Kym Illman

Messages on Hold

In 1988, Kym Illman was sacked as an audio engineer by Channel 9, today he owns Asia Pacifics most successful telephone audio production company, Messages On Hold. Based in Perth, Australia, Illman employs 65 staff, turns over more than $5m a year and services more than 8,500 organisations throughout 14 countries.

His success story is a little different to most. He married his first full time staff member, he is hell bent on wowing every client and has proved himself as Australia's premier Ambush Marketer. In fact, over the past decade, he has secured more than a million dollars worth of free media exposure.

He's ambushed cricket matches in Australia, South Africa, England and Kenya. The logo has popped up at Wimbledon, the British Open golf and the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and his familiar "big hands" have become an institution at AFL matches.

Kym talks about the ways he's differentiated himself from the crowd, the challenges he's faced growing his business and how he has worked the media to his advantage. Kym enjoys an enviable lifestyle, working 4 days a week, playing golf Wednesdays (off a single figure handicap) and deep sea fishing on the weekends.

His story is fascinating and clearly demonstrates that it is possible to succeed in business in Australia with persistent hard work and a clear vision.

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