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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Jarrad Morgan

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Jarrad Morgan was the sole employee when he started SA Construct as a 24-year-old in 2011. The company now has 130 employees and was ranked among the fastest growing businesses in the state in 2016. Morgan was last month named a winner in the inaugural InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards.

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SA Construct is a sub-contractor to the commercial construction industry and spcialises in the design, supply, manufacture and installation of cladding and facades. Its projects include the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the University of Adelaide Health & Medical School, UniSA’s Pridham Hall and the Mayfair Hotel.

Morgan was awarded the Young Master Builder of the Year in 2014 and Master Builder of the Year (Specialist Contractor) in 2015.

We caught up with the 31-year-old to ask him about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

Tight community: a lot of business is built on relationships and there is a high level of trust, respect, and integrity between businesses across South Australia.

Support of local jobs and resources: in recent years there is a push to focus on using local businesses and resources to deliver projects across South Australia. Although I feel this could be improved further, the fact that we have started making this a focus is a great strength.

Cost of living: our cost of living and wage rates are somewhat lower than the eastern states. This gives us a competitive advantage on price when bidding for work at a national level and further provides a  barrier to interstate migration to our local industry.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

Adelaide and South Australia need to do more to boost our population growth –  we have one of the worst levels of growth across the country and this is affecting the levels of spend across all industries. In 2017, we recorded a growth rate of only 0.23 per cent. The state needs to focus its efforts on increasing the growth rate, which will have a flow-on effect to all industries of business.

Government relief should cover ALL business not just small business – the government claims it is helping business through reductions in income tax, payroll tax,  instant write-offs, 10k to hire new employees but none of us qualify for them because we are classified as “too big”. We are not a big corporate: we battle hard and employee over 120 South Australians yet all these policies do is make it harder for us to compete with the small operators. Do something to help all of us, instead of making it more difficult.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

Yes, I love South Australia. We have some of the best beaches in the world, our city is continually becoming more vibrant and it’s easy to get around. Assuming the state continues to develop, I believe we will see some significant opportunities present themselves.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Grow, grow, grow. More population growth equals more business, equals more infrastructure, equals more opportunities.

If we’re not going to provide world-class opportunities here, people will go looking for them. We have some of the smartest and most exciting youth in the world. All we need are opportunities to let them show us their skills.

We need to create exciting projects and developments across the state which give landmark outcomes and results. In a building sense, this means building exciting creative designs in lieu of square concrete boxes. (We need to) increase development within the CBD and build infrastructure that is going to grow the local community and is planned for the future growth, not just today.  Landmark projects are special and the more we do, the more our youth will want to be involved and remain in South Australia.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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