This Australian model stumbled upon India 10 years ago, and is now a co-owner and director of a talent management company that represents over 25 models forging careers in New York, Paris, London, and Milan. His second major turning point in life came when he was introduced to a meditation system called Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong).
He has introduced and paved the way for budding Indian supermodels like Pooja Mor in the international arena. But his life is not just about the glitz and glamor—behind this huge success lies a very humble and kind person.
Mark Luburic was born in Sydney to Croatian parents, who had migrated in the late 60s from Croatia. At that time, Croatia was under the communist rule of Yugoslavia, so they were seeking to move to a country where they could have a more free and better life. At the age of 5, Mark’s family moved to Brisbane, and that’s where he grew up.
As a young lad, Mark dreamed of playing professional football but knew that he wasn’t going to make a career out of it. With a few friends’ suggestions, he approached an agency, and that’s when he took up modeling as a career. As a model, he traveled to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East—meeting many great people on his way.
In 2006, his life took a major turn; Mark and his wife, Gunita Stobe, came to India as models. While in India, they realized that there was a large gap in the Indian market as compared to overseas. Thus, the need to start an agency that worked at an international standard arose.
“The concept of beauty in India is so different from the rest of the world,” Mark tells NTD.tv. “Here the benchmark is Bollywood, whereas overseas clients are looking at beauty more diverse. So we set up a talent management company called Anima Creative Management and began promoting models that represent every part of India, from the south to the northeast.”
With this big step forward, they enjoyed great success both in India and overseas, and also paved a way for the models to set up international careers.
In 2012, which was four years in the business, Mark started to feel the stress and restlessness that came with working seven days a week.
“After some time, I felt I needed to drink a few drinks to be able to handle the crowd, and to get through the nights,” he says. “Even on non-event days, my release would be to get home and share a bottle of wine, crack open a few brewskies, or smoke a sheesha pipe to unwind. After a while, the body starts to feel not so good.”
This arose in him a curiosity to find out more about the system, so his friend encouraged him to read the book, Falun Gong, that outlines the principles of the practice.
“I couldn’t put the book down, and I knew I had found something immensely special,” he says.
“I really couldn’t understand what was going on in China when I first heard about it. Here was this practice, in which I have benefited so much from and millions of others also, which teaches such gentle principles, was being brutally persecuted in China, and that by its own government,” he says.
When being asked about how he manages to create a good work-life balance, he said that he owed it to the principles of Falun Dafa, namely—Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance.
“I am now able to make more rational and calm decisions, during high pressure, both at home and work. I am also more considerate of the people I work with and try to understand the situation from their perspective and find solutions to their problems, instead of getting worked up like I used to in the past.”
“I think the most important lesson we try and instill in our talents, is that everyone has their own path, and never to compare themselves to anyone else in the industry. It’s important to work hard, to follow the course of nature, and everything will work out fine,” he adds.
Marks finds that the fashion industry in India is very different compared to New York or Paris as these big-fashion cities have been major hubs for a great many years. Whereas India, on the other hand, has only just begun to open the door to people from overseas for 10 years or so.
“But what’s really exciting about India is that there is so much of freshness and excitement here.”
“Generally speaking, I do see a lot of people smiling around the place which is very different to certain parts of the world, where the vibe comes off rather cold. I do enjoy that part of life here, as you can just communicate or connect with a stranger at any level of society here through the simple act of a smile,” says Mark.
For sure, this Australian has seemed to find a warmth that engulfs India!
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) is a self-improvement meditation system based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. It was introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992 in China. It is currently practiced by over 100 million people in 114 countries. But this peaceful meditation system is being brutally persecuted in China since 1999. For more info, please visit: falundafa.org and faluninfo.org.
WATCH Stories of Falun Gong Practitioners 法轮功学员的故事