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MOUNTJOY GOVERNOR MENTORS SERIES FORMER JOHN LONERGAN ON SECOND CHANCES

InBUSINESS USINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

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InBUSINESS SPRING 2018

CRYPT-O?

THE LONG-TERM PROSPECTS FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY

MAKING THE

BUILT FOR

BREXIT

NEWS

REGIONAL NEWSPAPERS’ BID FOR SURVIVAL

DHL’S

BERNARD ON EXPORTING SMES GETTING MCCARTHY THEIR DUCKS IN A ROW

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01/11/2017 16:36 08/05/2018 06/04/2018 15:09 11:54


Editor: Joseph O’Connor Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Assistant: Elisha Collier O’Brien (Chambers Ireland) Tiernan Cannon Editorial Contributors: Tiernan Cannon Conor Forrest John Kinsella Valerie Jordan Design: Áine Duffy Design Assistant: James Moore Front Cover Photography: Jason Clarke Photography: Jason Clarke Photography iStock Photo Getty Images Infographics: www.flaticon.com Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson

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Entrepreneur

Ciara Donlon, founder of post-surgery lingerie business THEYA Healthcare, talks female entrepreneurship and empathic innovation

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Business of Sport

We examine the business of running a sports ground in Ireland

Managing Director: Gerry Tynan

Words: Conor Forrest

Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon

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Published by: Ashville Media Group, Unit 55 Park West Road, Park West Industrial Park, D12 X9F9 Tel: +353 1 432 2200 Email: info@ashville.com Web: www.ashville.com On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: info@chambers.ie Web: www.chambers.ie All articles © Ashville Media Group 2018. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Opinion and comments expressed herein are not necessarily those of Ashville Media or Chambers Ireland. ISSN 20093934

Industry

There has been a significant strain on the efforts of regional newspapers to turn a profit in recent years

InBUSINESS checks in with Bernard McCarthy, MD, DHL Express Ireland, to get his view on how small Irish exporters are preparing themselves for Brexit FEATURE

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FEATURE

A ponzi scheme or a real alternative to money? What are the long-term prospects for cryptocurrency? InBUSINESS takes a look.

Snapchat

Seónaid Ó Murchadha, HR & Disability Project Manager, Employer Disability Information

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Ready to Assemble

Words: Joseph O’Connor

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Built for Brexit

Words: Tiernan Cannon

InBUSINESS got a grand tour of the IKEA store in Ballymun and met with Country Manager Claudia Marshall

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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COVER STORY:

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InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

Pocket from the Crypt-o?

A ponzi scheme or a real alternative to money? What are the long-term prospects for cryptocurrency? Words: John Kinsella

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10/05/2018 21:53


You don’t need magic to disappear...

Just a destination

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FORMER MOUNTJOY GOVERNOR MENTORS SERIES JOHN LONERGAN ON SECOND CHANCES

InBUSINESS USINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

SPRING

2018

ESS MA

AZINE O

F

EA

IRISH MAGAZINE AWARDS 2017

G

R BUSI

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READY TO

THE Y

ASSEMBLE IKEA’S GROWTH STRATEGY FOR IRELAND

POCKET FROM THE

InBUSINESS SPRING 2018

CRYPT-O?

THE LONG-TERM PROSPECTS FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY

MAKING THE

BUILT FOR

BREXIT

NEWS

REGIONAL NEWSPAPERS’ BID FOR SURVIVAL

84

DHL’S

BERNARD ON EXPORTING SMES GETTING MCCARTHY THEIR DUCKS IN A ROW

772009 393018

a2.70

@InBUSINESSIre

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Go to chambers.ie for the online edition [ACCESS ALL AREAS] Kitted in high-visibility vests, InBUSINESS was given access to the DHL Express warehouse in Dublin Airport Logistics Park for the cover shoot with Bernard McCarthy. Yellow DHL boxes were just some of the props used to help incorporate what is a strong company brand into the images.

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Mentors: John Lonergan More than 50 years in the prison service has given former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan a unique perspective on Irish society

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Words: Valerie Jordan

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Small Business Philip McMichael, MD of AMI, on how his IT disposal services are in great demand due to a renewed focus on data management

[LIFESTYLE] 84 MOTORING Volvo’s XC40 is a new addition to the SUV/ crossover market 88 INNOVATION Eco-friendly products for the environmentally conscious 90 TRAVEL Córdoba in southern Spain is made up of a rich and varied history 93 BOOKS The struggles with maintaining a healthy work-life balance 95 PODCASTS Podcaster Dil Wickremasinghe on what makes a quality audio series InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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Media & Marketing Paddy Power’s Paul Mallon fills us in on the company’s somewhat mischievous promotional activities

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WORLD REPORT

WORLD REPORT

UNRECOGNISAbLE

TO THE

WOrld International relations doesn’t allow for the civilised divorce of nations, leaving many de-facto states fighting for their legitimacy. JOSEPH O’CONNOR paid a visit to Transnistria, one country in Eastern Europe that you won’t find on a map.

Words: Conor Forrest

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Book Extract An extract from Slow At Work by Aoife McElwain

[REGULARS]

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

13 Opportunity Ireland 14 Start-Up Central 96 The IB Index

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Words: Joseph O’Connor

Our Local Government InBUSINESS Supplement 07DIGITAL continues to ADVICE FROM DUBLIN LEO look at the important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page

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CMYK: 83 / 0 / 8 / 0

LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • ULSTER

Dublin City Council set to ban disposable coffee cups, Dundalk streets receive facelift, and plans for Offaly greenway unveiled.

Digital hubs open in Clare, a700 million being invested in Cork’s city centre, and British ambassador praises Limerick vision.

Greenway goals outlined by Mayo County Council, Galway sport clubs receive funding boost, and major investment in wastewater infrastructure.

HEX: 40B3DF

Planning application lodged for Donegal wind turbine, Minister launches golf tournament in Castleblaney, and new social housing units for Cavan.

RGB: 64/179/223 Font:

In Association with CMYK: CMYK: 49 / 0 / 100 / 0 0 / 0 / 0 / 100 HEX: A8CB17

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• Din Medium • Din Regular

Developed in partnership with Digital Skills Academy, Dublin City Council has launched a new digital one-stop shop for entrepreneurs.

PARTNERS IN SPORT New funds allocated to local sports in Wicklow.

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57 Chambers Catch Up

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InBUSINESS paid a visit to Transnistria, one country in Eastern Europe that you won’t find on a map

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10 Movers & Shakers

World Report

Parliament building and tank at Tiraspol, capital of Transnistria

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BIKING IT

In Association with

A new pilot bike share scheme is to be introduced in Sligo town.

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NE WS

BUSINESS NEWS

KUEHNE + NAGEL RECOGNISED AS

GREAT PLACE TO WORK

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ogistics firm Kuehne + Nagel Ireland, which featured in our last issue of InBUSINESS, has been officially recognised in the Best Large Workplaces in Ireland list for 2018 by Great Place to Work. This is the company’s seventh consecutive year to be named as a top Irish workplace based on the findings of an employee survey and an assessment of its policies and practices by the Great Place to Work Institute.

NEW PODCAST EXPLORES THE ART OF LEARNING In January a new podcast series supported by Science Foundation Ireland through its Discover Programme was launched at University College Dublin. The aim of the 101: The Ways We Learn podcast series, produced by Bureau, is to connect big educational ideas with everyday occurrences like learning to cycle. In each episode, the hosts, physicist Dr Share Bergin and volcanologist Dr Jane Chadwick, follow different people as they are guided by a teacher to learn something new – from swimming to cycling, from coding to cooking and from activism to graphic design – and explore the learning process from many differing perspectives. The ten episodes of 101: The Ways We Learn are available to listen for free at www.101thepodcast.com.

For more on great podcasts go to our new podcasts slot on page 95.

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The Kuehne + Nagel Ireland team celebrates being recognised in the Best Large Workplaces in Ireland list for 2018

NEW LOOK ADARE MANOR

GOES GREEN Adare Manor was among the sites and venues to support Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2018. In November 2017, Adare Manor reopened its doors after an extensive restoration, refurbishment and expansion programme which lasted 21 months. The newly designed luxury resort now boasts a new 42-bedroom wing, bringing the total number of bedrooms to 104. Later in the year, Adare Manor will open its newly rebuilt, redesigned and remodelled golf course, which was led by world-renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio with the Adare Manor team.

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BUSINESS NEWS

OBITUARY:

INGVAR KAMPRAD

PICTURE THIS

On January 28th, the world of business was sad to hear the news that Swedish founder of the IKEA furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, had died at the age of 91. The pioneer of flat-pack furniture who was born in 1926 in Småland visited Dublin for the opening of the store back in July 2009. “I met him a couple of times,” Claudia Marshall, Country Manager for IKEA Ireland, tells InBUSINESS. “I was very much inspired by his drive. He had that Swedish stubbornness but he was also very energising and very warmhearted. A great entrepreneur with a very warm heart, that’s how I’ll remember him.”

‘Winnie’, a photograph by Dublin-based editorial photographer Kenneth O’Halloran, which was selected as the Irish winner of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. O’Halloran’s striking photograph was shown at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London and has been published in the 2018 awards book.

For more on IKEA go to our interview with Claudia Marshall on page 36.

For more details visit www.worldphoto.org.

Business

BITES Philip McMichael & Faye Thomas, AMI

IT FIRM RETURNS 2 MILLION TO CLIENTS

IT retirement company AMI has announced that it returned 2 million to its clients in 2017. The funds were generated through the recycling, refurbishment and resale of data-bearing items, including 23,324 PCs and laptops, collected from AMI’s clients as part of its IT retirement process. For more on AMI go to our Small Business Profile on page 44.

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ICONIC OFFICES ON EXPANSION TRAIL Serviced office company Iconic Offices has hired Deloitte to help raise equity for its plans to expand into continental Europe. The company has already assembled a portfolio spanning 14 locations in Dublin.

LEGACY OF ART TO BE ADDRESSED AT SUMMIT Whether an art purchase is borne of pragmatic investment, a passion for aesthetics, or the sheer pleasure of ownership, growth in the art business sector is back again, something we looked at in the last issue of InBUSINESS. Growth within the industry has given rise to a refocusing of wealth management among owners and investors, which includes legacy issues and protecting one’s collectibles for the next generation. With this in mind, legacy will be the main theme of the Art$ummit Ireland conference, which takes place on June 18th at Adare Manor where attendees will get a rare insight from international speakers from Switzerland, the US and UK on the legal and business parameters in preserving such precious items. For more details on the event visit artsummitireland.com.

Pictured (right) is Rosanne McDonnell, Co-Founder & Lead Creator, Art$ummit Ireland

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09/05/2018 15:38


BUSINESS NEWS

THINGS LOOKING UP FOR

MICROSOFT

O

n February 22nd Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was joined by Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Corporation, Cathriona Hallahan, MD, Microsoft Ireland and Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland at the official opening of the company’s new 34,000 square metre campus, One Microsoft Place, in Leopardstown, Co. Dublin. The building includes formal and informal work spaces; a range of facilities including a music room, a yoga pod, a gym, treatment rooms, a mother’s room, a podcast room, a number of restaurants, hang out areas, play areas, relaxation rooms and the latest and greatest Microsoft technology.

One Microsoft Place covers a massive 34,000 square metres

IRELAND LAGS BEHIND EU IN EMPLOYEE TRAINING

SMES LOSING OUT IN TENDER BIDS

ARDMORE STUDIOS ACQUIRED BY OLCOTT

Irish workers are significantly less likely to participate in job-related training schemes than the European average, according to new figures from Eurostat.

Irish SMEs lose between 74 and 90 per cent of the tenders they compete for, according to a new series of surveys by Dublin company Tenderscout.

Olcott Entertainment has completed the acquisition of Ireland’s leading film studios, Ardmore Studios. The acquisition also includes a stake previously held on behalf of the state by Enterprise Ireland.

“There is clear evidence that market diversification is taking place.”

NEW BORD BIA CENTRE OPENS IN LONDON

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed and Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy have launched a new Bord Bia Insight Centre in London during their visit to the UK for St. Patrick’s Day events. The Insight Centre, modelled on Bord Bia’s existing ‘Thinking House’ centre in Dublin, will be housed in Bord Bia’s London office and will provide Irish food and drink exporters with access to tailored consumer and market insights to strengthen their offering to existing and potential UK customers. It will also provide working facilities for Irish food and drink companies on visits to the UK.

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Bernard McCarthy, MD, DHL Express Ireland

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, Tim Steiner, CEO of grocery retailer Ocado and Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy

COVER STORY

P20

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THE BURNING QUESTION

?

MOST CONTROVERSIAL THE TOP 10 OFFENDERS

COMPANIES OF 2017 REVEALED

If money was no object, what would be your ideal purchase? JOHN LONERGAN Former Governor, Mountjoy Prison “I’m not very into material things at all but I’d probably buy myself a topquality racehorse. I love horses, not so much punting on them but I get great enjoyment out of watching them.”

PHILIP MCMICHAEL MD, AMI My biggest issue isn’t a lack of possessions but a lack of time. If money was no object, and if it was possible, my ideal purchase would be additional time to spend with my family.”

CLAUDIA MARSHALL Market Manager, IKEA Ireland A really big sustainable greenhouse where I can grow organic fruit and vegetables. I’d have an open door so that people from the local community can pop by and learn how to grow their own food.

The eighth edition of the Most Controversial Companies Report (MCC) by RepRisk, which highlights the major governance and business conduct incidents that exposed companies to serious compliance, reputational, and financial risks in 2017, has been published. While there is no doubt that certain companies caught up in the Facebook data harvesting controversy will feature highly next year, the latest report features the likes of the Weinstein Company, Kobe Steel Ltd and J&F Investimentos SA. For more details on the report findings go to www.reprisk.com/publications.

The Weinstein Company

Equifax Inc

Kobe Steel Ltd

Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC

J&F Investimentos SA

Odebrecht SA

Appleby Global Group Services Ltd

Petroleos de Venezuela SA

Stalreiniging Barneveld

Transnet SOC Ltd

ENTREPRENEURS SEE RECRUITMENT

AS MAJOR CHALLENGE

Recruiting experienced staff has been the biggest challenge over the last 12 months, according to 57 per cent of Irish entrepreneurs in a survey launched by EY. The annual survey was conducted amongst 130 top entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland who are previous finalists in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme. Commenting on the research findings, Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead, EY Entrepreneur of the Year Ireland, said: “Recruiting the right talent is something that stood out as a challenge for companies over the last 12 months. With 84 per cent of the businesses surveyed planning on increasing their headcount over the next 12 months, it is highly unlikely that this problem will go away.” The research also shows that of the 16 per cent of the entrepreneurs who have exited the original business they were involved in, 90 per cent have reinvested in another business, showing there is an appetite to continue to create employment and drive the Irish economy forward.

BERNARD MCCARTHY MD, DHL Express Ireland As a man of simple pleasures, a villa on the Algarve overlooking the Atlantic Ocean would do the trick!

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

M vers

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NATIONWIDE

SHAKERS

KEN CASEY

NIKKI CANAVAN

ROBBIE DILLON

ELAINE TOMLIN

NEW TITLE: Head of Corporate EMPLOYER: Hayes Solicitors PREVIOUS ROLE: Corporate Partner, William Fry

NEW TITLE: Head of Corporate EMPLOYER: BoI Corporate Banking PREVIOUS ROLE: Head of Retail, BoI Global Markets

NEW TITLE: Head of Residential EMPLOYER: Savills PREVIOUS ROLE: Director, Marsh & Parsons

NEW TITLE: Chair, Risk and Governance Committee EMPLOYER: Business Continuity Institute OTHER ROLE: Managing Consultant, Avalution Consulting

Hayes Solicitors has announced the appointment of Ken Casey as Partner and head of its new dedicated Corporate Law department. Casey has over 25 years’ experience in acting for domestic and international clients and possesses a broad practice covering corporate transactions, corporate and company law advisory work, business transfers, business law advice, shareholder agreements and commercial agreements.

Nikki Canavan has been appointed as Senior Director, Origination and Market Development at Bank of Ireland (BoI) Corporate Banking. In her new role, Canavan will manage a team of 25 corporate origination professionals in providing customer focused financing solutions for new and existing business customers. Canavan has held a number of senior positions in the Bank of Ireland Group since joining in 1999.

Savills Ireland has appointed Robbie Dillon as head of its residential division. Dillon joins Savills from UK estate agent Marsh & Parsons where he spent ten years gaining a wealth of experience in the London property market. Returning to his native Dublin, Dillon will be responsible for growing Savills’ second hand property sales department in addition to the country homes and land division.

Irishwoman Elaine Tomlin has been appointed Chair of the new Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Risk and Governance committee, the global representative body of business continuity professionals. Tomlin, who heads up Avalution Consulting’s EMEA office in Dublin, will lead the six-strong committee in assisting the organisation to fulfil its responsibilities in the areas of risk appetite, risk management and governance.

TOP CAREER TIPS 10

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Enda Gunnell is CEO of energy company Pinergy, which came to market in 2013. His aim is to help businesses, farms and homes across Ireland to get greater insight into their energy consumption through both electricity supply and innovative energy solutions. Gunnell was previously a partner in accounting and consulting firm Mazars and is a chartered accountant.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

09/05/2018 12:35


CONSULTANT SLOT

BUILD THAT BRAND IN THIS ISSUE’S COLUMN, FIONA DONNELLY LOOKS AT THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING A COMPELLING EMPLOYER BRAND.

A TOM VAN GAAL

BRENDAN O’CONNOR

NEW TITLE: Business Line Manager EMPLOYER: Atlas Copco PREVIOUS ROLE: Global Process Engineer, Atlas Copco

NEW TITLE: Resident Manager EMPLOYER: Adare Manor PREVIOUS ROLE: Director of Food and Beverage, Adare Manor

Atlas Copco Ireland has announced the appointment of Tom Van Gaal as Business Line Manager for its compressor technique service division. Van Gaal moves to Irish operations from the post of Global Process Engineer at the service division headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium. He carries an MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Economics and brings a broad range of experience and skills to the role.

The Adare Manor has announced the appointment of Brendan O’Connor as Resident Manager of the resort. The announcement comes just months after Adare Manor reopened following an extensive restoration, refurbishment and expansion programme. As Resident Manager, O’Connor will oversee the management of the rooms division, facilities, security and The Spa at Adare Manor.

lthough a relatively new term, employer brand simply refers to a company’s reputation as an employer. It is formed by the perceptions and experiences of current and potential employees, as well as other key stakeholders. The ways in which a company communicates, as well as how it manages and develops its people, helps to create this reputation. These impressions apply at every stage of the talent pipeline, from prehire to retire. A consistent, well-managed employer brand will significantly boost a company’s ability to attract, engage and retain top talent. It signals to observers that the organisation is a top-choice employer. Interestingly, all companies with staff have an employer brand; whether they choose to manage it or not. Studies steadily indicate that a strong employer brand delivers a healthy return on investment and boosts a company’s competitive edge. With many companies offering similar packages, monetary compensation is not always the top reason why people choose to work for a specific company. This is particularly relevant to the millennial generation, where attitudes to tenure are in stark contrast to older workers. Simply put, there must be relevant substance and strategy behind an employer brand to keep talent engaged and retained. Employer branding is about developing an agile blueprint to communicate and guide that reputation. Employer branding affects every touch-point the organisation has with the employee. It extends to every aspect of the employee life-cycle, including on-boarding, training and development and performance management, right through to their exit from the organisation and beyond.

Fiona Donnelly is an employer brand strategist and CEO of www.nexusconsulting.ie.

1.

To advance in your career, you need to put the hard yards in. That may involve out of hours networking and/or acquiring further qualifications.

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2.

Really think about what you want to do in your career. After all, you spend a lot of your life at work.

3.

Don’t be shy. If there is something you want to achieve, tell people and put it out there!

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09/05/2018 12:35


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08/05/2018 06/04/2018 15:12 10:49


JOB CREATION COMPANY: Waterford College of Further Education SECTOR: Education LOCATION: Waterford

COMPANY: ADvendio

SECTOR: Software

LOCATION: Dublin

COMPANY: Apex Fund Services

ANNOUNCEMENT: ADvendio, the advertising sales and booking software solution, has established a sales and marketing hub in Dublin, which will see the creation of 20 jobs over the course of three years.

SECTOR: Financial Services LOCATION: Cork ANNOUNCEMENT: Financial Services provider Apex Fund Services has announced the creation of 50 new jobs at the opening of its new expanded offices in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork. The company specialises in delivering administration services to asset managers worldwide.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Waterford College of Further Education (WCFE) is to bring 20 new jobs to the region through the National Accounting Technician Apprenticeship, a work-based learning programme where apprentices earn at least 18,000 per annum.

OpportunityIRELAND InBUSINESS highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country.

COMPANY: DecaWave SECTOR: Technology

COMPANY: Quidel Corporation SECTOR: Medical

LOCATION: Dublin

LOCATION: Galway

ANNOUNCEMENT: Dublin-based chipmaker DecaWave has announced that it will hire 100 new employees over the next three years after raising an incredible $30 million in funding.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Medical diagnostics company Quidel Corporation is to set up a new business service centre in Galway city, which will create 75 jobs over the next five years. The new centre will support the company’s new international business.

COMPANY: STS UJet

SECTOR: Aviation

LOCATION: Shannon

ANNOUNCEMENT: An aircraft interior modification specialist, previously trading as Irish company UJet Group, has announced that it is establishing a European hub in Shannon following a merger with US company STS Component Solutions, which will lead to the creation of 28 jobs.

Dublin Can’t Afford Delay in MetroLink Dublin Chamber was among the business groups to welcome details of the Government’s plans for the MetroLink rail project, which will provide a new underground link between Dublin Airport and the city centre. However, as the details of the project were announced in March, the Chamber warned that the capital cannot afford any delays in its delivery. Graeme McQueen, Head of Public Affairs at Dublin Chamber, said: “MetroLink is an ambitious project, but one that a fast-growing Dublin region desperately needs. Dublin has already been waiting far too long for this. It is absolutely vital that we start the construction as soon as possible.”

MetroLink in Numbers:

The number of expected stops on the service

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The year it is projected to be operational

The estimated numbers of passengers it will carry per annum

The estimated journey time it will take from Swords to the city centre

The number of jobs expected to be created during construction phase

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START-UPS

Start-Up Central

NEWS,VIEWS AND PROFILES ON THE LATEST START-UPS IN IRELAND

The amount invested by Enterprise Ireland in Irish start-ups in 2017

HOW IT ALL STARTED

DCU’S GOT TALENT Europe’s largest coworking network, Talent Garden, is partnering with Dublin City University to launch a new hub for digital innovation. Founded six years ago, Talent Garden is now the largest European co-working and digital innovation network, hosting hundreds of start-ups and working with large corporates, including the likes of BMW, Google and Electrolux, in 23 campuses across seven European countries. Talent Garden will create an Irish facility based in DCU Alpha innovation campus, which will provide flexible work space for freelancers, tech start-ups and corporate innovation labs, with capacity for 350 people. The hub is expected to be completed in September 2018.

GERARD FORDE

Founder & CSO, @Bizimply How did you fund your business initially? Initially, we raised 500,000 from a number of angel investors, as well as Enterprise Ireland and NDRC’s Launch Pad programme. Having a product that’s easy to explain, and targeting a market that the average person is at least vaguely familiar with really helped with engaging potential investors. What’s the best advice you were given? To build a great team around you. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? With an online business, it’s easy to think you can spend all your time indoors. We learned early on that it’s far better to get out of the office and actually talk to customers in order to understand their pain points and needs. Your biggest make or break moment? Winning the Audi PITCH and ESB Spark Of Genius awards at the 2015 Web Summit in Dublin. It served as validation for all of the hard work and we raised series A-round shortly after from two great firms that we met there. Would you change anything in hindsight? Like all companies, we make mistakes along the way. For example, we initially put all our focus on smaller businesses, but are now getting traction with larger companies, which is great. Company: Bizimply Location: The Digital Hub, Digital Depot, Thomas Street, Dublin 8 Product: An operations management platform for hospitality and retail businesses Team: 21 Website: www.bizimply.com

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IRISH START-UPS EXHIBIT AT MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS Six high-potential start-ups and eight established Irish companies were hosted by Enterprise Ireland at the Ireland Pavilion Stand at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, which ran from February 26th March 1st. The world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry attracted over 100,000 visitors representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world. The Irish companies exhibiting were: Amiba, Area 22, Aspire Technology, Benetel, Cubic Telecom, Druid Software, Equiendo, Fijowave, iKydz, Inhance Technology, Klas Telecom, Madme, Software Radio Systems, Velona.

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START-UPS

THEYA PROVES A HIT WITH HOUSE OF FRASER On International Women’s Day, THEYA Healthcare announced that its revolutionary post-operative lingerie range is being rolled out to selected House of Fraser Stores across Ireland and the UK. THEYA Healthcare’s innovative range of bamboo underwear offers a fresh alternative to women post breast cancer surgery, during radiotherapy or post cosmetic surgery. Headquartered at NovaUCD, THEYA Healthcare’s revolutionary brand has been growing fast. The company began trading in 2015 and has already expanded its distribution beyond Ireland into the UK, mainland Europe, Canada, the US and Australia. The company is in the middle of a Series A Funding Round in order to accelerate scaling. For more on Donlon and THEYA Healthcare go to our Entrepreneur slot on page 16.

Fr Peter McVerry, founder, Peter McVerry Trust with Biz Stone, co-founder, Twitter

EMPTY HOMES APP LAUNCHED Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has partnered with Dublin-based social enterprise, Space Engagers, to use tech to map Dublin’s empty buildings. The new online mapping tool was launched by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone in March at a special event in Twitter’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin. The project, named Reusing Dublin, hopes to tap local knowledge on empty buildings across Dublin in an effort to alleviate the homeless crisis.

NE TO WATCH: SIREN

Ciara Donlon, CEO & Founder, THEYA Healthcare

John Randles, CEO, Siren

Siren is a start-up born out of NUIG that specialises in data intelligence. The company, which is headquartered in Galway with offices in Dublin, Cambridge, Bordeaux, France and Trento in Italy, recently announced a 3 million seed round funded by Atlantic Bridge as well as the appointment of John Randles as CEO. Randles is formerly CEO of PolarLake, a company sold to Bloomberg in 2012, when the former became the heart of Bloomberg’s data management utility. Explaining what Siren does, founder and Chief Product Officer Giovanni Tummarello said: “Our initial focus has been on working with national security services and police, where the missioncritical investigation of data is often done under intense time pressure. These capabilities have not previously been readily accessible in other sectors but we are now working with some of the largest financial and life sciences organisations to enable cross-data set realtime investigation.” siren.io

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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ENTREPRENEUR

Empathic

The

INNOVATOR Ciara Donlon, founder and CEO of post-surgery lingerie business THEYA Healthcare, talks female entrepreneurship, having a positive social impact and making it Stateside. Q: How is life and how is business at present? A: Life is pretty hectic at the moment! As any entrepreneur will tell you there are never enough hours in the day. Business is great, we are in the middle of a funding round in order to scale the business more quickly to meet demand. We’ve just started looking at the US market and the initial reaction to the product has completely blown us away, so it’s a very exciting time. Q: Would you say you have always had a business head on your shoulders? A: I think so, yes. I studied business and marketing in university and have always had an interest. When I was head of the Online Channel in Vodafone it was like running a business within a business, as we looked after both sales and 16

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customer care and development within the team. I took a lot of inspiration from my grandmother – Rose Donlon – who had her own business at a time in Ireland when that was pretty unusual. Q: You’re in a very niche market. Is that a good thing or a bad thing for business, and why? A: For us it’s a great thing! One of the main reasons I started the company was that the existing brands in the market weren’t focused enough on meeting the specific needs of women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. We have made listening to our customers’ needs the cornerstone of our business. As we branch into other markets we will continue to listen to customers so that we can offer them the best products. In the

pharmaceutical market it is always the orphan drugs that perform the best and I see ourselves in the same position within the medical garment industry.

Q: What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship in Ireland at present and the types of start-ups emerging here in recent years? A: I think Ireland punches well above its weight in terms of the quality of start-ups we produce. We have a great ecosystem in place now with all the accelerators and incubators available plus the support of Enterprise Ireland (EI) for anyone who has an exportable idea. I am delighted to see so many more female entrepreneurs getting funded and growing their businesses. When I first got funding from EI in 2012 only 4 per cent of their clients were female and this number is now over 40 per cent. I’ve been involved in a few international awards for entrepreneurship and Ireland is always strongly represented. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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ENTREPRENEUR

“There are many twists and turns in the road to becoming an entrepreneur and sometimes you think something is in the bag but it can fall through at the last minute.�

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ENTREPRENEUR

Q: Tell us about a lightbulb moment you have had that has yielded significant results. A: When I started THEYA Healthcare I knew that I had to have scientific data to be taken seriously in the medical world. That and customer validation as the core of our company’s offering have made a massive difference to how we are viewed by our customers and peers. It’s also why we have a patent pending based on our innovative material, and why we consistently have over 90 per cent customer satisfaction ratings. Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO, Cartier,Ciara Donlon, THEYA Healthcare and Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD

Q: Your business came out of NovaUCD. What was your experience of building a business in an incubator environment? A: NovaUCD has been invaluable to us; not only does it offer us a great deal in terms of facilities and support services, but the environment itself is a huge bonus. Being surrounded by others who are often facing the same challenges and being able to bounce ideas around and support each other has helped us enormously. We recently had the good fortune to have a team of MBAs from Cass Business School in the UK help us for a week, which was all facilitated by NovaUCD. Q: How do you view support for female founders in Ireland? Is there more that can be done to encourage female wouldbe entrepreneurs? A: Women have been proven to lack the confidence of our male counterparts and we tend to sell ourselves short. I think part of that is because we don’t have many role models who have made it to the top. But that is changing. Hopefully the next generation of female entrepreneurs coming along will have many successful women paving the way for them, and I certainly hope I’ll be one of them. One area that still needs progression is funding; women only get 2 per cent of all venture capitalist money in the world and a recent Irish study found that on average they receive one-fifth of the funding received by men. This needs to change in order for women to be able to continue to scale their businesses into the international arena. 18

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A LAUREATE FOR EUROPE In April 2017 Ciara Donlon was named Laureate for Europe at the final of the 2017 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Donlon received her award at the programme’s annual award ceremony held in Singapore. Since 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards has sought to encourage and support female entrepreneurs from around the world who are leading creative, socially impactful and financially sustainable start-up companies.

For more visit cartierwomensinitiative.com

Q: Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs hoping to get a business off the ground? A: Have a plan A, a plan B and a plan C, D and E! There are many twists and turns in the road to becoming an entrepreneur and sometimes you think something is in the bag but it can fall through at the last minute. My advice would be to spread your risk and make sure you’re not dependent on that one deal or that one investor to make it happen. Always start with your customers’ wants and needs and don’t try to fit your product to them, it needs to be the other way round. Lastly, have a lawyer close at hand from the start – this can be a hidden cost that will put a strain on cashflow. Q: Any company news or expansion plans Theya Healthcare can share with us right now? A: We are beginning to take our first steps into the US market and we have some really exciting opportunities lined up. We’ve already secured a distributor and our first retailer in Manhattan. We have plans to ramp up quickly. Q: How do you define success? A: Success for me is running a profitable company that has a positive social impact on people’s lives. I see it as empathic innovation, and I believe all businesses in the future will need to innovate in this way. Q: Where would you like to be with THEYA Healthcare in five years’ time? A: THEYA Healthcare will have a 100 million turnover serving niche markets that are currently being overlooked in the medical garment space. We already have a list as long as our arm as to who those niches are, so watch this space while we grow. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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COVER STORY Almost two years on, Irish business continues to assess the fallout from Britain’s decision to leave the EU. While there’s still plenty to consider, InBUSINESS checks in with Bernard McCarthy, MD, DHL Express Ireland, to get his view on how small Irish exporters are preparing themselves.

How has business been for DHL Express Ireland thus far in 2018?

The first quarter of 2018 has seen a carry-over of the strong growth that we experienced in 2017. This growth is driven by increases in international express shipments – both exports and imports. It’s also fair to say that this is positive news not just for DHL Express but for ‘Ireland Inc’. generally, given that our business is usually a good barometer of the overall health of the economy. In terms of trends, e-commerce continues to drive volumes within our business internationally, and is also driving volumes within our Irish business. This is most apparent with our inbound volume – that is, Irish consumers shopping online internationally for delivery into Ireland. We are also seeing an improved trend with Irish online retailers selling their products internationally, which is really great to see. Tell us about the kind of export resources and support you offer SMEs in Ireland.

Jason Clarke

I often say that the role of DHL Express is to facilitate international trade. In

Bernard McCarthy, MD, DHL Express Ireland

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BUILT FOR BREXIT For a look at the Chamber Network’s views on Brexit turn to page 68

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Has the Brexit decision impacted on the volume of trade you are seeing between Ireland and the UK?

It’s interesting that if you look at the official CSO export statistics, the value of Irish goods exported to the UK increased by 8 per cent in 2017, with imports increasing by over 9 per cent. These official stats can often be distorted by the activity of large multinationals so when we look at the trading activity of more than 2,000 DHL Ireland customers that do business with the UK – predominantly SMEs – an interesting picture emerges. Our experience shows UK activity growing by approximately 13 per cent in 2017, significantly more than the headline rate of export growth to the UK. This points to the resilience of the Irish exporting community, which has been able to maintain, and it would appear grow, its presence in the UK market despite the currency challenge. 22

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“WHAT HAS REALLY ENCOURAGED ME OVER THE LAST 12 TO 18 MONTHS IS THE NUMBER AND SHEER DIVERSITY OF INDIGENOUS IRISH COMPANIES THAT HAVE EXPANDED THEIR BUSINESS INTERNATIONALLY.” How is DHL Express Ireland helping its SME customers navigate Brexit? For SMEs exporting to the UK that have been slow to respond, what should they consider?

We’ve been speaking to many customers about the Brexit challenge and how best to prepare. The simple truth is that no one knows what the final outcome will be, although the recent agreement with regard to a 21-month Brexit transition period at least provides some certainty that current trading arrangements and EU rules will apply until the end of 2020. It’s unclear thereafter whether there will be a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in place or in a worst case scenario we may potentially revert to WTO rules.

Jason Clarke

this regard, we provide advice and support to SMEs that are new or inexperienced exporters and importers. This can be anything from helping them to make good decisions in terms of selecting the right service or transport mode, to understanding insurance or limits of liability and selecting the right commercial terms for the carriage of their goods. For goods shipping outside of the EU, we provide support and advice regarding customs and paperwork, which can be daunting for the inexperienced shipper. The key point about all of this is that, unlike others in our industry who have outsourced much of this activity, we have a clear strategy to maintain local resources to provide this support. This means a team of 60 plus customer services advisers, a local team of customs specialists, a local team of e-commerce specialists, local account managers and more – all of whom are fully trained to provide expert support and advice.

Indeed, there is a degree to which we are ‘hoping for the best’ – a full FTA with minimal if any change – whilst ‘planning for the worst’ – no FTA and full tariffs and customs formalities in place. In this latter scenario, we can model what this may look like in terms of additional costs and the impact on cashflow, and even a relatively small firm can make some estimation in this regard. Our commitment to our customers is that whatever the outcome, we will scale up our resources and infrastructure to ensure that we are able to maintain the highest levels of service into and out of the UK and navigate whatever new customs arrangements come into being. At a more basic and practical InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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level, my advice to any SME is to take advantage of the range of supports that are already in place. Talk to DHL or whoever your carrier is, but also talk to your bank – most of which have dedicated Brexit advisers. I also strongly recommend that SMEs engage with one of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country. A wide range of advisory services and training is available, as well as advice on finance and funding options, market entry support and mentoring among other services. There is also an excellent ‘Brexit scorecard’ available, which is an online tool which enables a company to gauge their ‘Brexit-readiness.’ Are your SME customers showing signs of diversifying to new markets? If so, which markets are they entering?

Given the uncertainty that still exists regarding Brexit, most commentators agree that market diversification is the right strategy for companies that are heavily exposed to the UK. The EU is the obvious reference point, with more than 500 million consumers on our doorstep, with well-established transport links and of course free movement of goods within the single market. Thereafter, trade with any of the 18 eurozone countries is especially attractive given no currency risk. The good news is that we are seeing this diversification happening within our customer base. Looking at the same 2,000 companies mentioned earlier, whilst we identified strong growth of approximately 13 per cent to their UK markets, growth to all other markets outside of the UK was stronger still at around 17 per cent. Breaking this down further, we see the strongest growth to the USA, Germany, Spain and France. Based on this significant sample size, there is clear evidence that market diversification is taking place. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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What would be the main factors for SMEs to consider when entering new overseas markets?

That’s a big topic and varies considerably by industry sector and by market. What I’d say in summary is that planning and research is key; be clear about your value proposition and be very clear about what is your unique selling point. Know who the local competitors are and be clear about your pricing strategy. Decide if you will go with a partner or distributor or sell directly. And, of course, choose a reputable carrier that will be a brand ambassador for your business. Plenty to consider! Could you give us some examples of companies you are dealing with that have been spurred on by the Brexit uncertainty to take their business to the next level?

Whether it’s directly attributable to the Brexit risk or not, it’s difficult to say, but what has really encouraged me over the last 12 to 18 months is the number and sheer diversity of indigenous Irish companies that have expanded their business internationally with DHL Express and diversified into brand new markets. Whilst these companies are all very different, what they typically have in common is a strong online presence and a clear e-commerce strategy. Products range from make-up to hair extensions, high fashion to Aran jumpers, car parts to health supplements and hampers to computer accessories. The sheer diversity is simply astounding and demonstrates that this is not a sector specific phenomenon. Overall, would you be optimistic about how Irish SMEs and businesses in general are preparing themselves for Brexit?

The short and simple answer is yes! Irish businesses have proven themselves to be highly resilient and indeed innovative and I’m confident that this will continue no matter what the Brexit outcome.

PLAYING A STRONG E-COMMERCE CARD Research conducted by SalesOptimize last year identified that only 20 per cent of Irish online retailers quoted an international shipping option. According to Bernard McCarthy, this shows that there is a large majority of online retailers that are not tapping into the massive potential represented by international e-commerce. Here McCarthy offers three simple principles to companies that are seeking to develop their e-commerce strategy and extend their online sales into international markets. • Make it clear that you’re open for business and that you ship internationally – ideally on your home page. Taking this simple step will straight away reduce ‘bounce rates’ from international visitors. • Offer a range of appropriately priced delivery options – including a return solution which should ideally be free. The traditional view was that only high-value, premium products would warrant express shipping. This is simply not the case anymore and in particular millennials expect to have an express option available. • Have payment processing and currency options appropriate to the market(s) that you’re operating in and ensure that the check-out process is secure and simple.

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BUSINESS OF SPORT

Conor Forrest takes a look at the business of running a sports ground and chats to two people whose job it is to make sure operations run smoothly on match or raceday.

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F

or most sports lovers, little else can beat the feeling of matchday, of walking through the turnstiles with thousands of other supporters and cheering on the team or star of your chosen sport. But while matchday might be relatively straightforward for attendees, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that you wouldn’t ordinarily see – the development of event management plans, ensuring there’s enough catering support on hand for hungry supporters, putting sufficient security in place and plenty more besides. For stadiums like Aviva, making sure the turf is in tip-top condition can be the most pressing concern. “The biggest challenge really is a practical one – it’s to make sure that the pitch is presented in perfect condition for every match,” explains Martin Murphy, chief executive of the stadium company that runs Aviva Stadium, a joint venture between the IRFU and the FAI. “We have a lot of activity on the pitch, we’ve got the national teams for both rugby and football and sometimes their season overlaps. There can be challenges in terms of running matches in close proximity to each other. The pitch is ultimately our main asset and we’ve got to make sure that it’s in prime condition for all of our games.” Given Ireland’s changeable weather patterns, particularly of late, the forecast must also be taken into account during the planning process. Take Punchestown Racecourse in Co Kildare, renowned as the home of National Hunt racing in Ireland. While the racecourse is home to several stands for spectators, it’s ultimately an outdoor event and a lot can depend on the weather. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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BUSINESS OF SPORT

“Being an outdoor event and in the country we live in, and the year particularly that we’re having at the moment, weather is something that influences what we do greatly,” says Richie Galway, Punchestown’s racing manager. “We try and plan for it, we try and ensure that we minimise its impact, but it plays a huge role. Over the five days, from the track point of view, it may mean for the safety of the horses irrigating the racecourse, which is a labour intensive, time-consuming, expensive job. It doesn’t look like it will be an issue this year. Internally around the site we invest a500,000 Martin Murphy, a year in temporary infrastructure Stadium Director, Aviva to cater for the crowd and the main emphasis of all of that infrastructure is to minimise the impact that weather can have on an event such as the festival.” STADIUM STAFFING Event security is another factor for those behind Part of stadium management is the scenes. Events across the UK and Europe in recent overseeing an increased workforce months and years mean that venues are on high alert during events. Aviva’s staff numbers swell during matchdays and events, when it comes to a possible terrorist incident. While while Punchestown welcomes a Ireland – fortunately – has been spared an attack so significant increase in its number far, it’s something that still needs to be considered by of employees and contractors on management teams, as is the balancing act between racedays, particularly during its annual festival each April. effective security and a positive experience for supporters. “It’s unfortunate because it adds stress to people. AVIVA: We try and have a very friendly atmosphere here, a 70 full-time employees rising to very welcoming atmosphere,” says Martin Murphy. 2,500 depending on the event. “Inevitably with the increase in security there’s some compromise on that. At the same time we try and still PUNCHESTOWN: Richie Galway, do our searches and interact with people in a very 10 full-time staff, with over 1,500 Racing Manager, working on-site at festival meetings. friendly, positive way. But there’s no doubt that security Punchestown Racecourse has increased since the events in Paris and the events in Manchester. Unfortunately that’s the way of the world – I can’t see that relaxing in the short-term at least.” too, invests significantly in its racecourse. Around a1.5m STADIUM DEVELOPMENTS has been spent refurbishing existing facilities in recent Continued investment is a fact of life for any sports years while its most recent addition, the Hunt Stand, was ground, whether it’s negating the impacts of wear and completed in April to the tune of a4.5m. “Obviously tear, providing additional facilities or increasing capacity. continued investment is necessary in any business, no more Over the past few years stadiums and sportsgrounds so than here. I don’t see that stopping,” says Richie Galway. around the country have and are developing investment “Probably the completion of the Hunt stand will be the plans – Dublin’s Shelbourne Park is to undergo a a3 biggest large-scale investment we’ll have for a few years.” million revamp as part of a five-year strategy, Croke Park Alongside that investment, a focus on the visitor will construct a new state-of-the-art handball system experience, streamlined security measures and sufficient in the coming years, while Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh facilities on-hand, having a good team in place behind the presented a new face to the world last year following a scenes can be the most important factor in a successful two-year and a80m redevelopment process. event. “It’s pretty challenging at times but it runs pretty Murphy notes that the Aviva is constantly investing smoothly, we’ve got a very good team here,” says Murphy. in maintenance and technology upgrades such as “You need that, you need people that actually can enjoy the improvements to lighting and additional screens, a pressure and enjoy what goes into an event. I think we all constant process of upgrading facilities. Punchestown, share the satisfaction when an event does go well.” InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT STRAIN ON THE EFFORTS OF REGIONAL NEWSPAPERS TO TURN A PROFIT AND THUS PERFORM THEIR DUTIES IN RECENT YEARS. INNOVATION WILL BE KEY TO THEIR SURVIVAL, WRITES TIERNAN CANNON.

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INDUSTRY FEATURE

here is a strong argument to be made for the importance of regional journalism to the state of a country’s democracy, yet the economic crash and a general societal shift towards new media formats have severely damaged its ability to function. As consumers have drifted online for their news content, advertisers have pulled back and revenues have dried up. Newspapers have been hollowed out, forced to restructure, taken over – or indeed shut down entirely. Many regional newspapers are wholly reliant on advertising, but with the shift online, advertising has become an increasingly difficult means of generating revenue, as Johnny O’Hanlon, the director of Local Ireland, an organisation which promotes the local newspaper industry, explains. “The landscape has changed quite dramatically. I came into it shortly after the economic collapse, during the summer of 2008,” he recalls. “Everything fell off the cliff in the latter half of 2008 – and when I say it fell off the cliff, I’m talking about advertising revenues. In the space of about a year, they declined by nearly 60 per cent. Circulation and revenues have been taking a hit ever since.” As the popularity of new and social media has grown, legacy media has suffered. Indeed, many newspapers have attempted to keep up with the times, restructuring their business models and attempting to make the move from print to online. Yet revenue generated from online advertising does not equate to the figures of the past. Many digital consumers nowadays use adblockers to prevent advertisements from intruding on their online experience, which ultimately is off-putting for advertisers in the first place. “The challenge is to monetise online activity,” says O’Hanlon. “It’s difficult to monetise because you need scale, and it’s a very heavily discounted business. With programmatic advertising, there’s a possibility that [media companies] are increasing their revenues. But those revenues are still way behind the revenues that you would have traditionally had with print advertising. This is the big conundrum – no one has really gotten their head around it.” LEAN AND MEAN This is a sentiment all too familiar to Graham O’Neill, whose company, Informed Voice Media, is having to grapple with the reality of online advertising. Informed Voice Media publishes a number of local free sheet newspapers around the Leinster area, with its most recent, Kilkenny Today, launched last August. Evidently, with such a recent launch, O’Neill still identifies a market for regional print newspapers, yet he cannot ignore the shift to online – despite its shortcomings for the smaller players. “We spent time and energy building up a digital presence, but ultimately the only people that make money out of that are Google and Facebook – they’re driving traffic to a website,” he says. “You might get a small return off it, but it’s very difficult to sell advertising on our website.” Instead, the bulk of O’Neill’s news is in print form. It’s undoubtedly a tough business, and so his editorial team is small – “lean and mean,” as he describes it. He acknowledges that print newspapers will not be around forever, but he believes that there are opportunities within their decline – that if one approaches the sector carefully, it is possible to turn a profit. “Our revenues are driven purely by advertising, so none of our titles are paid for. Effectively what we do is we sell ads,” he explains. “We build a newspaper around the ads, we print, and then the distributors put the newspapers through people’s letterboxes, door-to-door distribution. Three-quarters of the print run will go to letter boxes, and then the other 25 per cent will go into display baskets in supermarkets and pick-up points.” InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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MEDIA CONCENTRATION

Media ownership concentration is seen as an increasing concern in Ireland, with the country slipping from ninth to 14th place in the Reporters Without Borders 2017 World Press Freedom Index. According to Local Ireland’s Johnny O’Hanlon, around 65 per cent of the country’s regional titles are owned by three main groups.

Independent News & Media

Independent News & Media is the largest media company in Ireland, with a slew of regional newspaper titles including The Kerryman, The Sligo Champion and Wexford People.

Iconic Newspapers

Iconic Newspapers is a part of the UK’s Mediaforce Group. Its portfolio of Irish regional newspaper includes Donegal Democrat, Leinster Leader and Leitrim Observer.

Celtic Media Group

In 2017, a deal to allow Celtic Media Group to be taken over by Independent News & Media was terminated. Today, Celtic Media’s titles include The AngloCelt, The Connaught Telegraph and Meath Chronicle.

PAPERS FOR SALE O’Neill’s business model works from the assumption that people are nowadays less willing to pay for news content. However, there are regionals in production today that continue to sell their offerings. The Connacht Tribune, for example, is produced in Galway and sells its papers at 2.40 a copy. It does not disclose its circulation figures, but claims to be within the top three selling regionals in the country. It has a comparatively large team of 35 staff and has, for a regional, quite a substantial online presence – yet, as editor Dave O’Connell suggests, it does not want to shift too far online for fear of “cannibalising” its printed product. 27

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of extra stories [than what is offered on the Dublin Inquirer website], but I think the majority of people subscribe because... they understand the importance of having journalism that is paid for.” Dave O’Connell, Editor, Connacht Tribune

Lois Kapila, Managing Editor, Dublin Inquirer

O’Connell acknowledges the fact that regional papers are unlikely to reach the revenue levels of yesteryear ever again, but what does he expect over the next decade? “If I knew the answer to that, I’d sell it – or at least I’d sleep a lot better at night!” he jokes. “It is my belief however that local newspapers have a better chance of a longer future – because we’re doing something nobody else replicates, covering local sport in a comprehensive way, reporting from councils and courts, providing that forensic level of local news that is difficult to find in one package elsewhere.” The Connacht Tribune has been in production for over a century, and so is an established title with roots that run deep into media formats of the past. It is easy to imagine how such a title would be in a position to charge for its paper and still demand a certain level of readership, but less so for a new title. This is the challenge faced by Dublin Inquirer, launched in June 2015, which is building itself up on a paidfor and subscription-based model. Given that the paper was launched so recently, its circulation is quite low at around 1,200 – though bit by bit this is increasing. It sells some advertisements, but not a lot, meaning that the vast 28

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Graham O’Neill, Managing Editor, Informed Voice Media

bulk of its revenue is generated from sales and subscriptions. The paper is stocked in a number of locations across Dublin city and sells for a3, and there are a range of options for subscribers, offering deals at a5, a10 and a20 a month, or a a60 a year deal. Depending on their chosen subscription, readers can avail of a range of novel benefits, including being sent out a tote bag, early invites to events run by the paper, and access to additional content on the Inquirer website. These perks may provide some further incentive for people to subscribe, but ultimately the paper is reliant on the idea that news-seekers are willing to pay for the product they receive. “I’m staking everything on it!” laughs Lois Kapila, the paper’s Managing Editor and GeneralAssignment Reporter. “When newspapers first started to go online, there was less of a culture of paying for news for a while, but I think it’s coming back. People subscribe [to Dublin Inquirer] because some of the stories are longer and so they’re nicer to read in print, and there’s a couple

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT It may well be the case that Kapila’s view is correct, but it is difficult to deny that regional newspapers face an uphill battle. The landscape has fundamentally changed, but given the expected function of regional journalism, should the Government play a more central role in allowing regionals to exist without a total reliance on advertising? Local Ireland’s Johnny O’Hanlon explains that his organisation lobbies heavily for Government support, laying out the possibility of some form of licensing system. “It looks inevitable that the TV license as we know it is going to be abolished, and instead there’s going to be a household charge applied for provision of media,” he says. “We’re seeking to have some share of that.” Whether this comes to pass or not, the future of regional newspapers is unclear. People within the industry express varying levels of optimism as to their future – as well as the form in which they might exist – but for now, at least, they are soldiering on, with even some new titles like Kilkenny Today and the Dublin Inquirer popping up and growing. “I still believe there’s going to be a strong local newspaper market in this country,” concludes Local Ireland’s O’Hanlon. “I think the shape of our newspapers will change in the sense that they will have a core function – literally reporting and advertising and circulation and sales. The other functions I’d say are going to be outsourced – that’s already happening. They are going to be lean operations, but are going to be incredibly important to the democracy of the country. I don’t wish to sound overly grandiose, but with what’s going on at the moment, having reliable and trusted local news is absolutely key.” InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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FEATURE

A ponzi scheme or a real alternative to money? What are the long-term prospects for cryptocurrency? InBUSINESS takes a look.

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FEATURE

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CRYPTOCURRENCIES: THE LOWDOWN There are other cryptocurrencies out there, which we’ll come to, but for now we’ll stick with Bitcoin to offer up the clearest example of what it’s all about.

WHAT IS BITCOIN? A Bitcoin is not a physical coin, but rather a piece of encrypted data. The coins are stored in online ‘wallets’, either on a computer or an online exchange server. They are not issued or regulated by any central authority. Value is determined by market supply and demand.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Coins are generated through ‘mining’, which essentially means computers solve mathematical problems to release new currency. The currency can be transferred from wallet to wallet directly – in theory eliminating the need for a third-party intermediary.

HOW CAN I BUY IT? Buying Bitcoin in Ireland can be done via a number of platforms. These include:

PAXFUL Paxful is a peer-to-peer marketplace where people can buy and sell Bitcoin. Users can pay with PayPal, bank transfer, debit or credit card, or via cash. Users automatically get a free bitcoin wallet when they join Paxful. On Paxful the seller of bitcoins pays a 1 per cent fee. The buyer of bitcoins does not pay any fee at all.

LOCAL BITCOINS This Finland-based site allows users to post adverts where they state the exchange rate and the payment methods for buying or selling bitcoins. Bitcoins are placed in a LocalBitcoins.com web wallet from where you can pay your bitcoin purchases directly. Users who create adverts are charged a 1 per cent fee for every completed trade.

COINBASE A digital wallet is provided when you join up with San Fransisco-based Coinbase. There are fees for conversion that range from 1.5 per cent to 4 per cent.

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“In

terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending. When it happens or how, or anything else, I don’t know.” Those were the rather pointed words of the US billionaire Warren Buffet, when quizzed earlier this year on whether he’d ever consider an investment foray into the world of Bitcoin and digital assets. His fellow billionaire and deputy chairman at Berkshire, went a step further when asked for his view more recently, labelling Bitcoin as ‘noxious poison’. The mood of many business people towards cryptocurrencies remains – as the US finance magazine summated Buffet’s comments to be – ‘bearish’. Yet, while scepticism remains high in certain quarters, Bitcoin and its buddy currencies are not without their supporters. A string of Hollywood celebrities – no doubt under the influence of their investment teams – are known to be investors in Bitcoin. American venture capitalists Barry Silbert and Tim Draper are also well-reported to have seen the value of their Bitcoin investments increase sharply. While the debate about the long-term merits of cryptocurrency has raged on over recent years, the value of Bitcoin – the poster-boy of the cryptocurrency movement – has kept on rising. Bitcoin launched in the summer of 2010. In the three years that followed, Bitcoin’s value rose to $621. The digital currency trundled along unspectacularly over the next three years, but between August 2016 and mid-December 2017, the value of Bitcoin went through the roof, shooting up to around the $17,500 level. While early investors celebrated that progress, the wind has come out of the Bitcoin sales over the opening months of 2018. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading around the $7,700 level. Cryptocurrency-sceptics have pointed to this recent foundering as confirmation that the long-term prospects for Bitcoin et al as an investment class are cloudy. Advocates of Bitcoin forecast that it could eventually take over from regular currency. But will it ever catch on in Ireland? THE IRISH VIEW The Irish public are open and expectant that the way we pay for things will change. Dublin Chamber’s Great Dublin Survey, carried out in the summer of 2017 amongst 20,000 Dubliners, found that almost two-thirds of people (63 per cent) expect that coins or notes won’t be used to pay for things in the year 2050. Think that sounds ambitious? Consider that Sweden is already just about there, with just 1 per cent of all transactions (in value terms) now involving notes and coins. Bitcoin and co continue to make a splash in Ireland. A number of umbrella organisations have already sprung up, ranging from the Blockchain Association of Ireland, a member organisation which aims to educate people about blockchain technology at regular meet-ups, to Bitcoin Foundation of Ireland, whose raison d’etre is to “take all reasonable steps to ensure that the bitcoin industry is properly promoted throughout Ireland”. However, officialdom in Ireland remains firmly on the sceptical side of the cryptocurrency fence. Take the Central Bank of Ireland for example (or any Central Bank around the world for that matter!). Ireland’s Central

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Bank has held a very cautious view on Bitcoin from the start and attitudes on North Wall Quay have proved slow to change. A quick glance at the Central Bank’s website offers a clear insight into how cryptocurrencies are viewed with warnings of ‘extreme volatility’, an ‘absence of protection’, and ‘misleading information’. “Virtual currencies are unsuitable for most consumers, including those with a shortterm investment horizon, and especially those pursuing long-term goals like saving for retirement,” the Central Bank says. In other words, tread carefully and don’t come crying to us if it all goes pear-shaped. The European Central Bank, meanwhile, has repeatedly warned about the dangers of investing in digital currencies. The ECB’s Benoit Coeure has warned of Bitcoin’s unstable value and links to tax evasion and crime. Back on home soil, eyebrows were raised in the spring of 2014 when Ireland’s first Bitcoin ATM was opened in Dublin. The machine is located in the heart of Temple Bar, the city’s hen and stag party capital, and converts physical cash into the digital currency. The ATM machine is operated by Bitvendo, a bitcoin vending business started by a number of Irish and international digital currency enthusiasts. Sceptics saw the ATM opening as a PR stunt. Other commentators believe that such developments show the growing consumer appeal – and intrigue – of cryptocurrencies. According to Emma Simon of investment research firm Morningstar, it is no longer just multinational billionaires, technology entrepreneurs and tax fugitives investing in cryptocurrency. “A number of online platforms and brokerages are now offering bitcoin investments to retail investors,” she tells InBUSINESS. “You might think you need serious amounts of money to invest in bitcoins. But this is not necessarily the case. It’s possible to buy a bit of a bitcoin, known as a ‘satoshi’, for as little as £10.” But Simon cautions people who are now choosing to buy digital assets just because it’s possible. “Just because you can now invest in bitcoins, doesn’t mean you necessarily should,” she warns. “Opinion is divided as to whether bitcoins offer useful diversification and a little

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WHAT ABOUT OTHER CRYPTOCURRENCIES? The success and profile of Bitcoin has prompted a number of alternative digital currencies to spring up over the past 18 months. Bitcoin is a busted flush as far as many investors are concerned and their attention has now switched to smaller, lower profile currencies. Fancy a dabble? Here are a few to consider:

RIPPLE Ripple, also known as XRP, is the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. Ripple has links to financial institutions and was launched in 2012 for legitimate banks to make global money transfers. It’s harder to get than other cryptocurrencies as you have to pay for it with Bitcoin or Ethereum, but it is a lot cheaper; at the time of writing, Ripple could be bought for around $.50, having launched at $0.19 last summer. However, like most cryptocurrencies, XRP has fallen since the start of 2018 when XRP was up around $3.40.

ETHERUM Ethereum was created by a teenage hacker in 2014. Ethereum’s coins are referred to as Ether, and just like Bitcoin you can trade your real-world cash for some virtual coins. At the time of writing, an Ether coin costs around $122, up from $50 a year ago but down from around $1,200 at the start of January.

LITECOIN STELLAR Stellar, an offshoot of Ripple, is opensource and works a little like PayPal; anchoring your money to the network and storing it in a wallet. Unlike Bitcoin, it calls itself a global financial network; attempting to rival centralised banking.

Litecoin was intended to be the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. The appeal of Litecoin is that transactions can be made quickly – in around two and a half minutes. A Litecoin will cost you around $122, up from $42 at launch, but well down on the $323 peak hit just before Christmas 2017.

Anyone looking to find out more about Cryptocurrencies would be wise to check out Coindesk.com, which offers a really slick overview of how all of the main currencies are trading. The key trend for the moment? Expect volatility – most of the currencies listed have fluctuated hugely over the past six months, with big gains in the final few months of 2017 being followed by steady drop-offs in the opening months of this year.

excitement in a portfolio for investors who can afford to shoulder a bit more risk – and those who believe this is a bubble primed to burst,” she says. Commentators and consumers will continue to follow the Bitcoin story with huge interest. Whether the ‘currency’ will ever become a fully credible investment class remains to be seen. Likewise, whether the so-called bubble will ever burst, we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it promises to be an intriguing watch.

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BRIAN BEHAN ANTIQUES Located at 105 Francis Street in Dublin 8, Brian Behan Antiques & Galleries stock a unique range of bronze sculptures by Irish artists, including John Behan, Jarlath Daly, Leo Higgins and Markey Robinson and paintings by John Skelton, Norman Teeling, Markey Robinson and Alex McKenna. They also stock a range of 19th and 20th century antique lighting, silver and decorative objects . “I have a love of art and antiques and have worked in this business for over 20 years,” says Brian Behan. “What makes our shop stand out from the crowd is that you can propose something of your own as a part exchange on any item for sale. Everything is ready to go, fully restored, and ready to be used. I price my stock to sell in accordance with the demands of today’s market and I try to keep the prices affordable for my customers. For further information, visit www.brianbehanantiquegalleries.ie or you can email me on infobehan@gmail.com or call 0879212472. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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04/05/2018 15:34

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FEATURE

SNAP

CHAT Seónaid Ó Murchadha, HR & Disability Project Manager, Employer Disability Information

Employers are often faced by their own bias that they mightn’t even be

There’s a fear around disability and let’s face it, nobody can aware of.

know everything about all disabilities.

Run by a consortium of employers including Chambers Ireland, the Employer Disability Information service offers advice and information for employers about the recruitment of people with disabilities in Ireland. InBUSINESS caught up with Project Manager Seónaid Ó Murchadha to find out more.

When you recruit diverse people businesses are much better able to manage and respond to their customers’ needs. Not only do you improve your public reputation, but you attract new employees and better retain existing ones.

Twenty years ago I was burned in a fire and I lost three of my limbs. I would have had a very supportive environment within college but when I sought to get a job I found a lot of barriers.

Maybe in the past people have just accepted that life is different and that they wouldn’t go back to work [after acquiring a disability]. But now people expect to be able to return.

We work with anything from big organisations like Google on inclusive employment to the man with a van who might be looking to give someone from a local disability group work experience. What I’m seeing is that the will and desire is there but that doesn’t always translate into action. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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What do you do if your most loyal and trusted manager has a horrific car accident? These are things that employers need to be thinking about.

The most common query is that we like the idea of recruiting diverse people but we don’t know where to start.

The best way to embed diversity in a company is to start out small and do a pilot project with someone. We’ll be sitting down with the National Disability Authority and the consortium members to look at the future of the project. Employers are engaging with the service and it needs to continue to grow and respond to employers’ needs.

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FEATURE

Ready to Assemble InBUSINESS got a grand tour of the IKEA store in Ballymun and met with Country Manager Claudia Marshall to ďŹ nd out how the Swedish retail giant is performing here and whether reports that it is eyeing up a second location in Ireland hold much truth.

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C

laudia Marshall has been getting to know the Irish customer. In her 12 years with IKEA – five in her home country of Germany followed by another five in the Swedish town of Älmhult (where the retailer started out in 1943), before moving to London for nine months and then taking up her current role of Country Manager for Ireland in May 2017 – she has developed a good sense of what consumers are looking for when it comes to furniture and homeware. However, for Marshall, the Irish consumer is something of an anomaly and displays particular attributes not shown by its European peers. One of those is our love affair with picture frames. “I’m not sure what it is, but you can’t get enough of them,” she tells me taking us on a tour of the store shortly before opening time. Then there is storage – something else the Irish have developed an obsession with. Last year, IKEA’s Drona boxes were one of the store’s biggest online sellers for Irish customers.

IB STAT: DID YOU KNOW?

It is reported that roughly 203 million copies of the IKEA catalogue are printed in 35 different languages each year, which means its distribution is wider than that of the Bible or the Quran.

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HOME VISITS One way that IKEA familiarises itself with not only its customers, but the local market in which it operates, is by visiting homes as part of its market research. Once we settle down in the Malmo suite (each of IKEA’s meeting rooms is named after a Swedish city) following our tour, Marshall explains the process. “We select families or individuals through an agency and make an appointment with them once they’re happy enough for us to come out and be a little bit curious in their home. A member of our marketing team goes out, as does our sales team and communication and interior design team; the guys who are responsible for putting the look together in the store. We’re very clear on what we want to get out of it. We take lots of photographs, ask lots of questions and then it’s about taking that information, analysing it and seeing what are the similarities and synergies in terms of the needs people have.” Marshall says it’s important that they are not only seeking out families that already shop in IKEA, but go into consumers’ homes to discover how people live without IKEA products. The strategy is clearly working. Forget the photo frames and storage solutions, Irish consumers are clearly smitten with the IKEA brand. The Ballymun store was the ninth strongest performing IKEA store in the world last year; no mean feat when you consider that there are upwards of 400 stores in the world. IKEA reported annual sales of 167.1 million in Ireland, up 10 per cent on the previous year. Additionally, the Ballymun store along with its Carrickmines collection point received an estimated four million visits and IKEA is now the number one brand in Ireland’s home furnishing sector, accounting for 8.4 per cent market share. From a jobs perspective, IKEA currently employs 705 staff in the country. Moving its Irish business online last November has certainly helped boost sales. So why did it take so long given that IKEA 37

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The Ballymun store was the ninth strongest performing IKEA store in the world last year

Claudia Marshall, IKEA’s Country Manager for Ireland

is present in Ireland for almost a decade? “We had to get the technique right and we also had to ensure the supply chain really had the right partners on board,” says Marshall. “I think customers really enjoy it. We get a lot of positive feedback regarding accessibility now and also regarding the customers using it for fact-finding, for exploring different options and we are happy with how it is performing.” But isn’t IKEA all about the visitor experience and being led through the store from entrance to exit by those trademark arrows? “We don’t see online as avoiding the shop,” Marshall contends. “It’s more that we see it as a multi-channel approach – so really having different touchpoints for the different needs of the customer. You can come into the store, be inspired by the different room sets, you can touch and feel, you can also have your great day out by using the restaurant, and you can have the instant purchase by just taking what you want, buying and then going home. Then as a second touchpoint we have the collection point in Carrickmines where you can order goods and pick them up there. Then you have ‘shop online’ from an accessibility perspective but also from a convenience perspective. We have a lot of customers preparing online 38

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“WE DON’T SEE ONLINE AS AVOIDING THE SHOP. IT’S MORE THAT

WE SEE IT AS A MULTI-CHANNEL APPROACH – SO REALLY HAVING

DIFFERENT TOUCHPOINTS FOR THE DIFFERENT NEEDS OF THE CUSTOMER.”

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A HANDS-ON COLLABORATION and then coming into the store. So it’s not either or, we see it as a totality and we also see shop online as a growth driver.” A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS IKEA is one of the world’s biggest consumers of wood. According to the BBC documentary Flatpack Empire aired earlier this year, the company uses one per cent of the world’s commercial wood supply each year, estimated to be the equivalent of 70 million trees. The figures are quite astounding, and having such an impact on the environment has led IKEA to rethink ways of making the business a more sustainable and environmentally friendly one. For instance, it is now assessing the viability of using recyclable materials such as aluminium in the manufacture of many of its products currently being made with wood. Marshall says IKEA likes to be seen as “people and planet positive” and outlines some of the other measures the company has taken to reduce its carbon footprint in recent years. “We have a lot of products made from cotton and we are really looking to source sustainably. We have switched to LED lights and 98 per cent of all of our packaging material is either recycled material or recyclable material or reused.” Not everyone will be aware that IKEA owns a wind farm based in Carrickeeny in north-west Leitrim. As part of a deal agreed in 2013, IKEA sells electricity generated by the wind farm to Irish energy supply company Vayu, which supplies electricity to the retailer’s Dublin and Belfast stores under a 15-year contract. “We are producing this renewable energy to operate the store here and we also have zero waste for landfill so really we are doing a lot in the store when it comes to recycling and sustainability.” IKEA’s positive approach extends to people within the local community too whereby it invites customers to participate in various workshops aimed at the promotion InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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It’s not all India and China when it comes to IKEA’s sourcing of products. The company looked no further than the west of Ireland when it sought the production of a 3D-printed piece of home decor used for hanging jewellery from Tralee-based start-up Wazp. “Working with IKEA on the Omedelbar 3D printed hand was massively important for us,” Shane Hassett, co-founder and CEO of Wazp, tells InBUSINESS. “It proved that our strategy for high volume 3D printing works for large international brands. It also allowed us to learn so much by actually producing high volume 3D printed products for the consumer market – something that had never been done before.” Wazp was set up in 2014 after Shane Hassett and Mariana Kobal spotted an opportunity to start a company that uses 3D printing for mass production. Having secured support from Enterprise Ireland, Wazp started out at Tralee Institute of Technology and has since gone from strength to strength, now boasting big name clients such as Puma and Next. www.wazp.io

of sustainable living. That includes presentations on how to cook in a more sustainable way, how you reduce your energy bill by using alternative lightbulbs or tips on how to generate more sustainable heating at home. Aside from the environmental side of things, Marshall says her main focus on Irish operations for the foreseeable future will be on the growth agenda. In the past two years IKEA has already taken significant expansion steps in Ireland with the opening of its order and collection point in Carrickmines, as well as the launch of its new online store. So the big question is when will we see another giant blue building on Irish soil? Marshall remains tight-lipped. “We are constantly looking for opportunities and we are investigating opening a second store, specifically in Cork, but there is nothing to confirm yet,” she says. Now one year in her position, Marshall says she fully enjoys the

job and, with the growth agenda in mind, sees herself staying for a few years yet. In terms of lifestyle, she has become quite taken by her adopted country, which is no surprise given that visiting the Irish coastline was a dream of hers as a child. “There are a couple of minor things you miss whenever you move to a different country but I love living here,” she says. “You have a beautiful countryside, you have a fantastic city, so you’re getting everything. And I really love the people in Ireland, they are very open, they are very welcoming, very supportive, and sometimes a little nosey!” This leads conveniently to my final question: Does all the furniture in her home come from IKEA? “Some but not all of it,” Marshall answers before revealing that her favourite IKEA possession is her light blue Strandmon wing chair. Of course, another 12 months in the role and that preference might have shifted to one of IKEA’s finest picture frames. 39

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MENTOR: JOHN LONERGAN

Lessons from the

Governor More than 50 years in the prison service has given former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan a unique perspective on Irish life and society. He talks to InBUSINESS about the importance of education, the consequences of deprivation and why employers should give people a second chance.

J

ohn Lonergan didn’t have any real ambition to join the prison service, but 60 years ago he saw an ad in the newspaper and applied. He was interviewed by the civil servants commission, as it was in those days, and appointed to a position in Limerick prison. The face of the Irish prison service was very different then. There were approximately 660 prisoners in total in the country – a tiny number in comparison to today’s figures – and just three prisons: Limerick, Mountjoy and Portlaoise, with a small women’s section in Mountjoy and Portlaoise. After a few years in Limerick, Lonergan was transferred to the open prison for young offenders in Shanganagh Castle near Bray. In 1984 he was promoted to governor of Mountjoy prison. He spent 27 years as prison governor between Mountjoy and the high security prison in Portlaoise. Over his years in the service, the prisoner population would increase greatly. Lonergan says the two biggest factors in this were the Troubles and drugs. “The start of the increase really coincided with the Troubles in 1969,” he explains. “That brought about a huge increase in violent crime and brought guns and ammunition to the criminals in Ireland – armed robberies became very prevalent. “The Troubles certainly contributed by introducing armed crime into what we’d call ordinary crime, but the single biggest factor without any question was the drugs scene. In the late ’60s and ’70s the drug problem really became apparent in the cities, particularly the heroin problem in Dublin. That has contributed enormously to the spiralling of crime and has caused devastation to communities and individuals.

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And it’s also a major contributory factor to the whole gangland feuds that are ongoing.” By the mid 1990s prison daily populations had increased to an average of over 5,000, an eightfold increase from when Lonergan started out. In recent years they have gone back down – when we speak to Lonergan they’re around 3,700, broken down to around 97 per cent men and 3 per cent women. “That [reduction] is a good sign and the result of a lot of good work done by the prison service to improve prisoner numbers and have better prisoner aftercare,” says Lonergan. “The worst period was around the late ’90s and early 2000s. “We used to put thousands of children into detention centres and industrial schools and history would indicate that that was a disastrous strategy. When I was in Mountjoy, one of the most brutal statistics showed that 75 per cent of the male prisoners had spent time in detention centres. We stopped doing that under the Children Act of 2001, which was a very important and progressive bit of legislation. Now we have the lowest number of young people ever in detention and that is a very positive thing.” What saddens Lonergan though is that in terms of background, the people being sent to prison today have the same profile as 50 years ago, indicating a direct link between deprivation and crime. “There are certain areas, particularly in urban Ireland, geographical areas that seem to be disconnected from mainstream society, usually corporation housing estates; they contribute a vast number of people who end up in crime. They’re poorly educated, experience high levels of unemployment and high levels of addiction – all those negative social consequences of poverty.” Lonergan says that during his time in the prison service only 6 per cent of prisoners InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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MENTORS

A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE,

FROM

WE NEED BUSINESSES

Jen Murphy

TO GIVE PEOPLE A SECOND AND, IN SOME CASES, A THIRD CHANCE.”

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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stayed in school after 16, usually because they had grown up in a culture where education wasn’t valued or respected and they weren’t encouraged to stick with it. He’s therefore passionate about the role education can play in changing lives. “Not staying in education is a huge issue,” he notes. “There’s no doubt in my mind that in 2018 without an education you are going to suffer. Education is the only meaningful, longterm answer to social alienation and poverty. The challenge to society is to help, sustain and encourage young people. There have been improvements – a lot of the schemes to keep young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in education have certainly made a difference but we still have thousands of young people who are very much disconnected in almost every town and city. They’re not able to participate in work and that is the ultimate product of education: to compete for jobs, participate in the workforce and earn an income. Work gives you not just income but social standing and the sense of being a part of something. According to Lonergan, education is one of Ireland’s great success stories. “People forget that only since 1966 Donogh O’Malley announced we were going to have free secondary education, and since that particular time we have made phenomenal strides,” he says. “We have access to education for people of all ages and backgrounds – it’s an enormous achievement and we’re feeling the benefit of that with a highly educated workforce and we should be very proud of that.” REINTEGRATION Aftercare for ex-prisoners is one of the major challenges facing the prison service and Lonergan says that even if someone is highly motivated, it’s an uphill battle to be reintegrated into society with a criminal record. “From a business perspective, we need businesses to give people a second and, in some cases, a third chance,” he says. “In my experience, there were some great success stories when progressive and proactive employers gave ex-prisoners a job. There’s great satisfaction there for the employer too, knowing that if they take a risk and give somebody a chance it can work out for both of them. Not everyone in prison is a bad person, or a violent person. A lot of prisoners get into trouble when they’re young, immature and irresponsible but you’d be amazed at the change when they mature and, I suppose, cop-on. 42

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John Lonergan, former governor of Mountjoy Prison

“I SAW

HUMAN NATURE AT ITS WORST,

AND I SAW

HUMAN NATURE AT ITS BEST.

AND I LEARNT A LOT ABOUT MYSELF IN TERMS OF

ATTITUDE, AUTHORITY AND POWER.”

“Two-thirds of prisoners are under 27 and we need to give them a chance when they want to change. The ultimate decision rests with them; they must want to change. But as a society, we need to meet them halfway. I used to say, ‘give an underdog a chance, improve his or her situation, and you’re not just helping that one person but you’re helping their family and future generations’. Employers could make a massive contribution.” Lonergan’s years in the prison service have given him a unique insight into Irish society and he believes community has a major part to play, fostering a sense of belonging and identity and creating a support system. He says most people that end up in prison come from communities that are non-functional and destructive. He’s also concerned about InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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MENTORS

the current housing crisis, and what that means for communities. “The housing crisis mainly affects people from poor areas,” he says. “The levels of homelessness are appalling – there are at least 1,500 children now living in temporary accommodation and that is certainly not good enough in this society.” THE RETIRED LIFE Since retiring in 2010, Lonergan has written a book on his experiences in the prison service and another about parenting in Ireland. He says he saw parents that were brilliant and others whose parenting was non-existent, both with children that ended up in prison. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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He now gives talks to secondary and third-level students about bullying, drugs, the reality of the prison system and social justice, and always emphasises to young people not to get a criminal conviction because it is such a major challenge to overcome. He sometimes talks to teachers too, and stresses how important it is that our teachers are positive and encouraging, as they play a hugely important role in society. He also speaks to voluntary organisations and communities around a range of topics including parenting, the importance of community, reducing the risk of suicide, and making a difference to others. Lonergan has come to realise that mentioning prison always gets a reaction from people and it’s generally a negative one, but he believes prison has taught him so much about life and humanity. “I learnt more in prison – from prisoners, from their families, from staff, from how the prison operates – than I did in any other aspect of my life,” he says. “I saw human nature at its worst, and I saw human nature at its best. And I learnt a lot about myself in terms of attitude, authority and power. I learnt that any position of power comes with great responsibility and it’s not something that should ever be abused.”

JOHN LONERGAN ON... THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHERS Any chance I get I try to convey to teachers that they are very significant people and their influence in society is way bigger than they might imagine.

THE HEALTH SERVICE There were 700-plus people waiting on trolleys yesterday and that’s not good enough. We’ve failed miserably to tackle the health crisis over the last 20 years. HIS BOOK: THE GOVERNOR I found it very rewarding to reflect on my life and experience in the prison service – the good, the bad and the ugly.

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SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

InBUSINESS speaks to Philip McMichael, MD of AMI, one small business whose IT disposal services are in great demand prompted by a renewed focus on data management.

IB: Could you give us some background on AMI and what you do? PMcM: AMI (Asset Management Ireland) specialises in providing secure IT disposal services that can generate revenue back for customers from the safe retirement of their older IT assets. I cofounded the company in Belfast in 2001 and we now have locations in Belfast and Dublin.

IB: Who are your typical clients?

PMcM: AMI’s typical clients are those who place a premium on security, such as data centres, banks, blue chip corporations, international tech companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and

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government departments. We place security at the forefront of everything we do, and this focus has resulted in AMI being recognised as one of the world’s top seven companies for the quality of our secure data sanitisation processes, according to the world’s leading IT disposal standards body, ADISA.

IB: Are there any industry trends shaping your business right now? PMcM: Security is becoming increasingly important to every size of organisation, and developments such as the GDPR will prompt even more of a refocus on security and force businesses to adhere to new rules about

data management and processing. Growing numbers of businesses are coming to us to help them reduce the risk of harmful data leaks.

IB: What are the biggest challenges you face as a small business in Ireland? PMcM: As AMI operates in what is seen as a niche sector of the industry, our biggest challenge has always been educating potential customers about the inherent risk of failing to properly dispose of old IT equipment. People are aware of the threats to their live environments and know that they have to implement information security strategies to protect their data, but there’s definitely a knowledge gap when it

comes to the end-of-life stage. However, we’ve placed a real focus on educating the market, and we’re starting to see this paying off.

IB: What more could the Government be doing to help businesses like yours? PMcM: There are certain areas in which the Government could certainly help businesses in the IT disposal sector. One is the area of regulation; there still exists a massive amount of regulation around the running of any business. Anything which could be done to simplify this and reduce the current restrictions on business owners would help Irish businesses to develop and prosper in the increasingly competitive global market. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

IB: How many staff do you have and can you share your latest results with us? PMcM: We currently employ 50 people and our turnover in 2017 was 4.6 million. One of the statistics that I’m most proud of is the fact that we processed more than 370,000 data-bearing devices in 2017, returning 2m to our clients by refurbishing and reselling IT equipment following data processing.

IB: Any interesting story you can share with us relating to your business journey to date? PMcM: What we’ve found really interesting is the shift in how organisations view their old IT equipment once we start working with them. It’s almost always the case that before availing of AMI’s services, these companies think of old PCs and laptops as waste, to be thrown out or recycled

“PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THE THREATS TO THEIR LIVE ENVIRONMENTS AND KNOW THAT THEY HAVE TO

IMPLEMENT INFORMATION SECURITY STRATEGIES TO PROTECT THEIR DATA, BUT THERE’S DEFINITELY A KNOWLEDGE GAP WHEN IT COMES TO

THE END-OF-LIFE STAGE. HOWEVER, WE’VE PLACED A REAL FOCUS ON EDUCATING THE MARKET, AND WE’RE STARTING TO SEE THIS PAYING OFF.”

IB: Where do you see the business going in the next five to ten years? How would you define success? PMcM: I’m really proud of all that AMI has achieved in the past 15 years, and I’m now focused on continuing to build on that success. It’s my goal to secure the prospective futures both of the business and the amazing team that I have around me. My definition of success is ‘peace of mind’ and to achieve this and my goal of securing the future of the business and our team we need to continue to develop our service offering to the point at which we are the clear number one in Ireland.

IB: Could you see yourself selling the company in the future? PMcM: Although I’ve been in this industry for nearly 20 years now I’m still passionate about the business and the security element in particular. There are still great opportunities for growth both in Ireland and beyond and at present I’m concentrating on maximising those opportunities and bringing AMI’s customer-focused service to new organisations. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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Philip McMichael, co-founder and MD, AMI

where possible. However, once they start working with AMI they learn that their old IT equipment can often be resold and converted into an entirely new revenue stream. Once this happens they begin to count the revenue that they receive back from the resale of their equipment as a key part of their IT budget. It has been really interesting to see the effect of this shift in

perception and the resultant impact on businesses’ internal processes.

IB: Any company news you can share with us at this time? PMcM: AMI is undergoing a strong period of growth; we’ve doubled the size of the workforce in the past three years and we’re continuing to add new positions to manage the increase in

demand. GDPR represents a significant opportunity for us as it means that end-oflife disposal of IT equipment will have to be taken care of properly. Our focus on security will see us benefit from the regulation. AMI has 11 types of accreditation for our services – and so both new and existing customers can be assured that they are getting a truly secure service.

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MEDIA & MARKETING

ME D

IA

&

M AR

KE

HIEF

T I NG

O Alan McArthur

In the first of a new series on media and marketing, Conor Forrest sat down with Paddy Power’s Paul Mallon to discover more about the brand’s unusual and often irreverent take on its promotional activities.

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O THE

I M

SC

METH

DT

Convincing Floyd Mayweather to wear Paddy Power underpants was one of Mallon’s favourite stunts

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erhaps one of the reasons why Paddy Power has been so successful is because it doesn’t take things too seriously. The company’s marketing strategy could well be described as a mixture of craic and a healthy dose of mischief, stunts and campaigns that constantly straddle the line and occasionally cross it. Case in point – a lorry pictured at Dover which featured pictures of a number of athletes and a caption reading ‘Immigrants, jump in the back! (But only if you’re good at sport)’. Betting might be its bread and butter but entertainment is a key ingredient for a company that employs a very nontraditional form of advertising. “We’ve always wanted to be an entertainment brand as well as a betting company and, much like owning a Taylor Swift album, gambling is nothing to be ashamed of,” says Paul Mallon, Paddy Power Betfair’s Head of Major Brand Activations, the man charged with driving engagement with the public. “Paddy Power’s founding fathers built the company on craic 30 InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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MEDIA & MARKETING

years ago. These days we are merged with Betfair but having fun – life can be very political and dull – is more important than ever. We might not be the cheeky Irish upstart anymore, but we can still be a ballsy, challenging brand.” Clearly that strategy has worked. The company has gone from strength to strength in recent years, completing a merger with Betfair in 2016 and now eyeing expansion into the US, backed by stunts that continue to raise the company’s profile. As an Irish brand they might have been expected to back Conor McGregor to the hilt in the build-up to his recent and eye-wateringly lucrative fight with Floyd Mayweather, but Paddy Power turned to his American opponent. Mayweather wound up wearing a pair of branded green Paddy Power underpants at the weigh-in in Las Vegas, a spectacular coup that cost around 10,000 in underpants, injected the company into a global conversation, and reached millions of people. Bravery in the face of hatred (quite a lot of Irish fans were unhappy) is just one aspect of Paddy Power’s marketing ethos; at a recent talk in Naas hosted by Kildare Chamber, Mallon noted that distinction, relevancy and consistency are important factors in any strategy. Originality is also key – you need to be clever in order to attract attention. But being clever doesn’t necessarily require a heavy investment. In 2014, a simple Photoshopped photo generated headlines across the globe. Paddy Power posted an image on Twitter – a message in support of England’s world cup campaign supposedly carved into the Brazilian rainforest – allowed the rage to ferment for several days, then revealed it was a hoax aimed at generating awareness of deforestation. More recently, the brand’s creative team drafted a LinkedIn ad looking for a ‘Head of Trump Betting’ to help manage the various bets available around the 45th US President, a stunt that won free publicity with the likes of the BBC and the New York Times. Something as simple as a snappy Tweet can be enough to make an impression, though it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do so in the modern media landscape. “It’s incredibly difficult to make headlines. Newspaper circulations have been falling for years and pagination has InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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Paul Mallon, Paddy Power Betfair’s Head of Major Brand Activations (pictured third from left), spoke at a Kildare Chamber business breakfast in February

BUSINESS ADVICE: MARKETING ON A BUDGET Getting noticed doesn’t have to cost the earth – focusing instead on the nuts and bolts of a marketing campaign can be the path to success. “Getting the basics right will go a long way (consistent brand colours, no silly typos, no ugly fonts). Some of our best stunts have cost almost nothing. Our ‘Head of Trump Betting’ campaign started with clever copywriting on a LinkedIn job description and landed coverage on the front page of USA Today and the New York Times,” says Mallon, adding that inspiration can come from some surprising sources. “Nicklas Bendtner. Or failing that, Pope Francis. If he’s not around, the folk on [RTÉ’s Liveline] are good for us. Other brands doing great things include Burger King, KFC, Red Bull – even some of the content from Premier League teams these days is pretty nifty.”

been cut – meaning news editors have to make harder calls about what makes the papers,” Mallon explains. “The days of organising a photoshoot on St. Stephen’s Green and expecting to make a righthand page are long gone, and that’s a good thing – we get to be a bit smarter about things. In the age of everything being social and online, too many brands and publishers are making the same jokes and peddling the same content. Brands need, more than ever, to stand out and be different. The brands and publishers that make truly original, inventive content will survive.” Developing a successful marketing campaign can be a difficult task, particularly if you’re running on very tight budgets. Mallon notes that for every 200 ideas they generate perhaps one will make it into the world – and there’s no guarantees that it will go to plan. Paddy Power’s particular style of irreverent humour has struck a chord with its audience – other companies need to find their own niche. So, given Paddy Power’s two-decade history of pushing the boat out and generating strong reactions to its lessthan-traditional marketing strategies, I ask whether Mallon has a favourite campaign. “Convincing Floyd Mayweather it’d be a shrewd move to wear our Lucky Pants for the weigh-in against Conor McGregor, or our Shave the Rainforest stunt in 2014 are personal favourites,” he says. “We like the ‘heart of gold, balls of steel’ mentality in here.” 47

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BOOK EXTRACT

“IT’S AMAZING WHAT YOUR

THIRD EYE In her new book Slow At Work, Aoife McElwain explores the struggles we have with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In the following extract, she looks at the benefits of having few distractions but plenty of personal touches in our place of work.

IS ABLE TO PICK UP ON.”

ave a look at your desk. Is it a personal organiser’s dream or a cluttered cacophony of chaos? Perhaps it’s somewhere in between. Sarah Reynolds is a personal organiser. Through her website, Organised Chaos, she’s been sharing tips on work, home and virtual organisation since 2012. “Our environment impacts hugely on our productivity,” says Reynolds. “I believe the vitality of a company is reflected in the visuals, and to me a visually deteriorating business indicates a business in decline.” This can be translated to your own desk, whether that’s in a busy office or at your kitchen table. “According to my research,” says Reynolds, “particularly around the book The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin, the brain is an energy economiser. If you have all this multiple stimuli going on in your outer environment, it’s going to affect your mental environment in there. There is so much going on. If we think about all the information that is coming towards us – we have to raise our families, clean our houses, go to work, keep up with social media, process information in emails ... Our brains find it hard to cope.” We have to set up as many external systems in our external environment as we possibly can because that reduces the burden on the brain. Whether it’s a decluttered desk or how you manage your time, these are all systems 48

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in our external environment that are going to help our internal environment. Reynolds acknowledges the idea of having a ‘creative mess’ of a desk, but it is her belief that your work is more focused if you have fewer distractions around you. “If you want to increase your productivity, to get more done in a shorter space of time, then you need to reduce the amount of distractions in your environment.” But, wait, that doesn’t sound very slow...? “The work that you’re doing may not be slow,” says Reynolds. “You may be up against a very intense deadline, but your focus on it and your approach to that work is. Because your environment is clear, you come from a different state of being than if you are trying to do all this work, up against this deadline, and then all of a sudden there’s a piece of paper that you need but you can’t find it, and then you remember Mary has but you can’t call her because you’ve just realised your phone is out of battery... It’s amazing what your third eye is able to pick up on and you just want to be able to work on exactly what is in front of you for the time that you have available to you.” YOUR OFFICE How can we influence environments that are out of our control? Many of us don’t have control over environmental aspects like lighting and temperature, nor can we escape the noise interruptions that come with an open-plan office. There are varying degrees of limitations on how much office workers can influence and change their work environments, depending on the culture of a workplace. Hot-desking in large, open-plan offices has become increasingly prevalent, encouraged by InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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BOOK EXTRACT

the advent of wireless technology. Hot-desking is where employees don’t have an assigned desk. Instead, they move around, bringing their company-supplied laptop with them. It’s said to decrease costs for employers by up to 30 per cent and encourage collaboration. But is there a lack of autonomy that comes with this anti-territorial set-up? Occupational psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton Dr Jane Carstair says: “Having your own space allows you to gain control within that small environment and personalise it with pictures and little things that define your identity. The threats to that of the non-territorial office can result in a lack of motivation and even stress.” Research has suggested that giving employees influence over their immediate office environments can lead to increased productivity. In a 2010 study, Craig Knight, director of the Identity Realization

workplace consultancy, and Alex Haslam conducted a study with 47 office workers in London. Knight and Haslam argued that work spaces that don’t allow their employees to have input into the design of their office environment “may compromise organisational outcomes by disempowering workers”. They’re not talking about employees being involved in drawing up architectural plans for buildings. Instead, they’re talking about things like choice of artwork and the addition of plants. Through a series of experiments, their study found that workers who were allowed to self-decorate a space were up to 32 per cent more productive. It also positively impacted on team morale and increased efficiency. In 2014, the co-CEO of American design and architectural firm Genser, Diane Hoskins, wrote in the Harvard Business Review that her firm’s workplace study clearly identified choice and autonomy in the design of office space as being linked to happiness, motivation and performance, particularly in the case of knowledge workers. So there appears to be an argument for self-government in the office environment, even if that just means the ability to add a potted plant or put up a photo or your beloved pet, niece or spouse.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This is an extract from Slow at Work: How to Work Less, Achieve More and Regain Your Balance in an Always-On World, reprinted with permission from Gill Books. It is available in paperback for 14.99 from good bookshops or directly from www.gillbooks.ie.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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Dublin-based Aoife McElwain is a freelance food writer, food stylist and creative events planner. She created ‘Slow: Series’, events designed to bring together people craving a slower pace of life. The series, and now the book, came about in December 2015 when, fed up of days spent being flustered rather than productive, she had her own personal epiphany and decided she had to figure out a better way of working.

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09/05/2018 13:14


WORLD REPORT

UNRECOGNISAbLE

TO THE

WOrld International relations doesn’t allow for the civilised divorce of nations, leaving many de-facto states fighting for their legitimacy. JOSEPH O’CONNOR paid a visit to Transnistria, one country in Eastern Europe that you won’t find on a map.

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WORLD REPORT

Parliament building and tank at Tiraspol, capital of Transnistria

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WORLD REPORT

O

fficial land border crossings are a fairly laborious affair no matter where in the world you are. Slow moving queues, documents to submit, officials to answer to; it’s bureaucracy in motion. However, handing over your passport at the checkpoint separating the eastern European country of Moldova from the breakaway state of Transnistria has the ability to pique the curiosity of any weary traveller. After all, it’s a point at which you enter a country that doesn’t actually exist. Transnistria first came to my attention in Michael Palin’s 2007 BBC documentary series New Europe. In its third episode, Wild East, Palin reveals a curious place in eastern Europe, non-existent on the political map, where Russian-speaking people celebrate their Soviet past and stubbornly continue to live in a world that turns a blind eye to their declared independence. Since then, I’ve had a mild fascination with this unrecognised country – one that has its own government, flag, currency and passport, and which is populated by half a million people. First, a quick and simplified history lesson. Moldova, the tiny country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Two-thirds of the population were of Romanian descent and desired closer ties to the West but the eastern part of the country wanted to retain close links with Ukraine and Russia. War broke out in 1992 and the east broke away from Moldova to form Transnistria, which to this day remains unrecognised by the rest of the world. Up to 1,500 people were killed on both sides during a conflict that lasted five months. “Its history is its desire for separation,” Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Associate Professor of Politics at Dublin City University’s School of Law and Government, tells me before providing a more detailed explanation of how Transnistria came into being. According to Ó Beacháin, the Transnistrian people argue that the only time they were ever part of Moldova was during the existence of the Soviet Union. “So all bets are off,” he says. “They were joined in a kind of arranged marriage and the 52

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underlining basis of it was the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. Therefore, they have the right to make their own decision and that decision made back in the early ’90s was for their own state.” More recently, in 2006, Transnistria held a referendum in which more than 97 per cent of the population voted for independence from Moldova. While their desire for separation from Moldova is clear, the question remains as to whether the people are more in favour of having their own independent country or becoming part of Russia. The problem with the latter is that Transnistria is not contiguous to Russia, unlike fellow unrecognised states Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which share a common border with the Russian Federation. “Transnistria is squeezed between a hostile Ukraine and Moldova and that makes its existence quite precarious,” explains Ó Beacháin. “It makes them much more pragmatic in terms of how they do business because they can’t just get Russian trucks to come over the border and supply them with goods. They have to be more imaginative than that simply because Ukrainians won’t let them.” Of course, that’s because Ukraine is at war with Russia since Crimea was annexed in 2014 and Ukraine doesn’t look likely to allow Russian officials to travel across its border into Transnistria any time soon. A big part of how Transnistria generates revenue and maintains a functioning economy is through what could be described as a sweetheart deal with Russia whereby the Russians subsidise it with gas. The Transnistrian government charges its people for the resource and also provides gas to Transnistrian companies for export. Steel is another important commodity for the breakaway state. During Soviet times, most of the heavy industry in Moldova was concentrated in Transnistria, and this left a lot of factories behind – steel in particular – many of which are still operational today.

Parliament building and the statue of Lenin

A COLOURFUL CURRENCY Printing money tends to be one of the major steps taken by breakaway states seeking recognition from the world. Moldova was furious when in 1994 Transnistria began issuing its own money, the Transnistrian Ruble. In 2014, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of its currency, the Transnistrian Republican Bank issued new monetary units made of composite materials. Issued in four different denominations, and resembling something you’d find in a Monopoly game, the colourful plastic currency is a coin collector’s dream.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

09/05/2018 16:50


WORLD REPORT “THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT OUR PEOPLE ARE HAPPY IN THE COUNTRY IN WHICH THEY LIVE AND THAT WE HAVE OUR DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS.”

Joseph O’Connor

Sander de Wilde

Joseph O’Connor

Soldiers in a special blue uniform waiting for instructions on the official 25th anniversary of Transnistria

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Joseph O’Connor

Joseph O’Connor

WORLD REPORT

A LOCAL VIEW Someone determined to make a living out of a less traditional industry in Transnistria is Andrey Smolenskiy. Back in the late 2000s, Smolenskiy and his wife became involved in couchsurfing, whereby they allowed complete strangers from all over the world to stay in their home for free with a view to helping them improve their English and German language skills. “I saw that the guests always needed someone to show them around, to explain things, so I decided that there was potential to develop something related to tourism,” says Smolenskiy. In 2011, he established a website promoting walking tours of Transnistria. Two years later, he registered his company simply called Transnistria Tours and today, he runs 19 different tours of his homeland – ranging from the Soviet Tour, which explores the country’s socialist past, to the Beer Tour, which gives guests access to Old Fortress brewery – welcoming visitors from all parts of the world. “These are curious people with curious minds who want to discover

interesting places,” says Smolenskiy. Given that Transnistria’s capital Tiraspol resembles something of an open air Soviet museum and that much of the (limited amount of) international media coverage of Transnistria portrays it as a country stuck in its Soviet past, I wondered how nostalgic the locals actually were about that Communist period. “The young generation doesn’t know about how life was in the Soviet Union,” explains Smolenskiy. “But the older generation, the pensioners, of course, if you were to ask an old man or an old lady, ‘do you miss the times in the Soviet Union?’ – of course they will say yes, that life in the Soviet Union was much better, the healthcare was better, the food was better, everything was better, but that’s not only because the Soviet period was more prosperous here in Transnistria but because they were young and they miss their youth.” The way Smolenskiy sees it, the statues of Lenin and other Soviet figures scattered across Transnistria represent an important piece of Transnistrian heritage. “This architecture and these statues are how we

Aleksky Filippov

A child stands on the T-34 Soviet tank set as a monument in the centre of Tiraspol

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WORLD REPORT

LIVING IN LIMBO

Four other nations seeking international recognition:

ABKHAZIA

This subtropical area of coastline on the Black Sea, which was once a popular Soviet holiday destination, is considered by most of the world to be part of Georgia, but has functioned as a de-facto independent state since a war following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

SOMALILAND

Somaliland is a self-declared state located in the horn of Africa, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 following years of civil war. A former British colony, it is roughly the size of England and Wales.

WESTERN SAHARA

Western Sahara is a large disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North-West Africa. It has its own flag and claimed borders and is jointly controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Morocco.

NAGORNOKARABAKH

Like Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh has been in dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union. For more than two decades, the autonomous region has been controlled by Armenian-backed separatists. However, it is internationally recognised as the territory of Armenia’s neighbour, Azerbaijan.

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show respect to our culture, to our past, because many things that we have here in Transnistria – like power stations, some plants, many houses and apartments – are all from the Soviet Union and, of course, our society is thankful for that.” Thankful for the past, but how do Transnistrians view the future? Has there been much progress in recent years on their long road to recognition? “We are functioning as a de-facto state with big support from Russia. The progress is that we did not lose our identity, we did not lose our right to culture, our Russian language,” says Smolenskiy. “We did not lose our connections with Russia. We are safe because Russia protects Transnistria as part of a peacekeeping mission and, of course, we can say that these are the achievements of Transnistrian society during the last 28 years.” THAWING A FROZEN CONFLICT Politically, there is a conflict resolution process in place aimed at addressing the Transnistrian question known as the FivePlus-Two process. Moldova, Transnistria, Ukraine, Russia and the regional security organisation, the OSCE, make up the five stakeholders, while the EU and US account for the two parties that came later to the table. Progress is slow. And the fact that Transnistria’s closest ally Russia has failed to recognise it doesn’t help its cause. According to Ó Beacháin, as long as the Five-PlusTwo process is functioning, Russia, which has 1,500 soldiers stationed there, will use Transnistria as a bargaining chip, safe in the knowledge that it paralyses Moldova geopolitically, ensuring that it cannot move closer to Western Euro-Atlantic structures. “In terms of why other countries won’t recognise Transnistria, it’s because the international community is very conservative and, essentially, in international relations we don’t have divorce,” explains Ó Beacháin. “In international relations states cannot divorce unless it’s by mutual consent and that rarely happens. Czechoslovakia is a rare example. Usually one side wants to break and the other side says ‘over my dead body’ and usually they fight it out. And the international system usually backs the status quo. That’s why it’s very unusual for new states to emerge and when they do it’s usually a source of some controversy like Kosovo for example, where still around half of the nations of the world do not recognise it. So it’s very much a partisan thing. It’s extremely rare for new states to

emerge when there is disputed territories and Transnistria is a disputed territory.” Despite a lack of any significant breakthrough, there have been some minor incremental improvements for the people of Transnistria. For example, Moldova has recently moved to recognise Transnistrian university degrees and looks likely to adopt a similar stance on car registrations. “It’s not going to happen ‘sexily’ in the form of all-out war or a massive peace agreement where everything is solved in one package any time soon,” says Ó Beacháin. “It’s by incremental, centimetre by centimetre steps in a long journey and that’s why it probably doesn’t get the attention that certainly people like myself think it should. Ultimately, geographically, it is part of Europe so we should care about these things. It’s not far from the European Union. You can drive there by car so it’s not something that should be treated like it’s the other side of the world and it’s of no concern to us.” It also helps that, according to Ó Beacháin, the Moldova-Transnistria conflict is not as heated as some of those that exist in the Caucasus region. Anecdotally, having spoken with people in Moldova, he says many of them would happily trade Transnistria for instant EU membership. “That’s not a universal opinion but there are quite a lot of people who look at it in that way. That’s one of the reasons why in conflict resolution terms Moldova-Transnistria is considered a low-hanging fruit. It’s not like in the Caucasus where everybody is really emotional and it’s very ethnic and nationalistic, where it’s like, ‘I’d rather die than live under your rule’. It’s much more socio-economic. People are much more pragmatic.” For Smolenskiy, he remains hopeful that in his lifetime Transnistria will be part of the recognised international community allowing its people to no longer live in limbo. “From my nature I am an optimistic person so I can say that we have that hope,” he says. “I am still optimistic about the future of Transnistria, about the prosperity of our country. It doesn’t matter in which form we will have this economic prosperity, the most important thing is that our people are happy in the country in which they live and that we have our democratic freedoms. It is not only economic wealth, not only economic prosperity but also our freedom of choice. This is very important. How the situation will develop, of course, I cannot tell you because we have a lot of issues in our country that act as obstacles to our freedom and prosperity, but this is another story.” 55

09/05/2018 15:02


IB PARTNER PROFILE POSTPOINT

LOWERING CARD PAYMENTS PostPoint can help customers save up to 30 per cent on their current card payment costs.

W

hether you’re starting out in business or looking to switch provider, PostPoint can help you take secure credit and debit card payments in person or over the phone. In switching to PostPoint, some of our retailers have saved up to 30 per cent on their card payment charges. PostPoint is part of An Post, so you can trust that your payments will be processed safely, securely and effectively. If you choose PostPoint as your card payment provider, a qualified An Post engineer will visit your site to install your terminal. Our iCT250 card payment terminal is one of the most reliable systems in the market. However, if your system does become damaged, it will be repaired

or replaced by one of An Post’s 16 nationwide engineers the next working day after the fault is reported.

PostPoint offers a range of different card payment bundles and contract lengths. While some providers may tie you in to contracts lasting up to three years, we offer six and 12 month contracts. If you decide to leave after your contract expires, we won’t charge any exit fees. Unlike some providers, we do not apply any additional charge for cashback. For some businesses,

cashback charges can be an expensive hidden cost, worthy of bearing in mind when choosing a card payment provider. Our terminal also accepts both Android Pay and Apple Pay, so customers can easily pay with a touch of their phone. Our pricing is clear and transparent. We detail exactly what you pay on each transaction, including interchange charges and scheme fees. Monthly statements clearly break down these charges by transaction type, insuring that you are fully informed of the exact rates you are paying. To find out more, call us on 1890 20 42 20 or request a free quote on our website at www.postpoint.ie/ card-payments.

IB PARTNER PROFILE CREDIT REVIEW OFFICE

ADVICE FOR SELF-FUNDERS John Trethowan from the Credit Review Office provides some information for SMEs considering funding a capital project from ‘own funds’ or working capital.

D

espite Ireland being Europe’s strongest growing economy in 2017, the demand for bank credit from SMEs remains depressed, declining from 40 per cent in 2013 to just 23 per cent in the latest Department of Finance Bi-annual SME Demand Survey. Furthermore, 75 per cent of Irish firms are using internal funds to finance their investment activities – higher than the EU average of 60 per cent. Self-funding is the cheapest form of finance available to SMEs, but there are pitfalls in pursuing it. Running out of working capital for your existing core business, for example, can do serious damage. If

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you are using ‘own funds’ to finance a project, you should prepare a funding plan that reflects its costs, duration and ability to generate cash. You should consider contingency funding for any financial shocks which may occur, either to your core business or to the project. Overdrafts fund working capital and are not suitable for longer term capital expenditure purposes – any funding plan should have an appropriate debt structure for the nature of the project. Furthermore, if the business is self-funding, it may be overly reliant on creditors. Any negative change in relationship with creditors therefore can jeopardise a business.

You might feel that you can partially self-fund the project but will also need some bank finance – bear in mind that banks now typically fund only up to 70 per cent of project costs. The term of the loan will reflect the nature of the project and its expected cashflows. If you have already self-funded projects which are now part of your core business, make sure that you advise the bank of the prior outlays and outcomes of the project. If all else fails, contact the Credit Review Office and we will do our best to secure credit for viable SMEs. For further details visit www.creditreview.ie

09/05/2018 15:22


CHAMBERS NEWS

A ROUND UP OF ALL THE NEWS AND EVENTS FROM THE CHAMBER NETWORK NATIONWIDE

CHAMBERS

CATCH UP NEW GALWAY PREMISES GOES LIVE

On March 14th Galway Chamber launched its newly refurbished offices with a two-hour live broadcast of Galway Bay FM’s The Keith Finnegan Show. Pictured being interviewed by Keith Finnegan are former president of Galway Chamber Carmel Brennan and former president of both Galway Chamber and Chambers Ireland Mary Bennett.

CHAMBER COMMENT

“The results of our survey illustrate that an overwhelming majority of our member Chambers believe that a transition period will be necessary following the UK’s departure from the European Union next March.” Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot commenting on the results of a survey of the Irish Chamber Network on Brexit.

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Martin Naughton (right) pictured with Sean O’Driscoll, CEO and Chairman, Glen Dimplex

FIRST IRISH WINNER OF OSLO PEACE AWARD

O

n March 20th Irish businessman Martin Naughton was announced as Honouree by the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation following his nomination by Chambers Ireland in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and South Dublin Chamber. Naughton is the first ever Irish business person to receive the accolade. Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland CEO, commented: “This is an incredible global accolade for one of Ireland’s most successful business leaders who has worked tirelessly to promote economic and educational development as a means to foster peace, inclusion and economic wellbeing.”

Oslo Honourees Previous foundation honourees include:  Elon Musk  Emily Cummins  S ir Richard Branson  Durreen Shahnaz  Jeffrey Immelt  Ratan Tata

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CHAMBERS NEWS

CHAMBER COMMENT

Allan Shine, CEO, County Kildare Chamber with Dr Abdullah Al Menhali, Charge D’Affairs, Embassy of The United Arab Emirates and Maureen Bergin, President, County Kildare Chamber

“Project Ireland 2040 has been years in the making and throughout this period of stakeholder consultation Chambers Ireland and our network of local chambers proactively engaged in submitting recommendations to Government, which have significantly impacted upon the final outcome.” Ian Talbot on the publication of Project Ireland 2040 in February

KILDARE CHAMBER GOES GLOBAL Thirty-three resident ambassadors to Ireland attended the County Kildare Chamber Inaugural Ambassadors Luncheon in the K Club, Straffan on February 8th. Ambassadors representing countries from across the globe – from Argentina, Kenya and India to Australia, Japan and the USA to Europe – mixed with key business people from over 45 businesses and representative organisations at the exclusive event where the Chamber promoted Kildare for investment and for companies looking to expand their offering to the countries represented. Businesses in attendance included Kerry Group, O’Brien Fine Foods, Colourtrend, Tetrarch Capital and The Queally Group. Also present were IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Chambers Ireland, Bord Fáilte and Maynooth University.

Maeve Ryan, Managing Director, The Book Centre

BOOK CENTRE CROWNED

BEST BUSINESS IN WATERFORD

CHAMBER CAPTION

Enniscorthy & District Chamber teamed up with Taoglas to bring the Future of Engineering to Co Wexford for Engineers Week 2018, aimed at encouraging students in the county to explore the exciting world of engineering.

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Independent book store The Book Centre was named Overall Business of the Year at the Waterford Business Awards on February 23rd. Over 250 guests attended the prestigious event at Faithlegg House Hotel, which was organised and hosted by Waterford Chamber and media partners WLR. A shortlist of 33 companies from across Waterford were celebrated for their successes and their contribution to the local economy. Established in 1971, The Book Centre is a family-owned and run independent Irish company. The store is located in Waterford city and is housed in the old Art Deco styled Savoy Cinema, which dates back to 1937.

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CHAMBERS NEWS

OGP ON VISIT TO

ICC COURT OF ARBITRATION

LEADING BUSINESSES HONOURED AT CORK EVENT

A

t this year’s Cork Chamber Annual Dinner, Cork’s leading businesses were presented with the prestigious Cork Company of the Year (CCOY) Award. Winners were revealed amongst an audience of over 1,000 people, including leading industry and political figures. Pictured at the event on February 1st were Daniel Mackey, Teamwork.com, winner of CCOY Award - Large Category; Barbara O’Gorman, Boston Scientific, winner of CCOY - Corporate Category; Peter Coppinger, Teamwork.com; Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber; Leo O’Leary, Vodafone Ireland; Bill O’Connell, President, Cork Chamber; Sean Gayer, Boston Scientific; Pat Lynch, EviView, winner of CCOY - Emerging Category; Debbie O’Leary, Vodafone; and Kevin Buckley, Spearline, winner of CCOY - SME Category.

SHANNON CHAMBER RETURNS TO SCHOOL

Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Chamber; Fiona Donlan, Atlantic Aviation Group; Michael Collins, Molex; Sandra Gunning, Zimmer Biomet; Joe Leddin, Mid-West Regional Skills Forum; Stephen Linnane, Element Six; Emer Brohpy, Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board; Alan O’Brien, Modular Automation; Morgan Heaphy, Principal, St Patrick’s Comprehensive School

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In a break from its norm, Shannon Chamber went back to school recently to host its first apprenticeships evening at St Patrick’s Comprehensive School in Shannon. The purpose of the evening was to encourage students and their parents to embrace apprenticeships as a career route and to show that there is a way into work that suits students of all aptitudes. At the event, students could find out more about apprenticeship schemes run by Molex, Modular Automation, Element Six, Lufthansa Technik Shannon and Atlantic Aviation Group.

Ian Talbot, Secretary General of ICC Ireland, accompanied representatives from the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) to the International Chamber of Commerce’s Court of Arbitration in Paris in January. Pictured are member of the Court Colm Ó hOisín SC, David O’Brien, OGP, Jim Deane, OGP, Ian Talbot, ICC Ireland and Paul Quinn, Government Chief Procurement Officer.

CHAMBER COMMENT “Any EU actions to depart from international tax norms could not only undermine Ireland’s competitiveness, but the EU’s as a whole.” Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot commenting on the European Commission’s legislative proposals on digital taxation published on March 21st.

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08/05/2018 04/05/2018 15:17 15:43


CHAMBER CEO Q&A GERALD HURLEY

Glass Half

FULL

InBUSINESS caught up with a busy Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber, to hear about a new air of positivity present in the city and county. Q: You have been head of Waterford Chamber for one year now. How is Chamber life?

A: Busy! I love the fact that every day is different and you arrive at the office not knowing what will land on your desk. We have redesigned our website and restructured our membership to include advisory panels from each sector. We also established the Toys4.0Engineers Conference & Expo in Waterford, which showcases innovation and technology, and started a regional leaders mentoring programme. That’s on top of the day job, so we’re working very hard for the local business community. Q: What are the burning issues currently facing businesses in Waterford?

A: Waterford is going through a transformation at the moment. There are many issues and opportunities presenting themselves. One of the priorities is how businesses can capitalise on the opportunities presented to them by the inclusion

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of Waterford as a City of Growth in the National Planning Framework. We are currently experiencing a e360 million retail leakage, which we hope will be addressed by the recently announced e300 million plus FDI investment in the North Quays by the Saudi Arabian Fawaz Alhokair Group. We are certainly seeing the benefits of the M9 motorway to Dublin, but we now need to secure better connectivity to the west by upgrading the N24.

succeed is there and the collaboration between all business support agencies is strong.

Q: What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given?

A: Many years ago someone told me, ‘Don’t be afraid to ask for advice’. It has certainly served me well and is an ethos I want to portray through Waterford Chamber, so our members understand we have an open door policy and are here to help in any way we can.

Q: For any business considering locating in Waterford, what would you say the county has to offer?

Gerald Hurley, CEO, Waterford Chamber

Crystal Valley Tech, which represents over 100 tech companies in the region, to see how bright the future is for the technology sector in Waterford.

Q: Any up-and-coming Q: In terms of leading the

A: For us it’s all about the

Waterford-based companies to watch out for in the near future?

quality of life. House prices are cheaper, the commute is shorter, you can surf at lunchtime and hike in the mountains at the weekend – what’s not to love? In terms of location, Waterford is ideal as it is only an hour and a half from Dublin on the motorway and the same from Cork, so you have direct access to two international airports. The skill set is there, the will to

A: There are so many, it’s hard to choose! From Metalman Brewing, who are now shipping their beers abroad, to Walsh’s Bakehouse, who send the Blaa to Dubai, the food and agribusiness in the southeast is thriving. Waterford is steadily gaining an international reputation as a hub for technology and pharma, and you just need to look at the newly formed

A: Waterford has been my home now for 30 years so I have seen many changes, but now more than ever I see the potential that Waterford has. For years there was a glass half empty attitude but now the glass is half full and the other half is full of opportunities. There is a palpable air of positivity in Waterford right now and that is hugely inspirational.

Chamber, where do you draw your inspiration from?

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09/05/2018 13:28


CHAMBER FEATURE TRADE

Going South Global:

America

In the first of a new Chambers Ireland series looking at various overseas markets and the opportunities they pose for Irish business, Emma Kerins, EU and International Affairs Manager, assesses the potential of the Mercosur region.

W

ith Brexit on the horizon, Chambers Ireland has been focused on encouraging Irish companies to diversify the markets they trade in as a way of mitigating against some of the potential risks of an UK exit from the single market. However, even if Brexit was not a threat to Irish exporters, the argument for market diversification remains strong. By 2020, 90 per cent of world GDP growth is expected to come from outside the EU, so if Irish exporters are to remain competitive, finding a foothold in these markets must be a priority. Promoting awareness of the benefits of trade and sharing information on how Irish business can prosper from new opportunities will be a big part of how Chambers can help Irish businesses prepare for Brexit and increase their global competitiveness.

OPPORTUNITY MERCOSUR

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

Want to learn more about how to break into markets in South America? Why not start with some of the embassy contacts listed below. Embassy of Brazil in Ireland E: secom.dublin@itamaraty.gov.br T: 01 416 1216 W: dublin.itamaraty.gov.br Irish Embassy in Argentina Nebraska Villapol, Commercial Attaché E: nebraska.villapol@dfa.ie T: +54 11 4808 5700 W: www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/argentina

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One such region of interest to Irish business in future years will be South America, specifically the Mercosur region which comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. This region has a population of 260 million consumers and is the world’s 7th largest economy with an annual GDP of 22.2 trillion. According to EU statistics, a significant trade relationship between the two regions already exists – in 2016 businesses in the EU exported 242 billion in goods to Mercosur countries while in 2015 they exported 222bn in services. Mercosur countries are also major investors in the EU, with stocks of 2115bn in 2014. The EU is currently negotiating a free trade deal with these four countries, with the objective of removing barriers – especially those that impact SMEs – making it easier to export more, strengthening people’s rights at work, improving environmental protection, encouraging companies to act

responsibly, and upholding high food safety standards. Negotiations for a trade deal, which were re-launched in 2016, are progressing with hope that a deal between the two regions might be reached later this year. With potential for an even closer trading relationship between the EU and South America, what opportunities can Irish businesses hope to benefit from as part of the trade deal? Speaking to Chambers Ireland, the Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland Eliana Zugaib says the MercosurEU agreement would provide a renewed dynamism to bilateral trade and allow for a qualitative jump in the integration of the production chains of both partners, which would strengthen the overall competitiveness of both regions in the global economy and increase their appeal as investment destinations. It is the first wide range comprehensive deal ever negotiated by the Mercosur bloc with developed countries. Therefore,

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09/05/2018 13:28


CHAMBER FEATURE TRADE

European companies would benefit from a first-mover advantage in areas such as industrial goods, services, public procurement and intellectual property, in an emerging and vibrant market of sizeable dimensions and with growing purchasing power. In terms of GDP, Mercosur is second only to Japan when compared to other EU negotiating partners. Ambassador Zugaib adds that as far as Brazil is concerned economic indicators confirm that the country has recovered from the recession and has entered a new cycle of opportunities for foreign investment and trade. With

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the agreement in place, the services sector would also present further opportunities for European countries, considering that services correspond to more than 70 per cent of Brazil’s GDP. “Since I arrived in Ireland last September, I have met with CEOs of some of the top Irish companies with a presence in Brazil and they all expressed satisfaction with their Brazilian operations and some intend to invest further in the country,” says Zugaib. “Trade between Brazil and Ireland has grown by 20 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year, and there is great potential for further growth. We, at the Embassy of Brazil in Ireland, aim to establish a closer relationship with the Irish business community willing to do business in our country, including through building partnerships in innovation and technology fields. Brazil offers various opportunities to be explored by Irish companies that wish to expand to larger markets.” Elsewhere in Mercosur, Argentina is a market with huge potential and is seeking, in its government’s words, to be “intelligently reinserted” to worldwide trade and commerce. President Mauricio Macri came

into power in December 2015 and immediately introduced measures designed to improve its economic and investment climate and facilitate a comeback to international markets. The Irish embassy in Argentina has been working to promote the region as a place in which Ireland can invest. Irish companies are strongly encouraged to look at the many opportunities that Argentina presents and to contact the embassy to learn about how to get started. In 2017, Argentina was Ireland’s third largest merchandise trading partner in Latin American and the Caribbean, after Mexico and Brazil, with total bilateral goods trade valued at 2309 million. Speaking to Chambers Ireland, the Chargé d’Affairs of the Irish Embassy in Argentina, Dermot Fitzpatrick, notes that 500,000 Argentines claim Irish heritage, by far the largest Diaspora community outside the English speaking world. “This immigration largely ceased prior to the First World War, meaning these are now mostly fourth or fifth generation, but the connection with Ireland still exists strongly, and it can be utilised to make contacts in the commercial arena,” he says. “There is unquestionably room for this trade to expand. The top exported commodities from Ireland were medical and pharmaceutical products, and office machines and automatic data processing machines, while top imports from Argentina were animal feed and essential oils. In the event of an EU-Mercosur trade agreement, trade would become progressively easier and frictionless, making trade relations more dynamic. “In this scenario, Irish companies might consider being one step ahead, and begin the groundwork of positioning themselves in the mind of new potential buyers and trade partners. Irish companies are encouraged to contact the embassy for more information, market intelligence reports, and for access to our network of contacts.”

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CHAMBER FEATURE GDPR

Getting GDPRReady Gabriel Doran, Chambers Ireland, provides an overview of the steps companies can take in order to prepare themselves for the commencement of GDPR.

A

lmost two years after the regulation’s official publication, Irish businesses are still getting to grips with the General Data Protection Regulation, its acronym GDPR now nearubiquitous, as we approach its rollout on May 25th. Being GDPR compliant is vitally important for businesses of all sizes. Replacing the EU Data Protection Directive from 1995, the regulation has been designed to harmonise data privacy laws across the EU and to provide all EU citizens with greater control over how their personal data is used while establishing stronger transparency guidelines for companies and public bodies. The maximum penalty for serious infringements of GDPR is a fine worth 4 per cent of a company’s global revenue, or a20 million, whichever is higher. At present, each EU member state has a Data Protection Authority (DPA) responsible for the supervision of the application of their respective country’s data protection laws. Under GDPR, each member state’s citizens will have more grounds on which to lodge a complaint to their DPAs should a public organisation or a company use their data in ways which infringe upon their data rights. And

it’s not just EU-based businesses that are preparing; GDPR mandates that any organisations that manage or store EU citizens’ data outside the EU must comply with the rules of GDPR. You’re not alone if you find your organisation behind in preparing for the new regulation. A study from US data security firm Senzing, which surveyed EU based businesses in January 2018, found that only 40 per cent of European firms confirmed that they are prepared for GDPR, out of a survey sample size of 1,015 companies. This article will provide a brief overview of the steps for companies to follow to aid proper preparation for the commencement of the GDPR. On completion of these steps, you might still be left wondering if you’re fully GDPR compliant. Unfortunately, there is no one designated authority that can confirm your GDPR compliance. The regulation comprises of a myriad of rules that may require in-depth self-assessment and potentially legal advice. As a starting point, Ireland’s DPA, the Data Protection Commissioner, has a self-help checklist on data protection policy as well as a number of other resources that go into greater detail on what’s required.

For more visit www.dataprotection.ie.

Under GDPR, each member state’s citizens will have more grounds on which to lodge a complaint to their DPAs should a public organisation or a company use their data in ways which infringe upon their data rights.”

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09/05/2018 16:54


CHAMBER FEATURE GDPR

AUDIT Firstly, every organisation must carry out an audit of the personal data it holds. So, what exactly is personal data? It is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable living individual, also known as a ‘data subject’. This can include a forename and surname, an email address, location data, or even an IP address.

REVIEW Are you involved with either or both of the following - data controlling and/ or data processing? A data controller is a person or group of people who decide the purpose for which any personal data is to be processed. Processing refers to any act of obtaining, recording or holding data or carrying out actions with data such as data transfers. The ‘data processor’ is the person or group in charge of processing data on behalf of the data controller. If the answer is yes, you will need to conduct a thorough review of your data, ascertain why the information is being held, how it was obtained and whether it is shared with third parties and why. Data subjects now have more rights to file a complaint and can request that data be deleted, so continuing the processing of different data will require a clear legal basis for doing so. Data subjects are citizens and customers; if they refuse consent this can ultimately affect your business.

COMMUNICATE Once a thorough review has been undertaken, you will need to communicate the right information to the right data subjects linked to your business, including your staff. Under current laws, pre-GDPR, you must notify customers of your identity, why you’re gathering data, who it will be disclosed to and if it’s going to be transferred outside the EU. Post-GDPR, all of these rules will still apply, but further details of individuals’ data rights must be communicated before any processing of individuals’ data. Furthermore, to process individuals’ data, you must have their explicit consent to do so. Consent can never be assumed and withdrawing consent should be a clear and straightforward process for individuals. Communication of rights and details applies especially for underage children. There must be safeguards in place for the processing of data of underage data subjects. It’s essential that any review of data be undertaken with the full understanding of the rights of data subjects under GDPR. Greater correspondence and communication between data processors and data subjects is to be expected both internally and externally of organisations. This correspondence will frequently come in the form of ‘access requests’, which are formal requests made by data subjects about the processing of their personal data. Under GDPR, data processors will have to be more reactive to access requests, with a shorter timescale to respond and more details will have to be given to people making access requests, such as data retention periods and the right to have inaccurate data corrected.

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LOCATION Your organisation may also be based in various EU member states and beyond. The GDPR has a ‘onestop-shop’ provision, where any multinational organisation will be required to deal with just one Data Protection Authority (DPA), specifically the DPA of the country where the organisation in question is primarily established or where its headquarters resides. In this context, the DPA is known as the Lead Supervisory Authority (LSA) for the organisation in question.

SECURITY Developing data security measures such as detection measures and responses to security breaches is another key area of GDPR compliance. A ‘Data Breach’ is a breach of security leading to the deletion, loss, alteration or unauthorised disclosure of data. If a breach occurs, organisations will have to notify their DPA within 72 hours of it happening.

ROLES A Data Protection Officer (DPO) role may have to be created and filled under the rules of the GDPR. A DPO can be external as well as inhouse and has responsibility for data protection compliance. Organisations which require a DPO include public authorities, organisations whose activities involve regular monitoring of data subjects on a large scale and which process sensitive personal data on a large scale. Data protection training for staff may also be necessary and can take many forms depending on the data your organisation processes and the scale of processing.

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16/05/2018 10:00


CHAMBER FEATURE GIG ECONOMY

The

Uberisation The Uber-style business model is having an impact on different sectors across the world. Robin Laurent, Policy & Communications Intern with Chambers Ireland, takes a closer look at the trend and what it might mean for business.

B

uying a bike on eBay, renting a room on Airbnb, ordering a taxi on Uber, finding a carshare on Blablacar, developing your idea through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. None of these options were part of our lives ten years ago, but now they feature in the daily routine of millions of people around the world. While all of these companies are active in different fields, they share the same ‘uberised’ business model. The concept is rather simple; the company, while taking a commission, acts as intermediary by connecting the supplier – seen as self-employed in the eyes of the law – with the end customer. The company does not own the product or deliver the service. This new business model, whereby a freelancer is working through a platform to reach customers, is currently setting a standard for what to expect from emerging businesses in the coming years. The idea is based on the sharing of assets, that are in most cases underused, and operates on a peerto-peer basis; a system that assesses

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of Business

the reliability of both the supplier and customer through online reviews.

ON DEMAND Back in the late 2000s, the financial crisis led to many job losses and at the time people started to look for easier or alternative ways to generate revenue. Meanwhile, the advancement of technology paved the way for the proliferation of smartphones and

social media. These factors laid the foundation for what we now know as the uberisation, the ‘on-demand’ or the ‘gig economy’, as some call it. Although most on-demand companies share the same format – whereby the platform serves as the intermediary – they do not necessarily share the same ambitions; some have a not-for-profit goal while others operate very much for profit.

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CHAMBER FEATURE GIG ECONOMY

Not-for-profit businesses are represented by platforms such as Blablacar, a ridesharing platform where costs are divided between driver and passenger(s), or Couchsurfing, a travel hosting community. This model focuses predominantly on the sharing of property for the good of all stakeholders. The for-profit platforms, such as Uber or Airbnb, have on the other hand the goal of maximising revenue. Suppliers offer services at a reduced cost through a sharing platform that helps them reach customers, and then

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takes a commission either as an addon charge or as a percentage of the supplier’s profit. Whether it is a car, a chef or a room you are in pursuit of, it can be found in a couple of clicks. Start-ups deploying this business model are popping up every day all over the world, with some succeeding in revolutionising whole industries. Aside from the obvious transport or hospitality markets having been disrupted by this new model, we are now seeing the development of uberised businesses in the legal sector, where you can obtain legal services through a platform, with the supplier not always registered as a sole practitioner or an employee of a company. Even for a sector as heavily regulated as health, we are now seeing the emergence of numerous apps – especially in the United States – operating as intermediaries between doctor and patient. This new type of economy is still a concept that some find difficult to grasp, especially when it comes to the regulations affecting it. Some debate the lack of workers’ rights

for those involved, which is a direct consequence of being classified as self-employed instead of as an employee. This classification means they are entirely responsible for their own insurance, retirement plan and all other benefits enjoyed by fulltime employees. It is no surprise, therefore, to see multiple controversies arising from the uberisation of business, including the complete shake-up of some markets disrupted by low prices on offer from uberised companies. Protests have taken place across the world, with taxidriver strikes being the most notable, resulting in the banning of Uber in several countries.

AN UBER FUTURE Even though the uberisation of business has come under heavy criticism from some quarters, the prospect of such platforms not having a place in the future seems highly unlikely. According to Forbes, one out of two users of these platforms is a millennial, while 30 per cent are aged between 35 and 54, reminding us that the model emerged from the digital native generation, and it’s this generation that will dictate the future. A glance at the profile of people behind these companies gives you some idea about what’s ahead. Uber’s co-founders were 30 and 32 respectively when they started the company, and are now in their late 30s and early 40s. Airbnb co-founders were all in their 20s when they launched the website back in 2008. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is just 33 and is managing one of the biggest companies in the world. It was always more of a question of when, rather than if, markets would be disrupted by business models arising from new technologies. Undoubtedly, proper legislation needs to be put in place to regulate the activities of these new companies, however it would be a step backward not to embrace the Uber model and allow it to develop to its full potential.

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09/05/2018 13:28


CHAMBER FEATURE BREXIT

Chamber Views on

BREXIT

Emma Kerins, EU and International Affairs Manager, Chambers Ireland, assesses concerns of the Chamber Network regarding Brexit and how Government can weigh in on the issue.

A

head of the March EU Council meeting, Chambers Ireland published results of a survey of the Irish Chamber Network revealing that an overwhelming majority of Chambers (97 per cent) believe a transition period following the UK’s exit from the EU next March will be necessary. Seventy-five per cent of Chambers responding to the survey recommended that a transition period will need to last longer than two years if businesses are expected to have enough time to prepare. Furthermore, the results of the survey show that Chambers continue to believe that Brexit will be a challenge for their members, with three-quarters of responses confirming that Brexit presents more challenges than opportunities. This follows the results of the Eurochambres Economic Survey in November 2017 where Irish businesses identified Brexit as their top concern. With regard to what they believed the consequences of Brexit might be, Chambers were asked to identify their three biggest concerns, which were as follows: a return to a hard border with Northern Ireland; a reduction in trade in goods and services; and a negative impact on tourism in Ireland. Chambers were also asked to outline their top three priorities for the next phase of negotiations.

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No hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland; no tariffs between the EU and the UK; and ongoing regulatory alignment between the bloc and the UK were identified as the top three priorities. When asked how Government should support business in the context of Brexit, responding Chambers identified the following: ongoing increased investment in capital infrastructure; maintenance of the 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate

While businesses are encouraged to urgently plan for Brexit, it is unrealistic to expect small firms to have the resources to plan for the resulting scenarios. to secure increased FDI; and ongoing investment in trade finance to support market diversification. Twelve months on from the UK Government’s decision to trigger Article 50, businesses are still no clearer on what the future trading relationship will look like and, as a consequence, investment decisions and future planning of operations are being negatively impacted. While businesses are encouraged to urgently plan for Brexit, it is unrealistic to expect small

firms to have the resources to plan for the resulting scenarios. Therefore, Government must do more to support Irish business in preparing for Brexit. This includes the delivery of committed increases to investment in infrastructure, particularly with regard to roads and ports. This infrastructure will be crucial for our exporters if they are to successfully adjust to the postBrexit trading landscape. There are no guarantees that Irish and EU traders will be able to continue to use the UK “land bridge” between Ireland and the continent following Brexit so ensuring that our ports have the capacity to cope with new customs obligations will be critical. Furthermore, our ability to continue to attract foreign investment and to diversify the markets in which we trade will be crucial if we are to maintain growth in the economy. As such, Government must continue to focus on enhancing our national competitiveness and resourcing Irish firms to compete abroad. The UK’s exit from the EU is far from desirable, but it is possible that Brexit will also bring opportunities for Irish business and they must be prepared to seize them. By 2020, 90 per cent of world GDP growth is expected to come from outside the EU, so the Irish economy must continue to have a global outlook and Government must support Irish businesses to tap into the potential of new markets like Japan and Canada, following the recent free trade agreements made between these countries and the EU.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

09/05/2018 16:55


CHAMBER FEATURE PENSIONS

Planning for Our

Future

Chambers Ireland is calling for a better pension system to be introduced, which will ensure adequate and sustainable pension provision for all, writes Policy Manager Elisha Collier O’Brien.

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ensions reform is on the horizon. As it currently stands in Ireland, just 35 per cent of private sector workers have pensions. Chambers Ireland has consistently highlighted the threat that inadequate pension provision poses to the future wellbeing of Ireland’s employees. As it stands, the number of people saving into a pension scheme in Ireland has failed to recover since the financial crisis. The average postworking life income in Ireland is just 34 per cent of previous earnings, while in the EU28 the average is 58 per cent of previous earnings. This is one of the biggest risks facing the future prosperity of our citizens. Inadequate pension provision can have detrimental outcomes on retirees’ quality of life, making it difficult for them to keep up with the cost of living, particularly with rent prices soaring. The charity Alone recently highlighted the challenges facing older people in meeting the rising cost of living, where the current State pension is e1,032.63 per month, but average market rent is e1,227 per month. At present, two-thirds of private sector workers rely on the state pension and nothing else. With more people living longer than ever before, the insecurity of trying to live on an inadequate pension for an even longer period of

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time will only get worse. It is clear that something needs to change. In March this year, Government published a ‘Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023’, which seeks to identify the actions that we need to put in place in order to create a better pension system and ensure adequate and sustainable pension provision for all. The roadmap outlines a number of major changes from the way that we currently manage pensions.

With more people living longer than ever before, the insecurity of trying to live on an inadequate pension for an even longer period of time will only get worse. Most significant in the plan is the proposal that a new ‘Automatic Enrolment’ savings system is to be introduced as soon as 2022. This will mean that all workers above a certain age and earning a minimum threshold will be automatically enrolled in a pension saving scheme, with contributions to the scheme coming from workers and employers, and with top-up contributions from the State. The exact ratio of contributions has not been determined, but our

closest neighbour, the UK, introduced its own auto-enrolment system in 2012 and is phasing in employers’ contributions, which started at just 1 per cent and are due to rise to 3 per cent in 2019. The introduction of the automatic enrolment model in the UK has by all accounts been successful in increasing uptake, delivering a 37 per cent increase in private pension scheme membership and having 9 million employees registered since its introduction; 90 per cent of whom have chosen not to opt out. Whether or not Ireland will follow the UK’s model closely remains to be seen. The roadmap sets out the overall vision and a more detailed plan should follow, along with a consultation period in Q2 of this year, but international evidence suggests that when it comes to boosting pension coverage, autoenrolment is an unqualified success. In addition, having fewer and better managed pension schemes stands to benefit not only our future retirees, but also has the potential to contribute significantly to the investment landscape of Ireland and enhance our economy in a long-term, sustainable manner. We must also work to identify the best ways to support older people to continue working past retirement age where they so wish, and thus prevent the loss of knowledge and expertise that comes with mandatory retirement policies and inflexible pension models. Getting pension planning right is essential to effectively planning our future.

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10/05/2018 09:47


CHAMBER FEATURE CSR

Diversity is the Who,

Inclusivity is the How The positive impacts of diversity and inclusion strategies in business are wide reaching, writes Elisha Collier O’Brien, Policy Manager, Chambers Ireland.

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hambers Ireland was delighted to launch the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards with a bang (and a cake!) at AIB Bankcentre in March. The theme of the event was diversity and inclusion in the workplace and as part of the launch, we organised an insightful panel discussion on the topic, where panellists spoke frankly about their own perspectives on the challenges facing various groups. We are thrilled that this year marks the fifteenth year of our CSR Awards, and they have only grown in strength over these years. Comparing entries from a decade or so ago with more recent ones, the development and improvement in the CSR work being carried out across the country is remarkable. The awards aim to recognise best practice in CSR and in doing so to raise the bar and contribute to supporting ever higher standards in the field. For 2018, we are pleased to announce a new category in our awards, entitled ‘Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion’. At the launch event, host Dil Wickremasinghe kicked off the panel discussion by sharing a favourite quote – “diversity is the who and inclusivity is the how”. She added: “Diversity is looking at who is sitting at the table,

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who is being hired, who is being promoted, and identifying the diverse characteristics and identities in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and more, that are coming through a business. Inclusion is the culture and practice in a company that ensures that diversity is welcomed and embraced.” Wickremasinghe gave three examples of times when diversity and inclusivity policies, or a lack thereof, have had an

impact on her career. Two of these were negative experiences, but the third was related to the policy of her own company, Insight Matters, where diversity has had a hugely positive effect on her business and has helped it grow from two employees when founded, to now employing over 50 staff, with further plans to expand. During the discussion on inclusivity, Seónaid Ó Murchadha, Disability Project Manager at the Employer

Dil Wickremasinghe, Co-Founder & Director, Insight Matters, Ian Talbot, CEO, Chambers Ireland and Lorna Cross, Finance Director, BAM Ireland

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CHAMBER FEATURE CSR

Disability Information Service, outlined the importance of simply asking all candidates in the hiring process whether or not they have any special requirements. Ó Murchadha admitted that she often forgets her own accessibility requirements, so it is important that the question is asked and becomes part of the everyday language in arranging appointments and interviews. Karina Howley, Head of Corporate Citizenship & Diversity at KPMG, provided an overview of the EPIC Programme run in conjunction with BITC Ireland, which assists migrants in finding work by helping them with their CVs and approaching interviews. Howley highlighted how it is often the simplest things that we fail to consider which can make a significant difference in interviews – such as engaging in small talk or chit-chat – while larger issues such as access to social capital and connections can also be addressed through the EPIC Programme. The issue of internal biases was also identified as an obstacle to increasing diversity in workplaces, with Brid Horan of the 30% Club admitting surprise upon learning that she herself was guilty of holding some biases after she took an unconscious bias test. Taking an unconscious bias test is a great way to begin approaching diversity and to challenge how you think more broadly. The importance of top-down action in an organisation was highlighted by Paul Franey, Garda Inspector and Secretary of G-Force, the LGBT Network in An Garda Síochána. Without commitment and buy-in from senior management, the effects of an inclusion programme can be limited. Franey outlined the importance that G-force has had not only for employees, but also for citizens in engaging with the force, particularly when it comes to reporting hate crimes. The panel discussion concluded with some insightful points on how we might bridge the silos in diversity action, and with an acknowledgement

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Panellists spoke frankly about diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Seónaid Ó Murchadha, Disability Project Manager, Employer Disability Information Service

Brid Horan, The 30% Club

that many marginalised groups have more in common than they realise. There was a lot to take away from the panel debate and we are now really looking forward to receiving applications in our new Diversity & Inclusion category. This category seeks to recognise initiatives that enhance the diverse environment of workplaces and foster inclusion for all staff. Diversity and inclusivity in business is about ensuring that the workplace environment is one in which staff are valued for their differences and are not left behind or excluded as a result of them. The category might include initiatives that examine who is being hired, who is being promoted, and what is being done to improve these practices so that no one is excluded based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or other traits. On inclusivity, programmes entered in this category might look at the culture within a company and how a business

celebrates differences and fosters a safe and open environment. Strong diversity and inclusivity practices in a company have been proven to not only enhance employee wellbeing, but also to be good for business. They can work to improve the internal culture of a company and allow it to attract the best talent possible. It also works in a company’s favour when they can mirror the customers they serve and connect better with the wider society in which they operate. Crucially, the more diverse the make-up of staff and management and the more included employees feel, the better the ideas and strategies that will be generated. Diverse teams see more perspectives and are likely to approach challenges in new ways, making them more adaptable and capable of producing better results. At the end of the day, having a diversity and inclusion strategy makes good business sense. For more on information on the awards visit www.csrawards.ie.

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09/05/2018 16:56


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE WATERFORD CRYSTAL

Crystal Clear Waterford Crystal produces some of the finest crystal pieces in the world, which make for the ideal trophy at a prestigious event or the perfect gift for a corporate client.

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Quality

ver a period of 235 years Waterford Crystal and the visionary characters behind it have managed to craft a unique story in glass. Just imagine back in 1783, a time when Beethoven was publishing his first works and the world’s first hot air balloon was launched in Paris, in Waterford city, George and William Penrose petitioned parliament for aid to establish the manufacture of flint glass in their Waterford glass house. Today, a luxury collection of the finest crystal continues to be made by skilled craftsmen at the House of Waterford Crystal factory situated in the heart of Waterford city in Ireland’s Ancient East. Not only a factory, the site also acts as a significant tourist attraction welcoming 200,000 visitors annually from across the world. People in Ireland take huge pride in the Waterford Crystal brand and it’s little wonder that it is one of the most popular items used to mark special occasions here. Despite the fact that it maintains a massive audience beyond these shores – namely in the US, Australia and the UK – people at home want to own something that is

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part of the fabric of Ireland. A huge amount of thought goes into the production of the pieces, each of which are inspired by Irish heritage, landscape, music and the arts. It is not just about the amazing shapes of the products but the stories behind those designs. Whether it’s a fine wine glass, a tumbler, a giftware piece or a chandelier, Waterford Crystal is present in so many homes around the world – and some very famous ones at that. For many years, Waterford Crystal has produced a range of magnificent trophies for some of the

world’s most prestigious sporting events. It also maintains successful creative partnerships with high-profile designers such as Jasper Conran, John Rocha and Jeff Leatham.

FACTORY TOUR As part of the guided factory tour at Waterford Crystal, guests visit the mould room where they witness mould-making – a technique that has remained unchanged throughout the centuries where master blowers shape the molten crystal flawlessly with the use of wooden moulds and hand tools. The next part of the tour sees

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CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE WATERFORD CRYSTAL

visitors enter the blowing department where they see glowing balls of crystal transformed by breath into majestic shapes as they are put through the 1,300-degree furnace. The Waterford Crystal pieces are then hand-marked for precision and accuracy, cut, sculpted and engraved. While getting this behind the scenes sneak peak of a highly skilled method of crystal manufacturing, visitors witness the high standards that the House of Waterford Crystal has for each piece that leaves the factory. All crystal is inspected at its production stage, which involves each piece – no matter how small – going through six different inspections. If a piece fails to reach the Waterford Crystal standards at any point it is smashed and returned to the furnace to be re-melted so that it can start its journey all over again. Visitors to the factory at the House of Waterford Crystal can bear testimony to the skill which is brought to bear in every piece, blending an ancient craft with modern techniques.

BRAND EXPERIENCE On completion of the tour, visitors can explore over 12,000 square feet of crystal in the largest retail space in the world dedicated to Waterford

Workers at the House of Waterford Crystal, where visitors can take a factory tour

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Crystal. The retail store showcases the full range of products available from Waterford Crystal, including pieces dedicated to golf and other sports, which make up a major part of its international business. The main feature in the retail store is a centre dining table along with 12 Waterford Crystal chandeliers. The lifestyle displays represent the various elements and collaborations involved with the brand including John Rocha,

Jeff Letham and the core Waterford Crystal patterns.

CORPORATE OFFERING Waterford Crystal offers a corporate and gift awards programme that can help your company cater for clients and reward employees. The service includes customisation of pieces from its core range, allowing customers to create their own unique message or logo on a given item. Should you require an item to be gift-wrapped and cards to be written, they can be included as part of your order. A worldwide shipping service allows customers the flexibility to deliver 24/48 hours to Ireland, the UK or USA. The product range includes Waterford Crystal, House of Waterford Crystal, John Rocha, Jasper Conran, Jo Sampson, Archive Stemware, Marquis, Lighting and the Waterford Crystal Jewellery Collection. For more details email houseofwaterfordcrystal@fiskars.com, call +353 (0)51 317000 or visit waterfordvisitorcentre.com. Waterford Crystal is part of the Fiskars group of companies.

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IB PARTNER PROFILE CASTLEMARTYR RESORT

Cork’s Lap of Luxury InBUSINESS catches up with Brendan Comerford, who recently stepped into the role of General Manager at the Castlemartyr Resort in Cork. Q. How have you been settling into your role as General Manager?

A. The first few weeks have flown by, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far. The Castlemartyr Resort name is synonymous with quality, and I’m relishing the challenge of maintaining those high standards. I’ve been very fortunate to inherit a passionate and experienced team, who take great pride in their work, and relish the challenge as much as I do.

Q. How has business been so far this year?

A. Good so far – we’ve had a few challenges because of the weather, the same as everyone, but overall very happy. We are seeing an increase in visitors to the hotel, and in particular an increase in demand for our luxury self-catering options, which we have put a lot of work into over the last few months.

Q. What is your view on the current state of the Irish luxury hospitality sector?

A. I think we’re in a good place overall. From speaking to other colleagues in the sector, 74

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we’re definitely noticing an upward trend after the last few years. With the economy picking up people are able to treat themselves a bit more, and that can only be good news for everyone. I think hospitality is something this county does very well, with the standard of accommodation, food and service always very high.

Q. Anything more the

Aerial shot of Castlemartyr Resort

Government could be doing to help the sector?

A. I believe maintaining the lower VAT rate of 9 per cent for the sector. Further clarification on Brexit discussions and added initiatives or moves to encourage more people to enter the hospitality sector would be welcome.

Q. Briefly describe the ideal stay at Castlemartyr Resort.

A. Personally, I think a stay in one of the restored original Manor House rooms is a must. I would arrive early to allow for afternoon tea and a walk around the grounds, to see the 12th century castle ruins and walled gardens. An evening meal in the Bell Tower fine dining is a must, followed

by a night cap from the extensive cocktail and spirits selection at the Knight’s Bar. After a fresh, healthy breakfast the next morning, I would spend the day on the stunning inland links style golf course, or relaxing with an ESPA treatment in our luxurious spa.

Q. Any news you’d like to share with us? A. We were delighted to have been awarded the Overall Winner at this year’s Wedding Online Awards in February, which has generated quite a bit of buzz. One of our most popular promotions at the moment is our ‘Unwind and Dine’, which includes one night’s bed

Brendan Comerford, General Manager, Castlemartyr Resort

and breakfast for two, with an evening meal at our Italian restaurant, Franchini’s, as well as complimentary entry to the Experience Tour at the Jameson Distillery Midleton nearby. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

09/05/2018 15:22


IB PARTNER PROFILE POSTPOINT

At Your SERVICE InBUSINESS meets with three small business owners to hear about starting out, surviving, succeeding, and how accepting card payments through PostPoint has helped them on their journey. WATERFORD GREENWAY CYCLE TOURS & BIKE HIRE

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ilkenny native John Purcell had been unemployed for seven years when he decided it was time to go out on his own and follow a similar path to his long-time friend Jason Morrissey, who had been running a bike tour and rental shop in Kilkenny since 2010. In 2014, the pair had identified an opportunity to make use of the new cycling Greenway planned for Waterford. It was not until 2016, however, that plans started to take shape, beginning with Purcell opening his own pop-up bike rental shop in a local car park along the Greenway armed with ten bikes loaned out from the Kilkenny shop. Despite numerous challenges, Purcell turned up every morning for five weeks until he decided it was time to take his shop to the next level. That’s when he showed up at the door of Murphy’s Bar in Dungarvan, which at the time had empty premises adjoining the pub, with a proposition for proprietor John Murphy. “I asked him to give me the premises for free,” remembers Purcell. “I said, ‘listen, if you give me a chance I’ll get 1,000 people in your door every week. I’ll make you money.’ He started laughing at me and said ‘no one has ever asked me for anything for free. You are a ‘goer’ so I’ll give you a go. He gave me a chance for about two or three weeks. Once I had the shop then the footfall started coming. After that we signed a contract on the lease.” The seasonal nature of the service brings its own challenges but Purcell and Morrissey have been in business with Waterford Greenway Cycle Tours & Bike Hire ever since, and the official opening of the 46km Greenway in March 2017 has helped them on their journey. When asked where he would like to see the business in five years’ time, Morrissey, who also has a small business focused on cycling safety in the south-east region, says: “To be still trading, creating employment and growing our customer base.” He also hopes to expand the business should plans for the greenway to be further developed from Waterford city to New Ross and further up the Barrow come to fruition. “Cycling is something that seems to be going through a whole new rebirth here in Ireland. It’s more popular than ever, it’s back in fashion and everyone wants to be cycling.”

John Purcell (left) and Jason Morrissey, Greenway Cycle Tours & Bike Hire

ACCEPTING CARD PAYMENTS Morrissey says the company was missing out on a lot of business at the start by not having a credit card machine. “We got it in mid-season this year,” he says of the PostPoint payment provider service. “Before that if someone hadn’t booked online and walked into the shop and had no cash, they often turned and walked away leaving us to miss out on business.” Request a free Card Payments quote from our website at www.postpoint.ie/card-payments

www.waterfordgreenway.com InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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IB PARTNER PROFILE POSTPOINT

GREVILLE ARMS HOTEL

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t wasn’t long after Tommy Kirwan had ceased involvement with Drumcoura Lake Resort and Equestrian Centre in Co Longford, a business he had founded 13 years earlier, that he began to receive calls from people in the Granard area asking if he would be interested in investing in the Greville Arms Hotel, which had closed at the height of the recession. Not one to shy away from a challenge and attracted by the rich historical significance of the premises (Michael Collins is said to have first stayed in the hotel in 1917 and it was the scene of a famous incident in the War of Independence when on October 31st 1920, District Inspector Phillip St John Kelleher was shot dead in the bar by members of the IRA), Kirwan took over the Greville Arms Hotel in January 2016. Kirwan says business is good in Granard mostly thanks to other businesses in the town supporting each other. However, he still sees a serious urban-rural divide in the country and bemoans the lack of support from Government in helping small towns like Granard pick themselves up after the recession. He also says red tape has been a major impediment to the success of his hotel. “If it got help from tourism I would see it as a very viable business,” he notes. “At the moment, it’s probably breaking even. If the town got more help, I could see more people being employed in more businesses around the town, but that’s the way it is going. I’ve just seen another pub across the road from me close. Basically, we need help down here and we’re not getting it.” The Greville Arms Hotel has six rooms for rent and it serves food from nine in the morning until nine at night, seven days a week. “We sell quality food,” says Kirwan. “You only have to look at TripAdvisor to see the comments. We are trying to get a small B&B off the ground at the moment, which is not too easy but hopefully in the New Year we’ll have it fully up and running.” Tommy Kirwan, Greville Arms Hotel

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IB PARTNER PROFILE

Conor McCabe

POSTPOINT

David Carroll, Carroll’s Hallmark Store

CARROLL’S HALLMARK STORE, DUNDALK

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an Carroll started out in retail opening a newsagent and bookshop in the Dundalk Shopping Centre in 1974. “The newsagent was a great place to test new products and at some stage we have sold everything from Acorn Computers, CDs, DVDs, videotapes, mobile phones, stationery, greeting cards and gift wrap,” says his son David who now runs the business. “Some of those had a relatively short life span but the greeting cards sector experienced significant growth during that period.” A partnership with Hallmark was made and the first of four Carroll’s Hallmark stores opened in Dundalk Shopping Centre in 1984. According to Carroll, customer service is a huge focus of the business and something he believes sets the business apart. “While we always endeavour to stay relevant and keep ahead of the trends by bringing the latest ideas in cards and gifts to our stores, we’re very aware that the discerning customer of today expects much more than this,” he says. In addition to its bricks and mortar stores, Carroll’s Hallmark is currently developing a website and online presence to give added value to its customers. “Success for us in the next five years would be to have a significant share of the online gift market which would complement our direct business,” says Carroll. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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COMPETITIVE CARD PAYMENT RATES Carroll’s Hallmark Store has worked closely with PostPoint for over 15 years, first selling stamps and later phone top-ups through PostPoint’s merchant terminals. “We have grown as PostPoint has grown and we use their merchant services in all our stores,” says Carroll. “We have a brilliant working relationship with our local area manager and I feel that we get a great product that covers all our needs, at a competitive price.”

GET A FREE CARD PAYMENTS QUOTE TODAY PostPoint works with local businesses across every county in Ireland. You can find more information about joining PostPoint at www.postpoint.ie. You can request a free quote from our website at www.postpoint.ie/card-payments.

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IB PARTNER PROFILE PAYPAL

Going Beyond Borders Irish businesses need to think big and go beyond borders, writes Maeve Dorman, Vice President of Merchant Operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, PayPal.

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uring the eleven years that I have been with PayPal, I have seen customer expectations evolve dramatically and Irish businesses strive to keep up with the pace of digital and mobile marketplaces. These markets are no longer defined by consumers going into a shop and paying with cash, but rather by consumers going online and making instant purchases at the touch of a button. While some companies have expanded their markets and growth opportunities via websites and online shopping, others are missing out on the opportunity offered by international markets. In other words, the delivery of high-quality products and services is not enough; just to survive, many businesses have to ensure that they are facilitating virtual shopping and extending beyond borders.

THINKING BIG I am today’s classic time-poor, onthe-go shopper. My mobile phone is increasingly my main shopping outlet. It’s how I research, choose and pay for many of my purchases. For me and many others, the online shopping experience has been transformed and accelerated in recent years. No longer is it about allowing customers to browse products and then pay. Now it has to be a very streamlined and speedy service, custom-designed for the millions of small screen mobile shoppers who

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want to buy whenever, wherever and however they choose. With competition from overseas increasing all the time, I cannot stress how important it is for indigenous retailers to establish a digital presence and provide an e-commerce capability on their websites, with a range of secure payment options, to empower existing and attract new customers. By embracing the online mobile marketplace, by recognising its value as the 21st century shop window, businesses can boost customer engagement, enhance the buying process and endear their brand to a much wider audience. This more direct and efficient customer experience will increase sales potential and boost profitability.

Having a secure and widely recognised payment option during a seamless checkout stage, such as PayPal, will also help businesses to gain the trust of international customers who may not be overly familiar with the brand. MicksGarage.com is a prime example of an Irish company that took full advantage of the digital opportunity. Enabled by a dynamic e-commerce website and with the help of PayPal, MicksGarage.com is now one of the largest online retailers of car parts and accessories in Europe, delivering over one million products to more than 70 countries worldwide. Not only does this demonstrate that Irish businesses can be successful on a worldwide scale with the right approach, but that Ireland remains a location of great opportunity and potential. That is, if the company is willing to embrace the online marketplace including the facilitation and fulfilment of crossborder transactions.

GOING BEYOND BORDERS Selling goods and services online isn’t solely about giving local consumers easy access to goods and services, it’s about expanding and encouraging optimal financial growth by offering more variety and flexibility to more people within the global marketplace. This could be as simple as offering multiple currency options at checkout, having a translation option on the website for different languages, or acknowledging the delivery requirements in other locations. Providing access to – and engaging – international customers in this way allows Irish retailers and providers to increase their customer base and realise their full growth potential.

Maeve Dorman, Vice President of Merchant Operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, PayPal

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

09/05/2018 15:23


IB PARTNER PROFILE GLENLO ABBEY

Plush and Presidential InBUSINESS checked into Glenlo Abbey Hotel to discover a top-class luxury retreat in Galway city’s back yard.

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pon arriving at the grounds of Glenlo Abbey Hotel, you are immediately struck by its fine architecture, one that dates back to the 18th century. It sets the scene nicely for a stay that boasts plush surroundings and an excellent concierge service; everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel but with a whole lot more. Situated on a 138-acre estate located around 4km north of Galway city, there are plenty of activities on offer at the grounds. They include archery, falconry, fishing, walks or golf on the lakeside course. For those looking for a more laid-back affair, luxury is on tap at Glenlo Abbey Hotel. And that starts with the bedrooms – some offering panoramic views of the River Corrib and Lower Lough Corrib, while others overlook the abbey and walled garden outside. When it comes to cuisine, guests are spoiled for choice. If it’s the novelty factor you’re after, make sure to climb aboard the Pullman Restaurant which comprises two original Pullman carriages, wonderfully restored and set on the grounds outside the hotel. If fine dining is more your thing, look no further than the River Room Restaurant. Catering for up to 70 guests, it is open for breakfast daily, afternoon tea at weekends and for private dining on selected nights. InBUSINESS recommends the venison for dinner and pancakes for breakfast!

THE RIGHT BALANCE Some five-star hotels can be so hellbent on exuding an air of elegance InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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within their premises that it leaves guests struggling to relax in too formal a setting. Glenlo Abbey Hotel gets the balance just right and its Oak Cellar bar goes some way to achieving that; it’s the ideal place to unwind over a pint of Galway Hooker and catch some live sport. Indeed, our visit coincided with Ireland’s successful Six Nations rugby campaign so there was no shortage of atmosphere in the bar where clientele gasped as they watched us leave it late against the French. For the Irish spirits aficionados why not give whiskey tasting a go – though be sure to book in advance. An alternative way to relax at Glenlo is to catch a film in the cosy Abbey Movie Theatre. It’s a superb cinematic experience in an intimate setting that even comes with your own fresh popcorn. During our visit,

romance season was in full swing, so we enjoyed a showing of the 1957 classic An Affair to Remember. It’s worth noting that the room, which can hold 15 people in comfortable lounge chairs, can be hired for private use and for corporate events. If at Glenlo Abbey Hotel on business, the Dangan and De Burgo suites will suit your every need, whether it’s an industry event or client meeting. The rooms come kitted out with large LCD screens and remote access A/V. High speed broadband will ensure that you’re well connected too. Glenlo Abbey Hotel has previously hosted President Mary McAleese as well as Hillary Clinton while she was the First Lady of the US in 1999. With clients like that on its books, you can be guaranteed there is presidential treatment waiting for guests at every turn. Glenlo Abbey Hotel is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. For more information call 091 519 600 or visit www.irelandsbluebook.com.

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IB PARTNER PROFILE ENTERPRISE IRELAND

Making it Work for Female Entrepreneurs In response to an under-representation of female-led start-ups, Enterprise Ireland has developed strategies to help women start and scale their businesses, as Rachael James, Senior Development Adviser with the organisation’s High Potential Start-Up Unit, explains.

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n 2011, Enterprise Ireland (EI) decided to focus the spotlight on female entrepreneurship and uncovered some rather disconcerting figures. It found that less than 1 in 10 of the start-ups supported by the organisation were female-led. In response, as Rachael James, the senior development adviser with the organisation’s High Potential Start-Up Unit, recalls, EI began to develop a number of new strategies and initiatives which ultimately aimed to support more women in business. As a result of these new measures, the level of Enterprise Ireland-supported female entrepreneurship has, today, drastically improved.

Rachael James, Senior Development Adviser, High Potential Start-Up Unit, Enterprise Ireland

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A perceived lack of access to funding for females has been one of the things our research has identified as being an obstacle to women who wish to start up their own business. Just six years ago, only 1 in 10 start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland were female-led. That figure is now 1 in 3 – a notable improvement, albeit with work still to be done. Female-targeted funds and events have contributed to a rise in female entrepreneurship, with the Competitive Start Fund (CSF) and High Potential Start-Up Unit representing a new attitude. James explains that the CSF invests a50,000 in an early-stage company to help it get to a viable product or investor-ready stage, but that in its early years, women seemingly lacked the confidence to take advantage of the fund. “A perceived lack of access to funding for females has been one of the things our research has identified as being an obstacle to women who wish to start up their own business,” she says. “If we look back to 2012, when we ran the first CSF for female entrepreneurs, no female applied for the full a50,000 available. They perceived a lack of access to finance, which was combined with lower levels of risk-taking and a lower level of confidence. Not one application came in for the full a50,000 –

that is not the same in male-led companies. So developing skills that allow women to lead and succeed – which was the main theme of this year’s Fuelling Ambition Roadshow event – is really central to building that confidence.” The Fuelling Ambition Roadshow is run by Enterprise Ireland and Network Ireland, in partnership with the Entrepreneurs Academy. The event reaches out to women around Ireland to tell them about the supports available to them, and this year ran across six locations over six weeks. An evening event that was free to attend, this year’s roadshow once again included an elevator pitch competition, with a Facebook-sponsored top prize of a2,000. Events such as EI’s Fuelling Ambition Roadshow are vitally important for the development of female entrepreneurship, as they help women to connect to new networks and to interact with peers – a process that undeniably aids their businesses and ideas and will ultimately improve the level of female entrepreneurship within the country. “One of the things that we’re very aware of is that starting and scaling a business can be a very lonely position,” concludes James. “Becoming a part of a network with like-minded people who share your ambition can help strengthen your business. It can help advise you, it can solve problems, and it can open doors for you.” Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs is open for applications. To find out more, log on to: www.enterprise-ireland.com/csf InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • ULSTER Dublin City Council set to ban disposable coffee cups, Dundalk streets receive facelift, and plans for Offaly greenway unveiled.

Digital hubs open in Clare, 700 million being invested in Cork’s city centre, and British ambassador praises Limerick vision.

Greenway goals outlined by Mayo County Council, Galway sport clubs receive funding boost, and major investment in wastewater infrastructure.

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Developed in partnership with Digital Skills Academy, Dublin City Council has launched a new digital one-stop shop for entrepreneurs.

DIGITAL ADVICE FROM DUBLIN LEO

PARTNERS IN SPORT New funds allocated to local sports in Wicklow.

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BIKING IT

In Association with

A new pilot bike share scheme is to be introduced in Sligo town.

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LOCAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIPS FUNDING

WHAT ARE LOCAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIPS? Local Sports Partnerships promote participation in sport at a local level and are supported by Sport Ireland, a statutory authority which plans, leads and co-ordinates the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland.

WHAT’S ON IN

LEINSTER

MAY 15TH WESTMEATH BUSINESS NETWORK Áras an Mhuilinn, Mullingar

MAY 17TH BUSINESS NETWORKING MEETING Glenroyal Hotel & Leisure Club, Maynooth, Co Kildare

[ COUNTY OFFALY ] [ COUNTY LOUTH ]

WORKS SET FOR DUNDALK TOWN Plans for the revamp of Clanbrassil Street and the St Nicholas Quarter have been passed, clearing the way for upgrade works in Dundalk town centre to proceed. The proposals will go forward to a detailed design phase in the hope that works can begin later in the year. The project is co-funded by the Government and the European Regional Development Fund with a figure of a4.4 million being put forward for the works by the two bodies.

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A total of a160,236 in funding has been allocated to Wicklow to support Local Sports Partnerships, Fine Gael TD and Minister of State Minister Andrew Doyle has said. “The role of the Local Sports Partnerships in increasing participation, particularly among those sectors of society that are underrepresented in sport, cannot be overstated,” said Minister Doyle. “I want to commend the vital work they do here in Wicklow which makes a substantial contribution to the health and welfare of individuals, families, communities, towns and villages.”

MAY 22ND CIPD IRELAND ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018 Croke Park, Dublin

[ COUNTY DUBLIN ]

PLANS FOR GREENWAY UNVEILED Offaly County Council has unveiled plans to construct a shared walking and cycling greenway route along the towpath of the Grand Canal for a distance of 32.5km from Edenderry to Tullamore. The route, which would measure 2.5 to 3m in width would run from the townland of Cloncannon, near Edenderry at the county boundary with Kildare, to Digby Bridge, in the townland of Cappincur, Tullamore.

COUNCIL SET TO BAN DISPOSABLE COFFEE CUPS Dublin City Council has set up a committee to end the sale of non-recyclable coffee cups in all municipal buildings. The Council is also reviewing catering agreements with its suppliers and working towards introducing a paper coffee cup ban in markets and cafés in city parks. The move follows Cork City Council’s lead, which became the first local authority in Ireland to ban disposable cups in its offices earlier this year. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: MUNSTER

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MAJOR INVESTMENT IN CORK Over a700 million is being invested in Cork’s city centre by private and public sector organisations. Matching this financial investment, traders, retailers, hoteliers, city residents and businesses have been working together to revitalise the city quarters, with the support of the CORE partnership which brings together Cork City Council, Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, An Garda Síochána, Bus Éireann, Cork City Centre Forum, and representatives from the hospitality sector and businesses across the city.

MAY 24TH AMPLIFY DIGITAL MARKETING CONFERENCE Cork City Hall

Event MC Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Paul McGuirk, Cork City Council and Clara O’Neill are among those representing the Victorian Quarter pictured at the Cork City Centre Revitalisation - People, Place, Progress event

A BUSINESS-FRIENDLY CITY Investment in Cork is showing signs of success, as it has been named the best small city in Europe for business friendliness by the Financial Times’ fDi magazine. The publication also ranked Cork as one of the top 25 European Cities of the Future 2018/19.

MAY 25TH NETWORK IRELAND WATERFORD AWARDS LUNCH 2018 Waterford

JUNE 1ST FOUNDER FRIDAY LIMERICK Mother Macs, Limerick

JUNE 22ND FROM GENERATION X TO GENERATION Z, IT TRALEE

WHAT’S ON IN

MUNSTER

[ COUNTY LIMERICK ]

BRITISH AMBASSADOR PRAISES LIMERICK VISION The British Ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett, has praised the efforts of Limerick City and County Council’s vision for 2030 and regeneration. Ambassador Barnett has said he welcomes the progress made in the 2030 plan, following a meeting with the council’s CEO Conn Murray.

[ COUNTY KERRY ]

COUNCIL PURCHASES LAND FOR PUBLIC USE Kerry County Council has secured the purchase of 13 acres of amenity land in Kenmare for public use. The lands had been previously part of a 50 acre plot owned by NAMA, before being sold to Oaktree Capital, a management investment firm. Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly says the coastline stretch of lands will be used to benefit the people of Kenmare. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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[ COUNTY CLARE ]

DIGITAL HUBS OPEN IN CLARE Three digital hub facilities developed by Clare County Council have been opened in Kilrush, Miltown Malbay and Feakle by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen. Over the next year, the council will also be furthering plans to develop a large-scale broadband hub in Ennis. Minister Breen commented: “Supporting digital hubs, like the three being opened here today and the two other Clare hubs nearing completion, helps not only in the economic development of rural Ireland, but also helps those who may otherwise work in isolation to come together to share ideas and encouragement.”

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BIKE SHARE SCHEME FOR SLIGO ABOUT BLEEPERBIKE BleeperBike bicycles are equipped with a smart lock which controls their usage by communicating with a custom-built app. As the locks are permanently on the bikes, they can be picked up and left anywhere that traditional bike parking is permitted.

WHAT’S ON IN

CONNAUGHT

18TH MAY NETWORK IRELAND MAYO CONFERENCE AND BUSINESS AWARDS Falcon Estate, Ballina, Co Mayo

18TH – 20TH MAY GALWAY COUNTY FLEADH Tuam, Co Galway

A local company has secured the rights to operate a pilot bike share scheme in Sligo Town. As part of the initiative, some 50 bikes have been placed on the streets of the town and at IT Sligo by Eco Travel Ltd. The company’s MD Jarlath Gantly has said he was delighted with the support received from Sligo County Council and added that local companies could also show support by sponsoring a bike.

1ST – 10TH JUNE CARRICK CARNIVAL Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim

13TH – 18TH JUNE LILY LOLLY CRAFTFEST Co Sligo

[ COUNTY ROSCOMMON ] [ COUNTY MAYO ]

INVESTMENT IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS Mayo County Council has welcomed a a19 million investment in the Killala, Foxford and Charlestown sewerage schemes which will end untreated discharge in Killala Bay and improve water quality in the Moy and Mullaghanoe rivers. Council CEO Peter Hynes welcomed the news, stating: “We look forward to delivering this project, and to working in partnership with Irish Water and Glan Agua for its successful implementation.”

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SCHOOLS SECURE FUNDING FOR EMERGENCY WORKS Two schools in Roscommon have received funding approval for emergency works. The Department of Education is allocating funding for roof works at Roscommon CBS and for external environmental projects to be carried out at Carrick Primary School, Ballinlough. Works will proceed once the tendering process has been completed. Minister Denis Naughten and Senator Frank Feighan have paid tribute to the boards of management and principals of the schools for securing the grants.

[ COUNTY GALWAY ]

LOCAL SPORTS GROUPS ALLOCATED FUNDING Almost a250,000 has been allocated for local sports groups in Galway. Local TD and Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon says a211,000 has been sanctioned to support the core work of local sports partnerships which help contribute to the health and welfare of families, communities, towns and villages. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: ULSTER

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MINISTER LAUNCHES GOLF TOURNAMENT Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys has launched the Irish Challenge golf tournament at Concra Wood in Castleblaney, which will be held from October 4th to 7th. It is estimated that up to 1,000 bed nights will be required for visitors attending the European Challenge Tour event, providing a boost for tourism and the local economy.

31ST MAY – 3RD JUNE RORY GALLAGHER INTERNATIONAL TRIBUTE FESTIVAL 2018 Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

[ COUNTY CAVAN ]

DID YOU KNOW? Concra Wood Golf Club is no stranger to championship golf, having hosted the EuroPro Tour between 2012 and 2014.

31ST MAY – 3RD JUNE MONAGHAN COUNTY FLEAD Ballybay, Co Monaghan

1ST – 4TH JUNE SUMMER LIGHTS FESTIVAL Ardara, Co Donegal

14TH JUNE PATHWAYS TO HEALTH & HAPPINESS Íontas Centre, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan

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ULSTER

[ COUNTY DONEGAL ] [ COUNTY DONEGAL ]

SOCIAL HOUSING UNITS FOR BALLINAGH Almost a615,000 is being provided for the construction of four new social housing units in Ballinagh, local Fine Gael Senator Joe O’Reilly has confirmed. He said that the houses are to be developed under the Rebuilding Ireland Local Authority Housing Construction Programme. Senator O’Reilly commented: “The construction of social housing units is of the utmost importance in order to ensure the needs of every individual and family in our local communities are met.”

WHAT’S ON IN

DONEGAL TD WELCOMES NEW BUS ROUTE

PLANS FOR WIND TURBINE A planning application has been submitted to Donegal County Council by Storm Renewables Limited for a ten-year planning permission, which will consist of the construction of a single wind turbine at Carrowmore or Glentogher, Quigley’s Point. The development will comprise a steel tower, nacelle and composite fibre rotor blades with a blade tip height of up to 124.9 metres.

South Donegal TD Tony McLoughlin has welcomed the launch of a new rural bus service, serving south Donegal and north Sligo. The new service will operate between Sligo via Rathcormac, Drumcliff (Yeats Grave), Carney, Lisadell House, Maugherow, Ballinfull, Streedagh, Grange Cliffoney, Mullaghmore, Tullaghan Village, Bundoran, Ballyshannon to Rossnowlagh and vice versa.

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An Authentic Slice of Ireland The Munster Vales is a new inland tourism destination that follows the natural trail from land to sea, a holiday experience that blends history and heritage seamlessly with modern Irish life.

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he Munster Vales lie in the historic heartland of Ireland – a 1,100 kilometre stretch of olden routes and time-worn trails that rise in the mid-west and sweep southward through five mountain ranges and on to the wild Irish Sea. Crossing the magnificent counties of Limerick, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford, exploring the Munster Vales is an exhilarating adventure, where history and heritage blend seamlessly with modern Irish life in an unforgettable travel experience. Hike to the five highest points of the Munster Vales to experience unrivalled vistas, lush valleys, surging rivers, cascading waterfalls, rugged coastline, a millennia-old landscape – the origins of Ireland’s great legends and

Cahir Castle

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folklore. Bike through deep-cut gorges, gaze on shimmering lakes, breathe the pure air and immerse mind and body in the natural, unspoiled beauty of our lands. Munster Vales recently received a commendation from the Irish Planning Institute on the Concept Development and Feasibility Study and was also shortlisted as the ‘Best Tourism Initiative’ at the LAMA Awards. As well as attracting people to the region, Munster Vales also addresses unemployment and regeneration for rural communities and businesses, thereby enabling the region to sustain itself as a successful tourism destination. The Munster Vales project will work with communities and businesses using a bottom-up approach to address identified needs.

Rock Of Cashel

Mahon Waterfall, Waterford

Munster Vales’ structure facilitates small tourism providers to collaboratively offer a tourism experience of scale which has the capacity to gain traction in the international market and allow greater dwell time opportunity. Munster Vales provides an opportunity for business growth in the tourism and hospitality sectors. This includes job creation, but will also provide access to international marketing campaigns that individual tourism providers may not have the capacity or budget to access as individuals. Working together in this structured and targeted way will allow Munster Vales to leverage off Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. The increase in revenue will boost local economies – and more visitors will lead to more job opportunities locally, thereby reducing outward migration. Munster Vales has responsible tourism at its core and is mindful of the environmental impacts of tourism development. There are important social impacts, improvement of streetscapes and development of new tourism products which provide a positive sense of belonging and community pride. More tourists will create demand for more events, which adds cultural layers to society and encourages civic pride. Travel writer Fionn Davenport recently explored the region, describing Munster Vales as “an authentic slice of Ireland”. This authentic Irish country life – with charming villages and vibrant market towns, restaurants, shops, bars and cafés, and wonderful accommodations where the breakfast is as hearty as the welcome – is waiting for you. For more information, log on to www.munstervales.com InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL

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Digital Advice from Dublin LEO Developed in partnership with Digital Skills Academy, Dublin City Council has launched a new digital one-stop shop for entrepreneurs seeking business development advice.

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n interactive digital platform aimed at supporting new entrepreneurs and startups in Dublin has been launched. Developed for the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin City by participants in training with Digital Skills Academy, a provider of digital training programmes based here, the LEO platform is designed to take emerging business talent on a step-by-step business development journey. That includes directing users to relevant supports, expertise and advice at each business development milestone – from ideation to kick-off and business growth. The online platform is a result of an industry partnership between Dublin City Council and Digital Skills Academy. As part of the partnership, an international and cross-functional team of six participants on one of Digital Skills Academy’s International BSc Degree programmes worked remotely from different countries, including Spain, India and Ireland, over a period of four months to create the online tool. LEO Dublin City plays a key role in the enterprise ecosystem in Dublin by providing financial grants and loan assistance, mentoring and networking opportunities as well as training to more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and existing microenterprise and small business owners every year. The new platform aims to streamline the number of calls to LEO Dublin City, increase the flow of users to its website, and grow subscribers to LEO’s ‘Start Your Own Business’ InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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Mary MacSweeney, Deputy Head of Enterprise and Economic Development, Dublin City Council and Paul Dunne, founder and CEO, Digital Skills Academy

training and mentoring courses. Plans are in place to implement the same type of platform across other councils. Deputy Head of Enterprise and Economic Development with Dublin City Council Mary MacSweeney commented: “We are very conscious of the growing demand for enhanced communication and service provision in the digital space as all start-ups, from food businesses to creative industries, become increasingly digitised. Given this trajectory, we were very keen to develop a highly responsive and scalable digital platform to offer business development to our clients.” Founder and CEO at Digital Skills Academy, Paul Dunne said: “The development of this highly innovative digital platform underlines the unique value of our industry partnerships, and we are very pleased with the outcome – both for the participants in our programme and LEO Dublin City. The partnership

has presented six of our participants with an invaluable opportunity to perform the digital skills they learned on our programme – including coding, project management, design thinking and problem solving – while at the same time developing a hugely beneficial resource for the clients of LEO Dublin City.”

ABOUT DIGITAL SKILLS ACADEMY

Founded in 2008 by Paul Dunne, Digital Skills Academy is an industry provider of online degree and CPD programmes in digital skills, having produced more than 2,500 talents to date. Participants on Digital Skills Academy programmes come from respected international companies such as Barclays, EY, Deloitte, Credit Suisse, Dell, SAP, Google and Oracle. For information on Digital Skills Academy’s courses and industry partners visit www.digitalskillsacademy.com.

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Informing you about the work of local authorities in supporting the business needs of their community... To tell us what your local council is doing for business email joseph.oconnor@ashvillemediagroup.com

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IB PARTNER PROFILE MARLFIELD HOUSE

A Team Effort at Marlfield House Located just one hour’s drive from Dublin, Marlfield House provides a number of services for corporate clients looking to meet, greet, or even put an extra pep in the step of their staff.

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aving a cohesive, engaged and productive team within your business is not always easy. One way of addressing this issue is through organising teambuilding activities for staff. While some might question its worth, the benefits to your business, and indeed your bottom line, can be manifold. For example, it can help develop trust among employees; it can help ease conflicts between coworkers; it can increase collaboration among colleagues; it can encourage employees to better communicate with one another. Are you on board yet? If so, one venue that can deliver all your needs, within a luxurious and tranquil setting, is Marlfield House in Gorey, Co Wexford. Marlfield House is a family owned and run business that has a long-standing reputation locally, nationally and internationally. The hotel has 21 bedrooms and two restaurants, each decorated with classic and elegent style, located on 36 acres of grounds including woodlands, a lake, formal gardens and its own resident peacock!

ACTIVITIES Staff at Marlfield House can organise a wide range of activities for guests including archery, falconry, clay pigeon shooting, segway games, cooking, hiking, croquet, spa treatments and cocktail classes. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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If none of the above takes your fancy, then try The Stables, a unique venue set in courtyard buildings, which is located just five minutes away. There, a varied fitness programme combining indoor and outdoor training along with pilates and yoga is on offer. The Stables will customise corporate teambuilding activities for groups in one of four studios or outside on the steeplechase, a 7km obstable course. After an energetic day controlling segways and propelling arrows, why not experience fine-dining at its best at The Conservatory or the Duck Terrace Restaurant & Café located in the courtyard? Crowned Atmospheric Restaurant of the Year in 2017 by Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Guide and Restaurant of the Year 2017 by South East Radio Hospitality Awards, the Duck offers a unique dining experience in a casual setting. For a more outdoors affair, the Gardens and Terraces can cater for barbacues of up to 100 people. If your corporate needs are more focused on meet and greet you can rent the Print Suite, a meeting room with plenty of space, natural light, four breakout rooms and direct

access to the gardens. It comes with a digital projector, a screen, DVD player, lectern with additional A/V equipment available on request. The room will suit anything from a product launch and brainstorming session to a team-building workshop and board room meeting. If your business is interested in organising a meeting or team-building event, meeting or conference at Marlfield House contact Emma Burke, conference co-ordinator at emma@ marlfieldhouse.ie. Marlfield House is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. For more information call 053 942 1124 or visit www.irelandsbluebook.com.

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Shaping the Seafood Industry

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IB PARTNER PROFILE BIM

The Business of Seafood Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish State agency responsible for developing the Irish sea fishing and aquaculture industries, explains how Ireland’s seafood sector is continuing to grow.

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n March 2018, a report entitled ‘The Business of Seafood’ was published by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, and launched by Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed. It found that Ireland’s seafood sector had recorded its third consecutive year of growth in 2017, with its value up 6.4 per cent on the previous year, contributing a1.15 billion to Ireland’s GDP. This was driven by a 12 per cent increase in net exports, a 4 per cent increase in domestic consumption, and significant ongoing investment leading to the value of trade surpassing a1bn for the first time. On the domestic market, the report found that Irish appetites for seafood have continued to grow, with a 4 per cent increase in seafood consumed in Ireland, now valued at a429 million. Domestic consumption comprises sales in supermarkets and shops as well as in restaurants, cafés and canteens. Salmon, cod and prawns continue to be in favour with Irish consumers, with salmon valued at a96m and cod at a48m. Growing demand from species such as pollack and hake are contributing new growth up 19 per cent in 2017. “Ireland’s seafood industry is thriving,” says Jim O’Toole, CEO of BIM. “Over the last two years, the contribution of the sector to Ireland’s GDP has grown by over 14 per cent. The fact trade sales have exceeded

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Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Jim O’Toole, CEO, Bord Iascaigh Mhara

a1bn for the first time demonstrates the clear demand for Irish seafood, and it is important we build on this impressive performance as we collectively work to achieve the targets for seafood in the Government’s Food Wise 2025 report.” Ireland is in a strong position to establish itself as an international leader in the global seafood industry. Building on its natural advantages, including access to some of the most productive fishing grounds in the EU, a commitment to sustainable fishing and the development of a high-quality aquaculture sector, the industry is committed to meeting the ambitious targets set out in the Government’s Food Wise 2025 strategy – a ten year plan for the agri-food sector. BIM is working closely with the industry to channel investment through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to deliver optimum results for the sector. Around the coast, over 14,000 people are employed, directly and indirectly, in the seafood sector, and thus support is vital.

Additionally, it is once again a key partner of the ‘Our Ocean Wealth’ Summit and SeaFest. Charged with developing Ireland’s seafood industry, it will lead an informative and interactive seafood session at the summit, focusing on the opportunities and challenges for Irish seafood, including Brexit, and its ambitious plans under the Food Wise 2025 report. At the popular SeaFest family festival, visitors can learn everything there is to know about seafood at the BIM/Bord Bia Seafood Experience on the docks in Galway, with dynamic exhibits and virtual reality displays explaining how Irish seafood is sustainably caught and farmed. For seafood lovers, some of Ireland’s best known chefs and fishmongers will prepare culinary delights using sustainably sourced produce. An additional attraction this year will be Joan Mulloy, a professional sailor and daughter of mussel producer Michael Mulloy of Blackshell Mussels, who is attempting to sail single handed in the famous Soltaire de Figaro race.

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LIFESTYLE: motoring

LITTLE

TOUGH

IS A PCP FOR YOU?

VOLVO’S XC40 IS ONE OF THE LATEST ADDITIONS TO THE SUV/ CROSSOVER MARKET. CONOR FORREST GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL TO DISCOVER WHETHER IT’S A WORTHY CONTENDER.

A recent report from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which looked into personal contract purchase (PCP) finance, raised a few potential concerns – a contract that could prove unaffordable, financial training for dealer staff, and a variety of restrictions and conditions. The motor industry has since hit back, with the general consensus that consumers are happy. For some it’s the perfect option, for others it could prove a financial burden. Take careful consideration before you sign, and check out more information on ccpc.ie.

en years ago I spent a semester abroad in a small town in upstate New York, during the autumn and winter months. One night, as the university bus trundled through the quiet town, snow began to fall outside. Inside the warm bus, staring out at the cold winter wonderland with the sounds of Nicholas Hooper playing in my ears, I felt like I was enveloped in a cocoon. A decade later I found myself experiencing the exact same feeling, this time inside Volvo’s new XC40. After a week behind its wheel, it’s not hard to understand why the XC40 was recently crowned European Car of the

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Year. Volvo’s baby SUV is not simply a smaller version of the XC60 – it’s got a personality all of its own, particularly when you walk around to the boot. Designer Ian Kettle began the process with three words to shape his creation – Tough Little Robot – but the end result features much more soul than that might suggest. Inside, the cabin is unmistakably Volvo and that’s by no means a criticism. Quality is present in spades if not quite to the same standard as the XC60, from the feel of the materials and the comfortable, supportive and figure-hugging seats to a softshell dashboard contoured towards the driver. A few plasticky items aside, InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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LIFESTYLE: motoring

“DESIGNER IAN KETTLE BEGAN THE PROCESS WITH THREE WORDS TO SHAPE HIS CREATION – TOUGH LITTLE ROBOT – BUT THE END RESULT FEATURES MUCH MORE SOUL THAN THAT MIGHT SUGGEST.” VOLVO XC40 D4 AWD R-DESIGN

POWER: 190bhp 0-100KM/H: 7.9s TOP SPEED: 210km/h ANNUAL TAX: €280

there’s a solid, well-built feel about this car. One of the standout features is the Sensus touchscreen media centre – a best in class system that’s intuitive, easy to use and looks the business. My test model came with a mixed black and lava orange interior (optional at €260), one example of the brand’s youthful approach. It’s an interesting mix if not a little unusual but it’s nice to have the choice. There’s plenty of space too – it’s not the largest vehicle on the road but inside it’s actually quite roomy, albeit built for four passengers. Boot space clocks in at 460L with the seats up and a decent 1,336L InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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when dropped, as well as a false floor. Small but clever details are dotted throughout – huge door bins that can swallow a laptop and a bottle of water, a USB port in the back for power-hungry kids, a spring-loaded rubbish bin in the centre console and a non-slip pad for your phone in front of the gear shifter that will charge Qi charging-enabled phones, and even a hook in the glovebox you can use to keep your bags off the floor. All very thoughtful. The B-pillar is quite thick so you’ll have to take a longer glance over your shoulder, the C-pillar even more so. Then again, Volvo

has included quite a few toys to do your thinking for you (or at least alongside you) – think a 360-degree camera, cornering lights, lane keeping aid, blind spot indicator, road sign information, cross traffic alert, parallel parking aids (in and out), adaptive cruise control, Pilot Assist, speed limiter and collision avoid assistance. It’s an exhaustive list. The XC40 is a tidy car on the road too. The 2.0 D4 TDi is a responsive block and, while a little husky at start-up, descends into a nice rumble once you hit cruising speed. The eight-speed gearbox is smooth throughout the range, with plenty of pulling power. Body roll is virtually non-existent and the suspension works wonders. All-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox are standard – beware of extra fuel usage as I averaged 7.9-8L/100km (36mpg). There’s plenty of poke when you need it but it’s a car to be driven at a laidback pace, very much a family wagon that happens to pack a punch underneath. My only quibble is the cost as the XC40 is pricey enough for this segment – starting from €38,900 for the impending petrol, front-wheel drive manual version or €47,450 for the diesel model. Throw in a few extras and the price quickly racks up – my R-Design (top spec) model would set you back a cool €63,425 (albeit kitted out with every extra you’d ever need), quite a bit more than a similarly powered mid-spec XC60. While its looks are something of a departure in part from its big brothers, the XC40 delivers what Volvos have always done down the years – comfortable and stylish cars that might not get the heart pumping like an Alfa but are incredibly refined, well kitted out and, ultimately, very satisfying to drive. In what can be a rather bland segment it’s an addition well worth the consideration.

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LIFESTYLE: motoring

THE HARD SHOULDER

GRAND

OPEL’S NEW GRANDLAND X IS THE GERMAN BRAND’S FLAGSHIP MODEL – HOW DOES IT STACK UP AGAINST THE MARKET? CONOR FORREST TOOK IT FOR A TEST DRIVE.

EZ-COME, EZ-GO Meet the Renault EZ-GO, a robotic vehicle concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. Designed to make urban travel easier and more enjoyable, it’s both a vehicle and a service – people could simply hail an autonomous taxi ride whenever they need a lift. If Renault’s plans come to life, we could see fleets of EX-GOs replacing public transport in densely populated cities of the future. Johnny’s Cab is on the way.

GREEN CLEAN WINDSCREEN Some clever kids have come up with a more environmentally friendly way to clean your windscreen – reusing rainwater. It seems rather obvious now, but brother and sister Daniel (11) and Lara (9) got the idea during a family outing when the car’s windscreen reservoir emptied during a rainstorm and the windscreen got dirtier and dirtier. Their idea won first prize in a local science competition and, when engineers at Ford heard about it, they fitted a full-size prototype to a Ford S-Max for testing. Rainwater is collected in the reservoir connected by pipes to the bottom of the windscreen and a filter ensures you’re using clean water.

IF GURE THIS THE NUMBER OF NISSAN QASHQAIS REGISTERED IN Q1 2018, IRELAND’S MOST POPULAR PASSENGER CAR.

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InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

09/05/2018 13:28


not be used too often. Visibility is good too – almost surprised the seating position is high, the wing mirrors with how much large, and while the B pillar is chunky you can I enjoyed Opel’s still glance back and spot any dangers before new Grandland X. pulling out. Or, if you don’t, a little orange The new model warning light will flash in the wing mirror is the brand’s flagship SUV, dropped into a courtesy of the Blindspot Detection System. competitive market that includes the likes of OnStar is always helpful if you’re lost on the the Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot’s 3008 or the back roads of Clare en route to Father Ted’s Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s got its work cut out for house, as is an in-car WiFi connection to help it, but the Grandland makes a decent argument save on data costs. for potential owners. My Elite model was equipped with the 1.6L For starters, it’s the best looking SUV Opel 120bhp engine – it’s got a decent bit of poke produces by a longshot. It’s a rather chunky car but you may want to try out the more powerful in the flesh but it’s easy on the eye – creases 2.0L diesel, particularly if you’re going to and sharp lines break up the bulk rather well be carting around the kids or a boot full of and the floating roof line makes it seem a luggage. Or you can opt for a 1.2L turbocharged little lower than it really is, particularly when petrol engine. The 1.6L diesel tested is set up you opt for a two-tone paint job, 18-inch alloys more for efficiency than power, and it feels a and tinted rear windows. Spanning 4,777mm little lumbering particularly in first gear, though in length and 1,856mm wide it’s about the it does manage 6.2L/100km (45mpg) without same size as its class competitors – it’s actually too much hassle. It’s surprisingly refined too, related to the Peugeot 3008, winner of the hardly noticeable even at low speeds. European Car of the Year, sharing platforms There is a noticeable body and engines though the two lean in the corners – the look nothing alike (incidentally, Grandland can still carry plenty Peugeot has owned Opel since of speed through the bends last year). OPEL but you might notice a bit of Opel might not enjoy the GRANDLAND X bodily clenching until you’re reputation of some of its ELITE 1.6 TDI through. On the other hand, the German colleagues, but POWER: 120bhp suspension is set up superbly you can’t fault them for the 0-100KM/H: 11.8s for comfort (despite supposedly Grandland’s interior either. It TOP SPEED: sporty traits), so all is forgiven. doesn’t go overboard – there’s 189km/h Elite models come with all exactly what you need on hand terrain drive, which tweaks the and very little else. The partly ANNUAL TAX: €190 settings of the front wheel drive digital instrument cluster PRICE: €36,575 set-up to better cope with the is a little overwhelming but (including options) likes of snow, sand or mud. It’s otherwise it’s all very sensible, quite safe too, having earned a not award-winning but quietly five-star Euro NCAP rating. assured. Space-wise there’s Opel are fairly generous plenty of head and legroom for when it comes to equipment – even the four adults sitting comfortably with an almost entry-level SC version includes OnStar, cruise flat floor in the back making life easier for the control, 17-inch alloys, a front camera system, middle passenger – practicality is where the rain sensitive wipers and rear parking sensors Grandland is at its best. That’s coupled with a among others, starting from €27,995 for the dual-level 514L boot featuring a wide opening 1.2L petrol option. There’s a few nice toys in that is quite handy for loading awkward objects, the Elite trim level but the mid-range SRi rising to 1,652L with the back seats down, more covers all bases, adding the likes of an 8-inch than enough even for a trip to IKEA. touchscreen, keyless entry, skid plates, 18-inch For the driver, seating position is excellent. wheels and a power tailgate. Opt for the Elite spec and you’ll enjoy The Grandland X isn’t a revelation for the ergonomic seats that are incredibly comfortable market but it’s a solid, well-rounded SUV to and come approved by the AGR, a group of give some pause for thought during your next German experts who seem to know a thing car shop. Ultimately it’s a practical, roomy SUV or two about good seating. Heated seats are that’s comfortable on the road (if not terribly nothing new, though the option to cool your exciting), nicely refined and easy on your wallet. rear end is a nice touch, albeit one that might InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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CONOR’S TOP TIPS ON... SIMPLE MAINTENANCE

OIL Check your engine oil every few months with the car on level ground.

TYRES Keep tyres inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations (this also helps fuel economy).

BULBS Replacing bulbs is usually simple – check the handbook or YouTube.

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LIFESTYLE: innovation

INNOVATION NATION InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping our future. In this issue: eco-friendly products.

THE QUARTZ BOTTLE While much of the discussion around our penchant for throw-away packaging and its impact on the environment has been focused on plastic bags and coffee cups, bottled water has managed to stay somewhat under the radar. While there have been plenty of reusable bottles on the market which encourage us to use water sources at home, at work and at the gym, saving money and environmental harm in the process, none have quite captured our imagination enough to change our habits. The Quartz bottle certainly has that potential. It is not only reusable and insulated to keep your drink cool, but it also cleans the water you put inside it through UV-C light. At the press of a button the light will have eliminated the most harmful germs in 60 seconds. It charges over USB and can last about two months from a single charge. Pre-orders are now available from its website. www.clearlyquartz.com

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Newry-based STATSPORTS, which creates sports performance monitoring technology for professional athletes, has signed a $1.5 billion deal with the US Soccer Federation. It will see four million registered footballers in the US wear their APEX Athlete Monitoring device.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

10/05/2018 15:07


LIFESTYLE: innovation

STOJO

ONYA SANDWICH WRAP Like the sound of an eco-friendly lunch? Consider investing in an Onya reusable sandwich wrap. www.onyalife.com

Social media giant FACEBOOK has announced a series of changes to give users more control over their data. The move follows a huge data scandal which has wiped more than $100 billion from its stock market value.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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More than 4,500 tonnes of coffee is consumed in Ireland on an annual basis, which equates to a significant amount of disposable coffee cups being thrown away at a huge environmental cost. As the debate on the possible introduction of a tax on take-away coffee cups in Ireland continues, why not take the lead right now and bring a reusable cup on the go? The Stojo is a good place to start. Unlike most bulky travel mugs, Stojo conveniently collapses into a leak-proof disk that stows away without fuss. Stojo cups start at €10.70 and come in a range of colours. stojo.eu

MONOPRIX, one of France’s biggest grocery store chains, has announced that it will start selling its products to customers in Paris through Amazon’s Prime Now service later this year.

Chinese phone maker HUAWEI has unveiled the world’s first triple rear camera system on a smartphone, which will use artificial intelligence to help users take photos.

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LIFESTYLE: travel

THE IBERIAN THERE ARE NOT MANY EUROPEAN CITIES THAT CAN CLAIM TO HAVE BEEN, AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, THE CAPITAL OF A ROMAN PROVINCE, AN ARAB STATE AND AN ISLAMIC CALIPHATE, YET CÓRDOBA IN SOUTHERN SPAIN CAN DO JUST THAT, WRITES TIERNAN CANNON.

s one gets lost through the maze of streets and alleyways that define the southern Spanish city of Córdoba, it becomes increasingly clear that this is a place built upon the foundations of a rich and varied history. At one time a Roman settlement, Córdoba was colonised by Muslim armies in the eight

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century, eventually becoming the capital of the Islamic Emirate, and then of the Caliphate of Córdoba, a state which existed from 929 to 1031. During the period of the Spanish Reconquista – a series of campaigns by Christian states to recapture territory from the Muslims who occupied most of the Iberian Peninsula at the time – Córdoba was captured by King Ferdinand III of Castile, after a siege of several months. The period following the Reconquista was a time of decline for Córdoba – a stark contrast to its status as a capital and centre of learning during its time under Muslim rule. By the 18th century, the city was reduced to just 20,000 inhabitants, with the population and economy only beginning to increase

once again in the early 20th century. Nowadays, Córdoba is a mid-sized city of around 350,000 inhabitants located in the Andalusia region of Spain, with modern infrastructure and services and a large network of hotels – a modern-day European city, but with the marks of its past evidenced at every turn.

Colourful Network Just about everything of interest in Córdoba is within walking distance, and traipsing through its colourful network of orange tree-lined streets, alleys and squares – all of which are arranged around the city’s Great Mosque – there is a tangible sense of the city’s place in history. The streets themselves reflect thousands of years of occupation by various cultural groups, and even InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

10/05/2018 15:06


LIFESTYLE: travel

WHere To MEET...

Hotel NH Córdoba Guadalquivir With eight function rooms available for meetings, the NH Córdoba Guadalquivir is the perfect place to do business while soaking in the city’s culture, offering great views of the Guadalquivir river. www.nh-hotels.com/hotel/nhcordoba-guadalquivir

EAT...

Noor Restaurant Located away from Córdoba’s historic centre, Noor is a restaurant that strives to recover the splendour of the cuisine of the Al-Andalus culture. The menu is defined by modern culinary techniques combined with flavours from the past. www.noorrestaurant.es/en

SLEEP... the traditional homes of the city are note-worthy for their beauty. These are communal houses built around interior courtyards – colourful and lively areas that can be spotted throughout the entire city. Designed to heighten the presence of water and plants in daily life, these patio areas are typically lush with plants and flowers and often contain a water fountain at their centre, an architectural fusion of Roman and Andalusian worlds. Lazily soaking in the sights and sounds of Córdoba is an intensely satisfying affair, but to InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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GETTING THERE

BY AIR: Fly with Ryanair from Dublin to Malaga or Seville and get the train to Córdoba – the place is well served by intercity high-speed rail links.

slow things down even further, one might step into one of the many tapas bars that are littered throughout the city. There is a playfulness to tapas that brings about a wonderful sense of occasion and social interaction – tapas bars are places to eat, relax, meet friends, watch football, have a drink, or chat with the owner – provided the language barrier isn’t a problem, of course. It is a shared, interactive experience, and is highly sociable. A traditional dish found in Córdoba is salmorejo, a cold, creamy paste made

Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailío Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailío is an old manor characterised by its limestone structure and one-of-a-kind Andalusian-style courtyards. www.hospes.com/en/cordobapalacio_bailio

SEE... The Mezquita The MosqueCathedral of Córdoba captures the city’s identity like no other building and is a standing testament to the rich heritage of the region. www.mezquitacatedraldecordoba.es/en

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KNOW before you go

Salmorejo

LANGUAGE The Andalusian variety of Spanish spoken in Córdoba differs slightly from Standard Spanish and shares similarities to many American Spanish dialects.

Arabic-style decor on old building near the Roman Bridge in central Cordoba

Typical Cordoban patio

Alfajores cookies View of the the Mezquita and the Roman bridge over the Guadalquivir River

WEATHER Córdoba has one of the hottest summer climates in Europe, with temperatures of around 40 degrees Celcius not uncommon in the summer months, so be sure to stay hydrated.

TAPAS Tapa-hopping is a fundamental aspect to Andalusian life and must be experienced. Tapas are small portions of food served typically to accompany a copa de fino – dry Spanish Sherry – or draught beer.

FESTIVALS Summer is chock-full of festivals and street events in Cordóba, but highlights of the season include Feria de Córdoba, the Courtyards Festival of Córdoba and the White Night of Flamenco.

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from tomato, bread and olive oil, which is served as a starter in most bars. It is arguably the most common tapa in the city and is well worth a taste. The Arab influence on the cuisine is perhaps most notable in the pastries and desserts, with traditional cakes such as Alfajores, Pestiños or Pastel Cordobés all originating from ArabicAndalusian recipes.

Testament to the Past The Great Mosque of Córdoba, or the Mezquita, is the most emblematic monument of Islamic religious architecture in Europe, yet under Ferdinand III, the mosque was turned into a Catholic cathedral and remains as such to this day. The building is notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 colourful columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. A centrally

located honeycombed dome has blue tiles decorated with stars – a standing testament to the colour and innovation of the city’s cultures of the past. Surrounding the Mezquita are a tangle of narrow medieval streets that represent the Old City, sitting just uphill from the Guadalquivir River and containing the vast majority of Córdoba’s tourist attractions. A Roman bridge stands over the river, which serves to recall Córdoba’s historic importance to the region. The entrance to the bridge is marked by a triumphal arch and an adjacent single-column monument, and it crosses to an old fortified gate, which has today been turned into a history museum, the Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus, which presents exhibits and artefacts on Islamic Andalusia. Córdoba is famous for its many festivals and fairs

that take place throughout the year, but of course summer is the most vibrant season. One of the most popular events, the Feria de Córdoba, is an annual funfair to mark the feast of Our Lady of la Salud. During the day, the Feria is quite traditional, with people dancing Flamenco, riding horses and with attractions and rides set up for children. Yet at night, with people permitted to drink on the street, more of a party atmosphere takes over, highlighting the energy of Córdoba that permeates throughout the present day. The city, of course, cannot escape its history, and this is worth experiencing on its own terms. However, Córdoba is not bogged down by its own heritage and has managed to evolve and change with the times, confidently adapting to the circumstances that surround it at any moment of cultural significance. InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

10/05/2018 15:07


LIFESTYLE: books

BOOKS ON

INNOVATION NATION

InBUSINESS looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge.

SECRETS TO SUCCESS: Inspiring Stories From Leading Entrepreneurs

W

ith experience across a broad range of fields such as business, politics, youth development and sports, Cavan-man Sean Gallagher has experienced his fair share of trials and successes. Drawn from articles he has written for the Sunday Independent, Gallagher’s new book is a compilation of stories of successful Irish-based entrepreneurs and business leaders. It teaches readers lessons from entrepreneurs about their journey from start-up to success. We learn about their backgrounds and what shaped them, how they came up with their business ideas, as well as the challenges that confronted them along the way. Success, as Gallagher illustrates, does not come easily, and all those featured have known defeat. Rather than giving up, however, they learned to deal with and overcome their challenges. Lots can be learned from Ireland’s microcosm of entrepreneurial endeavour, and it can be applied anywhere in the world. This book is a good place to start learning.

AUTHOR: Sean Gallagher PUBLISHER: The Mercier Press Ltd RRP: 14.99 AVAILABLE: dubraybooks.ie

YOUR TRAVEL COMPANION

A Dying Light In Corduba

AUTHOR: Lindsey Davis PUBLISHER: Warner Books AVAILABLE: amazon.com

The eighth book in author Lindsey Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries series, A Dying Light In Corduba follows protagonist Falco as he explores political skulduggery in Ancient Rome. With an impressive cast of characters and a fast-moving narrative that paints vividly a picture of Roman Córdoba, Davis’ novel is a gripping read, with even echoes to modern-day politics.

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“An entire route map for dealing with the reality of change.”

AUTHOR: TechIreland is TechIreland a not-for-profit PUBLISHER: that tracks and TechIreland showcases all RRP: product innovation 50 companies in AVAILABLE: welcome. Ireland. Having techireland. released a number org/book of reports on innovation in Ireland over a period of a few months, the group decided that it would be appropriate to bring them together and publish them as a single 140-page coffee table book, Innovation Nation. Looking back at the previous year of Irish innovation, the project sees itself as a means of expression for Irish creativity. In the coffee table book format, Innovation Nation allows for a new means of communicating Ireland’s culture of synthesis, based around three categories – sectors, regions and funding.

This new book by inventor, investor, business strategist and acclaimed speaker Jonathan MacDonald provides a practical methodology to help business leaders to create business models that thrive from change. Each step is illustrated with insightful real-life examples AUTHOR: Jonathan MacDonald from major companies such as Netflix, Kodak, Dyson, Uber, Apple PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton and Blockbuster. It’s essential reading for anyone working in RRP: 17.73 disruptive start-ups or for senior decision-makers in world-leading AVAILABLE: organisations. amazon.co.uk

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Pat McDonagh, Owner Supermac’s, Trócaire Supporter.

“ my business has helped children children go go to to

school and and provided provided

water to

vulnerable villages in in

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Find out what your business can do by partnering with Trócaire: Please contact us on 00 353 1 629 3333 or visit trocaire.org Trócaire Head Office, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland Irish Charity No. CHY 5883

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08/05/2018 04/05/2018 15:19 15:29 05/09/2016 09:51


LIFESTYLE: podcasts

EAR TO THE

THE IB

Could you tell us a little about your Sparking Change podcast and what kind of listeners it is aimed at? Sparking Change is aimed at listeners interested in hearing about the latest social justice and mental health stories through the perspective of the change-makers who are dedicated to creating positive social change. How did you come to work with Headstuff? My decade long award-winning programme Global Village on Newstalk ended abruptly in October 2017 after I publicly spoke out about a former colleague’s rape comments and the station’s insufficient actions to address these. I was invited to join the Headstuff team and within a week I was back on air!

IN THE FIRST OF A NEW SLOT LOOKING AT SOME OF THE BEST PODCASTS ON THE WEB, InBUSINESS CHATS TO DIL WICKREMASINGHE, PRESENTER OF HEADSTUFF’S SPARKING CHANGE ABOUT WHAT MAKES A QUALITY AUDIO SERIES.

You’re 28 episodes in – how are you enjoying working on the podcast and how does it differ from live radio? I love the podcast world! I’ve never experienced this level of autonomy and editorial freedom before. I can speak to anyone, anywhere, about anything for however long I want! Although live radio may seem exciting, it has too many limitations that often impact the authenticity of the content. What are you looking for when seeking guests for the show? The profile of the guests has not changed. As a journalist I am still interested in hearing from the people who are making a real difference on the ground in areas of social justice and mental health. Any other podcasts you’d recommend to our readers? I am a big fan of The Eight on the Headstuff Network and Echo Chamber Podcast. What do you believe are the key ingredients that make a great podcast? Being authentic. This was something I tried to be in mainstream media but ultimately I believe it cost me my job. In the podcast world you will be celebrated for being outspoken and authentic. What can we expect from the Sparking Change podcast for the rest of 2018? More great stories from change-makers and we hope to record more episodes in front of live audiences.

InBUSINESS | Q1 2018

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GROUND

InBUSINESS RECOMMENDS THREE PODCASTS TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS QUARTER.

MADE IN IRELAND

MEET YOUR MAKER Produced and hosted by Liam Geraghty, Meet Your Maker is a podcast series that started in August 2017 comprising in-depth interviews with some of the quirkier creatives in Ireland. Recent episodes include encounters with a monster maker, a paper artist and a restorer of harmoniums.

NOT TO BE MISSED

WEST CORK Released in February by Amazon’s audiobook company Audible, West Cork is being mooted as Ireland’s answer to the US ground-breaking podcast series Serial. And for good reason. The series revisits the 1996 murder of French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier, a case that remains unsolved today.

THE BUSINESS PICK

HOW I BUILT THIS WITH GUY RAZ How I Built This is a US series from NPR where presenter Guy Raz interviews successful entrepreneurs, innovators and executives from around the world. It’s a simple format but Raz – whose voice will be recognisable to listeners of TED Radio Hour – gets the best out of his guests.

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THE InBUSINESS INDEX

T

 JAP

 NEW ZEALAND

 PORTUGAL  AUSTRIA  UNITED KINGDOM  LUXEMBOURG  NETHERLANDS  NORWAY

Y

U

N GA R fro m

4TH

NINTH

the 20 18 Hen ley P asspo r t Index.

 CZECH REPUBLIC

s re o l p ex S ES SIN U nB e, I u s s i In this

97TH KOSOVO Kosovo is by far the poorest overall performer in Europe, holding 97th place on the index — 38 places behind the second-poorest performer, Albania, which holds 54th place. Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, is still struggling to gain universal recognition, which hinders the advancement of its passport. 27TH UNITED ARAB EMIRATES The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has shown the most dramatic growth, climbing a remarkable 34 places since 2008. The country has gained access to 11 new destinations since 2017, and now has a visa-free score of 140. The UAE’s success is linked to the fact that, between 1999 and 2018, visa restrictions on Emirati citizens have been lifted by countries such as New Zealand and Ireland.

Alan McArthur

ABOUT THE HENLEY PASSPORT INDEX The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research. The index is updated in real-time, as and when visapolicy changes come into effect.

 MALTA

da ta

 FRANCE  ITALY  SPAIN  DENMARK  FINLAND  SWEDEN  SOUTH KOREA

I

5TH IRELAND An Irish passport continues to get holders into more countries, more easily than most other countries in the world. It lies in joint fifth position having visa-free access to 176 countries. Responding to the results in January, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said the ranking “reflects the major efforts undertaken at all levels of the Passport Service to protect the integrity of the passport and to ensure it continues to be a secure travel document.”

 BELGIUM

THIRD

TES  CA N STA

8TH

 GREECE

H

LAND CE

SIXTH

A  SWITZ AD

5TH

 AUSTRALIA

7

 TH LA

VI A

D  UNITED AN

D  IR EL LAN ER

1 TH ST

E

TEN

S AN IN

GAPOR

PASSPORT POWER

2ND  GERMANY

www.henleypassportindex.com

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Female-led start-ups are growing in number. We want them to grow in potential.

At Enterprise Ireland, we want to support female-run businesses. That’s why we’re launching the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs, with up to €1m in funding to help female-led businesses realise their potential. As many as 20 female-led start-ups will each receive up to €50,000 in equity investment. We’ve also increased the intake for the Enterprise Ireland Innovate programme by Dublin BIC with up to 15 places available.

Call opens — Tuesday 1 May Call closes — Tuesday 15 May Apply online: enterprise-ireland.com/femalecsf #GlobalAmbition

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Grow your business online through PayPal.

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08/05/2018 06/04/2018 10:46 01/12/2017 15:09 21/07/2016 15:20 17:15

Profile for Ashville Media Group

InBUSINESS Q1 2018  

InBUSINESS Q1 2018