs has grown the business from humble beginnings in his Adelaide home garage to a global, multi-brand operation with annual revenues of more than AUD $200 Million and over 700 people across two continents and 18 offices.

Downs is passionate about scaling up growing companies and says he is particularly excited to work with Market Ease Digital as an advisory board member to contribute to its future growth and prosperity.”

Market Ease Founder and CEO, Binh An Nguyen, says Downs has walked a path that many South Australian businesses dream of following – there’s a lot we can learn from his approach to growth and to business more broadly.”

A highly experienced Board Director and Chairperson, Bastian is the current Chair of Green Frog Systems and Techgrow International, and a recent member of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network and the SA Water board.

During his tenure as Managing Director of Sola Optical Australia, Bastian played a pivotal role in the exponential growth of the international Sola Group. As a key member of the management team, he helped steer the group through a significant private equity buyout, followed by a successful initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bastian has been impressed by Market Ease’s team and growth to date. He welcomes the opportunity to share his extensive experience in business strategy, financial performance and governance to help the business to even greater success.

While my background is originally in sales and marketing, I’m really keen to learn more about digital marketing”, he says. 

I’m hoping this is a two-way street. Binh and his team can teach me, and I can help contribute to the profitable growth of the business.

John’s highly skilled in governance and has experience at almost every level of business – including management consulting and advisory roles at PA Management Consultants, the largest Australian management consultancy at the time. His depth of understanding of business and exposure to a range of industries in Australia throughout his career is invaluable”, says Nguyen. 

Director of the University of South Australia’s Australian Centre for Business Growth and Playford Professor of Business Growth, Williams is a more recent addition to the South Australian business landscape. His career was built in international executive and board roles and as an entrepreneur – with experience in almost every facet of business, including strategy, sales and marketing, finance, innovation and growth.

He has more than 20 years of experience in growing and scaling companies and is excited by Market Ease’s prospects. Williams is also a strong believer in the positive impact that growing businesses have on the broader economy. 

This opportunity excited me, as Market Ease’s philosophy around intentional growth aligns very closely with my own experiences of how the very best businesses achieve sustainable growth. 

Sustainable growth is good not only for the companies but also an imperative for our economy and the long-term employment landscape”, Williams says.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with a super smart and dynamic founder in Binh, and with such incredibly talented colleagues on the board”, he added.

Nguyen says he’s collaborated with Williams on numerous occasions and his expertise is second to none: Business is Ryan’s sport – his knowledge across strategy, marketing and sales, private equity and international business is impressive – but business growth and scaling companies is where he truly shines.”

I’m excited to see where we can take Market Ease over the coming years by working together. Each member of this board has experience and wisdom, but also brings a unique perspective that we can learn so much from”, says Nguyen.

I’m a big believer that greatness is better achieved together, not alone – the board is very much founded on that philosophy.” 

Founded by Nguyen in 2006, Market Ease Digital is a leading provider of digital advertising services to Australian and International businesses.

Read more about the members of Market Ease Digital’s newly formed advisory board at mar​ketease​.com​.au.


Anthony Caldwell

Manager, Marketing, Media, Communications
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