Hawke's Bay Today is running a series of questions and answers from top Hawke's Bay business leaders over the holiday period. Today's leader, Sir Graeme Avery, has succeeded in both the publishing and wine worlds.

Where did it all start for you?

My business career started serendipitously when I was in Sydney in 1963 after completing my pharmacy studies.

I came across a publication on new prescription medicines called New Ethicals, when I was working at the Children's Hospital in Sydney and saw how it could be improved by adding content on evaluation of the science behind the new product in order to balance the claims made by the producer.


I contacted the publisher and talked myself into a job.

A little later on, that led to being able to acquire the business with a partner and to the global development of Adis International, which became a world leader in knowledge publications on prescription medicines and their use in disease treatment.

I sold this business at the end of 1996 and then established Sileni Estates in late 1997.

What is the best advice you ever received?
To be humble in achieving success. The owner of NewEthicals was a very humble man and imbued in me his outlook on life at my young age when I methim.

What was a major breakthrough?

Never one major breakthrough, but rather a series of continuing successes and major milestones. At Adis, major new innovative publications and electronic databases that were first in their field of interest and to market.

At Sileni, establishment of major new markets across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Pacific - now 81 countries in all. Also, introduction of innovative new products.

What goals have you for your business or yourself for 2016?

To continue to grow Sileni in all markets and to develop the strategic skills of the staff necessary for success in a new and different tomorrow.

What needs to change in Hawke's Bay for better growth?

COLLABORATION of all in the region. Putting the region first ahead of individual interests. The most important being a combined councils unified single Strategic Economic Development Plan for the region.