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JOHN TEELING MENTORS SERIES ENTREPRENEUR ON HAVING A VISION

InBUSINESS USINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

Q2 2017

THE BUSINESS OF

CHARITY A SECTOR BATTLING

TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST

NOAM CHOMSKY THE PROFESSOR SPEAKS HIS MIND ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD

InBUSINESS Q2 2017

GETTING

IRELAND’S EFFORTS TO DEVELOP SMART CITIES

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Editor: Joseph O’Connor Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant: Susan McDermott (Chambers Ireland) Tiernan Cannon Art Director: Alan McArthur Editorial Contributors: Tiernan Cannon Orla Connolly Ellen Flynn Conor Forrest Valerie Jordan Fiona Kelly Olive Keogh Advert Design: James Moore Front Cover Photography: Jason Clarke Photography: Jason Clarke Photography Getty Images iStock Photo Sportsfile Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon

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Entrepreneur Elaine Lavery on having youth on her side and getting Improper Butter on supermarket shelves

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Business of Sport A glimpse inside the world of the modern sports agent Words: Conor Forrest

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Industry Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 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 2017. 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

We check in with Irish charities responding to a need for tighter regulation and vying to regain the trust of the public Words: Orla Connolly

29

Snapchat Seamus O’Hara, Founder and Managing Director, Carlow Brewing Company

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As Seen in Shannon InBUSINESS goes West and chats to a number of companies operating in Shannon, a region punching above its weight Words: Fiona Kelly

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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COVER STORY:

Digital First

We spoke to Aidan D’Arcy, Head of Business at Virgin Media Ireland, about why Irish businesses need to think digital first FEATURE

FEATURE

SMARTER THAN THE REST A glance at some of the world’s leading smart cities

Barcelona

Starting in 2012, Barcelona began to deploy responsive technologies across urban systems including public transit, parking, street lighting, and waste management. Since that time, the city’s smart initiatives have grown to the point that now it is one of the leading smart cities in the world.

London

In response to its rapidly growing population, London has rolled out a number of smart initiatives, such as electric bike sharing systems and smart parking spaces to monitor parking. Its standing with regard to energy efficiency has been quite poor, so there are now plans to invest in schemes to allow the River Thames to heat homes and to install solar panels on houses. The power grid is planned to be managed digitally, in order to maximise its efficiency.

The idea of smart cities is beginning to take hold across the world, as cities turn to technology in order to cope with increased populations and to improve the lives of inhabitants. TIERNAN CANNON explores Ireland’s latest efforts to get smart.

T

he world’s population has become increasingly urban in recent decades, and forecasts suggest that this trend will continue for some time. According to the World Health Organization, 54 per cent of the global population in 2014 lived in cities. These figures are expected to rise by 1.84 per cent every year between 2015 and 2020, by 1.63 per cent each year between 2020 and 2025, and 1.44 per cent per year between 2025 and 2030. These sharp rises in urban populations represent a challenge to cities, as issues such as the quality of housing, the economy,

and social and environmental conditions are impacted by the increased demand imposed by having more urban dwellers. Of course, there are no easy solutions to the difficult questions being posed to the cities of the world, but many are looking to the development of technology as a means of improving infrastructure and the lives of inhabitants. In essence, cities around the world are trying to get ‘smart’. While smart cities can be difficult to definitively define, they can be considered cities that integrate smart technologies in order to manage a city’s assets. Some cities, of course, are ahead of the curve with regard to the development of smart technologies, such

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as Barcelona, Singapore and London. Ireland, at least for the moment, appears to be lagging behind, with Dublin being ranked 19th in an index of smart cities by Bank of America Merrill Lynch published this year. However, the ideas behind smart cities are beginning to take hold throughout the country, and an increasing number of new projects and initiatives are seeking to bring Irish cities up to speed. Take, for example, the smart bins that have been introduced to the streets of Dún Laoghaire and Rathdown, and which are due to be trialled in Dublin city. These smart bins come with a built-in, solar-powered compactor which gets triggered when rubbish reaches a certain level. The rubbish is then compacted, which enables the bin to reach a level of waste 6 to 8 times that of a traditional bin. These smart bins are also WiFi-enabled, sending an email to the relevant waste management division when a bin reaches 85 per cent capacity. Then there’s the Croke Park Smart Stadium project, which involves strategically positioned sensors and gateways throughout Croke Park stadium which collect enormous amounts of data. This information is used to provide actionable insights to help the GAA improve fan experiences and safety, to reduce its carbon footprint, and to drive cost-effective stadium management. The project can be seen as a trial for city-wide smart solutions, with the stadium acting as a small enough space to comfortably trial new technologies, but also being large enough to get results that are relevant to larger-scale problems. Exciting as it is to hear about projects such as these emerging, there’s certainly room for plenty more. “Dublin is a great test bed for smart technology, and there is a lot of work being carried out by Dublin City Council with many big technology firms,” says Aebhric McGibney, Director of Public & International Affairs at Dublin Chamber. “However, Dublin does suffer from a lack of investment.” McGibney suggests that in order for Dublin to place itself among the top smart cities in the world, the Government must invest more in smart technologies and act more as an enabler of smart solutions, by means of regulations and more open data. Other European cities are forging ahead, with McGibney citing Barcelona, Copenhagen and Stockholm in particular. “Those cities are all constantly looking for ways that new technologies can be used to

improve aspects of daily life. We need to do the same here in Dublin and in other Irish cities,” he says. “[They are] great European cities, a lot like us, but who do things better.” The idea of a city that fundamentally does not change, but rather takes what it does today and improves upon it through technology, is fundamental to McGibney’s understanding of what it means to be a smart city. For him, a smart city is “friendly, clean, green and safe, with a great cultural vibe”. “More of what we have now really,” he adds. “Smart won’t necessarily change things – it will just make our ‘now’ better.” INTERCONNECTIVITY It’s difficult to pin down consensus on what defines a ‘smart city’, with the term having different meanings for different people. Aoife O’Sullivan, Communications Director at Cubic Telecom, for example, views it as a city’s interconnectivity. “I’d say it’s a city or environment whereby everyone and everything is integrated and connected,” she says. “I know that sounds kind of woolly, but in a way, that’s what I would consider a smart city, where I can bring my own personal connected experience and it integrates with the city around me.” O’Sullivan’s company, Cubic Telecom, is a global connectivity platform company, offering solutions for leading Internet of things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) and mobile device companies across the globe. She says that Cubic is playing its part in the development of smart cities around the world, pointing in particular to a showcase that the company was a part of at CES, the global consumer electronics and technology trade show, held in Las Vegas in January 2017. At the event, Cubic gave an automated driving demonstration, wherein CES attendees could take a test drive in a highly automated vehicle to understand how cloud and artificial intelligence can enable personalised in-car experiences. “That’s as smart as you can get from a city perspective!” she beams. “It’s not only vehicleto-vehicle communication but it’s vehicleto-everything – vehicle to the infrastructure, the traffic lights, pedestrians. It’s a complete integration of your personal connectivity requirements. So, I definitely think, without a shadow of a doubt, that Cubic is a key player in the smart cities arena.”

Singapore

As part of its Smart Nation programme, the island city-state of Singapore is deploying sensors and cameras that allow for the monitoring of everything from the cleanliness of public spaces to the density of crowds and the precise movement of locally registered vehicles. Officials say that the programme is being designed to improve government services through technology, better connect its citizens, and to encourage private-sector innovation.

San Francisco San Francisco is attempting to overcome its traditional congestion troubles through the use of smart payment methods for public transport fares, as well as through smart parking. San Francisco is also leading the way in many clean energy initiatives; for example, a recent law states that all new buildings are required to have at least 15 per cent of roof space dedicated to solar panels

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Getting City Smart

The idea of smart cities is beginning to take hold across the world and Ireland is following suit Words: Tiernan Cannon

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JOHN TEELING MENTORS SERIES ONENTREPRENEUR HAVING A VISION

InBUSINESS USINESS CONNECTING IRISH BUSINESS

Q2 2017

NOAM CHOMSKY

THE BUSINESS OF

CHARITY

THE PROFESSOR SPEAKS HIS MIND ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD

A SECTOR BATTLING TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST

InBUSINESS Q2 2017

GETTING

nd’s Media Irela

Virgin Y RC HELPING AIDAN D’ONAINES SES

IRELAND’S EFFORTS TO DEVELOP SMART CITIES

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IRISH BUS NECT CON

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Fir

Go to chambers.ie for the online edition

[TURNING JAPANESE] For our cover shoot with Aidan D’Arcy of Virgin Media we chose Japanese restaurant Yamamori Tengu on Ormond Quay, Dublin as our location. The branch is celebrating 10 years in business, while Yamamori on George’s Street has been serving fine Japanese food in Dublin city for 22 years. For more on Yamamori or to check our their spaces for work events or parties visit www.yamamori.ie.

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Mentors: John Teeling Irish whiskey magnate John Teeling on the traits of successful entrepreneurs Words: Joseph O’Connor

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134

Small Business Meet the maker of Ireland’s only handmade luxury watches

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In Conversation The man behind the now infamous character Mattress Mick talks the bed business and building a brand [LIFESTYLE] 130

MOTORING:

A faster, more fuel efficient BMW 5 Series 138

INNOVATION:

Skincare with an Irish connection 140

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An extract from How Coca-Cola Took Over the World, a collection of 101 tales of some of the world’s greatest brands

Words: Joseph O’Connor

Words: Valerie Jordan

Book Extract

World Report

Renowned political scientist Professor Noam Chomsky shares his views on Trump, the refugee crisis and the general state of the world

TRAVEL:

The Nordic elegance and historic sights of Stockholm 127

BOOKS:

Yanis Varoufakis’s battle with Europe’s establishment

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[REGULARS]

Our Local Government InBUSINESS Supplement A COUNTY 06 continues to MOVING FORWARD look at the important role played by local authorities in Irish enterprise Page

Page

2

5 Business News 10 Movers & Shakers 13 Opportunity Ireland 14 Start-Up Central

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Limerick Twenty Thirty appoints CEO, housing plans for Ennis, and calls for development of Killarney business park.

144 The IB Index

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International interest in Killala site, Council chairman prioritising jobs in Sligo, and funding boost for Connaught counties.

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Development works at Cavan castle, Monaghan prepares to lure Northern companies, and Donegal Airport receives funding.

In Association with

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Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, on his plans for a vibrant city with a young population.

COUNCIL APPROVES WORKS

Westmeath County Council gives green light for works on former Imperial Tobacco premises.

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61 Chambers Catch Up

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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • ULSTER

Mayor launches living wage initiative, digital transformation at Dún Laoghaire, and hotel planned for Tayto Park.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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SOUTH-EAST AMBITIONS

In Association with

Wexford County Council is taking a pro-active approach to economic development in the county.

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InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

26/07/2017 18:06


TRAVEL IN STYLE TRAVEL WITH ATTITUDE The ŠKODA Superb from €259 per month with 0% PCP finance

For a limited time only, the ŠKODA Superb and the brand new ŠKODA Superb SportLine are available with 0% finance. Visit your local dealer to avail of this offer, or book a test drive. There are 0 reasons not to. Typical Example: Superb 1.4 TSI 125bhp €28,300. Deposit €8,339.64. 36 Monthly payments of €259 including fixed price service plan of €13.99 per month. Optional final payment €11,080. Total Hire Purchase Price €28,300. €0 cost of credit. Minimum deposit 10%. ŠKODA Finance trading as Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland is authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Lending criteria, fees and terms and conditions apply. Subject to lending criteria. Hire Purchase agreement. Available on models ordered before 31st July 2017 & registered before 31st August 2017. Prices shown are retail prices including delivery charge of €600 but exclude metallic paint. Superb SportLine Images used for illustrative purposes.

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26/07/2017 07/06/2017 15:59 09:42 06/06/2017 16:11


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NE WS STATS SHOW OCEAN ECONOMY

PEFORMING WELL

BUSINESS NEWS

BANK OF CHINA

OPENS DUBLIN BRANCH

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended the official opening of Bank of China’s Dublin branch

B

ank of China has announced the opening of a Dublin branch, which will focus on corporate lending. The new branch will be located on Hatch Street, in Dublin city centre. Bank of China is the world’s fourth largest bank by capital and the new Dublin office is a sign of the growing importance of economic relations between Ireland and China. The bank said it has plans to build a diversified products and services platform in Ireland within two years. Its target clients will be Chinese companies operating in Ireland, Irish companies with interests in China and multinationals with large offices in Ireland.

Pictured at the launch of Ireland’s Ocean Economy report at NUIG were: Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dr Amaya Vega and Dr Stephen Hynes, SEMRU, NUI Galway and Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO, Marine Institute

NUI Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) has published its fourth report on Ireland’s ocean economy as part of its ongoing process of collection and analysis of marine socio-economic data in Ireland. Results from the report show that in 2016, the direct economic value of Ireland’s ocean economy was 1.8 billion or approximately 0.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), which represents a 20 per cent increase on 2014 levels. Latest figures suggest that our blue economy is performing better than the general economy. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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OCEAN WEALTH IN NUMBERS the turnover from Ireland’s ocean economy in 2016 its indirect economic value in 2016 number of people employed by the ocean economy the turnover from Ireland’s emerging marine industries

A UNITED IRELAND CONCEIVABLE, SAYS CHOMSKY Political scientist Noam Chomsky says he believes Northern Ireland could follow Scotland’s lead in pursuing European Union membership after Brexit. Speaking to InBUSINESS, the MIT professor also said it’s not inconceivable to see a united Ireland down the line. “If I was in Ireland I would sort of be in favour of it in the longer term,” he said. “I see the problems that nobody wants a revival of the so-called Troubles. There would be a split in Northern Ireland, which could turn ugly. I don’t think it’s a high probability but it’s not being ruled out that Northern Ireland go along with Scotland towards the European Union, separating from England. It’s not likely, but conceivable, which could set the stage for closer connections between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Maybe it can someday lead to unification.” For an in-depth interview with Noam Chomsky go to our world report feature on page 50.

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BUSINESS NEWS

EI ANNOUNCES 1.3M INVESTMENT IN MANUFACTURING RESEARCH

New research projects being carried out at a leading national technology centre will help biopharmaceutical companies in Ireland improve their manufacturing processes and increase competitiveness. Enterprise Ireland has awarded 1.3 million worth of funding to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC), hosted at University of Limerick, for economically important innovation partnership projects involving multiple industry partners. The funding will primarily focus research towards improving cleaning processes in the industry and contributing to network competitiveness in areas such as product-to-product changeover. For more on the state-of-play in the manufacturing sector go to page 81.

TEELING WHISKEY APPOINTS BACARDI AS US IMPORTER

Teeling Whiskey Company has announced that from September 1st 2017, its whiskey will be imported into the US through Bacardi. The US is the largest market for Irish whiskey in the world with sales of over 3.5 million 9 litre cases in 2016. Teeling Whiskey has been imported and distributed into the US since 2014. As part of the deal Bacardi is taking a minority stake in Teeling Whiskey Company. For more on whiskey and the man credited with instigating Ireland’s whiskey renaissance go to our mentors feature with John Teeling on page 38.

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PICTURE THIS

Olivia Lynch, Partner and Head of Private Enterprise at KPMG in Ireland, pictured with Nick Wheeler, Chief Executive of Charles Tyrwhitt shirts, at the RHA Gallery, Dublin for the launch of a new series of speaker events for business, the KPMG Inspire Series. Photo: Julien Behal Photography

Business

BITES

AN POST LAUNCHES TV CAMPAIGN An Post has launched a new TV brand campaign that highlights the company’s global connectedness. The 40-second campaign launch ad was created by Dublin agency Target McConnells.

NEW FUNDING FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS New funding has been announced for female entrepreneurs living in Cork and Limerick. The Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) project will see more than 330,000 in funding, provided by the Department of Justice and Equality and the European Social Fund, allocated to promote entrepreneurial skills amongst women in these regions, through a tailored and focused approach. SECAD (South & East Cork Area Development) will lead the project, working in partnership with Ballyhoura Development in Limerick and Cork Institute of Technology’s Rubicon Centre and Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence. To find out more information and register your interest in the programme, please contact SECAD at info@secad.ie or call 021 4613432

ABOUT SECAD SECAD is a partnership company, one of 38 in Ireland. It provides employment supports to individuals and groups who are seeking employment, education or training. SECAD also provides supports in the form of mentoring, training courses, small grants and networking to people setting up their own business.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 09:22


BUSINESS NEWS

NORWEGIAN AIR BEGINS SERVICES TO

US FROM SHANNON Shannon Airport has heralded a new departure in transatlantic aviation as the first ever services to US east coast airports of Stewart International in Orange County and Providence, Rhode Island were commenced by Norwegian Air International on July 2nd. The new services will provide additional transatlantic capacity this year of 40,000 seats, with 80,000 across 2018 when the flights operate year round for the first time. It will bring transatlantic capacity at Shannon next year to over 550,000 seats. Mary Considine, Deputy CEO of Shannon Group, which owns and operates Shannon Airport, said: “The new services open up exciting opportunities for Irish people to explore amazing parts of the States and for US visitors to explore our Wild Atlantic Way. We look forward to working closely with Norwegian to ensure the success of the services.” For more on business in Shannon go to our feature on page 34.

Andrew Murphy, MD, Shannon Airport and Tore Jenssen, CEO, Norwegian Air International, pictured along with ‘Uncle Sam’ Aidan Fox and children from Shannon

EXAMINERSHIP SAVES 492 JOBS

SINGLE MARKET FAVOURED IN UK

DRAGHI QUIZZED OVER FORUM

In the first six months of 2017 some 492 jobs have been saved through the process of examinership, according to new data from accountancy firm Baker Tilly Hughes Blake. It represents an increase of 66 per cent on the same period in 2016.

A majority of British businesses want the UK to stay in the European single market and the customs union after Brexit, a British Chambers of Commerce survey has found, with Scottish businesses in particular keen to maintain access.

European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly is quizzing the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, over his and the ECB’s involvement in an exclusive forum with bankers and fund managers.

“Online sales in 2020 will reach 14 billion and most of that spend will leave Ireland.”

HR FIRMS ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

E

uropean HR and payroll service provider SD Worx has announced a major long-term strategic partnership with Adare Human Resource Management to provide HR consultancy and employment law support services to its Irish clients, which include IBM Ireland, State Street Bank and Marks and Spencer. The second largest payroll provider in Europe, SD Worx last year acquired Ceridian UK and Ceridian Ireland, and from its Limerick headquarters, provides payroll outsourcing services as well as HR solutions to over 180 of its clients in the Irish market.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Aidan D’Arcy, Head of Business, Virgin Media Ireland

Derek McKay, Managing, Director of Adare Human Resource Management and Dr Morgan Danaher, Director of Services, SD Worx Ireland

COVER STORY

P20

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27/07/2017 09:23


THE BURNING QUESTION

?

How do you manage to switch off from work? MICHAEL FLYNN Mattress Mick I enjoy a pint in the evening. I like going out for meals with my friends and my family. I love Dublin and I love finding new places within it. It’s becoming much more cosmopolitan and the changes are for the better.

AIDAN D’ARCY Virgin Media When I am away from Virgin Media, I enjoy running and spending time with the kids. I took part in the recent Virgin Media night run which was great fun and a brilliant family event.

ELAINE LAVERY Improper Food Manage sounds like it must be a challenge! There are unique pressures that come with running a business. I love what I do, but my philosophy is very much about trying to achieve balance in all aspects of my life.

STEPHEN MCGONIGLE McGonigle Watches I’m not sure it’s possible to ever switch off completely, unfortunately. Nevertheless, when I get out and do something active, that really helps. I love the outdoors, getting into nature and I even do some gardening.

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CORK BOUTIQUE HOTEL INVESTS

IN LUXURY APARTMENTS Following the recent investment of a5m at the fourstar Montenotte Hotel in Cork city, the hotel has announced the launch of The Residence. Comprising 19 apartments, the accommodation is located on the grounds of the hotel and aimed at corporate clients and those seeking longer term stays. Set on six acres with ample private parking for hotel and apartment residents, the Montenotte Hotel offers high speed broadband, conferencing and meeting facilities and a number of dining and private dining options for both indigenous and multinational clients.

ONE IN FIVE IRISH BUSINESSES HELD TO RANSOM One-fifth of Irish businesses were held to ransom by cybercriminals in the past 12 months, according to the results of a survey commissioned by IT security company Ward Solutions. The survey was carried out among 170 senior IT professionals and decision makers in Ireland just prior to the recent WannaCry attacks, and highlights the scale of the ransomware issue in Ireland.

THE FINDINGS note an increase in the number of security incidents in the past year

say the amount demanded by cyber criminals was less than a1,000

say that they would would not pay, pay the ransom if regardless of the the value of the value of the data that data merited it was held to ransom

NEW PRINT FORMAT FOR THE TIMES The new digital and print format of the Ireland edition of The Times has been launched by News Ireland. The digital newspaper, launched back in September 2015, was the first of its kind in Ireland for tablet, desktop and mobile users and provides readers with access to The Times and The Sunday Times content seven days a week. This print edition replaces the international edition currently on the shelves.

Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of The Sunday Times, Oliver Keenaghan, General Manager, News Ireland and Richard Oakley, editor of the Ireland edition of The Times

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

M vers

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NATIONWIDE

SHAKERS

FIONA MURPHY

CARL LEAVER

SHANE MACSWEENEY

ANDREW MAY

NEW TITLE: Partner EMPLOYER: Russell Brennan Keane PREVIOUS ROLE: Tax Manager, RBK

NEW TITLE: Chairman Designate EMPLOYER: eir PREVIOUS ROLE: CEO, Gala Coral Group

NEW TITLE: Partner and Head of Government & Infrastructure EMPLOYER: EY Ireland PREVIOUS ROLE: Partner, KPMG Australia

NEW TITLE: Head of Consulting EMPLOYER: Miagen PREVIOUS ROLE: MD, DHL Freight UK

Russell Brennan Keane Chartered Accountants has appointed Fiona Murphy as a new partner. A Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and an AITI Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA), Murphy specialises in corporate taxation and corporate restructuring and advises a broad portfolio of corporate and personal clients. She has a particular interest in international tax and provides Irish tax advice for many international businesses.

eir has announced that Carl Leaver has been appointed Chairman Designate of the board of directors of eircom Holdings (Ireland) Limited and the relevant boards within eir’s corporate structure. Leaver takes over his full responsibilities on September 1st 2017. Padraig McManus, who steps down after almost five years in the role, will continue to advise the company on strategy and regulatory matters.

Professional services firm EY Ireland has announced the appointment of Shane MacSweeney as Partner and Head of Government & Infrastructure. With 17 years’ experience, MacSweeney is a highly regarded government and infrastructure advisor, having provided commercial, financial, economic and policy advisory services on large, complex assignments throughout Ireland and across the globe.

Miagen, a specialist consultancy in designing and implementing enterprise financial information systems, has appointed Andrew May as Head of Consulting. May will be tasked with leading the company’s consulting team and developing relationships with all key accounts. He joins from DHL Freight UK, where he was Managing Director.

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Danny Hughes is co-founder and CEO of Parcel Connect and Group Chief Development Officer of Fastway Couriers (Ireland). Having joined Fastway as Head of Innovation in 2012, Hughes co-founded Parcel Connect. The company was later acquired as part of a private equity investment deal that saw the consolidation of the Fastway Group of companies.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 09:36


CAREER DOCTOR

THE MILLENNIAL CONUNDRUM IN THIS ISSUE, CAREER DOCTOR SUSAN KEALY ADDRESSES WHY WE SHOULD NURTURE AND EMBRACE THE TALENTS OF MILLENNIALS.

SIOBHÁN O’HEA

DERMOT MULLIGAN

NEW TITLE: Partner EMPLOYER: Crowleys DFK PREVIOUS ROLE: Tax Manager, Crowleys DFK

NEW TITLE: Marketing Controller EMPLOYER: Bord Gáis Energy PREVIOUS ROLE: Marketing Manager, Bord Gáis Energy

Chartered accountants and business advisors, Crowleys DFK, has appointed Siobhán O’Hea, AITI Chartered Tax Adviser, as Partner. O’Hea is an experienced tax practitioner and has been instrumental in the growth and development of the firm’s tax department for the past 12 years. She specialises in tax issues surrounding companies in the SME sector, including tax compliance and restructuring and succession planning.

Bord Gáis Energy has appointed Dermot Mulligan as Marketing Controller to oversee all digital, ATL and BTL activity and sponsorship and marketing communications. Previously responsible for marketing communications and digital marketing, Mulligan has managed multiple award-winning campaigns including being part of energy switching campaign ‘The Big Switch’.

M

ost of us believe that we are better than average. And, in what’s known as the Dunning-Kruger effect of Illusory Superiority, the least capable among us tend to believe we’re something special indeed. This universal phenomenon of over-compensation is found in all generations, but poor millennials are often labelled as worst offenders. Millennials seemed to bound into the working world full of enthusiasm, ambition and drive. More confidence than sense, they were let down by a society that taught them they could achieve without effort, contribute without knowledge and find fulfilment without patience. They came of age during one of the worst financial crises in history when most organisations couldn’t afford to invest in new graduates. With a lot to lose and more to prove, millennials felt pressure to fluff their feathers. While over-confidence may be a pervasive trait of Generation Y, millennials offer much more than posturing. They are often independent thinkers, creative, socially responsible and technologically savvy. While condemning them for arrogant idealism, we may have failed to identify their talents. As the guys at Pinterest, Airbnb and Dropbox can all attest to, millennials can achieve remarkable things when people support them properly. Swap the need to ‘put them in their place’ for guidance. Don’t lay down the law, offer flexibility. Instead of dismissing their hubris, try encouraging their ideas. By 2020 millennials will account for half of the workforce, so it’s time to work with them if we want top performers and impactful citizens.

Susan Kealy is a certified coach and trainer and a registered psychologist specialising in organisational and career psychology. For more visit www.careercraft.ie

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Show passion, pragmatism and a willingness to learn. A track record of having ‘got things done’ could be crucial for future roles.

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2.

Eat responsibility for breakfast. When others shy away from it, stand up. “I’ll look after that” are the four words every colleague wants to hear.

3.

Be patient. Enjoy the process, strive for progress and ensure you’re adding value all the time.

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27/07/2017 09:42


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26/07/2017 26/06/2017 16:01 15:15 23/06/2017 14:19


JOB CREATION COMPANY: SuperValu

COMPANY: Connolly’s Red Mills

SECTOR: Retail

LOCATION: Kilkenny

ANNOUNCEMENT: SuperValu is to create more than 40 jobs at a new store in Dundalk, Co Louth, as part of a 7 million investment. The new 17,600 square foot store is due to open in autumn 2017.

SECTOR: Agri-business LOCATION: Kilkenny

COMPANY: Northern Trust SECTOR: Financial Services LOCATION: Limerick ANNOUNCEMENT: Northern Trust is to further expand its operations in Limerick by adding up to 400 new jobs over the next five years. The expansion marks the fourth time the company has significantly expanded its operations in Limerick.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Nutritional animal feed company, Connolly’s Red Mills, has announced 20 new jobs for Kilkenny. The jobs boost is created by the opening of a new equestrian and agri super store in Cillín Hill.

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

COMPANY: Subway SECTOR: Food retail LOCATION: Nationwide ANNOUNCEMENT: Subway plans to create 51 new stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland by 2020, creating around 408 new jobs. The expansion will bring the total number of stores of the fast food chain here to 321 over the next three years.

COMPANY: Abbott

SECTOR: Healthcare

LOCATION: Sligo

ANNOUNCEMENT: Global healthcare company Abbott is to relocate its Irish nutritional devices business from its existing base at Ballytivnan, Sligo, to a new, purpose-built IDA Ireland Advance Technology building located in the Finisklin industrial estate.

IDA Ireland has reported a strong first half of 2017. According to its latest results, investments approved by IDA in the first half will lead to the creation of over 11,000 jobs as companies roll out their plans over the coming months and years. Ireland won 114 projects in the first six months of 2017. While the investment figure is at the same level as the first half of 2016, the job content of the investments is higher due to some significant investments of scale.

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SECTOR: Technology LOCATION: Shannon

IDA Results Strong Despite Global Investor Uncertainty

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

COMPANY: A-techSYN Ltd

ANNOUNCEMENT: A-techSYN Ltd, an innovative R&D company with over four years’ drone experience or fixed-wing Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) development, is to set up a base in Shannon and create 25 new jobs over the next two years.

76%

50%

of clients describe their growth prospects in Ireland as excellent/ very good, with a further

43% describing them as good

At A Glance:

of clients are trying to expand the mandate of their Irish operation

72%

of clients plan to increase their head count over the next 18 months

13

27/07/2017 09:44


START-UPS

Start-Up Central

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

The amount of funding raised by Dublin-based early-stage biotech company Valitacell under the latest EU Horizon 2020 round.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

PAUL DOHERTY

Founder and Managing Director, Software Design Limited How did you fund your business initially? We bootstrapped the business using the revenue from our initial projects. We also took out a small lease for servers and equipment. What’s the best advice you were given? Hire great people and delegate - you can’t do it all by yourself! What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? The list of things to do is endless. Always have a priority list and make decisions quickly. Your biggest make or break moment? We acquired another small digital agency in 2015 which was hard work, but a great experience that has contributed to our growth over the past three years.

ENTREPRENEURS CLOSE INVESTMENT FUND A 25 million fund set up last year by entrepreneurs Pat Phelan and Illann Power has been wound down after failing to find a suitable Irish start-up to invest in. In June, Power wrote in the Sunday Business Post about the decision to close the Nohovation fund after failing to make a single investment, describing the start-up scene here as having “awful pitch decks” and “half-baked business plans”. It wasn’t all bad news however, and Power did point to the likes of Maximum Media and Newswhip as Irish start-ups that we can expect great things from in the future.

DRUG DISCOVERY START-UP HAS BIG IDEAS Finola Cliffe of HookeBio was presented with the One to Watch Award at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2017. HookeBio was one of ten investor-ready start-up companies to pitch their new technology solutions to investors at Enterprise Ireland’s annual showcase of start-up innovation emerging from higher education institutes at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin on June 20th. HookeBio’s revolutionary technology aimed at the pharmaceutical industry will transform new drug discovery by enabling rapid and cost-effective drug screening.

Would you change anything in hindsight? I’d raise funds from investors to help accelerate growth and progress. Company: Software Design Limited Location: The Digital Hub, Dublin Product:

Creative events and brand experience agency

Staff:

40 plus staff comprised of developers, designers, QA testers, project managers and account managers

Website: www.softwaredesign.ie

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Finola Cliffe, founder, HookeBio

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 09:46


START-UPS

Pictured at NovaUCD are UCD students, Oisin McElhinney and Jack Parsons of O’Kale Krisps, overall winner of the 2017 UCD Start-Up Stars Programme

CRISP MAKER BAGS UCD AWARD

Sarita Johnston, Enterprise Ireland and Javelin board member pictured with the Javelin team, Kyla O’Kelly, Ken Ivory, Conor Kennedy, Joe Dobbin and Ruth Payne

JAVELIN TARGET START-UPS Creative and media agency Javelin has marked its 30th anniversary by offering three bursaries of 10,000 each, in time, talent and expertise, to Irish start-ups. The bursary is part of a wider programme called ‘We are 30’, which includes a documentary of the same name which the group has commissioned, alongside a more detailed research study into what being 30 is like in Ireland today. The deadline for entry is now closed but you can keep track of which ideas made the cut and follow their progress. Visit www.Javelin.ie/we-are-30 for more details.

NE TO WATCH: AERONET GLOBAL

O’Kale Krisps has been named as the overall winner of the 2017 UCD Start-up Stars Programme. As an early-stage food venture, O’Kale Krisps has developed low-calorie, highly nutritious and air-dried kale crisps to give consumers a unique and healthy snack alternative when they are on the go. Now in its third year, the UCD Start-up Stars entrepreneurship programme has been developed by UCD Research and Innovation, the UCD Innovation Academy and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, to support UCD undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to work together to develop and grow start-up companies.

Aeronet Global is based at MaynoothWorks

New technology being developed by start-up Aeronet Global will deliver WiFi for airplane passengers at speeds consumers would expect in their homes and at a significantly reduced cost. The current system used to deliver internet services on airplanes is based on data signals being sent from satellites orbiting 22,000 miles above the earth. Data must travel from the plane, to the ground, to high above the earth, and back to the plane, producing a time lag and making the satellite system very slow. The new technology, housed in MaynoothWorks – Maynooth University’s new business incubator – creates individual connections between aircraft and interconnected ground stations, which beam the internet directly to these aircraft, enabling passengers to experience the same level of connectivity in-air as on the ground. Aeronet Global’s technology will go into commercial usage in the near future, replacing existing satellite dependent technology. For more on Maynooth University’s support for start-ups go to page 123.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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27/07/2017 09:47


ENTREPRENEUR

One of two entrepreneurs behind successful food start-up Improper Butter, Elaine Lavery talks to InBUSINESS about having youth on her side and shoe covers on her head.

IB: Could you give us some background on Improper Butter and how it all started? EL: I left University College Dublin in 2012 with a degree in Business & Law. I was drawn to finance and spent the summer of 2012 on the trading floor of Goldman Sachs on Fleet Street. Obviously it was post-crash and financial firms were in the firing line. The hours were horrendous and nobody under 30 seemed happy there. They were all tellng me to get out before I got stuck like them. It got me thinking, if I could work 15 hour days for someone else, what could I achieve working them for myself? I decided to take a gap year, which I spent cooking in the French Alps. From there, the idea for Improper Butter was developed. IB: Any funny story you can share with us relating to getting the business off the ground? EL: The first time I visited a production site, I put a shoe cover on my head. If that doesn’t confirm that a third level degree is no more than piece of paper, I don’t know what does! IB: Where did the name ‘Improper’ come from? EL: Hannah, my business partner, and I came up with the name while sitting in my garden. We wanted to come up with something original, that had a bit of attitude. We liked the word ‘proper’ – we only use proper

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ingredients – but it was already in use. Our whole concept was about doing something different with a traditional commodity i.e. adding natural herbs and seasonings to butter and promoting them to cook with. This led us onto ‘improper’. The light bulb moment came when I remembered that ‘im’ is the Irish word for butter. IB: Would you say you always had a business head on your shoulders? EL: Yes. It is so clichéd but I have lots of lemonade stall anecdotes. For a college project, I built a promotional website for a theoretical pizza business. I ended up turning it into a real business which threw pizza parties for kids. For three years I spent my weekends running these. My dad is a serial entreprenur, so there has always been a lot of support there. I reckon it runs in the blood too. IB: Could you tell us about starting up a business at such a young age and some of the pitfalls of not having industry experience? EL: When you go out on your own you make loads of mistakes, but you learn incredibly quickly. I wouldn’t have had the patience to accumulate this level of experience had I stayed in an organisation. I don’t have all the answers and I never will, but I am a natural networker, so I have a phonebook of contacts who do. Being young, it can be a challenge to InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 09:51


ENTREPRENEUR

“I think a lot of start-ups get caught in a trap of doing programmes, attending conferences and entering awards out of fear of missing out, and not actually getting a lot done!”

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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27/07/2017 09:52


ENTREPRENEUR IB: Could you tell us about your plans to launch new products and rebrand this year? EL: A large portion of our target audience are busy professionals who love to cook at the weekend, but they don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals during the week. Together with Bord Bia, we looked at convenience grocery categories we could ‘spread’ Improper Butter through, and identified future opportunities for the brand. Importantly, we had to target categories where we could offer something better than the incumbents. We are shortly launching a line of chilled garlic breads and root veg mashes. They’re all Irish made, with only natural ingredients. Look out for the ranges in Fallon & Byrne, Donnybrook Fair, Avoca, Supervalu and Dunnes from July 2017! Elaine Lavery speaking at a business event

FESTIVAL SEASON This summer, Lavery and the Improper crew are bringing a food truck to a number of Ireland’s music festivals. “The Irish summer is synonymous with music festivals for so many people,” says Lavery. “This got us thinking of ways we could bring Improper Butter on the road. Everyone loves the grilled cheese, and butter makes it. We’ll be serving up Grilled Cheese by Improper Butter at Body & Soul, Castlepalooza and Electric Picnic.

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convince potential partners and customers to do business with you, but any young business in a mature industry has to work harder to form relationships. I’d say there are more benefits to starting at a young age/without experience; it’s less risky, as you have a long career ahead, and you don’t think twice about challenging the status quo. IB: How have you found dealing with retailers and getting your product on shelves? EL: Launching Improper Butter, we didn’t have the money or expertise to compete with the incumbants, so we brought something new to market. Improper Butter is a complimentary purchase, which can help retailers to grow a notoriously stagnant category – yellow fats. Retailers have been great to deal with. The challenge is not getting your product on the shelf, it’s in getting customers to take it off! Customers are familiar with using butter as a spread. Improper Butter is a cooking ingredient. Changing consumers habits and perceptions has been and continues to be our challenge.

IB: What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship in Ireland at present and the types of start-ups emerging here? EL: There are lots of opportunities for start-ups these days, between incubator programmes, Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland supports – all of which we have benefited from. Food and tech seem to be the two trendy areas to start a business in, both scaleable but both incredibly challenging. I think a lot of startups get caught in a trap of doing programmes, attending conferences and entering awards out of fear of missing out, and not actually getting a lot done! It can take quite a long time and a lot of investment to develop a product, but once you have something, you have to be sales focused. It can be a trap to spend too much time perfecting the product and not talking to customers and selling it. IB: Any advice for budding food entrepreneurs hoping to get a business off the ground? EL: If you can, try to get some experience in a start-up you would like to emulate and learn from their mistakes. But don’t stay there too long. In terms of personal finances, assume you will take no salary for at least a year. Make a plan that will see you through. In terms of business finances, I would seek out financial supports from your Local Enterprise Office or Microfinance Ireland. Raising finance is incredibly difficult on your first venture. Seek out professionals who will help with areas you are weak in, but don’t pay them or give them equity – you can’t afford to. Above all else, back yourself, don’t be swayed by everyone else’s opinion, go with your gut but learn from your mistakes. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 09:52


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26/07/2017 15/06/2017 16:02 12:06


COVER STORY

l a t i g i D irst F A

Having already invested 1 billion in Ireland through its parent company Liberty Global, Virgin Media is in the middle of a spending spree to connect more homes and businesses across the country. InBUSINESS caught up with head of business Aidan D’Arcy to hear about the company's plans to grow its network.

ccess to high quality, reliable broadband is still a major challenge for many businesses in Ireland. The latest news of a further delay to the National Broadband Plan by at least one year doesn’t help, with it now looking likely that 542,000 businesses and homes won’t see any broadband until at least 2019. Aidan D’Arcy, Head of Business with Virgin Media Ireland, is not deterred. He’s confident that his company is in a unique position to help those businesses that have been left in the lurch. “Virgin Media’s market

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leadership position in broadband speeds, network expansion, investment commitments and its capacity to deliver content across its multiple platforms is the only substantive movement in this space over the coming two to three years,” he declares. We meet just days after TechConnect Live 2017, an event headline sponsored by Virgin Media Business aimed at businesses across Ireland wishing to learn about digital innovation and transformation, and one that has D’Arcy excited about future prospects. “It’s a brilliant and unique event for businesses,” he says. “As headline sponsor in 2017, we were pleased to be at the forefront of promoting and supporting these businesses both as exhibitors at the event and those in attendance.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 09:56


Aidan D’Arcy at Yamamori Tengu

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

020 InBusiness Q2 2017_Cover Story.indd 21

Jason Clarke

WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IS A TOOL FOR POSITIVE DISRUPTION, A FORCE FOR GOOD AND A WAY TO CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER.”

21

27/07/2017 09:57


TechConnect Live had a number of high profile speakers such as Louise Phelan of PayPal and Paul Byrne of Currency Fair, covering a wide range of topics from sales and marketing to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and SME growth. On the main stage, Peter Kelly, MD of Virgin Media Business, spoke at length about the importance of high quality connectivity and broadband being available to every business in Ireland. Having access to such quality broadband will be the difference between many businesses surviving and succeeding in the future, particularly SMEs located in rural areas that depend on connectivity to achieve their ambitions. Indeed, the latest Virgin Media Business Digital Insights Report has forecast a near doubling in online Aidan D’Arcy, consumer spending in Ireland to head of business, more than a14bn Virgin Media annually between now and 2021, CV: JP Hughes Chief Commercial Officer, Friends First with significant opportunities CURRENTLY FAVOURITE FAVOURITE for Irish SMEs in READING: FILM: QUOTE: the process. “Victorious warriors win first The Art of War Withnail & I However, on the and then go to war, while by Sun Tzu (1987) defeated warriors go to war debit side, about 60 first and then seek to win” per cent (a4.5bn) Sun Tzu of Irish online shopping currently goes abroad and this represents a big potential significantly higher than the EU digital strategies right, then they can loss of trade to the Irish economy average of 21 per cent. Meanwhile, do even more in terms of revenues and Irish businesses. “I think that Ireland is ranked fourth in Europe and business growth. We need to figure should be seen as a huge for our buying of internet advertising remember that digital technology is opportunity for Irish SMEs and and, perhaps a little surprisingly, a tool for positive disruption, a force start-ups to capture a bigger share for good and a way to change the Ireland is ahead of the EU average of the internet pie…but they need world for the better.” for online sales by companies. to move quickly,” advises D’Arcy. While the above figures represent For Virgin Media, the company is Many Irish businesses are acting positive momentum, there are still seeing its level of broadband usage positively. For example, there were nearly one-quarter of SMEs that by its customers growing at a rate over 34,000 new .ie web domains don’t have any web presence, proof of 37 per cent per annum. So what registered in Ireland in 2016, which that there remains a significant body makes its services a more attractive was the second highest year for new of work to be done to get proposition to business customers registrations since 2011. Additionally, all Irish business online. It’s than those of its competitors? CSO figures published earlier this something D’Arcy is acutely D’Arcy believes that the company’s year showed more positive signs aware of. “Overall it’s important trump card in the broadband space that Irish businesses are embracing that businesses are encouraged is having ownership of its own digital. Thirty-six per cent of to trade online and to maximise network. “It means that we can stand companies here invested in cloud the opportunities of the digital over our service delivery promise computing services in 2016. That’s economy,” he says. “If they get their to all our customers,” he says. “We 22

020 InBusiness Q2 2017_Cover Story.indd 22

Jason Clarke

WE HAVE PROVEN IN OUR DIGITAL INSIGHTS REPORT THAT THERE ARE HUGE OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESSES TO GROW – BUT THEY MUST GO DIGITAL FIRST.”

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 10:00


can also provide reassurance that if there is a problem, we can fix it ourselves and not rely on anyone else. What’s more, we only share our network with our customers, other providers don’t have access to our fibre network.” BUSINESS TO BUSINESS D’Arcy has witnessed many company changes at Virgin Media. Having qualified from Dublin City University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunications, he joined the business initially as a network engineer. His next move involved switching to the commercial side of the business in 2008. Then in 2012, having worked in product management and solutions design, D’Arcy moved into sales taking up the role of public sector manager. He held that position until last year when he became Head of Business at Virgin Media. A major milestone for Virgin Media’s business division, according to D’Arcy, was the move to provide B2B services on its fibre and cable networks eight years ago. He says it really pushed the company’s business offering to the next level, culminating last year in Virgin Media Business being awarded the InBUSINESS Recognition Award for Broadband for its network performance and investment. “Another measure of our success,” says D’Arcy, “is that we constantly receive calls from businesses wanting to know how they can get our services.” He adds: “We provide the best broadband to businesses in Ireland and we are passionate about this. We also provide more value to our customers in fixed line telephony services, business WiFi and hosted voice services. Furthermore, we have a comprehensive enterprise product suite which can be tailored to any business's needs in Ireland.” PITCH PERFECT Virgin Media Business is also doing its bit for start-ups in Ireland. At InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

020 InBusiness Q2 2017_Cover Story.indd 23

the recent TechConnect Live event, which was held in the RDS, Dublin, the company launched its Voom competition, which gives start-ups the chance to pitch their business idea to Richard Branson and to be in with the chance to win a slice of a 1.2 million prize fund. “It’s the only programme of its kind across the globe,” says D’Arcy. “Last year thousands of businesses across Ireland and the UK entered the pitch competition, not only to try and win, but also to be afforded a wonderful platform to socialise and network with like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs.” At this year’s TechConnect Live, Rosanne Longmore, CEO of Coroflo, a digital start-up which offers a real-time breast feeding flow sensor for newborns, was crowned the Dublin winner of the mini-pitch competition. Longmore not only collects 6,000 but will also get to meet Richard Branson to discuss her business idea over brunch later in October. Six companies pitched as part of the Voom Tour festival, presenting on board a Voom double decker tour bus. A panel of judges included Toby McCartney, founder of MacRebur and winner of Voom 2016. The national competition will return in March 2018. D’Arcy believes that digital technology is a tool for positive disruption and an opportunity for businesses in Ireland to capitalise on the growing digital economy. “Irish businesses need to understand what having an online presence and being connected can mean for them. We have proven in our digital insights report that there are huge opportunities for businesses to grow – but they must go digital first.” Of course, the key underlying enabler is high quality and reliable broadband – something D’Arcy believes Virgin Media can help with. “Having the best business broadband in Ireland, we are best positioned to help every Irish company from startups and SMEs to larger businesses to find their share of the 14bn opportunity in 2020.”

DIGITAL INSIGHTS Earlier this year, Virgin Media Business launched its Digital Insights Report, its third such report on Irish businesses since 2012. The report is based on a survey of 200 senior decision makers in 200 businesses throughout Ireland in Q4 2016 carried out by Amárach Research. Below are some key takeaways from the study. EXPORTS WILL PLAY A BIGGER PART IN GROWTH THAN BEFORE 21% forecast future growth coming from the sales of the same products/services to customers outside Ireland

THERE HAS BEEN A LARGE SHIFT IN ONLINE GENERATED SALES Online sales accounted for 33% of total sales in 2016 compared with 17% in 2014

INVESTMENT IN DIGITAL WILL DRIVE GROWTH IN 2018 48% view investment in digital as extremely important for future growth plans

IRISH BUSINESSES ARE MORE POSITIVE ABOUT STAFF WORKING FROM HOME 61% have enabled some staff to work from home compared to 54% in 2015

MORE CONSIDER THEIR SPEED OF BROADBAND AT WORK TO BE SUFFICENT 81% say they have sufficient broadband speed for their business needs compared with 72% in 2015

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27/07/2017 10:01


BUSINESS OF SPORT

The

Makers Modern sports agents can often command huge fees, attracting criticism from managers, fans and pundits alike. CONOR FORREST sought out the opinion of sports lawyer and football intermediary Patrick Conliffe to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

L

ast August, Paul Pogba made his long-awaited return to Manchester United for an eyewatering fee of 105 million, surpassing the cost to tempt Gareth Bale from Tottenham to Real Madrid three years earlier. As part of the deal, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola netted himself a reported 27m, leading to accusations of greed from some quarters, and a call for greater agent regulation from others. “Obviously in the news recently there’s a lot of talk about Paul Pogba’s agent and the amount of money he’s accumulated through his contracts. There is that side of it, which can be quite obscene and hard to fathom, and that’s down to a lack of regulation in the industry – that’s something football needs to sort out itself,” says sports lawyer and football intermediary Patrick Conliffe. Founder of Irish sports management

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agency Fuze Sport, which has since joined forces with specialist sports law firm Full Contact, Conliffe is a qualified solicitor by trade, adding a Diploma in Sports Law from Leicester’s Monford University to his CV before making his first solo foray into the world of sports representation in 2014. “I saw that there was a need for reputable representation within Ireland,” he explains. “With the way the intricacies of the football business are now, you definitely need some sort of legal background or legal expertise in your corner as an athlete.” REGULATION One of the key issues facing the industry, Conliffe believes, is regulation, or a lack thereof, since

FIFA’s global licensing system for football agents came to an end in 2015. Prior to that, potential agents had to complete an entrance exam and have professional indemnity insurance in place, but these days it’s the responsibility of each of the national associations to enforce agent regulations. While countries like Denmark, Portugal, Spain and France have brought in measures that Conliffe describes as going above and beyond what FIFA once enforced, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and England’s Football Association (FA) have a lot of work to do to catch up. “There are no regulations in Ireland at the moment, and in England they’ve just gone by the FIFA guidelines,” he explains. “You basically don’t have to sit an exam, you don’t need to have professional indemnity insurance, you just sign a form to say you’re of good and reputable character and you pay them £500 and you’re a football agent.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 10:09


BUSINESS OF SPORT

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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THE AVERAGE DAY

sponsorship proposals, players can look for help when buying a new house, investing in a business or even seek out someone to talk to when things are going wrong on the field. “There’s a mix there between the legal and business side of things and then the actual traditional football agency side of things. We’d like to think we have a diverse range of skillsets that enables us to represent players to the highest standard,” says Conliffe. REWARDS Talk turns again to the issue of money, and the often obscene sums paid to players and agents. It’s hard to ignore such gigantic figures, which seem to fly in the face of common decency, and there’s no sign that modern football is by any means selecting the reverse gear. Still, Conliffe believes that in some cases the agents work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients, earning every penny of their fee, which may or may not contain more figures than your annual salary. “I think if somebody was to come into our offices or most agents’ offices in any sport, they would see how much work goes on behind the scenes. How many ‘no’s’ you get from clubs, how many phone calls you have to make, how many different variables go into actually getting a deal across the line with a football club,” he tells me. “A lot of work goes

Is there any such thing as an average day for a sports agent? “A lot of phone calls, chasing up clubs, arranging trials – and then when it comes to the actual negotiation time for contract renewal, or if a player is going to a new club, obviously that’s quite a busy period, quite highly pressurised as well,” says Conliffe. “It all comes down to timing, really.”

Andy Boyle signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Championship club Preston North End

Sportsfile

Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United for an eye-watering fee of 105 million

soccer.ru

Most Irish footballers wind up with clubs in England, typically in the Championship or below. The move across the Irish Sea can sometimes be tricky, thanks in part to the League of Ireland calendar which finishes in October, inbetween the summer and January transfer windows. But many are given the opportunity to succeed. Among Conliffe’s clients is Andy Boyle, formerly of UCD, Shelbourne and Dundalk, whose skill and composure in defence came to prominence during Dundalk’s historic run in the Europa League last year. In November he received his first call-up to the senior Ireland squad, making his debut in Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Austria, his first cap coming in March 2017. His career has also progressed at club level and, following interest from a number of suitors, he signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Championship club Preston North End earlier this year. For footballers like Andy Boyle, agent regulation can play a hugely significant role in how their careers progress. A self-declared agent with few or no contacts in the game, or little understanding of contract intricacies, could put a halt to a burgeoning career before it has the chance to bloom. “Aside from the legal and contractual side of things, you have to have a structure in place whereby you can represent the player in the best possible manner, whether that be having tax or financial advice in place, insurance for career-ending injuries, the relevant contacts with boot companies,” Conliffe explains. “There’s a lot to it. Essentially you need a structure in place, and it’s very difficult as an individual to just come along and say ‘I represent the player’ and be in a position to do that properly without having the relevant business and legal acumen.” That mix of experience and skillsets is at the heart of what Full Contact offers to the athletes it represents. Alongside advice on new deals, club changes or

into it, and with a lot of players we sign, we don’t earn any income at the start. So for us it’s a gamble as well.” But when success comes it can be quite rewarding, not just financially. Take Cohen Bramall, plucked from obscurity at Hednesford Town FC, playing in the seventh tier of English football, and given the chance to make a name for himself at the summit of the English game with Arsenal, brokered by Full Contact. “They are the highlights – signing a player and watching him grow and succeed,” Conliffe muses. “That gives you great satisfaction.” 25

27/07/2017 10:10


INDUSTRY FEATURE

The

BUSINESS of

Charity In light of controversy surrounding the governance of a number of Irish charities, these are challenging times for the non-profit sector. ORLA CONNOLLY checks in with some of the industry players responding to a need for tighter regulation and vying to regain the trust of the public.

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A

ccording to a 2017 report by the non-government organisation, Benefacts, not-for-profit groups make up at least 10 per cent of all organisations active in Ireland today, generating more than 10.9 billion in turnover annually and making charity big business in Ireland. This has also made the complexities of successfully running such an organisation on par with that of any corporation. While influenced by the same political and financial factors as the majority of businesses in Ireland, unlike private corporations, charities also have to contend with additional challenges such as transparency on a public scale and forging corporate partnerships with companies both large and small. Despite a recent upturn in donations, for Dominic MacSorley, CEO of Concern Worldwide,

the current financial climate and notable housing crisis in Ireland has made the act of fundraising more challenging for the organisation. Despite these obstacles, he is keenly aware of the Irish public’s capacity for generosity when it comes to those in need. “Ireland is one of the most generous nations,” he declares. “It’s certainly not an economic powerhouse of a country but per capita, it is more generous than most if not nearly all nations. I think that’s built on just our history and our understanding of overcoming famine, overcoming conflicts and overcoming poverty. I think it’s very important that we retain that.” Other factors that hang heavily over the future of this sector include global political issues such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. After news of Brexit hit last year, Irish charity Concern lost nearly 1 million in currency fluctuations alone and having received 22.6m in aid from the British government last year, MacSorley is understandably perturbed about the possibility of this funding being lost as the real impact of Brexit unfolds. He also believes that President Trump’s threat to cut foreign aid will be felt across the entire sector should it become a reality. “There are threats that he’s going to cut the Overseas Development Assistance by as much as 30 per cent, which could result in 19bn being dropped and that could have very devastating consequences,” MacSorley explains. PUBLIC MISTRUST These financial and political obstacles have certainly created challenges within the industry. However, it’s recent scandals within the sector itself, in matters surrounding poor governance, that have generated an even greater issue for non-profits. These incidents, which include mismanagement of funds from suicide prevention organisation Console and poor governance in LGBT charity, GLEN, have left the InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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remainder of the charity industry with a significant loss of public trust. According to umbrella charity group, The Wheel, one in three charities reported a drop in donations after these controversies hit. “The terrible thing is all of the work done by these tens of thousands of people got badly impacted through no fault of their own,” explains Ivan Cooper, Director of Public Policy, The Wheel. “There was some bad governance practice in a very small number of organisations and unfortunately, everybody got tarred with the same brush.” The push for transparency is a sentiment echoed loudly throughout the sector and one shared by Francis Doherty, Head of Communications at homeless charity Peter McVerry Trust. Doherty recognises a growing attitude of scepticism and caution among the public when it comes to charitable appeals. This loss of confidence in the sector has resulted in the Peter McVerry Trust experiencing a dip in contributions, a revenue stream that makes up 40 per cent of the organisation’s income. However, he sees this is an opportunity for non-profits to show the strength of their trustworthiness by being upfront and transparent. “The bulk of the money that comes in is from small individual donations,” he says. “If the climate for the charity sector is negative because of more and more charity scandals then it does make our job more difficult and in actual fact, it probably makes us more heavily reliant on the goodwill and generosity of the business community. Yet, I think that’s a good thing because we can respond and give them the detail about the strength of our organisation and how we operate.” In a bid to restore public confidence in the sector, Irish charities have made a focused effort in recent years to increase their level of transparency. In 2015, more than one-quarter of non-profit companies chose to publish abridged financial statements. “Governance and InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Concern Worldwide Lebanon Country Director Elke Leidel and CEO Dominic Mac Sorley with Syrian refugees in Northern Lebanon

Ivan Cooper, Director of Public Policy, The Wheel

Peter McVerry and co launching the Peter McVerry Trust’s These Little Things ad campaign

transparency are critical issues and without those, our job and our aim to help people with homelessness, becomes much more difficult,” says Doherty. “We wouldn’t expect anybody to support an organisation that wasn’t transparent, that wasn’t upfront about what it did and how it did it.” GUIDING PRINCIPLES The Wheel is Ireland’s support and representative organisation for community, voluntary and charitable organisations. With 1,200 members in the charity sector, The Wheel advises nonprofits on issues such as regulation, transparency and governance. Ivan Cooper recommends that Irish non-profits use three tools to ensure that operations are run completely above board. The first of these is to closely examine the governance within their organisation

on a regular basis. Secondly, The Wheel asks that charities follow the statement for guiding principles for fundraising. Finally, the organisation calls for charities to adopt the SORPs standard, the statement of recommended practice for financial reporting by charities. “The regulators are also looking at how best to support good governance in charities and how best to support good fundraising practice in charities,” says Cooper. “Those three calls set out a transparent way that charities can account for themselves.” Even though the SORP guidelines are not yet mandatory in Ireland, they are already used by 325 Irish charities on a voluntary basis, among them Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Fergal Smyth, Fundraising Manager at Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, credits this action for the charity’s prominent fundraising record in recent years. “There’s an onus to sign up to those regulations 27

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Pearl Mowlds, Group Finance Manager, Malone Group, Keelin Shanley, RTÉ presenter and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland ambassador, and David Gannon, Managing Director, Malone Group

and to set high standards,” he says. “We’re certainly adhering to that and our fundraising wouldn’t have been impacted because people recognise what we do and know the money is spent on services.” Along with greater transparency, another measure fortifying the notfor-profit sector is the development of strong corporate partnerships with businesses, something which brings benefits for both parties. Recently, Spar selected Cystic Fibrosis Ireland as its Charity of the Year, which will result in staff organising fundraising events for the charity in the coming two years. The Peter McVerry Trust also has a long history of partnering with the legal and construction sector

to accomplish company objectives. Doherty explains: “We’ve had two projects in recent years that have delivered 18 new apartments through partnerships with construction companies who have either given materials, staff time or upfront cash donations to help us bring buildings back to use.” Doherty notes that at times the most helpful contributions a company can make are not financial but instead, giving the gift of time, skills or materials for projects. For this type of contribution, he believes that any sized business is capable of aiding a charity. “Some of the most telling contributions have come from the smaller businesses who have been

NON PROFITS IN NUMBERS

[10.9Bn 15% 10% 1% The amount in turnover generated annually by non-profits, including Government funding of 5.3bn

The percentage of organisations in Ireland that are non-profit

The approximate percentage of people working in non-profits who are paid more than 70,000

The percentage by which fundraising, donations and other income of non-profits has increased between 2013 and 2015

*Figures taken from the Benefacts Nonprofit Sector Analysis. Benefacts is a social enterprise established in 2014 to promote the transparency of all Irish non-profits. It is funded by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Ireland Funds, and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

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really good with their time and given us access to the tools that wouldn’t be readily available within our budget,” he says. Of course, it’s a two-way partnership and for that reason there are numerous benefits for a company associated with a charity. “In terms of what it delivers for the business, it improves their brand image,” says Smyth. “The fact that they’re associated with a charity and it’s clear where that money is going and how it’s helping people, is strong for their brand.” Smyth also notes that because staff are usually involved in the selection of a charity, it boosts employee morale within the company and translates to employees that their place of business not only cares about them but also the community in which it operates, something held in high regard among millennials who are much more astute to the values held by their employers compared with the generation that came before them. “When people can work with their company and maybe the company match the funds that they’ve raised, it generates a very positive response and then we can go out and present to those companies on the impact they’re having,” Smyth explains. “It can be very positive, particularly where people are impacted by a particular condition such as cystic fibrosis, it gets a very positive response from employees or customers who may be impacted by cystic fibrosis.” Cooper believes that the best way for the non-profit sector to move forward, building further corporate partnerships and greater public trust, is to fully communicate the impact of their work to their stakeholders; the public. He advises: “Tell your stories and that way we can build public appreciation for the work of the sector. For too long it’s been a sector that’s kept its head down and we need to get out there and show the importance of all of the work that we do because we make this vital contribution to holding our country together.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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FEATURE

SNAP

CHAT Seamus O’Hara, Founder and Managing Director, Carlow Brewing Company

happy with a localised market and are doing “Some brewers are quite

quite well in that regard. The good thing is that they are dotted around the country, they are not all in one location.”

As one of the craft brewing industry’s most recognisable pioneers, Seamus O’Hara has had a busy 2017 with his company having acquired a new cider brand, sold a stake to Spanish brewers Hijos de Rivera and announced plans for a new brew pub in Dublin’s CHQ building. InBUSINESS found out more. Our longer term plan was to have our own cider production in Bagenalstown in Carlow, particularly given that there are a lot of apples produced in the south-east region. Hijos de Rivera had been acting as our importer in Spain for a couple of years so we got to know them. It’s a strategic investment which brings with it a knowledge of the beer industry and potential international reach. I think they can help open doors for us. It was a company that was founded – a family-owned business – just over 100 years old, and it was a really good cultural fit for us. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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The industry here is getting relatively crowded for sure. But overall craft beer consumption and the market itself is growing so I think that has the potential to create space for everybody. If the big players want to bring out a new product, that’s great, but they should be transparent about it. The underhanded stuff is what frustrates all of us. But business is business and if they want to help disrupt and fragment the market, that’s good for us and we’ll soldier on.

The Breweries and Distilleries Bill would be a game-changer for the sector. It creates another outlet to bring in revenue and to I think we’re still exploit the tourism opportunity around operating in a sector that craft brewing and distilling, and enable has a lot of buzz about it you to showcase your products in your and overall is growing. own premises.

That keeps things positive.

We hope to be opening the new brew pub in the next couple of months. There is still work to be done so I can’t be too definitive about it, but it’s definitely coming down the tracks.

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SMARTER THAN THE REST A glance at some of the world’s leading smart cities

Barcelona

Starting in 2012, Barcelona began to deploy responsive technologies across urban systems including public transit, parking, street lighting, and waste management. Since that time, the city’s smart initiatives have grown to the point that now it is one of the leading smart cities in the world.

London

In response to its rapidly growing population, London has rolled out a number of smart initiatives, such as electric bike sharing systems and smart parking spaces to monitor parking. Its standing with regard to energy efficiency has been quite poor, so there are now plans to invest in schemes to allow the River Thames to heat homes and to install solar panels on houses. The power grid is planned to be managed digitally, in order to maximise its efficiency.

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The idea of smart cities is beginning to take hold across the world, as cities turn to technology in order to cope with increased populations and to improve the lives of inhabitants. TIERNAN CANNON explores Ireland’s latest efforts to get smart.

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he world’s population has become increasingly urban in recent decades, and forecasts suggest that this trend will continue for some time. According to the World Health Organization, 54 per cent of the global population in 2014 lived in cities. These figures are expected to rise by 1.84 per cent every year between 2015 and 2020, by 1.63 per cent each year between 2020 and 2025, and 1.44 per cent per year between 2025 and 2030. These sharp rises in urban populations represent a challenge to cities, as issues such as the quality of housing, the economy,

and social and environmental conditions are impacted by the increased demand imposed by having more urban dwellers. Of course, there are no easy solutions to the difficult questions being posed to the cities of the world, but many are looking to the development of technology as a means of improving infrastructure and the lives of inhabitants. In essence, cities around the world are trying to get ‘smart’. While smart cities can be difficult to definitively define, they can be considered cities that integrate smart technologies in order to manage a city’s assets. Some cities, of course, are ahead of the curve with regard to the development of smart technologies, such

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FEATURE

as Barcelona, Singapore and London. Ireland, at least for the moment, appears to be lagging behind, with Dublin being ranked 19th in an index of smart cities by Bank of America Merrill Lynch published this year. However, the ideas behind smart cities are beginning to take hold throughout the country, and an increasing number of new projects and initiatives are seeking to bring Irish cities up to speed. Take, for example, the smart bins that have been introduced to the streets of Dún Laoghaire and Rathdown, and which are due to be trialled in Dublin city. These smart bins come with a built-in, solar-powered compactor which gets triggered when rubbish reaches a certain level. The rubbish is then compacted, which enables the bin to reach a level of waste 6 to 8 times that of a traditional bin. These smart bins are also WiFi-enabled, sending an email to the relevant waste management division when a bin reaches 85 per cent capacity. Then there’s the Croke Park Smart Stadium project, which involves strategically positioned sensors and gateways throughout Croke Park stadium which collect enormous amounts of data. This information is used to provide actionable insights to help the GAA improve fan experiences and safety, to reduce its carbon footprint, and to drive cost-effective stadium management. The project can be seen as a trial for city-wide smart solutions, with the stadium acting as a small enough space to comfortably trial new technologies, but also being large enough to get results that are relevant to larger-scale problems. Exciting as it is to hear about projects such as these emerging, there’s certainly room for plenty more. “Dublin is a great test bed for smart technology, and there is a lot of work being carried out by Dublin City Council with many big technology firms,” says Aebhric McGibney, Director of Public & International Affairs at Dublin Chamber. “However, Dublin does suffer from a lack of investment.” McGibney suggests that in order for Dublin to place itself among the top smart cities in the world, the Government must invest more in smart technologies and act more as an enabler of smart solutions, by means of regulations and more open data. Other European cities are forging ahead, with McGibney citing Barcelona, Copenhagen and Stockholm in particular. “Those cities are all constantly looking for ways that new technologies can be used to

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improve aspects of daily life. We need to do the same here in Dublin and in other Irish cities,” he says. “[They are] great European cities, a lot like us, but who do things better.” The idea of a city that fundamentally does not change, but rather takes what it does today and improves upon it through technology, is essential to McGibney’s understanding of what it means to be a smart city. For him, a smart city is “friendly, clean, green and safe, with a great cultural vibe”. “More of what we have now really,” he adds. “Smart won’t necessarily change things – it will just make our ‘now’ better.” INTERCONNECTIVITY It’s difficult to pin down consensus on what defines a ‘smart city’, with the term having different meanings for different people. Aoife O’Sullivan, Communications Director at Cubic Telecom, for example, views it as a city’s interconnectivity. “I’d say it’s a city or environment whereby everyone and everything is integrated and connected,” she says. “I know that sounds kind of woolly, but in a way, that’s what I would consider a smart city, where I can bring my own personal connected experience and it integrates with the city around me.” O’Sullivan’s company, Cubic Telecom, is a global connectivity platform company, offering solutions for leading Internet of things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) and mobile device companies across the globe. She says that Cubic is playing its part in the development of smart cities around the world, pointing in particular to a showcase that the company was a part of at CES, the global consumer electronics and technology trade show, held in Las Vegas in January 2017. At the event, Cubic gave an automated driving demonstration, wherein CES attendees could take a test drive in a highly automated vehicle to understand how cloud and artificial intelligence can enable personalised in-car experiences. “That’s as smart as you can get from a city perspective!” she beams. “It’s not only vehicleto-vehicle communication but it’s vehicleto-everything – vehicle to the infrastructure, the traffic lights, pedestrians. It’s a complete integration of your personal connectivity requirements. So, I definitely think, without a shadow of a doubt, that Cubic is a key player in the smart cities arena.”

Singapore

As part of its Smart Nation programme, the island city-state of Singapore is deploying sensors and cameras that allow for the monitoring of everything from the cleanliness of public spaces to the density of crowds and the precise movement of locally registered vehicles. Officials say that the programme is being designed to improve government services through technology, better connect its citizens, and to encourage private-sector innovation.

San Francisco San Francisco is attempting to overcome its traditional congestion troubles through the use of smart payment methods for public transport fares, as well as through smart parking. San Francisco is also leading the way in many clean energy initiatives; for example, a recent law states that all new buildings are required to have at least 15 per cent of roof space dedicated to solar panels

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Claire Davis, Programme Manager, Cork Smart Gateway

Aebhric McGibney, Director of Public & International Affairs, Dublin Chamber

Tokyo

Tokyo is the world’s most populated city, and as such the need for smart solutions is perhaps more urgent than most. Already at the forefront of smart technologies, Tokyo has high-speed internet, smart energy and transportation systems, as well as high level of adoption of smartphones. Reflective of its commitment to smart city development, Tokyo is integrating sustainability and urban planning into the Olympic Games, which it is set to host in 2020.

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Smart technology relates to a wide spectrum of sectors and fields, but O’Sullivan believes there is currently a strong focus on transport and lighting. “What I understand from the summit and the research that I have done, is that both transport and lighting seem to be ahead of the curve in relation to smart cities,” she says. “Lighting and transport seem to be the two key areas where I have seen a lot of progress already.” CORK GETS CLEVER For an idea of the other areas in which city-wide smart technologies are being developed, we need only look southward. Cork is today making significant progress on its smart initiatives. Within the energy sector, for example, the city will examine measures aimed at delivering efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment, as well as reducing hot water losses with adaptive control and regulation techniques for heating systems. The city will be also assessing measures in the area of local electricity management – batteries for renewable energy

storage, charging of electric vehicles and smart meters, for example. At the core of Cork’s smart development strategy is Cork Smart Gateway (CSG), which prioritises citizen engagement and believes that an essential element of a successful smart programme is its ability to embrace citizencentric design and to identify projects that will directly impact on citizens’ quality of life. Launched in May 2016, it’s an initiative developed by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Nimbus Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute. Claire Davis, Programme Manager at Cork Smart Gateway, believes citizens should be at the forefront of city smart initiatives. “Common elements of a smart city vision centre around the integration of human capital, social capital and ICT infrastructure in order to address public issues, achieve sustainable development and increase the quality of life of its citizens,” she says. “Therefore, the smartness of a city is determined, not by the use of technology itself, but by how well new collaborations and ways of working can be enabled by technology to drive economic growth, improve public services and promote better engagement between residents, visitors and local authorities.” Cork Smart Gateway has identified a number of strategic focus areas to help develop its programme of activities. These areas are citizen engagement, assisted living, mobility, open data, energy and resource, efficiency, e-Governance, food and agriculture, economic development, communication, and dissemination. “There are smart projects being developed in Cork in all of these areas by the CSG steering group organisations and we hope to continue to identify new solutions in these and other areas to enhance the Cork region’s offering to its citizens and visitors,” says Davis. The scope for the development of smart cities is huge, and it can encompass a wide array of fields and technologies. Stakeholders in cities across the world must recognise this if they are to take advantage of new technologies in the years ahead. Given appropriate funding for infrastructure and innovative thinking, smart technology can be utilised in Ireland, as elsewhere, for the sake of improving its citizens’ lives. Time will tell as to how smart we can get.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 10:23


Renault KADJAR Crossover by Renault

From €249 per month Book a test drive at renault.ie Model shown: Renault KADJAR Signature Nav dCi 110, RRP €30,990. Price excludes metallic paint, delivery and dealer-related charges. Maximum recommended dealer delivery charge €750. 5-year/200,000km manufacturer’s warranty as standard. Finance example KADJAR Expression TCe 130. RRP €25,190. Deposit €8,416. Term 36 monthly payments of €229. APR 4.9%. Total cost of credit €1,999 inc doc & completion fee €75 each. Optional final payment €10,378. Excess mileage plus excess wear and tear charges may apply upon return of Vehicle. Offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. Subject to lending criteria. Terms and conditions apply. See renault.ie [Warning: You will not own these goods until the final payment is made]. Renault Bank is a trading name of RCI Banque Branch Ireland and is authorised and regulated by the French banking authority and supervised by the Central Bank for conduct of business purposes.

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FEATURE

FIONA KELLY goes West and chats to a number of companies – both large and small – operating in Shannon to gauge the mood of a region with big ambitions.

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To read about one business doing great things in the Shannon region go to page 113 where we profile the work of manufacturer Mincon.

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s well as continuing to be home to the largest concentration of foreign direct investment in Ireland, over the years, Shannon has also become home to a number of indigenous Irish companies that have benefited from the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Shannon Chamber is one of the agencies that has played a significant role in nurturing business there, alongside Shannon Development, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. Helen Downes, Chief Executive of Shannon Chamber, cites how Shannon has become a hub for a wide range of sectors with the one hundred plus companies there representing industries such as aviation, ICT, engineering, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and international services. Downes highlights the role local agencies play in ensuring the region can adequately meet the requirements of these employers. “It is important that talent expectations are met,” she says. “A lot of dialogue is happening in this space, directly with companies, via the Mid-West Region Action Plan for Jobs and the Mid-West Regional Skills Network. It’s all about awareness and matching supply with demand.” According to Aidan McMahon, MD of Gentian Services, which provides outsourced

product R&D and manufacturing solutions to the electronics sector, Shannon is punching above its weight. “You’ve got the Shannon Free Zone, you’ve historically got a very good stand-alone Chamber of Commerce, we have the airport which is a big asset and you have connectivity to not only the biggest cities in Ireland but to a fair level of cities all over the world,” he explains. “Customers come into us regularly from the UK, US and Australia and they know they can fly into us for one or two days and there’s no real travel after that - so that’s a big advantage.” RECENT ARRIVALS Zimmer Biomet, a worldwide leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, is a relative newcomer to the Shannon region, having opened its first plant in Shannon nine years ago followed by the establishment of a plant in Galway in 2015. The Shannon facility employs a staff of 410 while there are 215 employed in Galway. The company manufactures orthopaedic parts and instruments InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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used by surgeons and clinicians to restore mobility and treat arthritis and traumatic injuries. The two Irish plants specialise in the production of knee implants, using the latest robotic and tooling technology. MD John Lynch outlines the factors that influenced Zimmer to locate in Shannon: “Access to a workforce that is well-educated and experienced in engineering and medical devices manufacturing was a big attraction. A good road network and having an airport on our back door is also a huge factor for us since we host a number of surgeon education visits every year and we also have employees who travel to and from the US regularly.” Lynch also identifies the standard of living on offer in Shannon as one of the region’s underestimated assets. “You have access to a very different coastline and the amenities which that provides, plus a lower cost of living and lower housing costs,” he outlines. “We have a bit more work to do in promoting the appeal of living in the mid-west. Those of us that are here get it and understand it but I think that we can probably promote it a bit more which is why one of our senior executives is working with Shannon Chamber of Commerce on a project to promote the benefits of locating here.” As medical devices is very much a growth market at present with sales at their strongest in the Asia Pacific region followed by the US and Europe, Lynch reveals that Zimmer plans to increase production and expand staff numbers over the coming years. Gentian Services is also in expansion mode at present. “The whole world wants to be connected and the whole world wants data,” says Aidan McMahon. “That part of the global economy is booming and that is an area in which we have built up a competency. We are providing hardware solutions to companies that need access to data. We have built up an expertise around breathing and wearable InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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technology and that is very much in demand at the moment.” As well as its R&D and manufacturing functions, the company has developed its own IT system and has filed for a number of patents this year. Having doubled revenues in the past 12 months, McMahon attributes this to the expansion of the R&D business and also to the completion of a number of products which have progressed through the R&D process and gone into production and supply. Established in 1986, Modular Automation is a Shannonbased Irish company owned by three engineers who performed a management buyout of the company ten years ago. The company specialises in making machinery which automates processes for multinational manufacturers, primarily those operating in medical devices in both Ireland and the US. Chief Commercial Officer Vivian Farrell names Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific and Striker amongst Modular’s key customers. Medical devices manufacturers account for 90 per cent of the company’s customers while the remaining 10 per cent are technology companies such as Molex and Analog Devices. Farrell cites how the company has been able to capitalise on its

relationship with its multinational customers who have a base in Ireland by receiving referrals to work with their sister sites in the US. As well as doubling the size of its plant in 2016, Modular has more than doubled its workforce to 125 since 2012 in line with a doubling of sales. The company plans to continue that expansion with a further doubling of the workforce over the coming years. It also plans to grow its business in the US, having opened an office in Florida in 2015.

Helen Downes, Chief Executive, Shannon Chamber

Modular Automation CEO Mike Lane with Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO

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A PIPELINE OF TALENT

Over the years, UL, LIT, GMIT and NUI Galway have become fertile recruitment grounds for Shannonbased companies. Vivian Farrell of Modular Automation describes the local colleges as “a pipeline”. John Lynch of Zimmer also recruits graduates from the local third level colleges and, in common with Modular Automation, Zimmer works closely with ‘Limerick for Engineering’, a collaboration between the local educational institutions and about 30 companies in the region, which aims to promote careers in the industry to second level students.

Pictured at a recent MidWest Lean Network seminar in Atlantic Aviation Group Training Institute in Shannon are Shane O’Neill, Brian O’Sullivan and Connor Flanagan of AAG; Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Chamber; Neil Enright, Molex; Eoghan Lewis, Crew Leader and Mike Guinane, Project Leader, AAG

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SMALL BUSINESSES THINKING BIG One innovative Irish company at the forefront of its industry which services a number of MNCs and SMEs around Shannon is Indigo Visual, a company which specialises in the visual management process, a system which appeals to companies that need to work in real-time data. Claire Bannon of Indigo Visual has been working with the system for eight years and recently upgraded her premises to include an interactive creative visual pod and ‘huddle room’ where customers can test out the technology and explore how it can be aligned to their needs. Bannon explains how an increasing number of smaller companies are beginning to adopt visual management systems, particularly since it feeds directly into the “lean” business model. Having taken part in Limerick Institute of Technology’s New Frontiers programme and having also recently won the Enterprise Ireland Fuelling Ambition award, Bannon is ambitious to expand. She has already exported her model to the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and Sweden, and she is currently working on a project in Australia. Morrissey’s Butchers, based in the Shannon Skycourt Shopping Centre is an example of another small business which has tailored its offering to appeal to its customers, the majority of whom work in the technology companies around Shannon. According to

Denver Morrissey, Proprietor, Morrissey’s Butchers

proprietor, Denver Morrissey, his shop is at its busiest between 4.30pm and 6pm when people are finishing work. In business ten years, since revamping last year and concentrating on a fitness range of high protein, low fat meats which appeal to the affluent, health conscious customer, Morrissey has seen a marked increase in sales. He is also in the process of developing a new website and a ‘click and collect’ system. Having developed a relationship with members of the Clare hurling team, he also drives that association with regular postings on social media. EXCITING TIMES Helen Downes describes today as a particularly exciting time for the Shannon region. She highlights the increase in activity in aircraft leasing and aircraft maintenance and repair as well as significant new investment at the airport, with Shannon Commercial Properties, a Shannon Group plc company, on track to complete a a21 million first-phase development of the Shannon Free Zone by the end of 2017. Shannon Airport is geared up for a 16 per cent increase in capacity this summer. With 35 services in all, the US service is further enhanced with the addition of the new Norwegian Air International services from Orange County and Rhode Island. The new routes will deliver the largest number of US services from Shannon in over 17 years with five airlines now flying into seven destinations. The service to Europe is also boosted with Lufthansa’s recently launched weekly Frankfurt service and the SAS twice-weekly Stockholm service, operational from August. Downes also outlines how work has already commenced on the a10m 55,000 sq ft high spec office block to facilitate major inward investment, which is the first speculative newbuild undertaken by Shannon Commercial Properties. Additionally, a3.5m is being invested in delivering 100,000 sq ft of industrial space in the Shannon Free Zone. The level of interest in the ‘lean’ business model is also exemplified by the Mid-West Lean Network’s engagement, to date, with 130 executives from 63 different companies. So what would Downes have to say to companies considering a move to Shannon? “I have worked in Shannon since 1988. In that period, I have seen Shannon and the midwest region transform itself. It has amazing industries established here, educational institutes too. It has an edge over other locations which, I believe, is something that we don’t showcase enough. But watch this space as this will change!” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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26/07/2017 13/07/2017 16:04 12:44


MENTORS

Diamond

Geezer

Praised as the man behind an Irish whiskey renaissance, John Teeling says it was in fact down to young people’s changing drinking habits, but he’ll take credit if it’s being offered. He spoke to JOSEPH O’CONNOR about entrepreneurship, what his legacy will be and that special feeling of finding diamonds.

ohn Teeling believes entrepreneurs possess an inherent gene that makes them want to forge their own path. “I wasn’t given business advice, and I don’t think that’s very unusual. My mother was a country lady and typical of her time, with no education. My father died when I was 14 and he had never had a proper job,” Teeling tells me before jokingly warning me not to “get the violins out”. The Clontarf native has just delivered a 25-minute keynote speech to delegates at the County Kildare Chamber Annual Business Breakfast after which he is mobbed by attendees keen to pass their business cards or simply congratulate him on a charismatic and engaging talk. It encompassed everything from the massive opportunities presented by the emerging middle class in Asia, Africa and South America, to how biotechnology will disrupt the health sector. The wide-ranging address gives some indication of the knowledge gained by Teeling throughout a successful and varied career and how the 72-year old could probably turn his hand to any kind of business. Today, he’s best known for the part he played in the revival of Irish whiskey. That all started with a college paper when, as a doctoral student at Harvard in 1970, he examined the collapse of the Irish whiskey industry. The research would be a catalyst in him setting up his own distillery 16 years later.

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Before then, Teeling had a stint in the academic world, teaching business administration at UCD. He had also become something of an expert at playing the stock markets, and would later use money made from such endeavours as capital for his distillery. As an activist investor in the seventies and eighties, he became involved in what he says amounted to around 10 per cent of the companies quoted on the stock exchange, either selling them on at a later stage or trading them. “It was not always successful but I think it did achieve certain things,” says Teeling. He also became a significant player in the exploration industry, taking his business to all parts of the globe. He established a series of mining and oil exploration companies and today he’s founder and chairman of seven such firms including Connemara Mining, Petrel Resources, and Botswana Diamonds, all of which are listed on the London stock exchange. But his legacy will undoubtedly be his work in whiskey. In 1986 he set up Cooley Distillery, followed 19 years later by the re-opening of the long closed Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan. The Cooley venture took eleven years to make a profit, but it would be changing tastes in the early 2000s favouring Irish whiskey that would really turn the tide for Teeling’s business, with him overseeing the sale of Cooley Distillery to American whiskey giant Jim Beam in 2011 for over a70 million.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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MENTORS

Jen Murphy

“Myself and a lot of people like me would never join an organisation that would have us as a member! Groucho Marx said that years ago but it’s very true.”

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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MENTORS

But like any true entrepreneur, he couldn’t keep away and, in 2013, he re-entered the business by acquiring a large brewery in Dundalk and setting up the Great Northern Distillery, which now supplies a wide range of new-make malt and grain to small distillers, private label and retail own label customers. “There’s a gene in a person that says ‘I want to do my own thing’,” says Teeling, back on the subject of entrepreneurship. “Where you have an entrepreneurial culture it focuses on that gene. You don’t have to go to Harvard but it must be an environment that encourages or tries to grow it. I’m a strong believer that entrepreneurs are born, not made.” Teeling says what is critical for someone with an entrepreneurial mind looking to make their way in the world is to have a clear vision and to believe in what they’re doing. While they should seek out the supports available to help them achieve their ambitions, they should be mindful of becoming a victim of ‘analysis paralysis’. Teeling explains: “I once met a highly successful property developer. He wouldn’t send his sons to do commerce in UCD because he didn’t want ‘the risktaking ability to be taught out of them’. It really stuck with me. In a way you don’t want to see the pitfalls, because there are pitfalls – some awful ones. There is a lot of discussion that education is bad for enterprise. Now I can’t say that because of what I’ve done but education does help identify risk. However, you must take that risk.” The system doesn’t always favour the entrepreneur either, according to Teeling. “It’s not easy for them because very many entrepreneurs are not very sociable,” he says. “They are not necessarily nice people because they are so driven. A number are anti-social too. There was someone this morning who wanted me to try persuade my two sons to join an organisation. Myself 40

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John Teeling

“IF YOU GET A PHONE CALL AT NIGHT FROM

SOME PART OF THE WORLD FROM

A DRILLER WHO SAYS, ‘HEY JOHN, I

THINK THE HOLE HAS SAID SOMETHING’. I’M TELLING YOU THAT THERE’S

NOTHING IN THE WORLD LIKE THAT.”

and a lot of people like me would never join an organisation that would have us as a member! Groucho Marx said that years ago but it’s very true. We think ‘I don’t need help from other people, I’ll do my own thing’.” LIKE FATHER LIKE SONS Teeling’s sons Jack and Stephen have followed in their father’s footsteps and built the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin. Located in the Liberties, an area long associated with brewing and distilling, the distillery opened to visitors in 2015. So does Teeling get involved much in his sons’ new enterprise or offer advice on the path they should take? “My eldest son in particular doesn’t ask for advice,” he says. “He finds it very difficult to take it, which is not unusual amongst entrepreneurs. Growing up in the house and then working with me for years, you hope that they have absorbed some of the characteristics, InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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MENTORS

John addressing delegates at the County Kildare Chamber Business Breakfast

JOHN TEELING ON...

John’s sons Jack and Stephen who have followed in his footsteps

and that’s actually what has happened...I’m always available for advice but they tend to say that they’re going to make their own way.” Jack and Stephen’s foray into the whiskey business will serve to further cement the Teeling name within the Irish whiskey industry, but Teeling denies that developing any sort of legacy was ever part of his plan. “It really was not intended that way, it has evolved into that,” he says. While the very notion that he was behind an Irish whiskey renaissance at the turn of the millenium is certainly ego-boosting, Teeling notes that there is nothing quite like the news that one of his exploration companies has been involved in a significant find. “There is nothing in this world – and I use those words very advisedly – if you get a phone call at night from some part of the world from a driller who says, ‘hey John, I think the hole has said something’. I’m telling you that there’s nothing in the world like that,” he says. “My wife objects to that but there isn’t!” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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GOING OUT ON HIS OWN “I thought, well I’m such a big bullshit artist that I should do my own thing.” MARKET OPPORTUNITIES ABROAD “Three billion people will become middle class over the next 25 or 30 years. They’re in places that you’ll have to get off your ass to get to, and take flights to. They’ll want everything – thank God they’ll want whiskey and diamonds!.” BEING CREDITED FOR AN IRISH WHISKEY RENAISSANCE “I think the evolution of the whiskey industry, which I’m getting credit for, is due to young people changing to whiskey, I don’t think it’s John Teeling, but I’ll take the credit if it’s offered.”

However, Teeling advises that those moments are few and far between. In the space of 48 years he’s been involved in two such finds, one being the discovery of 1100-carrat Lesedi la Rona diamond in a mine in Botswana, now the third most resourceful diamond mine in the world. Teeling says he couldn’t afford to hold on to that mine, and so it was sold, but he still harbours ambitions for his companies to make similar discoveries in the future. “That was luck!” he says. “I’m trying to replicate it, which is foolish, but I am anyway.” So apart from digging for more diamonds, what’s next on the agenda for a veteran entrepreneur who can’t sit still for long periods? Apart from entering new markets in Europe and further afield with his white label whiskey, there are plans to open a new commercial department at the Great Northern Distillery in January. Teeling currently produces around 350,000 bottles of whiskey every five days, all of which will be mature in September 2018, so it makes sense to develop new sales strategies before then. Restructuring his resources companies is also coming down the track as Teeling seeks to bring in new blood. “We have to give up control, which is not a problem for us, we just haven’t looked at it,” he says. “We have been doing it for too long. The companies just need to be revived. We’ve been faffing around for the last two or three years but I think it will happen over the next twelve months, certainly in two of the four listed companies.” Our meeting ends with an apology from Teeling due to the fact I was last in line to chat after he had spoken to another reporter. “Sorry for making you wait but she was much better looking than you!” he says. It was a fair comment and one which left me in good spirits, something Teeling knows all too well how to produce. 41

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N

SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

HIS

H C T A W

InBUSINESS met the maker of Ireland’s only handmade watches, Stephen McGonigle of McGonigle Watches, who is punching above his weight and competing with the major Swiss players.

Stephen McGonigle, co-founder of McGonigle Watches

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IB: Could you give us some background on how McGonigle Watches came about and how you got the business off the ground? SMcG: Both my brother John and I were already making complications – watches with mechanisms that do more than just tell the time – for some of the big Swiss watch brands including Ulysse Nardin, Girard Perregaux and Audemars Piguet when, impressed by our work, two collectors we got to know suggested we create our own timepiece which they would help finance. We didn’t need to be asked twice and so began work on our first creation, the McGonigle Tourbillon, a mechanism which aims to counter the effects of gravity on the balance

wheel, making for a more accurate watch.

IB: Ireland isn’t renowned for its watchmaking – how do you find getting the word out there and what kind of response to the Irish connection do you get from international buyers? SMcG: This is one of the most difficult challenges for McGonigle Watches. While the big watch brands can throw millions at advertising, we don’t have a budget for this at all. Fortunately, however, we’ve gained quite a following among watch collectors and enthusiasts. Indeed, most of our timepieces have been sold to collectors from around the world. For the most part, the reaction to the Irish connection has been perfect. We didn’t want to be simply labelled as an Irish watch, however, people do like the subtle designs in our watches

that are inspired by our Irish roots. We wanted to be acknowledged, first and foremost, on the merits of our craft. IB: You’re based in both Dublin and Switzerland. Could you tell us a bit about the set up? SMcG: The company consists of two small workshops, one in Dublin and the other in Switzerland. The Swiss base is very important because there are quite a lot of components produced there. As much as I’d prefer to have these made in Ireland, the industry just isn’t here. Our watches, for the most part, are made to order and as such, we don’t have a stock of finished watches. So, as you can imagine, the operation is very small indeed. IB: Who are your typical clients? SMcG: Most of our clients have been collectors but in the past few years, as InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE

word of our work spreads – thanks in no small part to social media – our potential clients have started to come from the more mainstream market.

difficult. It doesn’t matter how good you are if the competition – the big Swiss brands – have tens of millions to spend on marketing.

IB: What would you say most differentiates you from the big watch brands? SMcG: Before becoming independent, we worked at the very highest level of watchmaking, creating complications for some of the most prestigious Swiss watch brands. We’ve taken this collective experience – the good and the bad – and using inspiration from our Irish culture and heritage, we’ve created something very unique. This isn’t easy in an industry where the market is flooded with different watch brands. Each of our watches is made, from start to finish, by one watchmaker. Every single component in a McGonigle timepiece is finished by hand and this is very unusual among the big brands. As such, our production is very small too, which gives a certain exclusivity to our watches. No more than 10 to 15 pieces are made each year. We also give the customer the chance to specify certain finishes, even technical changes. The big boys simply don’t do that.

IB: What more could the Government be doing to help businesses like yours? SMcG: Small businesses in Ireland get little or no support and we’re no different. We tried to apply for a couple of small grants that were ‘available’ to us but the process was so complicated and time-consuming, we simply couldn’t allocate the time to go through it, especially when the grant wasn’t guaranteed. IB: Where do you see the business going in the next five years? How would you define success? SMcG: I wouldn’t like to see the company get too big. We’ll continue to make small, limited editions of each model. This means we can keep control of

quality and with such complicated mechanisms, this is essential. Keeping production small means customisation of our work is still possible and it also maintains a certain exclusivity. Success for me is quite simply, doing what you enjoy while not having to worry about your financial future. IB: Any interesting story you can share with us relating to your business journey to date? SMcG: When we launched our first timepiece, the Tourbillon, we attended an exhibition for supercars and watches in Monaco. Bono was in town and we were told that he might drop by our stand to see our work. Of course, as Irish watchmakers just starting out, this was a thrilling prospect. He was doing a tour of all the exhibits, so I assumed

any appearance would be very brief. When Bono turned up, we were introduced as Ireland’s only handmade watches to which he replied, “as if time wasn’t expensive enough”. He spent a good half hour with us and was very complimentary of the work, and showed a very keen eye for the fine details and subtle designs. In fact, he said the Tourbillon in rose gold, which he tried on, was the best watch he had ever seen and that he was going to make it an aspiration of his to own one. Needless to say, while we didn’t sell anything at that particular event, the experience with Bono made it all worthwhile. So, did he buy one? I hear you ask. Not yet but time will tell.

IB: What are the biggest challenges you face as a small business operating in such a niche market? SMcG: Exposure. Among the collectors and enthusiasts, we are held in very high regard but getting into the larger watch market is extremely InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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IN CONVERSATION:

BEDDING DOWN WITH MATTRESS MICK

Love him or otherwise, the chances are you’ve seen this fella around. The man behind the now infamous character talks to VALERIE JORDAN about the bed business, building a brand and how Mattress Mick was born.

t’s not always easy being Mattress Mick says the man behind him, Michael Flynn. At least not as easy as he succeeds in making it look. The character was born not out of a desire to playact, but out of a need to get noticed, sell some mattresses and make a living. Flynn had been fairly successful in the furniture business with eight shops ticking along nicely. Then the recession hit. He found himself locked into some unsustainable leases on his stores and couldn’t negotiate a reasonable deal with his landlords. After pouring all his finances into keeping the business afloat, he took the decision to liquidate the company. He wasn’t entitled to any social welfare payments, so his only choice was to get going again. “I decided to reinvent myself. I never give up; I’m a fighter. I fail, but I’m not a failure,” says Flynn. “However, I’d very little funds remaining. Anything I had I’d invested in the previous business, which was a mistake. I should have liquidated a lot earlier than I did. 44

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Michael Flynn, the man behind Mattress Mick

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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IN CONVERSATION

But I was being proud or thinking I could turn a corner, and it didn’t happen.” Flynn had noticed that beds and mattresses were the best performing area of his furniture business and, not to be defeated, he thought there might be a market for a bedding specialist in Ireland. Luckily, he still had two premises in his own name that had remained outside the liquidation. What he didn’t have was any money to advertise his new venture. “Then one night quite by accident I met a friend of mine, Paul Kelly, in a pub in Dublin and we got to talking,” Flynn explains. “I told him where I was in my life; he told me where he was. He was very good online and with YouTube and that kind of thing and I knew nothing about that. So we put our heads together and I had a bit of an idea, a little bit of an American idea, of using a personality to sell mattresses. Nobody in Ireland had done it before.” And so Mattress Mick was born – a caricature with a singular love of beds and mattresses. “We started to do some videos on YouTube and they started to get a very good reaction for some strange reason. It just seemed to click with people,” says Flynn. He also undertook a guerrilla marketing campaign around Dublin, plastering Mattress Mick posters on empty shop fronts, lampposts and derelict sites. They started to generate a reaction – not just from the public, but from Dublin City Council who naturally weren’t too pleased. Then the agency that looked after Meteor’s advertising noticed the posters and got Mattress Mick to appear in a Christmas ad. RTÉ came knocking and got Mick to walk on to showbiz show Wagon’s Den. The real coup came when Stephen Fry, one of Twitter’s most prolific users, spotted a Mattress Mick poster on a trip to Dublin and tweeted “One day I hope to meet Mattress Mick. I think we’ll have lots to discuss. Mattresses for example. And prices” – publicity Flynn could never have actually bought. “I’m just an ordinary guy trying to sell mattresses in a different way. The whole idea is to sell mattresses – not to be a public figure, but as a result people started phoning, calling in to the shop and getting a new mattress. “We sell our mattresses a different way to our competitors. I’m hands-on; I’m here to be met and people enjoy meeting me and my staff. They can have a bit of a laugh. That doesn’t happen anywhere else.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Michael Flynn with Paul Kelly who worked on the Mattress Mick brand

Flynn believes that a good mattress is essential, and promotes that an Irish-made mattress is the best in the world. And customers, he’s finding, are increasingly discerning. “A mattress is not just a spring and a bit of foam anymore. When people come into the shop they’ve done their research and they kind of know what they want, particularly young people. Older people are not as tuned-in, but we can direct them, bearing in mind their health concerns, their weight and so forth. I always insist that people lie on a mattress and spend a few minutes turning before they buy a mattress. I also offer a five-night return service. If they don’t like it after a few nights it can be returned. We generally find though that out of 100 mattress sales we get one or two back.” Flynn says they’re working hard on the website at the minute to make it more interesting than their competitors’. ‘In Bed with Mick’ – a series of interviews with Mick and experts on various mattress and sleep-related issues – is due to launch on the website shortly. Flynn says he wants to educate people about the various mattress types out there and to encourage them to select one in a responsible way. And he’s always educating himself about innovations in mattresses and beds. Going forward, Flynn believes a lot of the business will be online-based. “We’re working

MICK ON THE BIG SCREEN

Colm Quinn, director of Mattress Men, spoke to us last year after the film was released about how it was being received abroad. “The humour seems to be translating alright, which is great,” he said. “The things that keeps coming up at Q&As and what people are commenting on is how Mick and Paul’s reinvention parallels with what is going on in Ireland to a large degree. That sense of ‘backs to the wall’ and how their business was about to go under. From Mick’s point of view, in the film he talks about coming back from failure... That’s what they latched on to.”

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Images from Colm Quinn’s 2016 documentary Mattress Men

IN CONVERSATION

“I THINK THE

BRAND WILL ACHIEVE

WHAT I WANT IT TO.

I’LL DO WHATEVER IS IN MY POWER TO

GET IT OUT THERE.”

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hard on making the website more interesting and doing product videos to put online. It’s going to be a big part of our future growth. I’m not sure if people will buy very expensive mattresses online yet but they will buy the spare room or second-home mattresses online.” Flynn has big ambitions to become a household name in the mattress world; he’s registered Mattress Mick as a trademark in Ireland and in Europe so his products can be sold through other retailers. “I want to offer other retailers the chance to sell our mattresses. We’ve three or four up and running now and we’ve three or four more in negotiations at the moment.” Branding the business and getting the name out there is ongoing. “Being Mattress Mick is great and business is fantastic but the whole idea is to sell beds and mattresses and I’m trying to get into people’s minds. All my advertising is about branding; I don’t advertise mattresses. I’m hoping that over the next few years that when people think of mattresses they’ll think of Mattress Mick rather than any of my competitors. “I think the brand will achieve what I want

it to. I’ll do whatever is in my power to get it out there.” Flynn works long hours, seven days a week. And though he enjoys being Mattress Mick, it’s not always easy. ‘Back with a Bang’ is one of Mick’s most successful videos to date – a rap video about mattresses, in which Mick delivers lines like ‘I’m back, I’m back, I’m back with a bang/ The undisputed king of mattress land/ Where mattress people drive mattressy cars/ I fly my mattress rocket to the mattressy stars.’ “I’m in my sixties and it’s not actually easy to stand in front of the camera and act the eejit. Look at ‘Back with a Bang’ for instance: I come out dressed in a bright-red suit and I’m rapping about mattresses. Now that wasn’t easy to do, but it was necessary to get the name out there more. I struggled but I did it.” And it’s paid off. The video has been viewed approximately 125,000 times on YouTube. The character has certainly captured people’s imaginations. Element Pictures made a documentary, Mattress Men, on Flynn’s reinvention of himself with the help of his business partner, filming them over three years. It recently won an IFTA and garnered praise at film festivals around the world. One of the reasons Flynn thinks that people relate to him and his character is because he’s not afraid to admit he’s struggled in the past. “I’m not ashamed to tell people that I had a problem and most people I think can relate to that. I’m asked to go to schools and events quite frequently to talk about branding and guerrilla marketing and failure and how you come back from failure. I want people to know that if they do fail then it doesn’t mean they’re doomed for life. In this country it is very hard to pick yourself up. In the States you can declare yourself bankrupt and you get a second chance, but I found it difficult to beat the system. My point is, if you do fail, don’t worry about it because there is always an answer.” Flynn admits he won’t be doing this forever. He says the ideal scenario would be to be bought out, relieving him of the day-today, but he would like to remain the face of the brand. He says he’s still surprised at how Mattress Mick has taken off. “I was just hoping to make a living out of it and be able to pay my mortgage and some of the liabilities from my previous company. I really didn’t anticipate this success.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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243119_1C_Dublin Port_JM_Chambers 10.02.indd 1

27/07/2017 16:30


BOOK EXTRACT

“SCHULTZ HAD WOKEN UP AND

SMELT THE COFFEE;

OR RATHER HAD WOKEN UP BECAUSE HE COULDN’T SMELL THE COFFEE ANYMORE.”

How Coca-Cola Took Over the World is a collection of 101 tales of some of the world’s greatest brands. In this extract, author Giles Lury details how Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz helped shape the global coffee giant we know today. t is often said that you should never go back. But Howard Schultz had the courage to return to the helm of the brand he had helped create. In 2000, Schultz stepped down as CEO of Starbucks and relinquished daily control of the company, assuming the role of chairman. Seven years later, he was worried. While he recognised that he had been party to some of the changes that now so concerned him, he felt he couldn’t stand by and do nothing. He was later to observe in his book Onward, that “the damage was slow and quiet, incremental, like a single loose thread that unravels a sweater inch by inch”. So he wrote his now (in)famous letter to Jim Donald, the then CEO, entitled, “The commoditization of the Starbucks experience”. In it he said: “Over the past ten years, in order to achieve the growth, development, and scale necessary to go from less than 1,000 stores to 13,000 stores and beyond, we have had to make a series of decisions that, in retrospect, have led to the watering down of the Starbucks experience, and, what some might call the commoditization of our brand.” Schultz had woken up and smelt the coffee; or rather had woken up because he couldn’t smell the coffee anymore. He decried the loss of theatre and romance in the stores, and in particular the move to using bagged coffee rather than freshly ground, which had led to the “loss of aroma – perhaps the most powerful non-verbal signal we had in our stores”. He went on to write that he believed the stores “no longer have the soul of the past, and reflect a chain of stores vs the warm feeling of a neighbourhood store. Some people even call our stores sterile, cookie cutter, no longer reflecting the passion our partners feel about our coffee”. He recognised that the all-out pursuit of growth as a strategy had become 48

048 InBusiness Q2 2017_Book Extract.indd 48

addictive. As he later said in an interview in McKinsey Quarterly: “Growth should not be – and is not – a strategy; it’s a tactic. The primary lesson I’ve learned over the years is that growth and success can cover up a lot of mistakes.” So in 2008, in the midst of the recession and during a period of decline, Schultz returned to the CEO post and started to put right some of those mistakes. In the next couple of years, he led a dramatic turn-around of the business and the brand. His first act, in February 2008, was to invite employees to email him directly, letting him know what they thought. He immediately received 5,000 emails. In the 2009 financial year, he set out to cut over $500 million worth of costs. He cut deeply and quickly, shedding around 800 stores in the US, hundreds more in its international networks, and losing over 7 per cent of his workforce. Annual revenue likewise fell. However, some of his actions demonstrated his ongoing belief in the values of the brand. He refused to cut healthcare for thousands of parttime baristas, despite pressure from InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 10:50


BOOK EXTRACT

“HIS MOST

SYMBOLIC MOVE

WAS MADE IN FEBRUARY 2008,

WHICH WAS TO CLOSE ALL 7,100 US STORES FOR

THREE-AND-A-HALF HOURS TO RETRAIN BARISTAS.”

BRANDS WITH STORIES Some of the other brand stories featured in How Coca-Cola Took Over the World include:

How Converse made it big through celebrity endorsement

How the lime ended up in Corona bottles

outsiders who could see more savings. He also committed to doubling its annual purchase of fair-trade certified coffee to 40 million lbs in 2009. His next job was to bring the romance back to the brand and take Starbucks back to its roots of providing great coffee. Starbucks developed and rolled out a new flexible design for all of its stores. Schultz re-instated the selling coffee paraphernalia in store, and brought back freshly roasted coffee. He insisted baristas grind the beans in the stores, and any coffee that had been sitting for more than 30 minutes had to be thrown away. But his most symbolic move was made in February 2008, which was to close all 7,100 US stores for threeand-a-half hours to re-train baristas. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

048 InBusiness Q2 2017_Book Extract.indd 49

It is estimated that this alone cost Starbucks $6m. He also extended the brand into one place people weren’t often consuming Starbucks, their homes, by overseeing the creation of the instant coffee brand called VIA. Despite some early scepticism, the range has proved a success. Starbucks’ annual revenue in 2012 was $14bn, with some 150,000 employees around the world. More importantly, when Howard Schultz goes to bed at night, he now knows that the next morning he will wake up and smell the coffee, freshly roasted coffee. And the moral is, short term growth isn’t everything. Are you staying true to your brand’s core values?

How the Apple Macintosh 1984 advert nearly didn’t run

How Peugeot acquired its famous lion logo

This is an extract from How Coca-Cola Took Over the World: And 100 More Amazing Stories About The World’s Greatest Brands by Giles Lury, reprinted with permission from LID Publishing.

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WORLD REPORT

CHATTING As part of the InBUSINESS world report series, JOSEPH O’CONNOR spoke with Professor Noam Chomsky to get his views on Trump, the refugee crisis and the general state of the world.

G

iven that my long-scheduled interview with renowned political scientist Noam Chomsky happened to fall on the day following the Manchester bomb attack back in May, it seemed as good a time as any to ask the professor whether he sometimes got depressed when he looked at the state of the modern world, what with the likes of Trump, Brexit, the rise of populism in Europe and, of course, the latest terrorist attack. “I think it’s quite easily understandable [to feel that way],” he says in his familiar and dulcet voice, speaking over the phone from his office at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “In fact, in a way it’s surprising that it has taken so long to develop.” Chomsky traces such phenomena back to the late seventies and the rise of neoliberalism, promulgated by Reagan,

flickr.com/Cultura Argentina

WITH

CHOMSKY 50

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Getty Images

WORLD REPORT

Residents flee Mosul’s Old City to areas liberated from control of the Islamic State, adding to the displaced population in Iraq. Chomsky describes the current refugee crisis as a “moral crisis in the West”.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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WORLD REPORT

Getty Images

An Arab family are among more than 500,000 migrants and refugees who have crossed from Turkey to the Greek islands in 2015.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, US First Lady Melania Trump and US President Donald Trump at an inauguration ceremony of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Chomsky is critical of Trump cosying up to what he describes as “the most brutal and regressive harmful dictatorial states”.

Thatcher and others, continuing under Clinton and Blair right up to the modern day. Though he acknowledges that such policies have yielded some economic successes, Chomsky believes these have been to the benefit of few. This particular political philosophy also contributed substantially to the most recent financial crash, beginning with a visible shift in what constitutes a financial institution. “In the fifties and sixties financial institutions were related to the real economy; they were banks that lent money to businesses and people,” he explains. “Starting in the seventies after the breakdown of Bretton Woods [monetary system], new financial institutions developed, often called banks, which are increasingly divorced from the real economy – in fact, probably harmful to it – dedicated to massive speculation, complex financial transactions, all this business. And they’re huge. By 2007, right before the crash, they in the United States had about 40 per cent of corporate profits, overwhelmingly significant in the economy.” Chomsky says that such developments are part of a conscious move by people in power to undermine democratic participation. “If you go back to the seventies there was wide concern 52

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“IT SHOULD BE DESCRIBED AS A

‘MORAL CRISIS IN THE WEST’.

THE IDEA IS

FIRST WE DEVASTATE THEM AND WHEN THEY TRY TO FLEE FROM THE RUINS WE SAY THEY HAVE A REFUGEE CRISIS

AND WE TOSS THEM BACK.“

Chomsky says that many refugees from Central America are fleeing from the wreckage of the “Reaganite terrorist campaigns”.

across the elite spectrum that there was too much democratic participation, that it ought to be reduced, that it was harmful to what was regarded as the proper functioning of society – meaning basically profits and power,” he says. “Now that has been achieved; the shifting, the decision-making from the public institutions to private hands means reducing the role of the public in Government.” One example of this shift of power happened after the global financial crash, when decisionmaking in some European countries moved from their governments to an unelected troika – made up of the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), of which Ireland is all too aware. Such steps generate a reaction, what Chomsky describes as ‘concern over sovereignty’. “I think that it’s better understood as concern over the undermining of democracy,” he says, revisiting the definition. “The conscious undermining of democracy and the harmful effects on the general population of the socio-economic policies which sharply concentrate wealth, while leading to stagnation and other effects.” This reaction manifests itself in many forms – from radical Islam to tough stances on InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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WORLD REPORT

immigration. While there is a tendency in the public and in the media to respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, Chomsky doesn’t see it that way. These developments all result from one political system. “The reaction is anger, disillusionment, contempt for institutions, a collapse of the centrist parties,” he says. “We saw that in France a couple of weeks ago, we saw it in the United States in the November election. The striking features of last November’s elections in the United States were that in both parties a figure from outside the establishment was the one who could mobilise the base. “It’s not a big surprise but as far as the population is concerned, they vote against the establishment and they also show it by the reactions that you mention – by anger, often directed at the wrong targets, vulnerable people instead of those in power, but we’re familiar with that too. But I think that those are the basic phenomena that we see. And it’s kind of surprising that it has taken so long for them to emerge.” A MORAL CRISIS One of the major international events of this century, which has been playing out in the last five years or so, has been the refugee crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people from Africa and the Middle East have risked life and limb to get to Europe in search of a better life. There are similar

scenes on the American continent where refugees from Latin America strike out for the US for myriad reasons that include escaping from crime and poverty. Unsurprisingly, Chomsky has strong views on the subject. “It should be described as a ‘moral crisis in the West’,” he says. “The idea is first we devastate them and when they try to flee from the ruins we say they have a refugee crisis and we toss them back. Many refugees from Central America are fleeing from the wreckage of the Reagan-ite terrorist campaigns which had a horrible impact, and they’re still fleeing. Many of them are fleeing from Mexico as the result of NAFTA [the North America

Young refugees from SubSaharan Africa arrive in Europe from Libya. “Europe has a certain history in Africa which I don’t have to recount,” says Chomsky.

Getty Images

As Iraqi special operations forces enter Mosul’s Old City, residents flee their homes. The ongoing war in Iraq and Syria is further intensifying the global refugee crisis.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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WORLD REPORT

“Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive and backward states in the world and this seems true of the other groups of dictators who he was palling around with there,” says Chomsky, who questions why Iran should be viewed as public enemy number one. “[Iran] is the one country in the Muslim world that actually has something like elections. I mean they are flawed, they’re under the control of the Guardian Council, but at least they take place. Not in Saudi Arabia. Take a look at the human rights. In Tehran you can take a taxi cab driven by a woman. In Saudi Arabia a woman is not even allowed to drive. But that’s natural that Trump and his group should be drawn towards the dictators, the human rights violators, those who actually have the resources that the US wants to stay in its own pocket, ultimately the oil.” “IT’S NOT A BIG SURPRISE BUT AS FAR AS THE POPULATION IS CONCERNED, THEY VOTE AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT AND THEY ALSO SHOW IT BY THE REACTIONS THAT YOU MENTION – BY ANGER,

OFTEN DIRECTED AT THE WRONG TARGETS”

Free Trade Agreement], which undermined agricultural production. So first we harm them, or in the case of Central America, really devastate them, and then when they try to flee we turn them back at the border and we call them criminals. “Then there are those fleeing and dying in the Mediterranean, trying to escape to Europe. And Europe has a certain history in Africa which I don’t have to recount. So I think this should be regarded as a moral crisis in the West.” While the war in Syria rages on and further complicates the refugee crisis, another crisis in the Middle East has emerged recently – the political stalemate between Qatar and four Arab states over what the latter describe as the country’s funding of terrorism, fomenting regional unrest and drawing too close to their enemy Iran. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have imposed a boycott on Qatar and issued an ultimatum to Doha, which includes a demand to close its state-run TV organisation Al Jazeera, to curb ties with Iran, and pay reparations; demands so far reaching it would appear to be difficult for Doha to comply. The impasse emerged just days after President Trump visited the region where he signed a $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia. While he watches these developments with great interest, Chomsky is heavily critical of the US president’s cosying up with what he describes as “the most brutal and regressive harmful dictatorial states”. 54

050 InBusiness Q2 2017_World Report.indd 54

FLYING THE FLAG Staying on the politics of the Middle East – but with a local slant – I asked for Chomsky’s views on the move to fly the flag of Palestine over Dublin City Hall for the month of May following People Before Profit Councillor John Lyons’s proposal in solidarity with the people of Palestine ‘living under occupation’. The motion was passed by majority among Dublin city councillors across all political parties. Does Chomsky believe gestures such as these have any real significance or hold any political weight? “Yes I do, and it’s quite significant,” he replies. “Similarly, the European Union moves to ban or at least limit products from the settlements or support for institutions which back the Occupation. All of that is quite important.” He outlines how political movements in the US share similar goals. “It hasn’t reached the political system yet, but you have to remember that the political system is pretty much divorced from the population. A large part of the population is turning – especially among more liberal sectors based on the democratic party – against the fanatic support for Israeli crimes, which is still virtually 100 per cent at the government level, but which is collapsing drastically at the popular level. And Israel is very aware of this.” Chomsky says this shift away from supporting Israel has led the country to reorient its foreign policies towards more authoritarian systems that don’t have a strong commitment to human rights, such as Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and India. “It’s all a kind of natural alliance for Israel and it’s drifting in that direction although it still maintains very strong political, economic and diplomatic support from the United States and popular support too from the most reactionary elements,” he explains. “So the support for Israel used to be based among Liberal Democrats but now the core support for Israel is among the right-wing Republicans and Christian Evangelicals. “There has been a major shift and so moves like those that are made in Ireland are of some influence and significance I think.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 11:01


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RAYMOND COYLE, DIRECTOR | TAYTO PARK The idea for a theme park came to me around 18 years ago. I had bought 30 bison from the US to use commercially, selling their meat. The amount of interest that that generated and the amount of PR and TV that it attracted really struck me. Taking American bison into Ireland was unheard of. At the time, it helped the Hunky Dory crisp brand that I founded, as we brought out Hunky Dory buffalo flavoured crisps, but more than that, it was a catalyst for Tayto Park. I could see that if you had something interesting to offer people, they would come to see it and experience it – you could say that was my light bulb moment. Tayto Park didn’t start quite as smoothly as we had planned. We began to build it in 2008 and opened it in November 2010, which turned out to be the wrong time of year to do so. Nobody came and I thought it was going to be a disaster. That was until the Easter break in March 2011 when the crowds started to come. Most people said to me afterwards that at the time they thought I was completely mad to open Tayto Park. I wondered why they hadn’t told me back then, but they said they didn’t want to ruin my enthusiasm! However, I believed it would be successful for two reasons: there was no theme park in Ireland for kids and adults to go to and, secondly, I had the Tayto brand behind it. W: www.taytopark.ie InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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IB PARTNER FEATURE ENERGIA

MALACHY BYRNE, DIRECTOR | EQUIPET In 2010, it became clear to us that achieving growth in retail was becoming ever more difficult. At Equipet, we looked at ways to help our company grow and become more profitable. It wasn’t one single action but several strategic decisions taken that helped our business achieve its goals. We looked closer at our running costs, and invested in efficiencies that we believed would provide the business with long-term financial payback. Changing lighting in our stores to LED was one such change. Engaging in new technology made our business more efficient. Handheld scanners with multiple functionality brought a time-saving benefit, which allowed our expert staff spend more time with our customers and drive sales. In terms of our growth potential, supermarket chains were our biggest competitors. We examined what the main supermarket brands were offering and by working closely with our suppliers, we developed attractive monthly promotions for our customers. Making yourself different from your competitors is vital in the retail business, and realising that was our light bulb moment. When you walk into any Equipet store, you are meeting a team that loves your pet as much as you do. We bring a new dimension to pet and equestrian retail, with a strong focus on product range, customer service and clever merchandising, giving our customer – and their pet – the best possible shopping experience. W: www.equipetstores.com

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*St Mel’s Brewing Company does not recommend following through on all drunken conversations. Enjoy alcohol responsibly!

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EOIN TYNAN, MD | ST MEL’S BREWING COMPANY St Mel’s Brewing Company was established in January 2013 but the story started long before that in the summer of 2010. Liam Hanlon and I, both Longford natives, had been friends since our college days in Maynooth University. Liam had studied biotechnology and went on to gain a masters in brewing and distillation while I had studied history and completed a masters in business management. In June 2010, I was getting married and Liam had donated the beer for the festivities as a wedding gift. Both of us were based in Dublin and dealing with the daily grind of working long hours, plus Liam had gotten engaged. With the prospect of settling down and starting a family in Dublin, the talk at the bar turned to our future prospects. The choices were simple: stay in Dublin with the associated mortgage and living costs or emigrate. However, as the beer kegs were being emptied, a third choice emerged. How about moving home and starting a brewery? Liam can make the beer and I can sell it. Simple, right? Well it turned out to be a bit more complicated than that but with huge support from family, friends and the local community, St Mel’s Brewing Company is in its fourth year of production and growing steadily. It all goes back to the conversation that night and the light bulb moment where the risk of not doing seemed greater than the risk of doing.* W: www.stmelsbrewing.com

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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26/07/2017 21/07/2017 16:07 15:10


CHAMBERS NEWS

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

CHAMBERS

CATCH UP CHAMBER COMMENT “As a Deputy of Dáil Eireann and Government Minister, Leo Varadkar TD has always made time to engage with and listen to the interests and concerns of the business community across Ireland. We look forward to further positive engagement in the coming months and years.” Chambers Ireland CEO Ian Talbot welcoming the election of Leo Varadkar TD as Taoiseach.

APPOINTMENT NOTICE Former President of Galway Chamber Hannah Kiely has been appointed as CEO of Galway 2020. In this role Kiely will be responsible for leading the executive team and working closely with the new Galway 2020 Board of Directors to deliver the ambitious programme and vision before and during European Capital of Culture in 2020, as well as ensuring that a strong and lasting legacy follows to benefit the city, county and wider region.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Michael Guerin, Community Employment Supervisor, pictured with the team responsible for the revamp of the Gordon Drive Community Garden

ENNIS GARDEN PROJECT SHORTLISTED FOR AWARD ENNIS CHAMBER HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR A CLIMATE ACTION AWARD as part of this year’s Tidy Towns competition for its work on the Gordon Drive Community Garden. The garden was first developed in October 2016 by the Ennis Chamber Community Employment Scheme, with support from Ennis Tidy Towns. The scheme employs seven individuals and its aim is to foster a sense of place within the local community and to illustrate how empowering local communities with the necessary training can lead to positive impacts on our climate.

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CHAMBERS NEWS

Outgoing Fingal Dublin Chamber CEO Tony Lambert

FINGAL CHAMBER CEO STEPS DOWN Fingal Dublin Chamber has announced that its founder and CEO Tony Lambert is to step down from his current role. Lambert has decided that the time is right to pursue other interests including consultancy work. Commenting on his decision, he stated: “I think the time is right to hand over the reins to a new CEO to take the Chamber to the next level.” Chambers Ireland has praised the hard work and contribution of Lambert who served on the board of Chambers Ireland for 12 years until 2016 and was also chair of the nationwide Chamber Executive Forum for six years until 2014.

Vivian Cummins, County Kildare Chamber President, John Teeling, Paddy Murphy, Chairman, the Prem Group and Peter Carey, CEO, Kildare County Council

KILDARE DOES BREAKFAST WITH TEELING VETERAN ENTREPRENEUR JOHN TEELING WAS GUEST SPEAKER AT THIS year’s County Kildare Chamber business breakfast on June 29th, where 80 business leaders from throughout the county were in attendance. As noted in our mentors feature, Teeling has established several companies in the oil, gas and resource sectors for more than three decades and is best known as founder of Cooley Distillery which he started in 1987. Allan Shine, CE of the Chamber, said: “We were delighted to secure such a high profile speaker and John engaged the room with his views on the global economy and his hugely successful career to date.” Businesses in attendance included Kildare Village, Acumen and Trust, Colourtrend, PWC, Bord na Móna and Grant Thornton.

CHAMBER PRESIDENT CALLS FOR REGIONAL COLLABORATION

CHAMBER COMMENT “Although our overall rating improved, Ireland’s ranking for the category ‘trade enabling infrastructure’ has deteriorated. This further validates the Chambers Ireland Pre Budget 2018 Submission call for Government to invest in infrastructure.” Chambers Ireland CEO Ian Talbot responding to news that Ireland ranked 5th in the International Chamber of Commerce Open Markets Index.

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Chamber President Paul Nolan addressing the crowd at Waterford Chamber President’s Lunch

Food was the focus of this year’s Waterford Chamber President’s Lunch as guest speaker Jim O’Toole, CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, joined Chamber President Paul Nolan in addressing a capacity crowd at Waterford Castle. The annual business lunch, which is sponsored by CPL Resources, is one of the highlights on the Waterford Chamber calendar and brings together key stakeholders within the region for informal networking. Making his first corporate address as incoming President, Nolan appealed to all business organisations in Waterford and the region to work together in highlighting the benefits of regional collaboration so that the strongest cohesive case can be made to Government.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 11:23


CHAMBERS NEWS

CHAMBER COMMENT “To date Ireland and Japan have both enjoyed the benefit of an open trading relationship and we see the EUJapan trade agreement presenting numerous opportunities, particularly for businesses active in the agri-food, ICT and life sciences sectors.”

CHAMBER CAPTION

Participants of the notorious Gaelforce adventure race on its maiden outing in Dublin on February 18th 2017. The event was brought to Tallaght by South Dublin Chamber and County Council, in partnership with Killary Gaelforce.

Mary Rose Burke, CEO Dublin Chamber, Brendan Foster, President Dublin Chamber, Sam McQueen (aged 5) and Rose Foster (aged 9)

TALKING ABOUT DUBLIN’S NEXT GENERATION Dublin Chamber is looking to find out what the people of Dublin want their city to look like in the future. Via ‘The Great Dublin Survey’, the Chamber sets out a number of thought-provoking questions that aim to capture the ideas, hopes, wants and aspirations of people who live in Dublin. The Great Dublin Survey is part of Dublin Chamber’s ‘Dublin 2050’ initiative, which is exploring the need for better long-term planning in the Dublin region. You can take the survey at www.greatdublinsurvey.ie.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Chambers Ireland CEO Ian Talbot welcoming the news of an agreement between the EU and Japan for a new trade accord, negotiations for which first began in 2013.

CORK EVENT HELPS SMES EMBRACE DIGITAL Over 400 SMEs from Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Galway and Dublin gathered on May 26th at the O’Callaghan warehouse on Custom House Quay, Cork for Facebook’s Boost Your Business event. The event, co-hosted by Facebook and Cork Chamber, aimed to provide SMEs with greater insight into the potential of the digital economy. Through workshop sessions and oneto-one mentoring, businesses benefited from practical training on brand building in a mobile world, how to drive sales both online and in-store with Facebook and Instagram and best practice tips and advice from business owners sharing their success stories.

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CHAMBER NEWS CSR AWARDS 2017

CSR Awards

Shortlist Announced Chambers Ireland has announced the shortlist for this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, which will take place on September 7th.

• Boston Scientific Boston Scientific Ireland STEM Programme • Intel - Intel Pride of Place

• Eversheds Sutherland Robbie Sinnott

• KBC Bank Ireland KBC Bright Ideas Programme

• KPMG KPMG supports Going for Growth

• Lidl Ireland Lidl Community Works

EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE – LIC

EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERING – LIC

• Arthur Cox Supporting a brave personal battle against Motor Neurone Disease - the Loretto Dempsey Legacy

• Bank of Ireland BizWorld • Bord Gáis Energy Bord Gáis Energy, Focus our Energy Christmas FM Project

• Aldi Stores Ireland Limited Aldi and FoodCloud Partnership • Arthur Cox ‘Who Wants to be a Volunteer?’ - the Arthur Cox Volunteer Champions (ACVC) • Bord Gáis Energy Give a Helping Hand to Prevent Family Homelessness #AHelpingHand • Core Media Focus Ireland and Core Media - Ireland’s first Contactless Donation Station Shines a Light on Homelessness • Microsoft Ireland Microsoft Ireland supports Hour of Code • Ulster Bank Communicating how we’re ‘Making a difference in our communities’ EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP WITH CHARITY – LIC • Applegreen The Applegreen Charitable Fund Programme • Arthur Cox Working with Suas to bring technology to Zambia • Bord Gáis Energy Focus Our Energy Partnership • Dalata Hotel Group Plc Dalata Digs Deep • Earth’s Edge Kilimanjaro Equipment Lending Programme • Electric Ireland Electric Ireland Darkness into Light • ESB Collaboration with Science Gallery Dublin • Friends First Friends in the Community

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LIC: LARGE INDIGENOUS COMPANY MNC: MULTINATIONAL COMPANY

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• V oxpro Voxpro partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research 2016 EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP WITH CHARITY – MNC •B  oots Ireland Boots in partnership with the Irish Cancer Society

• eir eir Challenge Supporting Special Olympics Ireland • ESB - ESB Power Challenge

• Earth’s Edge Explore Experience Evolve Programme

• Friends First Friends in the Workplace

• KPMG KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL)

• KPMG KPMG Inclusion & Diversity Programme

EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERING – MNC EXCELLENCE IN CSR COMMUNICATION

• Bank of Ireland Workbench

• AbbVie AbbVie’s Week of Possibilities

• Ulster Bank Ireland DAC Academy - Building capability for what matters

• Cisco Systems Age Action volunteering programme

EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE – MNC

• Deloitte Professional Skills Volunteering with NCBI

• IBM Ireland - ‘I like it here!’

• IBM Ireland Ltd Leadership for Teens

• Janssen Sciences Ireland UC Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing & Design (WiSTEM2D)

• Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank’s partnership with the Simon Community

• SSE Ireland The SSE Ireland Be the Difference Volunteering Programme

• Lidl Ireland Work Safe. Live Well.

• Microsoft Ireland Mission 3000: Microsoft and Special Olympics

• VMware VMware Cork Giving Network VMware Foundation

• Vodafone Ireland ThinkWell, LiveWell, FeelWeel

• Oracle Oracle Applications ‘Walk of the Onesie’s’ for Temple Street Children’s Hospital

EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT – LIC

• VMware VMware Foundation and Age Action

• Bord na Móna Eco Rangers Schools programme

EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY COMMUNITY PROGRAMME – LIC

• Carbery Food Ingredients Carbery Green 50 Landfill Diversion Project

•B  ank of Ireland Enterprise Town • E arth’s Edge Guide Exchange Programme • E SB Stay Safe Stay Clear with ESB Networks

(Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency)

• daa Sustainable Buildings • Dawn Meats Strategic Sustainability EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENT – MNC

• L aw Society of Ireland Diploma Centre Law Society of Ireland’s Street Law Programme

(Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency)

•U  lster Bank One Week in June

• Intel Ireland Embracing biodiversity at Intel

• V ersion 1 Version 1 Community Trust

• KBC Bank Ireland KBC Environmental Responsibility Programme

EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY COMMUNITY PROGRAMME – MNC •A  bbott Ireland Abbott Ireland - A Passion for STEM •A  mgen Inspiring the Scientists of Tomorrow

• HEINEKEN Ireland Brewing a Better World in HEINEKEN Ireland – Our Sustainability Vision

• Lidl Ireland Origin Green Project EXCELLENCE IN MARKETPLACE • A&L Goodbody A&L Goodbody’s pro bono programme

• Oracle - OPEN @ Oracle

EXCELLENCE IN SUPPORTING YOUTH EMPLOYMENT • ESB ESB Apprenticeship Programme • Johnson and Johnson Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment (BTE) • Magnet Networks Business in the Community EXCELLENCE IN CSR BY AN SME • Earth’s Edge Kilimanjaro Equipment Lending Programme • EMIT EMIT & Play for Paddy: Giving Cancer the Boot • Fitness Freak Free Fruit For All in South Tipperary General Hospital • Recycle IT Clondalkin Community Recycling Initiative Limited • Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland RIAI Simon Open Door • Stelfox - Soar • Technically Write IT Ltd Charity and Community Involvement Committee

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 11:24


CHAMBER CEO Q&A MARY ROSE BURKE

H

itting the

Ground Running

InBUSINESS caught up with Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber, who is busy building a vision for the capital in 2050. Q: You have been head of Dublin Chamber for almost six months now. How have you been settling in?

A: I am loving my role and really enjoying all of my work in the Chamber. I have a great team and also a very engaged and motivated board and council which has allowed me to hit the ground running. We are all focused on making Dublin the very best city in which to live, work, invest, raise a family, build a business and to visit.

Q: Could you tell us about your recent rebrand?

A: The essence of what Dublin Chamber does is to listen to our members and support them however we can. The new logo signifies how the Chamber is all about listening and understanding others but also that we are the voice of Dublin business. We also chose blue as our primary colour as it is so synonymous with Dublin

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and as we say, “Dublin is our business”. I believe the new logo and brand projects a strong and proud image for Dublin Chamber – listening and advocating not just for business but for the city in general.

Q: What are the burning issues currently facing businesses in Dublin?

A: The issues facing Dublin are problems arising from the success and growth of the city. It’s important to recognise the huge transformation Dublin has undergone since, we’ll say, the 1980s. People are what make this city unique. Therefore it’s crucial that we invest accordingly to respect and reflect how people live in this dynamic city. We need to tackle the chronic under-investment in infrastructure. Housing is a critical issue for employers and all citizens of Dublin and needs to be resolved with new energy and imagination. Dublin needs adequate public transport which will ease congestion in the city but also protect our valuable clean air. We also must question whether

the current structure of local government is right for the future.

Q: In terms of leading the Chamber, where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: From the members that give so generously of their time to help create a better Dublin and from the various Dublin people I have met in the four years since moving here. I am inspired by their stories and their passion for the city. I am also inspired by learning from other cities. Places like Copenhagen didn’t just happen by accident – people in leadership positions made brave and bold decisions in long-term planning that transformed their city. Q: What are the key objectives of the Chamber for the rest of 2017 and beyond?

A: Our key objectives are to continue to develop our network of members, as it is the strength of this network that help businesses to grow and succeed. We also aim to ensure that key political stakeholders understand

Mary Rose Burke, CEO, Dublin Chamber

the current business environment so that we maintain a pro-business policy environment. Dublin 2050 is one of our key initiatives where we focus on long-term vision and planning. In this initiative we question ‘what needs to be true to create the Dublin that we collectively aspire to?’ The Great Dublin Survey is an integral part of this. Anyone who wishes to become involved and help us on this journey to 2050 can take the survey at greatdublinsurvey.ie.

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27/07/2017 11:25


CHAMBER FEATURE CAPITAL PLAN

Time to

Invest As the Government reviews the current Capital Plan, what are the key infrastructure projects in need of investment? InBUSINESS sought the views from various Chambers around the country.

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hambers Ireland along with the OECD, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the National Competitiveness Council and several other representative bodies have highlighted how Ireland has significant infrastructure deficits that need to be tackled urgently. Infrastructure development cannot be ignored for any longer; it is now time for the Irish Government to significantly invest in strategically and economically important capital projects. At the time of writing, the review by Government of the current Capital Plan 2016 – 2021 is ongoing. Chambers Ireland and other Chambers across the country made submissions to the public consultation phase of the review. The message was clear: business across Ireland is calling for increased investment in infrastructure and we must be strategic about where to invest. State investment in infrastructure projects collapsed following the economic crash in 2007 and significant infrastructural deficits were allowed to emerge in recent years. The review of the Capital Plan must identify the infrastructure projects that business needs most.

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Government must commit the necessary funding and identify alternative funding models to ensure that infrastructure projects are ready to commence as soon as possible.

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES The overwhelming response to feedback sought while drafting the Chambers Ireland submission to the Mid-Term Review of the Capital Plan was that local Chambers across Ireland rank transport infrastructure as number one priority and that improved connectivity is vital for business in every region. In the south, Cork city has had some of the highest population and economic growth rates nationally since 2011. With increasing activity, renewed investment in infrastructure is of heightened importance. Conor Healy, Chief Executive of Cork Chamber, identified the development of Dunkettle Interchange and the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy road as key transport priorities from a Cork city perspective. From a competitiveness perspective, improving our road networks and regional connectivity will be highly important if Ireland is to continue to attract the right kind of investment. Improving road connectivity between

Wexford-Waterford-Cork and ultimately onwards between CorkLimerick-Galway, will facilitate the coordination of development across the south-east, Cork and midwest regions, thus providing new opportunities for business across the country. For the wider region, Healy identifies the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway as the most important missing transport link. “The existing N20 is suffering from constraints with knock-on effects on safety. With investment in the M20, not only will we tackle existing safety and transport concerns, but also create a seamless Atlantic motorway corridor from Cork through Limerick and on to Galway, helping to build a strong and attractive economic complement to the east coast.” This view is shared by the Atlantic Economic Corridor Chambers.

BREXIT CHALLENGES Brexit will present many challenges in the coming years, one of which will be how we trade. Therefore, such challenges must be reflected in future infrastructure planning. In the event of increased customs checks and resulting traffic, our ports and roads will need a significant upgrade to cope with emerging pressures. The increased importance of road connectivity across the country in light of Brexit was emphasised strongly by members of south-east

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CHAMBER FEATURE CAPITAL PLAN

regional Chamber. For John Hurley, Chair of the South East Regional Chamber, which comprises of eight chambers from across counties Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow, the need for port investment and port access in the south-east is a growing issue, noting that, “with Brexit looming, the ports of Rosslare and Bellview are likely to increase in importance as potentially direct routes from Ireland to mainland Europe. This will have a knock-on increase in demand for motorway standard roads linking east to west.” In Cork, the development of the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy road is of increased importance due to Brexit. Ringaskiddy is home to the port of Cork and holds one of the greatest concentrations of employment in the south-west. Conor Healy reiterates the need for port investment. “In a post-Brexit world, our port infrastructure will be of added global significance and we must ensure that our ports can meet expanded demand through investment in the capacity of roads linking ports with the rest of the country,” he says. In the north-west, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has exacerbated the long-running infrastructure deficits experienced in Donegal and the wider region. Chief Executive of Letterkenny Chamber, Toni Forrester, points out that, having been starved of infrastructure for years, improving road transport links are the main

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investment priority for the northwest. “Brexit brings the lack of infrastructure and connectivity into very clear focus for the businesses operating in this region. The northwest is the most peripheral region of Ireland and Europe and on their withdrawal from the EU, county Donegal will be on the frontline of the land border with the UK. Government must commit to significant investment in road infrastructure if the northwest is to catch up with the rest of the country and fulfil its ambitions as a strong, vibrant region.” The N2/A5 is a primary concern for businesses in Donegal. Similarly a group of chambers based along the N4 and N5 routes are calling for investment to open economic potential in those areas of the north-west too.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT NEEDS While improved road transport is of utmost regional importance to the network of chambers across Ireland, investment in public transport cannot be disregarded and must also play a strong role as part of future infrastructure needs. In the capital, Dublin Chamber’s Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen identified the Metro North and DART Underground projects as ones to be prioritised above all, as these will have a national impact. “Ireland urgently needs a rail link between our national airport and the centre of our national capital. DART Underground,

which would unify Ireland’s rail network while easing urban congestion, has been talked about for almost a half century now. Real action is long overdue.” Improved rail transport was also identified in the south-east as important for access to the region, particularly for commuters. Cork Chamber placed emphasis on the need for investment in cycling, commuter and light rail, bus and pedestrian transport networks to increase the share of people commuting in a sustainable manner.

TIME FOR INVESTMENT Chambers Ireland is calling on the Government to take the opportunity while reviewing the current Capital Plan to significantly increase capital investment in the coming years and deliver new transport projects that address the needs of our cities and regions. This is the central ask of our Pre-Budget 2018 submission and one that we will continue to advocate strongly in favour of while the economy remains strong. Transport infrastructure is one part of our infrastructure asks and one that remains a key priority for business. Now is the time to invest in infrastructure and to ensure that our economy is protected and prepared for any external headwinds but, even more importantly, ready to embrace and benefit from the opportunities that will emerge.

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27/07/2017 11:27


CHAMBER FEATURE BUDGET 2018

Policies and

Priorities

The Chambers Ireland team has been busy consulting with its network of local chambers in drafting its Pre Budget 2018 Submission, writes Elisha Collier O’Brien.

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aving met and consulted with representatives from across our network, we have an excellent insight into the priorities of Irish business of all sizes and from all regions for Budget 2018. Between the external uncertainties facing the country and the range of domestic challenges that have emerged in recent years, Budget 2018 will come at a vital time for Ireland’s economy. Our closest trading partner is entering into a period of negotiations to exit the European Union, while at home we are facing numerous challenges in infrastructure, ranging from the need to increase investment in existing and new transport stock, to addressing the digital divide between rural and urban Ireland. Chambers Ireland has outlined in our pre-budget submission the priorities and needs of the Irish business community for Budget 2018. Our submission includes policies we would like to see delivered upon in infrastructure investment, SME supports and tax reform.

INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE From our network of local chambers the message we receive loud and clear is that increased investment in

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infrastructure is the top priority for business in Budget 2018. Years of under-investment have seen Ireland’s infrastructure stock depreciate and this has allowed for bottlenecks to emerge. For businesses to operate efficiently and grow this cannot continue. We must facilitate an environment in which businesses have room to expand and which makes Ireland an attractive location in which to do business. This will require significantly increased levels of investment in infrastructure. The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) is among the various bodies, both national and international, that have been highlighting Ireland’s comparatively low expenditure on infrastructure and outlining the need to ramp-up capital investment levels as soon as possible. Our currently low levels of capital investment is worrying not only at a national level, but taking into account the wider context in which Ireland is operating, Brexit will place an increased importance on Ireland’s ability to compete on a global stage. In its recent report, ‘Benchmarking Competitiveness: Ireland and the United Kingdom, 2017’, the NCC examines the challenge Ireland is facing in comparative terms, specifically with the UK. The report

points out that in the run-up to and following a Brexit deal, we should expect the UK to increase its level of investment in infrastructure, as well as enhance and develop its tax and non-tax measures for business, as it seeks to continue to trade with new and existing markets. The NCC also points out that at the same time we can expect other countries to continue to enhance their competitiveness. This adds a level of urgency to what must be delivered by Government in Budget 2018. If Ireland is to remain competitive in a global market, we must increase expenditure and invest smartly and strategically in the areas of transport, housing, broadband, water, energy, education and childcare among others. Current levels of capital expenditure will not meet emerging needs and Ireland cannot continue playing catch-up in infrastructure spending: A radical change is needed in how much we invest. Given the breadth of the demands Ireland is faced with in terms of infrastructure, Chambers Ireland is calling on Government to significantly increase the level of investment in infrastructure to at least 4 per cent of GDP. This will require that Government make greater efforts to facilitate and engage in alternative, non-Exchequer funded investment instruments such as Public Private Partnerships or though working with European investment bodies like the EIB and EFSI. We must not continue

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CHAMBER FEATURE BUDGET 2018

Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive Ian Talbot and President Niamh Boyle at the launch of the Chambers Ireland Pre-Budget Submission calling for increased investment in infrastructure and measures to mitigate Brexit challenges

Current levels of capital expenditure will not meet emerging needs and Ireland cannot continue playing catchup in infrastructure spending.” to neglect investment in the strategic infrastructure which is vital for businesses to function and succeed.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS It is also crucial that Budget 2018 commits to supporting Ireland’s small businesses in particular, and such efforts are likely to become of even greater importance as Brexit plans and negotiations move forward. As part of our focus on small business for Budget 2018, Chambers Ireland is calling on Government to deliver a number of measures which would enhance the working environment for Ireland’s SMEs. We are seeking the introduction of an export working capital scheme in order to support exporting SMEs likely to be affected by changes to Ireland’s trading relationship with the UK. In addition to this, we are asking that Government retain the 9 per cent VAT rate on the tourism and hospitality sector as a measure which will support these industries as Brexit also impacts upon the number of UK visitors coming to Ireland. Other measures in support of small business which we are seeking include that Government delivers upon the

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already committed to Employee Share Ownership Scheme specifically as relates to SMEs, along with the establishment of a direct grant to SMEs engaged in innovation research. By supporting Ireland’s small businesses to grow and thrive we are supporting approximately 99 per cent of Irish businesses, employing almost 70 per cent of Ireland’s workforce. Small businesses are not as wellequipped to deal with the shocks of Brexit as their larger counterparts. We believe that Budget 2018 is the opportune time to put in place measures that will negate the shocks which SMEs may be exposed to as Brexit unfolds over the coming years.

TAX CHANGES In Budget 2018, given the limited fiscal space available and the significant investment now needed to tackle infrastructure issues, Chambers Ireland has evaluated these needs and concluded that while there are a number of issues which require attention and resolution in our tax system, major and broad-ranging changes to income tax should be approached on a multiannual basis rather than all at once, given the costs involved to the Exchequer. As such, changes to the marginal rate of income tax, which we support as a measure to improve Ireland’s competitiveness, must be addressed over the long term, rather than in the immediate. However, it is important

that Budget 2018 delivers upon improvements for the self-employed and SMEs that have waited far too long for reform in this area. Tax equity for Ireland’s contributors to growth must be delivered as soon as possible through measures such as introducing an opt-in PRSI system for the selfemployed and by further increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit in line with the PAYE tax credit among others.

SEIZING OPPORTUNITIES While we have outlined many asks in Budget 2018, it is not all bad news by any means and Chambers Ireland is broadly optimistic about Ireland’s position going forward. We have made enormous strides in our recent economic recovery, and the hardiness and resilience of Irish business was integral to this. While Brexit will undoubtedly bring obstacles for Ireland’s businesses, if we can address the challenges we face at home in Budget 2018, we will be ready to seize opportunities as they arise and continue our growth well into the future.

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27/07/2017 11:30


CHAMBER FEATURE FUTURE OF EUROPE

Path to a Better

Europe

Emma Kerins, International Affairs Executive, Chambers Ireland, examines some of the potential scenarios facing the European Union in years ahead.

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or the most part, Brexit has dominated conversations in business and politics in Ireland and the UK for the past 12 months. What will it mean for Irish trade? What will our future economic relationship look like? Will the UK leaving the EU have consequences for the broader European project? While the impact of Brexit has yet to become clear, the EU continues to face a number of threats and challenges which will continue to require the focus of leaders in the remaining member states. The issues of migration and the subsequent integration of migrants is becoming ever more important across the EU and unemployment is still a major issue, where European Commission statistics record a 10 per cent rate overall and a 20.8 per cent rate when it comes to youth unemployment. Furthermore, growth across the eurozone is still slow, although Ireland continues to be the fastest growing economy in the EU. The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which founded what we know as now the European Union, has accelerated the debate on the future of Europe. After successive years of crisis management, an international

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environment more actively hostile to European integration and the surge of anti-EU sentiment across the continent, there is significant pressure on political leaders to confront these new challenges and devise solutions. The White Paper presented by the European Commission on March 1st sets out the main challenges and opportunities for Europe in the coming decade. It presents five scenarios for how the union could evolve by 2025 depending on how it chooses to respond. These scenarios described different levels of integration and cooperation among countries, as well as different areas in which the member states would be willing to

work together. The scenarios outlined are as follows: • Scenario One - carrying on • Scenario Two - nothing but the single market • Scenario Three - those who want to do more • Scenario Four - doing less more efficiently • Scenario Five - doing much more together Following the publication of the White Paper on the Future of Europe, Chambers Ireland and our colleagues in Eurochambres gathered views from members of the European Chamber

Chambers Ireland CEO Ian Talbot speaking at the European Economic and Social Council in the Mansion House

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CHAMBER FEATURE FUTURE OF EUROPE

The EU has proved for 60 years that peace and prosperity come together with solidarity and unity among the member states. However, policymaking should evolve and adapt to the needs of citizens and businesses.�

network on the five scenarios to gauge what the preferred course of action would be. After a survey of members, no consensus was identified. However, Chambers Ireland identified the following two as being the preferred path for the EU.

PREFERRED OPTION CARRYING ON There was a degree of consistency from the respondents in the Chamber Network regarding the first path proposed by the European Commission in its White Paper carrying on. This proposal commits to making reforms across the EU-27 and ensuring incremental progress across the functioning of the eurozone, the EU’s foreign affairs agenda, budget and regulation. It also commits to strengthening the single market and pursuing progressive trade agreements. Ireland has benefited enormously from its EU membership. The Chamber Network does not believe that it would be of benefit to the EU-27 to limit the

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work of the EU at this time to just the single market and abandon all other initiatives as outlined in Option Two nothing but the single market.

SECOND PREFERRED OPTION - DOING LESS MORE EFFICIENTLY The Chamber Network identified that the next preferred option would be to think strategically about how we narrow the portfolios that the EU focuses its attention on. This option aims to ensure that portfolios are dealt with far more efficiently, meaning that the EU is empowered to become more responsive and decisive in these roles. We believe that this option is preferable to scenario two (nothing but single market), and scenario three (which includes proposals to have a two-speed EU). We believe unity in the EU is of the utmost importance, even if this means reducing the portfolios of the EU to some degree. It should be noted that following feedback from the wider European Chamber Network, it was felt that there might be room to propose a further scenario that shares some of the characteristics in a number of the scenarios outlined by the Commission. For example, that countries wishing to do more together should be enabled to do so; that certain areas like trade, energy and socio-economic challenges require complete cooperation of member

states to avoid market distortions; EU legislation must be properly implemented and enforced across the single market; institutions should focus time and energy on core issues of importance to the EU project such as strengthening the single market; the EU must continue to pursue a progressive and ambitious trade policy. Chambers Ireland is continuing to engage in the ongoing debate concerning the future of Europe. Recently, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot was invited to speak at an event hosted by the European Economic and Social Council in the Mansion House in Dublin. The messages resonating from this discussion of representatives from business, environmental and trade union organisations were that the EU needs a combination of many of the above options in order to evolve. The EU has proved for 60 years that peace and prosperity come together with solidarity and unity among the member states. However, policy-making should evolve and adapt to the needs of citizens and businesses. Reducing red tape and guaranteeing favourable conditions for trade inside and outside the union are absolutely necessary for the success of European business. The European Commission is continuing to seek views from citizens and organisations regarding the future of Europe. For more information visit ec.europa.eu/commission/ white-paper-future-europe-reflectionsand-scenarios-eu27.

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27/07/2017 11:40


CHAMBER FEATURE BREXIT

The Long Road to

BREXIT

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he UK formally began the two year process of exiting the European Union on March 29th when it “triggered” Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Following on from our update in the Q1 edition of InBUSINESS, several steps were expected to be taken: the European Council would adopt broad guidelines for the framework of the withdrawal and it would then issue these high-level guidelines to the European Commission on how the negotiations should proceed. Following this, the Commission would direct chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the Brexit Taskforce to conduct the formal negotiations with the UK. For the most part, these steps have been followed, and the day after triggering Article 50, the UK government published its White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill outlining how it proposed to deal with existing EU legislation following its exit. Subsequently, on April 29th at the meeting of the EU Council, the guidelines for Brexit negotiations were agreed. The main aspects of the guidelines include:

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• The four freedoms that form part of the single market (free movement of goods, services, capital and people) are indivisible, and the UK will not be allowed participate in the single market on a sector-by-sector basis

• Once “sufficient progress” has been made on the first phase, discussions can start on the framework of the future EU-27 and UK relationship and the shape of any future free trade agreement

• The EU-27 will negotiate on a unified basis – separate negotiations on Brexit between the UK and individual EU member states will not be allowed

• Safeguarding the rights of EU and UK citizens as an immediate

• The first phase of the negotiations will focus on giving legal certainty to citizens, businesses, stakeholders and international partners, and on how to deal with the rights and obligations that currently affect the UK

The inclusion of a commitment to avoid a return to a hard border in Ireland as part of the EU Council’s negotiating guidelines was viewed as a significant diplomatic victory for the Irish Government.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May

www.flickr.com/Jim Mattis

Emma Kerins, International Affairs Executive, Chambers Ireland, provides us with a Q2 update on all things Brexit.

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CHAMBER FEATURE BREXIT

The inclusion of a commitment to avoid a return to a hard border in Ireland as part of the EU Council’s negotiating guidelines was viewed as a significant diplomatic victory for the Irish Government, who published its own detailed position paper (Ireland and the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union). The Irish Government’s key priorities were highlighted as being: • Securing  Ireland’s future in a strong EU •E  nsuring the continued wellbeing of Irish citizens; minimising the impact of Brexit on Ireland’s trade and economy •P  rotecting the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement •M  aintaining the Common Travel Area with the UK Following the publication of the EU’s negotiating guidelines, the next step was for both parties to prepare for the opening round of talks, provisionally scheduled to take place at the end of June. However, in yet another unforeseen twist, Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election on April 18th, whick took

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In a twelve-month period that has been beset by unpredictable referendum results and elections, it continues to be uncertain what kind of exit the UK will seek from the EU” place on June 8th. The objective of this decision was to give the Conservative Party a mandate to negotiate and complete the Brexit deal over the coming five years. When Prime Minister May called the election, polls had put the Conservative Party almost 20 points ahead of the Labour Party, therefore making it look extremely likely that the Conservatives would be able to significantly increase their majority, giving the Prime Minister the approval she sought to pursue a hard Brexit. In what many observers referred to as a shock turn of events, when the election results were counted the Tory party lost their majority, with a significant increase in support being transferred to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The Conservative Party’s reliance on smaller parties, specifically the DUP, to form a majority in parliament has led to increased political instability with much uncertainty surrounding Theresa May’s leadership. Nonetheless, the first round of the Brexit exit talks continued as planned

www.flickr.com/Chatham House

priority, agreement on a single financial settlement and avoiding a return to a hard border in Ireland

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the UK Labour Party

at the end of June. In a twelve-month period that has been beset by unpredictable referendum results and elections, it continues to be uncertain what kind of exit the UK will seek from the EU, which continues to make it difficult for Irish business to plan and prepare for the UK’s departure and the new trading relationship that will follow. Chambers Ireland, in the meantime, will continue to call on Government to invest in infrastructure, take the necessary steps to improve our competitiveness and introduce supports for our SME exporters. For more on the Brexit negotiations, please follow us on Twitter @ChambersIreland or visit www.chambers.ie

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27/07/2017 11:42


CHAMBER FEATURE EMPLOYER DISABILITY

The Problem with

Disclosure

For a jobseeker or employee, disclosing a disability can be a daunting task, which is why employers need to create the right workplace to avoid any potential problems or perceived discrimination.

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ne of the most challenging aspects of managing disability in the workplace is disclosure – making a disability known or revealing a hidden disability. As employers, we always want to know the disability as soon as possible to make sure that we can support and accommodate what we need to, and comply with our responsibilities under employment and health and safety legislation. However, it can be useful for employers when thinking about disclosure to consider what disclosure means. Usually we look for the name or category of disability but what

ABOUT EDI

Employer Disability Information (EDI) is a free advice and information service for employers. We aim to be the go-to place for employers who need information or support on the recruitment, management and retention of employees with disabilities. With the backing of a consortium of employer organisations – Chambers Ireland, Ibec and ISME – and funding from the NDA, the EDI team promotes and drives inclusive employment initiatives through a dedicated helpline, email and by providing a wealth of information and guidance supports for employers on the website. www.employerdisabilityinfo.ie

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does that information really tell us? As responsible employers, we seek to encourage the disclosure of a disability straight away to avoid any potential problems or perceived discrimination, but how can we do that effectively? We should be focusing instead on the impact of the disability on the potential or current employee, how someone with a disability will do the job and what supports and accommodations we can source to bridge the gaps between the impact of the disability and the employee’s performance. Similarly, the person with a disability is often not sure how to approach their disclosure and worries about how it will be received. They might want to make their employer aware but are afraid of any negative consequences or stigma that might arise. Consider whether your employee has attempted to disclose; was there something on their CV or have they talked about working with a disability charity in a volunteer capacity? They may think that they’ve told you about their disability without being explicit. Employers can create a workplace culture where disclosure is embraced by asking all employees whether their needs are being accommodated and opening up discussions about supports available in the workplace. Thankfully, there are numerous sources of information available to help us navigate this quagmire.

See Change, the National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership, launched a six step programme in 2015 to help Irish workplaces create an open culture around mental health. Its national research survey in 2012 showed that negative attitudes towards disclosure of mental health issues in the workplace have increased: • 57 per cent believe that being open about a mental health problem at work would have a negative impact on job and career prospects, up from 48 per cent in 2010 • 47 per cent believe that being open about a mental health problem at work would have a negative effect on a person’s relationship with colleagues, up from 36 per cent in 2010. See Change’s Workplace Pledge programme provides a step by step approach for managers to provide a welcoming atmosphere in their workplace for disclosure. Other professionals in the area include the Association of Higher Education Access & Disability (AHEAD), which advises that disclosure can be facilitated and encouraged by creating an open environment with clear procedures in place that follow a trusted process. Lastly, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has a seven step framework to help organisations embed equality in their workplaces. Further information and resources can be found at www.employerdisabilityinfo.ie

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 11:43


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE WATERFORD CRYSTAL

Vikings, Castles Why not visit the home of Waterford Crystal and experience the wonders that the city and county has to offer, including King of the Vikings, a new virtual reality adventure.

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& Crystal

he picturesque town of Lismore was the inspiration for Waterford’s most famous castle. Lismore Castle is perched spectacularly on a cliff high above the River Backwater near the Knockmealdown Mountains. It has passed through many owners and endured many wars. It was once the seat of archbishops; from Sir Walter Raleigh to the Earl of Cork and it has been in the possession of the Dukes of Devonshire for centuries. The leaded windows and turrets of the castle have been recreated in cutting pattern. A classic crystal that has simple cuts and a distinct beauty are as fresh today as they were when they were first created. It is the combination of wedge cuts and open plain diamond cutting, which has become synonymous with the Lismore Collection. The Waterford Crystal factory is based in the heart of the Viking Triangle in Ireland’s Ancient East. The factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that enthrals visitors of all ages, both national and international. The guided factory tour – which takes approximately one hour – allows visitors to understand each stage of production. They witness how Waterford Crystal pieces are crafted from initial design right up to the final engraving of the piece. Every year the House of Waterford

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Crystal melts more than 750 tonnes of crystal, using traditional and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. On completion of the tour, visitors can experience over 12,000 sq ft of crystal heaven in the largest retail and brand showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world.

KING OF THE VIKINGS In 917, exactly 1,100 years ago, Reginald, ‘King of all the Foreigners of England and King of the Vikings Ireland’, led a Experience huge fleet of Viking longships into Waterford slowly and Harbour and built imperceptibly a fort on the banks draw you back of the majestic River in time and away Production of Suir, laying down the from the hustle Waterford Crystal pieces foundations of Ireland’s and bustle of the oldest city. Reginald is forever modern city. associated with Waterford; his tower Visitors are invited to don is the only monument in Ireland special masks and are taken on a named in honour of a Viking. journey back to Viking times where the ghost of King Reginald spars Now a new virtual reality adventure with the ghost of an Irish Christian experience celebrating all things monk. The innovative technology Viking has opened in Waterford. This brings the epic adventures of the centre is a world first and is located Vikings to life, allowing visitors at the very heart of the city’s Viking to experience them in a close and Triangle, where Reginald built his fort. personal way. This latest attraction Upon arrival at the new attraction, by Waterford Treasures has really you are met with a mural that forms captured people’s imagination. the atmospheric backdrop to a handcarved wood sculpture. The visitor For further details on the tours is beckoned to enter a darkened available all year round visit reception area by a hologram of King www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com or Reginald. Once inside, evocatively call 051 317000. animated information panels

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27/07/2017 11:45


CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE ZURICH

Nurturing the

Next Generation

As part of a bid to discover new and better ways of delivering an excellent service to its customers, Zurich has initiated a new apprenticeship programme for the insurance industry.

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t Zurich, our customer is at the heart of everything we do. So the ability to deliver excellent customer service and outcomes is key. In achieving this, we have invested significantly in developing our people as our greatest asset, helping us to distinguish ourselves in a competitive marketplace and become a clear choice for our customers. Our roles are challenging; you need to be able to prioritise and manage varying workloads, handle pressure and build good relationships with teams across the business. For most people, these skills don’t come naturally, but can be developed effectively through a combination of hands-on experience and professional training.

Our relentless focus on finding new and better ways of delivering for our customers has shaped the culture of Zurich in Ireland, and was ultimately the driving force behind our decision to initiate an apprenticeship programme for the insurance industry.”

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INTRODUCING THE WORTHY APPRENTICE Our relentless focus on finding new and better ways of delivering for our customers has shaped the culture of Zurich in Ireland, and was ultimately the driving force behind our decision to initiate an apprenticeship programme for the insurance industry. This would support the next generation of our nationwide team in developing the necessary skills we need and helping to raise the bar for the insurance industry as a whole in Ireland. Just last year, we along with the Insurance Institute launched the Apprenticeship in Insurance Practice. The programme was designed to offer jobseekers and those looking for an alternative to college the opportunity to secure a three-year training and development opportunity and, in Zurich’s case, placement at our Centre of Excellence in Drinagh, Co Wexford. Fully accredited by the Insurance Institute and Sligo IT, the programme focuses on developing learners’ core skills through challenging on-the-job experience and an extensive range of world-class training supports. Apprentices have had the benefit of being able to earn while they learn and work towards achieving their professional diploma in General Insurance, with the opportunity to go on to secure a Level 8 BA Honours Degree in Insurance Practice.

ABOUT ZURICH

Zurich is one of Ireland’s leading insurance companies providing a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services. The company employs over 1,000 people across its locations in Dublin and Wexford. Zurich in Ireland is part of Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich), a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 54,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872.

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CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE ZURICH

Apprentices Stephen Redmond and Mark Kinsella with programme coordinator Elaine Hayes at Zurich’s Centre of Excellence in Wexford

In addition to professional training during their placement, our apprentices experience first hand the extensive skills required to work within Zurich’s various business areas by completing rotations in underwriting, claims handling and direct client advice, before specialising in one area for their final year. Our apprentices work full-time in a role in Wexford with one day a week on average set aside for formal learning, through a flexible distance learning module.

BRIGHT FUTURES Our ambition with the programme has been to support and reward creativity, innovation and determination. That’s why we’ve focussed heavily on bringing on board passionate people with a strong willingness for ongoing

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learning and self-improvement. This approach has proved hugely successful and since joining our business, these apprentices have worked alongside some of the top professionals in the insurance industry, and have really impressed us with their ability to learn new skills and their enthusiasm for finding exciting solutions which align directly with our focus on excellent customer service and outcomes.

A GAME CHANGER Overall the programme has proved to be a game changer for our business, the industry and for higher education in Ireland. It’s always a challenge finding quality talent that’s ready to hit the ground running in a professional environment. Our Apprenticeship in Insurance Practice

It also reinforces Zurich’s commitment to developing initiatives in the communities in which we are located, on this occasion, by offering exciting career opportunities within a dynamic work environment.”

bridges that gap through practical experience and supportive learning structures, allowing us to strategically nurture our people in a very positive way from an early career point. It also reinforces Zurich’s commitment to developing initiatives in the communities in which we are located, on this occasion, by offering exciting career opportunities within a dynamic work environment.

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CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE EMBASSY OF BRAZIL

Uncovering the

SATELLITES Due to be launched in 2018, the Amazonia-1 satellite will place Brazil among the world’s leading nations in the development of mediumsized satellites.

B

SPACE FOR COLLABORATION

Ireland and Brazil have already jointly conducted studies based on space technology through cooperation between University College Cork and the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). Brazil maintains an interest in new collaborations with Irish institutions.

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INPE

razil is building the first of a series of medium-sized satellites under the Mission Amazon project developed by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), a research unit of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications. Scheduled to be released next year, the Amazonia-1 will place Brazil among the world’s leading nations in the development of medium-sized satellites. It will have the ability to produce images from any part of the planet in up to five days, the period required for it to make a full journey around the Earth.

The equipment is the first of three satellites that will integrate the Mission Amazon project, which also comprises the construction of the Multi-Mission Platform (PMM), a base structure for the production of national content satellites and cameras capable of remote sensing of the Earth’s surface. Governments, scientists and companies are increasingly using remote sensing technology, for which Brazil is one

Governments, scientists and companies are increasingly using remote sensing technology, for which Brazil is one of the pioneers in the world.”

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CHAMBER PARTNER PROFILE EMBASSY OF BRAZIL

of the pioneers in the world. For over four decades, INPE has been receiving, processing and distributing images that have allowed the development of studies and activities of international recognition. “Brazil does not have a platform of this level of complexity and with these characteristics. Even though we have built satellites before, we haven’t yet done the designing, integration of the payload, testing, and operation of a three-axis stabilised satellite. By the end of this process, we will be on the direction for the autonomy for the country,” said the coordinator of the INPE’s PPM-Based Satellite Programme, Adenilson Silva. The data generated by the Amazonia-1’s cameras will be downloaded by INPE’s Imagery Generation Division (DGI). It will then be used to help control deforestation and burning in the Amazon and to monitor water resources, agricultural areas, urban growth and land occupation throughout the country. It will also serve other similar applications, such as monitoring the Brazilian coast, water reservoir levels, natural and cultivated forest areas and environmental disasters. The information obtained will be made available to the scientific community and government agencies, as well as to general users interested in gaining a better understanding of the terrestrial environment.

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BRAZILIAN TECHNOLOGY In the 1960s, INPE began its activities with a focus on space sciences and nowadays it has research groups recognised worldwide in areas such as geophysics, astrophysics, aeronomy and physics of materials. INPE has already built other satellites, but this is the first time that it executes the complete cycle with national technology. Especially in Brazil, a country of continental proportions, satellites are useful in surveying natural resources and monitoring the environment for economic and social development. A fully national satellite encourages the qualification and growth of the country’s space industry. The PMM’s main component systems are divided into mechanical structure, power supply, attitude control and data handling, on-board management, thermal control, telemetry, remote control and tracking, and propulsion. All these systems are being produced by Brazilian companies, under INPE’s supervision. Approximately 60 per cent of the 73 million invested in the programme were used for the acquisition of such components and systems. Developing an ‘in-house’ satellite requires major milestones. The first of them is building the engineering model, which aims to validate and prove that the equipment has the required functionality to meet the

demand for which it was designed. The second phase is the rating of the equipment to ensure that it can withstand the extreme conditions of outer space – temperatures range from 80°C in illuminated areas to -80°C in dark sections. Finally then, it becomes possible to build the flight model, which will actually be launched into the cosmos. The entire cycle, once finished, can be iterated for the subsequent satellites of Mission Amazon (Amazonia-1B and Amazonia-2), with the bonus of significant savings in construction costs for the models to come. Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications INPE – National Institute for Space Research www.inpe.br/ingles

BENEFITS OF SATELLITE IMAGERY

INPE satellite images are offered free of charge over the internet and benefit the Brazilian government’s territory management system, research in universities, and the private sector, generating employment and income through space technology.

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PRODUCTION MATTERS P.82 Bank of Ireland

+

P.85 Milestone Solutions

+

P.87 Advanced Pneumatic Technology

+

P.88 iQuTech

+

P.89 Inspire 3D

+

P.90 Robotics & Drives

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P.91 DPTC

+ P.92 PMTC

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P.93 Abbey Seals

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P.94 UTI IMS

MADE IN

IRELAND The manufacturing sector plays an integral role in Ireland’s economy, is a key driver of innovation, and a crucial player in the country’s return to export-led growth.

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anufacturing plays a vital role within any economy, driving innovation and technological advancements. The sector provides direct employment across a broad range of skill levels, and additionally generates many indirect jobs. Figures from IDA Ireland suggest that today the sector in Ireland accounts for 23 per cent of total GDP, directly employing over 220,000 people, or 13 per cent of the total workforce. While the figures are promising, forces of technological advancement and globalisation – though presenting definite opportunities for the sector – represent significant challenges that

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need to be met. In response, Irish manufacturers are continually evolving to meet the needs of the environment in which they operate, striving to develop their capabilities and move up the value chain in order to take on higher-value, knowledge and capital-intensive activities. In general, Ireland has shaped itself as an attractive location for manufacturers to set up shop, with a highly skilled workforce and a reputation as a centre of manufacturing excellence, logistics planning and advanced manufacturing management practices. In the following pages, InBUSINESS speaks to a number of organisations operating within the sector to see how they are overcoming obstacles, capitalising on opportunities, and helping to develop an environment that allows the industry reach its full potential.

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PRODUCTION MATTERS BANK OF IRELAND

Manufacturing a Secure Future InBUSINESS speaks with Brian Evans, Head of Manufacturing Sector at Bank of Ireland, about the positive growth manufacturing has seen in recent years and the opportunities and challenges that stand before the sector.

“I

help manufacturing companies to tell their story to the bank, and I help the bank to understand the manufacturer’s story,” says Brian Evans, as he sums up his role as Head of Manufacturing Sector at Bank of Ireland. “I am part of a larger team of sector specialists in Bank of Ireland recruited from industry, to bring real hands-on expertise to business banking at Bank of Ireland. As Head of Manufacturing, I am responsible for monitoring industry developments, providing commercial insights and identifying potential opportunities and threats for both the bank and our customers.” Evans brings 30 years of experience in manufacturing and product development across Ireland, the USA and China, having served with companies including HewlettPackard, NEC and PCH International. He has a mix of multinational and SME experience, having acted as consultant to SME businesses in Ireland, advising on manufacturing operations, product development and project management. Evans has hands-on knowledge of the challenges and opportunities for manufacturing companies, and his role within Bank of Ireland is to support clients in achieving their potential in Ireland and abroad. He has extensive experience of manufacturing, from prototype development to product pricing, production/engineering management and supply chain development. Evans has lectured on Operations

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Manufacturers are coping well with the challenges that the sector faces, and they are positive about the future opportunities for their businesses.

Brian Evans, Head of Manufacturing Sector, Bank of Ireland

Management, Supply Chain Design and Project Management at masters and undergraduate level in DCU, Dublin Business School and DCU Ryan Academy. Bank of Ireland supports a wide range of manufacturing companies, from small to very large companies, making artisan and high volume products, as well as traditional and modern high technology products. Evans himself works predominantly with the SME sector, supporting companies in sectors such as medtech, plastics moulding, mechanical and electrical engineering, agri-machinery, food and beverage, construction materials and printing/packaging. “The remit of the manufacturing sector is very broad, so I am lucky that my role involves visits to very varied companies, where I see innovation in

action on a weekly basis and I listen to entrepreneurs describe their interesting businesses and their plans for new products and services,” he says. Evans is serving his role at what could be described as an interesting time for the manufacturing sector. The last 12 months have seen some dramatic change on the horizon for the sector, namely Brexit. For this reason, it is imperative that businesses understand and are aware of any developments and impact that the sector might face – a task which Evans believes manufacturing companies are responding favourably to. “Manufacturers are coping well with the challenges that the sector faces, and they are positive about the future opportunities for their businesses,” he says. “The key manufacturing business indicators show four consecutive years of growth in output, revenue and employment, all the while managing input price volatility of commodities and exchange rate movements, which have been particularly acute since the UK’s decision to leave the EU.” While manufacturers may be performing well, the challenges ahead should not be underestimated. In addition to managing exchange InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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PRODUCTION MATTERS BANK OF IRELAND

rates and commodity price volatility, manufacturers also need to understand the true implications of Brexit and the development of new markets in Europe for Irish companies exporting to the UK. Other challenges that manufacturing businesses will need to address include investments in efficiency and operational excellence, availability and cost of industrial rental space, increasing costs of transport, environmental and waste management, recruitment and retention of technical staff. Despite the obstacles, however, Evans still identifies opportunity. “I would expect continued positive growth in the manufacturing sector, with opportunities in product and process innovation, acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, new market development, and development of stronger manufacturing clusters,” he suggests. “There are many opportunities for our indigenous manufacturers to supply into the multinational company (MNC) sector, with 145 large MNCs investing more than a6.5 billion in Ireland in the near future.”

LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS Currently in Ireland, companies are investing at an accelerated rate in purchasing, constructing and upgrading factory premises, which, Evans believes, can be interpreted as increased confidence and longer term thinking, as the country moves from economic recovery into sustainable growth. With the UK deciding to withdraw from the European Union, Irish manufacturing firms are developing opportunities to acquire both suppliers and manufacturing bases in the UK. Construction industry-related businesses, including mechanical engineering firms and pre-cast concrete production firms, continue to ramp up production aligned with government growth enablers and residential property demands in Ireland and the UK. In the face of the Brexit challenge, Irish food manufacturing companies are investing in new equipment, process efficiency improvements and new InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Bank of Ireland can support our customers with tools and knowledge to understand the impact of Brexit on their business performance.

product development. However, with Brexit negotiations only recently underway, and a general sense of unpredictability surrounding the potential outcome, the manufacturing industry can only yet prepare for the future based on a number of assumptions. The possibility of a ‘Hard Brexit’ is still on the cards, and it’s one that manufacturers need to consider. “In the absence of any agreement, the default is to move to World Trade Organisation (WTO) standards, which means that goods moving between Ireland (EU) and the UK (non-EU) would be subject to tariffs at the normal EU rates, and non-tariff barriers such as customs administration charges would apply,” explains Evans. “Bank of Ireland can support our customers with tools and knowledge to understand the impact of Brexit on their business performance. In the short-term, currency valuations are liable to change throughout the negotiation phase, and we can support our customers to reduce the impact of currency fluctuations.” The UK is the largest trading

partner for indigenous Irish manufacturers, with 43 per cent of Ireland’s indigenous exports (a21bn), including food (a4.4bn), going to the UK annually, demonstrating the scale of Irish manufacturing firms’ exposure to Brexit. Likewise for British businesses, Ireland is the fifth largest export market, and therefore Brexit presents a clear risk to supply and cost of materials to Irish businesses. According to Evans, most companies reported that exchange rate changes in Q3 and Q4 of 2016 put pressure on their margins, and that this has been their main impact to date. The end of 2016 saw the closure of a few low margin businesses, such as mushroom producers; however the large UK retail multiples had previously indicated a preference for UK produced vegetables, meaning UK-based producers had been scaling up prior to the impact of exchange rate changes. “We have been supporting some of our customers in the acquisition of production facilities in the UK, while other companies that export to the UK are now sourcing high cost materials through the UK to create a natural hedge against currency movement,” says Evans. “In relation to Brexit, we expect companies exporting to the UK to develop a new business plan and implement actions over the coming 18 months to quantify and reduce the risks to the company, while also identifying new business opportunities.”

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Milestone Solutions are a Dynamic and Innovative Value Added Supplier to Manufacturing Companies with a high level of technological expertise. The core aim is to deliver business benefits for clients.

Our core focus is:       

Driving real value Reducing Operations Costs Risk mitigation and Avoidance Driving Efficiency Agile & Lean Methodology Innovative thinking End User Focused

Core Competencies              

Automation & Control BMS Systems MES Systems Computer System Validation System Migration Management Data Integrity & Security Management Risk Management Strategies Serialisation and Packaging Process Optimization Alarm Management ERP Integration Project Management Business Intelligence

Our Team and technical solutions work in tandem and support our Clients in many ways. 

 

Technical Support & Management Consultancy Client Team Augmentation Service Level Agreements

T: +353 21 4610061 M: +353 87 344 3581 E: mlynch@mile.ie W: www.mile.ie

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PRODUCTION MATTERS MILESTONE SOLUTIONS

Going the Extra Mile Milestone Solutions provides its clients with innovative and practicable solutions to drive real business benefits.

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ilestone Solutions is a dynamic, highly experienced automation and manufacturing information systems consultancy, focused on providing an experienced and professional service to the life sciences, FMCG, discrete manufacturing, and chemical processing industries. Formed in 2008, the firm brings a unique perspective to each project implementation, with extensive experience covering lean analysis, process optimisation, system integration, equipment automation, MES solutions, manufacturing intelligence and project management.

“Within our team, we have a broad selection of talent and experience,” says Paddy Byrne, Technical Consultant at Milestone Solutions. “We have worked as end users, engineering consultants and system integrators – we have worked on problems and solutions from all sides of any given challenge. This enables us to work effectively, efficiently and implement solutions in the shortest time possible.” Milestone Solutions typically deals with large multinational companies that operate in Ireland and counts the likes of Alexion and PepsiCo among its clients. A smaller number of customers are based in the UK, but with the ever present spectre of Brexit hanging over any potential dealings with the UK, the company is paying close attention to developments further afield.

Our offering will provide a process-oriented approach to documenting and reviewing the structure, responsibilities, and procedures required to achieve effective quality management within an organisation. “While Brexit is dominating business headlines across Europe and the world, we’re pivoting west to focus on the US market,” says Byrne. “We’re focused on developing our footprint in the US. Having successfully completed a number of projects stateside, we know the US market presents a real opportunity for growth. Plans are underway to open an office on the east coast, so watch this space. In terms of Brexit, it’s tricky to predict the likely impact until the negotiations with the EU become more substantive.” While Milestone Solutions is

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keeping an eye on the situation abroad, it is also seeking to further develop at home, particularly looking to expand into the SME sector. The business wants to broaden its customer base, and the SME sector will serve as a particular focus for the rest of 2017 and into 2018. Milestone Solutions is also this year launching a new web-based platform to help companies comply with ISO 9001 standards. The solution will aid the creation and ongoing management of quality manuals, standard procedures, documentation management and control practices, resource and asset management, customer interactions and satisfaction, internal audits, corrective and preventive actions, as well as general business metric measurement and analysis. “Our offering will provide a processoriented approach to documenting and reviewing the structure, responsibilities, and procedures required to achieve effective quality management within an organisation,” says Byrne. Like most industries in Ireland, manufacturing took a significant hit during the downturn. Moreover, the industry itself can oftentimes prove a difficult environment to work within, given the constant need to reduce costs amid the increased pressures forcing higher costs within the sector. This combination of factors is certainly a challenge for Milestone Solutions, but given the experience of the team there and the positive indications of the last number of years, there is cause for optimism which will ensure Milestone continues to stand out from the crowd in the future. “We have noted a decided upturn in activity in recent years,” says Byrne. “Requests and enquiries for our services are definitely on the up.”

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PRODUCTION MATTERS ADVANCED PNEUMATIC TECHNOLOGY

In the Business of Productivity Advanced Pneumatic Technology Ltd designs, manufactures and installs pneumatic tube systems and, for almost 30 years, has made a significant contribution to productivity in business.

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dvanced Pneumatic Technology Ltd (APT) is a family business established in 1990. It designs, manufactures and installs pneumatic tube systems for the movement of product at high speed between two points. The firm’s systems are utilised by a wide range of industries – ones which can broadly be grouped into four main categories; industry, healthcare, hospitals and retail. The company supplies two pneumatic tube products – Aerocom, which is imported from Germany, and the Safe-linK retail cash system, which is manufactured in Ireland. The Safe-linK electronics are manufactured by ECL in Ireland and delivered to APT’s factory in Balbriggan, where they are assembled. All plastic products, including APT’s patented parts, are manufactured and assembled in-house. John Hughes, Managing Director at APT, believes that, from an Irish perspective, the manufacturing sector is in a positive position to expand, though it does face some challenges. “To my knowledge, manufacturing is always steady in Ireland and is a sector that is continuing to grow,” he asserts. “[However] Government policy and excessive taxation on employment is a major factor. Insurance costs and the high level of awards in courts are making business owners cautious at

expanding their business.” After almost 30 years in the pneumatic tube business, APT has established itself as the number one company in Ireland and the go-to business for design and development of pneumatic tube systems. It has also been strongly established in the UK for 17 years, and is a recognised force in the market. In Ireland, over 40 hospitals use the company’s Aerocom system to transfer samples and specimens from wards and clinics to laboratories, and pharmacies receive scripts and distribute medicine through the system. University Hospital Limerick has the busiest system, with over 12,000 movements every week, saving thousands of walking hours. APT’s Safe-linK system was launched on the Late Late Show by Gay Byrne in 1996, and the firm has manufactured and installed over 4,000 systems since then. The big users of the system are supermarkets, convenience stores and forecourts, but equally Safe-linK might be found in a variety places like pubs, hotels or jewellers. Cash moves in the Safe-linK pod from the cash point directly into a locked safe in a secure area. “Industry is the widest group where there is the most untapped potential for these systems,” suggests Hughes. “Paperwork, spare parts, keys, milk powder, diamonds, oil, and food and drink are some of the many items that can be transported, delivering incredible time savings when compared to staff walking. In food and drink manufacturing, having a tube system connecting production and laboratories reduces staff journeys in and out of clean room zones. “I expect that hospital and retail will always continue at a steady

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To my knowledge, manufacturing is always steady in Ireland and is a sector that is continuing to grow,” he asserts. “[However] Government policy and excessive taxation on employment is a major factor. Insurance costs and the high level of awards in courts are making business owners cautious at expanding their business.” pace, so we are turning our focus more to industry, manufacturing and warehousing,” Hughes continues. “We are using social media and video to place our products in front of potential customers, showing them that we can provide a solid measure of return on investment to prove the contribution of the pneumatic tube.”

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PRODUCTION MATTERS IQUTECH

Hi-Tech Services iQuTech provides supplier quality services such as on-site verification or failure analysis of products that have been rejected by your customer in Europe. InBUSINESS meets John Kennedy, Director, iQuTech to find out more. Q: How has business been

Q: How do you view the

thus far in 2017?

current state of the manufacturing sector in Ireland?

A: Excitingly, the Irish market has greatly improved for us in the last 12 months – so much so, that we currently have 20 people working for us in our Limerick facility. We have also had the opportunity to purchase our own bespoke, modern premises. Aside from the cost efficiency which we will achieve, we will also be able to offer a greater service to our clients. Importantly for us, we have also won contracts away from our traditional core customer base in the computer industry. One thing that the last downturn taught us is the need for diversification. We think we have that now, both in our markets and customer base.

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A: Positive. Industrial production in Ireland rose 5.5 per cent in May 2017 compared to May 2016. I think the IDA has done a tremendous job in recent years in attracting investment and selling Ireland’s highly skilled workforce. The R&D tax credit and the recently introduced Knowledge Development Box will hopefully continue to entice industries to not only manufacture here, but also to develop intellectual property in Ireland. However, there are obviously a lot of factors outside of our control,

and unknowns such as Brexit. A lot of people will keep a keen eye on President Trump’s proposed manufacturing export relief, aimed to bring American businesses exporting abroad back to the US. The two main things we can do at home is add value and keep our costs competitive.

Q: Do you expect Brexit to impact your company?

A: We have ongoing ad hoc work in the UK. Typically, we would assemble a team from Ireland to go to a location in the UK on short notice and carry out work. We will have to be mindful of the immigration laws and the effect it will have on the movement of our workers. If this becomes a major issue we would perhaps look at partnering with a local provider. With the sterling weakening against the euro, we also have to be mindful that we might be overpriced compared to some of our UK competitors. However, from our point of view, we feel that this would have a minimal effect on us, as we can offer our customers Europe-wide solutions for their problems. It’s this bespoke and adaptable approach that has won us a lot of business in the past

and will continue to win us business in the future.

The R&D tax credit and the recently introduced Knowledge Development Box will hopefully continue to entice industries to not only manufacture here, but also to develop intellectual property in Ireland. Q: What are iQuTech’s key objectives for the remainder of 2017? A: From a strategic level, we have three key objectives for 2017. The first is to exceed the high level of service we offer our existing customers. The second is to increase our geographical footprint, we feel that this will not only win us new customers, but will also enhance the service we offer our existing ones. The third is to seek additional opportunities away from our core market. On an operational level, we will be focusing on making our move in facilities as seamless as possible. If you would like more information about the services that iQuTech offers, please contact Mark at mark.osullivan@iqutech.com or +353 (0)86 3850363. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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PRODUCTION MATTERS INSPIRE 3D

A New Dimension to Manufacturing Inspire 3D is dedicated to providing a fully serviced 3D print bureau and 3D technologies such as 3D printers, 3D scanners and software. Manager Mark Rowan, fills us in.

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o longer is design limited to the capabilities of what a person or equipment can do. Rather, its boundaries are increasingly based upon the limits of what one’s mind can conjure. This is an idea that Inspire 3D takes very seriously. First established in 2011, today the company serves as a provider of 3D technologies such as 3D printers, 3D scanners and associated software. 3D printing, unlike conventional manufacturing, is an additive process, as opposed to a subtractive one. That is, in 3D printing, material is added to a part, whereas in conventional manufacturing material is cut from a part. It is an extremely fast-moving field, as Mark Rowan,

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Manager at Inspire 3D, points out. “The technology in 3D printing – or additive manufacturing, as it’s becoming more known – is constantly moving,” he says. “Following advancements with the technology used for 3D printing, there has recently been game-changing advancements made in materials and postprocessing, particularly for dental and medical applications.” The possibilities of 3D printing are far-reaching and, as such, Inspire 3D serves all types of clients and industries. “We supply a wide range of clients from the ‘maker’ – someone who uses it more as a hobby – through to prosumers (people that purchase electronic goods of a standard between those aimed at consumers and those aimed at professionals), to product designers, research and development departments, educational institutes, right up to large scale manufacturers,” explains Rowan. “Really anybody can be a client.” Rowan believes that knowledge of

the technology is quite varied across the market. He suggests that, on the one hand, there are clients that know for sure what they want from Inspire 3D – they have a very definite idea of what they need and can expect, and can quickly set about engaging with Inspire 3D in order to acquire the best range of equipment and materials currently available. On the other hand, there are clients that are only exploring the possibilities of 3D printing for the first time, and frankly appear to be in shock at what the technology is already capable of. “A lot of people don’t realise how close they could be to an object that, at one stage, was 3D printed,” says Rowan. “Take the mouse on your desk. At some stage during the design phase of it, all the parts would have been 3D printed for form fit and functionality testing, along with seeing how it ergonomically feels.” While the technology remains alien to certain segments of the market, awareness is certainly growing, much to the betterment of Rowan and his company. “Business so far in 2017 has been fantastic,” he beams. “Following two very successful expos – The Manufacturing & Supply Chain Show in January and the Research & Innovation Show in February – we have recorded record growth in both equipment sales and service bureau enquiries.” The company is constantly finding new applications for its products, and with recently released products and more planned to come later this year, the future looks bright. “We will have several new products coming online in late 2017, one of which we are very excited to bring to Ireland,” says Rowan. “The outlook for end 2017 and into 2018 is very exciting for us.”

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PRODUCTION MATTERS ROBOTICS & DRIVE

Rise of Robotics InBUSINESS gets the run down from Maebh Coleman, Research and Innovation Manager at Robotic & Drives, a market-leading robotics and automation company based in Mullingar. Q: Could you give us some background on Robotic & Drives? A: Robotic & Drives

started out in 2005 delivering bespoke robotic solutions to our clients. We understand the efficiency gains our clients need, so we tap into our vast supplier base, industry knowledge and technical expertise to create innovative solutions that meet and exceed their expectations. After installation, we service the robots to make sure they are doing what they should.

Q: Who is your typical client?

A: What we do can be applied to all sectors and all firm sizes – from small food producers that want to scale, to the largest pharmaceutical, medical device and manufacturing companies in the world. We will always listen to the problem at hand, giving our expert opinion on potential solutions.

Q: How do you view the Irish manufacturing sector today? A: We see Irish

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manufacturing as undergoing a huge technological change in the current climate, having successfully weathered a very long recession and in coming out of that with a focus on retaining jobs in Ireland using efficiencies gained from robotic technology.

Q What would you say is your trump card?

A: Our company culture of innovation. We have a passion for technical challenges, we are open to all new customers, regardless of size or sector, and we genuinely love what we do. Because of our company culture, we have been able to develop unprecedented knowledge of what industrial robots can do.

Q: Some of your work includes projects for the UK, do you expect Brexit to impact your company? A: There will of course be

an impact, but we don’t expect it to be completely negative. The currency is a concern, and the terms of the trade deal are also uncertain at the moment. However, we

need top global talent and we expect that there will be people with key skills who may wish to return to Ireland, so that is an invaluable gain. We have many valuable customers in the UK, and we intend to continue our close and successful relationships for many years to come, so we don’t consider Brexit as a sudden stoppage of trade in the UK – rather a changed experience for us and for our clients that needs to be discussed and considered.

Q: What are Robotic & Drives’ key objectives for the remainder of 2017? A: We are very busy

fulfilling our orders right now, and keeping our existing customers happy in terms of servicing their RDS robotic installations. Business is booming

and our new focus on commercial research and cutting-edge trends has led to several new customers coming on board. We will be actively recruiting for the best robotic talent as part of our growth strategy and will be creating more and more jobs in the coming months.

Q: Any news or expansion plans you can share with us?

A: We have just signed an international contract which will see our innovative robotics installations in the US and Japan. There is certainly a lot of international exposure on the horizon for us, and we will be participating in the upcoming PMPA trade show in Birmingham, UK.

For more information visit www.roboticsanddrives.ie. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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PRODUCTION MATTERS DPTC

FUELLING GROWTH IN DAIRY The Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) is an industry–academic collaborative research centre, which aims to drive long-term growth opportunities within the dairy sector.

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he Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) was established as a centre of excellence for dairy processing research and innovation. It is hosted by the University of Limerick and is funded by Enterprise Ireland and the Dairy Industry Partners – made up of nine research performing partners and eight dairy industry partners. The centre helps to fuel growth in the Irish dairy sector by performing research which focuses on costefficient processing, facilitating a step-change in environmental sustainability, and creating, validating and commercialising a pipeline of science and technology-

based manufacturing platforms for dairy ingredients. The foundation of the DPTC is a strong, long-term industry–academic collaborative partnership, which hopes to build and translate knowledge and capabilities in dairy processing into the long-term growth and development of the sector. “The research agenda is industryled,” explains Padraig McPhillips, CEO, DPTC. “We constantly work with industry to make sure that what we’re doing is in the right area – because things change over the years – and that the project output is in line with the industry’s needs.” One of the major changes

to which McPhillips refers is, of course, Brexit. However, he does not necessarily view Britain’s exit from the EU as a disadvantage for DTPC. Rather, he is of the opposite opinion – that it will ensure DPTC’s research is as important as ever within the Irish dairy sector. “Brexit won’t impact DPTC in a negative way,” he says. “How we should prepare for Brexit is to diversify our marketplace, and that means, to some extent, diversifying our products, so that should make our research agenda even more important. I think Brexit will focus our minds on what’s really important and that will guide our research.”

The foundation of the DPTC is a strong, long-term industry academic collaborative partnership that will develop, build and translate the knowledge and capabilities in dairy processing that are needed today and for the long term growth development of the sector Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) 

World class dairy processing research

Based on dedicated public-private partnership

A critical agent in realising the long-term growth

and capability centre

and an industry-academic collaborative

opportunities for the dairy sector presented by the abolition of the milk quotas 2015

For more details contact:

Padraig McPhillips, CEO, DPTC T: +353 61 202711 E: padraig.mcphillips@ul.ie • W: www.dptc.ie DEVELOP, BUILD AND TRANSLATE 243257_2L_DPTC_Chambers 10.02_V2.indd 1

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PRODUCTION MATTERS PMTC

Cutting-edge Innovation PMTC is on a mission to bring forward novel technologies to advance Irish-based biopharmaceutical companies, with a major focus on plant cleaning and changeover.

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harmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC) has been awarded a1.3 million in funding by Enterprise Ireland for economically important innovation partnership projects involving multiple industry partners. The funding for the University of Limerick-based centre will be primarily focused on research in improving cleaning processes in the biopharmaceutical industry and contributing to network competitiveness in areas such as product-to-product changeover. The research effort will lead to increased efficiencies, cost savings and will ensure improved effectiveness in the biopharmaceutical industry, helping to secure jobs.

PMTC is part of the Enterprise Ireland IDA Technology Centre programme and works with industry partners to provide advanced technology solutions for the biopharmaceutical sector in Ireland. PMTC’s vision is to make Ireland the global hub of pharmaceutical process innovation and advanced manufacturing through applied research into advanced technology solutions. It currently assists more than 30 companies on pharmaceutical manufacturing projects, including continuous manufacturing, plant cleaning and process engineering. “Our primary focus in PMTC is to advance cutting-edge innovation – bringing forward novel technologies to

advance Irish-based biopharmaceutical companies,” says Dr Chris Edlin, Centre Director of PMTC. “These additional funds from Enterprise Ireland will help strengthen our capabilities and expand our services to more partners. Furthermore, this investment will deliver highly skilled postgraduate jobs, driving enterprise and employment growth in the region.” In support of its mission to encourage entrants into the biopharmaceutical sector in Ireland, PMTC is running its third annual Knowledge Day on Thursday August 31st at the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick. On the day, there will be talks, exhibitions and Q&As, all focusing on cleaning in the pharmaceutical industry.

For more information visit www.pmtc.ie.

You are invited to join us for our

3rd ANNUAL KNOWLEDGE DAY Thursday 31st August, 2017

With a focus on cleaning and PAT in the pharmaceutical industry

KEMMY BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK, IRELAND An address by Séan Kelly MEP, Leader Fine Gael Delegation in the European Parliament emphasising the importance of the Biopharma sector in Europe.

Lightning talk sessions detailing PMTC core funded projects, partner companies and funded collaborative opportunities .

Highly regarded thought leaders from Novartis, Hyde Engineering, Ecolabs and University of Cambridge will share their insights into plant changeover cleaning and PAT.

Vendor Exhibition, Q&A, poster and networking sessions.

Keynote addresses from Enterprise Ireland describing funding and commercialisation topics and Dr Jay Chopra from Making Shift Happen will discuss how to inspire creativity and innovation in your organisation.

Register today for this event at www.eventbrite.ie (search for ''Knowledge Days'') Special corporate overnight accommodation rates are available in the Castletroy Park Hotel (http://www.castletroypark.ie)

For further information contact fiona.gilchrist@ul.ie or T: +353 86 0414384 243241_2L_Pharmaceutical Manufacturing_Chambers 10.02_V4.indd 1

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27/07/2017 12:28


PRODUCTION MATTERS ABBEY SEALS

Sealing

the Deal Jason Flanagan, Sales Director at Abbey Seals, talks to InBUSINESS about the work his company does and how he views the manufacturing industry in Ireland today. Q: Could you provide some background on Abbey Seals?

A: Abbey Seals International Ltd is an Irish-owned, second generation family-run business founded in 1983. We distribute and manufacture seals and gaskets to a wide range of industries both in Ireland and around the globe. Our offices are in Dublin and Cork, with a trade counter open to the public in both locations. Our manufacturing hub is based in Cork; we make bespoke pieces, standard profiles and bulk orders. We are the only company in Ireland that offers this service with a same-day turnaround. We stock approximately 40,000 products in our warehouse and are the largest distributor in the country, exclusively stocking the major brands.

Q: What kind of industries do you supply your products to?

A: A sample of the industries we supply to are pharmaceutical, food and beverage, automotive manufacturing, agriculture and water treatment plants. Our typical client varies InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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greatly, given that we sell to both B2C and B2B. Having trade counters open to the public means our products are accessible to anyone who has a need for them; whether that’s machine shops, someone fixing up their motorbike, a coffee shop needing a silicone o-ring, airplane enthusiasts, self-employed plumbers or college students working on prototypes. We also have a large number of SMEs, OEMs, multinationals and blue chip companies that we are proud to call Abbey Seals customers.

Q: How do you view

of production and the potential it offers our customers and ultimately our bottom line.

Q: Do you expect Brexit to impact your company?

A: There is no question that Brexit will have an impact, however we have been working hard to mitigate the effect this may have. We have made a concerted effort over the previous 18 months to source EU suppliers for our products, and while a portion of our exports go to the UK, the bulk of our exports would be to EMEA and Asia. However, it remains to be seen how our business in Northern Ireland is affected by Brexit and this is an area we are paying close attention to.

Q: What are Abbey Seals’ key objectives for the remainder of 2017?

A: We had three main objectives for 2017. The first was to expand our manufacturing capabilities, which we will achieve in August when we take delivery of a second knife cutting table. This new machine will more than double our production output. The second objective was to gain international exposure and expand our international client base. To support this goal, we exhibited at Hannover Messe, the world’s leading industrial show, for the first time. This proved to be a successful five days, meeting potential clients and showing them all that Abbey Seals can offer. Our third objective features every year and that is to simply grow the business and increase sales.

the current state of the Irish manufacturing sector?

A: I think the current state is positive. From our perspective, the percentage of our turnover that comes from the manufacturing element of our business is increasing every year. Given that our manufacturing function is still in its infancy, it’s proving to be an exciting aspect of the business, both in our capabilities

Jason Flanagan, Sales Director, Abbey Seals

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PRODUCTION MATTERS UTI INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

21st Century Solutions UTi Inventory Management Solutions (IMS) is an industry leader in inventory management solutions for businesses across a wide range of industries.

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Ti Inventory Management Solutions (IMS) provides inventory management solutions for a broad range of industries – from medical and pharmaceuticals, to food, energy and more. Its solutions have been implemented in multiple advanced companies all over the world, and it now employs over 100 people. In 2007, IMS was acquired by UTi, which, in turn, was acquired in 2016 by DSV A/S, a Danish transport and logistics company – meaning that IMS is now part of the fifth largest transport and logistics company in the world, with more than 40,000 employees and offices in more than 80 countries. Industrial and manufacturing

companies invest considerable resources to streamline and optimise their supply chain and inventory management. This is an issue for any enterprise, particularly for large production facilities involved in high technology or low technology. Executives in these companies are well aware that inventory management has a direct bearing on the company’s bottom line. “Many companies lose significant amounts of money because their inventory management methods are outdated or not sophisticated enough,” says Samson Samson, CEO of IMS EMEA. “It is not only about money though. Sound inventory management leads to significant improvement in

the control of material and finished goods inventories, less depreciation, more orders and better timing of order production, improved raw material quality and fewer issues on the production line.” UTi IMS offers its clients a range of programmes to replace existing in-house inventory management. These programmes can be limited to an external procurement service or full inventory management – from ordering an item to replenishing shortages on the production floor. “We provide advanced inventory management solutions to manufacturing companies at the forefront of technology,” says Samson. “We have succeeded in taking a seemingly dull area such as factory inventory management to the 21st century.”

For more details visit www.utiims.com.

s c i t s i g o L ent and

Procurem One vendor, one invoice

Save valuable time and resources to your organisation

Simplification of procedures

TALK TO US: Erez Maimon: EMEA Operations Manager: +972-54-8088641 Alan Sheridan: Ireland Site Lead: +353-87-9350223 COME VISIT US: www.utiims.com

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19/07/2017 12:51

27/07/2017 12:38


BREXIT

NAVIGATING

BREXIT Irish firms are facing an uncertain future as a result of Brexit, and it is essential that they are prepared for every possible outcome. Luckily, they do not have to travel this road alone.

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ollowing months of anticipation and build up, Brexit negotiations are finally under way between the UK and the European Union – though it still remains unclear exactly how they will play out. The clock is ticking on a two-year period of negotiations following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29th, meaning that, in theory, Brexit negotiations should be completed by early April 2019. However, the process is expected to be arduous and complex, with some experts warning that more time will be needed to establish the terms of the exit. Regardless, the two sides of the negotiating table will now set out their conditions to one another and attempt to reach an agreement. A pivotal aspect of the negotiations will inevitably InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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be the terms of a future trading relationship between the EU and the UK. This is cause for concern for business owners within all of Europe, but as the UK’s closest neighbour, Ireland is in a particularly precarious position – especially when one considers the potential pitfalls that might arise from a closed border between it and Northern Ireland. This means that Irish businesses must now prepare and brace themselves for the impact of Brexit. Thankfully for Irish firms, there are organisations offering help and advice in order to ensure the best possible outcome. In the following pages, InBUSINESS speaks with InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland about the services they provide, and how they can allow Irish firms to, not only position themselves to overcome the challenges brought about by Brexit, but also to exploit the potential opportunities that it brings.

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BREXIT INTERTRADEIRELAND

Advising on Brexit InterTradeIreland has launched a new Brexit Advisory Service to help companies overcome the potential challenges ahead.

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ross-border trade and business development body, InterTradeIreland, has launched a new Brexit advisory service, comprising of a range of business supports to help companies navigate the challenges of Brexit, which has the potential to change how companies trade abroad. The service was recently unveiled by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, and provides regularly updated information as Brexit progresses, and also offers SMEs bespoke support. This includes access to free specialist advice through a Brexit Readiness Voucher initiative, as well as access to information on possible WTO tariffs for various organisations’ products. Brexit Advisory events are also being held across the country as InterTradeIreland continues to empower SMEs while making them aware of additional support available. Minister Mitchell O’Connor, commenting at the launch of the Brexit Advisory Service, said: “I understand the uncertainty that our SMEs and, in particular, those who have benefited from cross-border trade have in relation to the potential impacts of Brexit. I am committed to supporting Irish businesses in this period of heightened uncertainty and welcome the launch of this dedicated support service by InterTradeIreland.” Thomas Hunter McGowan, InterTradeIreland CEO, added: “InterTradeIreland has already hosted five Brexit briefing events across the island since November 2016, supporting around 300 businesses with tailored advice. Feedback from these

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events has helped to shape the Brexit Advisory Service. “While there are current uncertainties, it’s important that businesses are aware of how much they can do now to realise their growth ambitions as Ireland’s new trading relationships with the UK emerges. Vitally, we are encouraging companies to continue pursuing an export growth strategy, as businesses that export are three times more likely to be growing.” A dedicated Brexit Advisory Service mini-site details the supports available, including Brexit Readiness Vouchers, which organisations can use to fund bespoke advice up to the value of e1,000; free Brexit briefing events; information on currency hedging, and how production and distribution budgets may be impacted. In addition, InterTradeIreland has developed a comprehensive database of

all goods traded cross-border on the island of Ireland, covering thousands of individual product categories, and information on what the possible tariffs could be on these products if certain customs duties were to be introduced. Hunter McGowan concluded: “Recent research conducted by InterTradeIreland revealed that 98 per cent of companies have no plan in place to deal with the consequences of Brexit, with 91 per cent of crossborder traders having no experience of dealing with tariffs. Over half of businesses engaged in cross-border sales said they were concerned about currency exchange rate fluctuations. “While the effects of Brexit may not be fully clear at this point, at InterTradeIreland we are leveraging our network of contacts and putting our expertise in place to ensure that we are in prime position to advise and advocate for SMEs across Ireland.”

To find out more visit www.intertradeireland.com/brexit

Thomas Hunter McGowan, CEO, InterTradeIreland; Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy & Policy, InterTradeIreland; Margaret Hearty, Director of Business Services and Programmes, and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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BREXIT ENTERPRISE IRELAND

Brexit and Beyond In response to the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, Enterprise Ireland is offering a range of supports for Irish businesses as they traverse the uncertain path that lies ahead.

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ith the full implications of the UK’s exit from the European Union still unclear, it is essential that Irish firms brace themselves for what lies ahead. Already, there has been a decrease in the value of the sterling, as well as a reduction in the rate of growth of Irish exports to the UK. Irish businesses are feeling the impact of Brexit even now, and this impact is only going to become more pronounced as the process progresses. In response to the challenges brought about by Brexit, Enterprise Ireland is offering a wide range of supports for Ireland’s exporters to Britain, publishing information on opportunities in the UK and providing expert guidance on what

Anne Lanigan, Manager of the Brexit Unit at Enterprise Ireland

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businesses should be doing to address the short and longer term implications of Brexit. “Although our clients performed well overall in 2016, we are seeing a slowdown in the pace of growth of our exports to the UK,” says Anne Lanigan, Manager of the Brexit Unit at Enterprise Ireland. “This suggests that Brexit has already started to impact on clients. Our focus in 2017 is to ensure that our clients are prepared for this impact and can continue to grow their exports by becoming more competitive in the UK market and by diversifying into new markets.” Enterprise Ireland is preparing its clients in a number of ways. It has developed the Brexit Scorecard, for example – an online tool that allows companies to self assess their exposure to Brexit and which provides guidance on getting prepared. It has launched a ‘Be Prepared’ grant, which helps companies get third party support to investigate the risks and the opportunities arising from Brexit, and to develop appropriate responses to it. It also runs a regional Brexit roadshow, which encourages companies to prepare and plan for Brexit. Brexit clearly poses some serious challenges for Irish businesses, but it is not without its opportunities, as Lanigan points out. “Brexit creates the incentive for Irish business to strengthen its capability and increase competitiveness by rethinking supply chains and established transport

routes, building more efficient processes, removing waste from operations, investing in innovation, and by reducing dependency on the UK by diversifying into new markets. With the right approach, Irish business can emerge beyond Brexit stronger and more resilient than ever.” Of course, there is no denying the significance of the UK market to Ireland, but there are global opportunities for Irish businesses to be taken advantage of, and Enterprise Ireland is there to guide them through these potentially turbulent times ahead.

Our focus in 2017 is to ensure that our clients are prepared for this impact and can continue to grow their exports by becoming more competitive in the UK market and by diversifying into new markets. “Enterprise Ireland works directly with companies, using a number of tools to assist in selecting the right markets. We have a network of 32 offices worldwide to support entry and expansion in these global markets,” explains Lanigan. “We have also recently launched our Eurozone Strategy, which aims to increase exports to the eurozone by 50 per cent by 2020.” A full suite of financial and non financial supports are available through Enterprise Ireland to help its clients implement their strategic responses to Brexit, allowing them to not only cope with the changes it brings, but also to potentially thrive in response to them.

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IRELAND’S ONE STOP 3D SHOP

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The industrial power of selective laser sintering for the benchtop. Functional parts with no supports in strong and flexible nylon.

Tel: +353 404 80069 Email: info@inspire3d.ie www.inspire3d.ie 26/07/2017 29/06/2017 16:41 10:10


SME FINANCE

HELPING THE LITTLE

GUY Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of the Irish economy, but without access to funding and supports, they struggle to start up, grow and survive.

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MEs are of vital importance to the Irish economy, making up as they do the overwhelming majority of Irish enterprises. According to the Central Statistics Office, there are 237,753 active SMEs in Ireland. In other words, SMEs account for over 99 per cent of active enterprises in the country. The economy is inherently bound to the success and longevity of these businesses – thus it becomes a point of national importance that they have access to the finance they require to grow and thrive. In the wake of the global financial crisis, employment fell dramatically amongst Irish SMEs. Similarly, new lending to SMEs fell, meaning that firms were starved of the finances they required to function and grow. Since 2014, however, new lending has risen, with rejection rates for loans falling. The latest statistics from the Central Bank show that SME lending in Ireland had grown to a2.7 billion annually at the beginning of 2016, almost 5 per cent up on a year earlier and a full 38 per cent higher than in 2014. Rejection rates were down to 11 per cent from the 15 per cent rate in 2015. While the majority of lending to SMEs comes from the main banks, there is a growing number of non-bank loan options available in the market. Over the following pages, InBUSINESS profiles a number of banks and organisations which are helping SMEs in Ireland to access the finance they need.

P.100 Bibby Financial Services

+

P.102 Credit Review Office

+

P.104 Microfinance Ireland

+

P.105 Fexco

+

P.106 SBCI

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SME FUNDING BIBBY FINANCIAL SERVICES

Powering Growth for SMEs Ensuring that the funding needs of SMEs are met in Ireland in 2017 will be paramount to the growth of the economy. Bibby Financial Services Ireland (BFSI) is committed to making it happen.

B

ibby Financial Services Ireland (BFSI) is a niche provider of invoice finance products for the SME sector in Ireland. Additionally, it is focussed both on funding domestically-trading businesses and export-trading companies of all sizes. It is a subsidiary of Bibby Financial Services, which is a leading global financial services provider for businesses, with over 40 offices in 13 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. By releasing cash that is tied up in unpaid invoices, it can fund the working capital requirements of businesses to allow them to grow at a faster pace than would be otherwise achievable. The Irish economy has experienced mixed fortunes in the last decade, but GDP is growing and Irish businesses are ready to diversify. Since the global financial crash of 2008, Irish SMEs have raised over a3.1 billion in investment. However, close trading relations with our closest neighbour could leave some of Ireland’s largest industry sectors vulnerable in the

Nowadays businesses need to act very fast to avail of opportunities that are out there, and they cannot afford to wait weeks or even months for credit decisions aftermath of Brexit, with agricultural commodities amongst those most exposed due to the large volumes sold to the UK. BFSI understands that SMEs are the

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powerhouse of the Irish economy. However, many SMEs rarely put the appropriate funding in place in order to grow. Ensuring that the funding needs of SMEs are met in Ireland in 2017 will be paramount to the growth of the economy. This is a goal that BFSI believes it can help deliver. “Our ability to structure facilities for businesses at all stages of development, from new start-ups to well established businesses, sets us apart from our competitors,” says John Mackey, Head of Sales. “Our ability to manage higher degrees of perceived risk that our

competitors are shying away from, our speed of decision-making. Nowadays businesses need to act very fast to avail of opportunities that are out there, and they cannot afford to wait weeks or even months for credit decisions. At BFSI, we commit to decisions being returned within days, and we make sure that our clients do not lose out on opportunities as a result of our inability to make decisions.” Key to helping SMEs get the funding they need in order to grow is providing the platform for businesses to access the full breadth of funding InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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SME FUNDING BIBBY FINANCIAL SERVICES

IRISH EXPORTING POTENTIAL

John Mackey, Head of Sales, Bibby Financial Services Ireland

options available to them. Last year, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) demonstrated innovation in this area by launching an SME-focused a45 million fund in partnership with Bibby Financial Services. Since its launch, the fund has provided a30m of funding, supporting Irish SMEs operating in a variety of sectors. This demonstrates the understanding from policy-makers of the need to provide a greater choice of funding options for SMEs, especially where traditional options such as overdrafts and bank loans may not be appropriate or accessible. In 2016, Bibby Financial Services carried out a global survey that revealed how Irish SMEs have to wait longer to be paid than anywhere else in the world. The same survey also highlighted that 39 per cent of Irish SMEs pinpoint cashflow as the most concerning issue for their business. With the uncertainty of Brexit, as well as dayto-day operational problems such as late payments, Irish SMEs need to look at the widest possible range of funding options, including invoice financing as potential solutions to this issue. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Whilst invoice financing may not be appropriate for every SME, BFSI’s funding solutions help businesses to release cash which is tied up in outstanding customer invoices, allowing them to focus on expansion rather than worrying about business cash flow. However, many SME owners are unaware of the financing options available to them and tend to opt for traditional banking products to manage their cash flow – such as an overdraft. Many global SMEs are happy to stay within the limits of their overdraft facility, but this leaves them susceptible to penalties if they suffer any fluctuations in revenue. Ireland’s SMEs can’t afford to take this risk. The global economy is changing at a rapid pace and SMEs need to realise their full potential before market conditions bite. Already there are signs of lower demand for Irish exports due to loss of purchasing power following the fall in the value of the pound – making Irish exports to the UK 15 per cent less competitive. A combination of all of these factors make it clear that Irish businesses need to look beyond the UK for trade.

Despite global geopolitical uncertainties, SMEs in Ireland can still access sufficient capital and funding, and if the Irish economy is to sustain its impressive rate of growth, this is a trend that needs to continue. By diversifying and looking beyond established export markets, Ireland’s SMEs can facilitate a boost to the Irish economy. Demonstrating a truly outward facing business culture, from big business to SMEs, will attract further investment and go some way to filling the void that is likely to be left by Brexit in the coming years. BFSI is there to help those seeking to break into new export markets, providing support to businesses in navigating the nuances of exporting, regardless of size or sector. “One recent example of a business we have worked with is a start-up seafood wholesaler who recently partnered with us to raise the capital it needed to establish its operations in Europe,” says John Mackey. “The a1.2m invoice finance package from BFSI, along with its expertise in overseas markets, relieved cash flow pressure and helped the business to serve customers in Italy, Spain and France.” BFSI funds Irish exports to almost 120 countries. While some SMEs are already broadening into new markets outside of the UK, many are watching and waiting. BFSI’s speed of response, flexibility and global presence are all there to ensure SMEs don’t feel the need to wait any longer. BFSI believes that its funding model is well suited for SMEs across Ireland. It works with all businesses of all sizes to help them achieve their goals. Its service allows non invoice finance savvy businesses to receive guidance to ensure they are aware of all the funding solutions available to them, providing them with the confidence to realise their full potential and to grow their business. For more information, visit www.bibbyfinancialservices.ie.

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SME FUNDING CREDIT REVIEW OFFICE

Life After A Loan Refusal T

he Credit Review Office helps viable or potentially viable SMEs and farmers who wish to borrow between a1,000 and a3 million, but who have had their loan application turned down by the four main banks – AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, and Ulster Bank. “When an appeal is lodged with the Credit Review Office, we first check if the bank has performed an internal review of their decision not to lend. If this has not already been done, we will arrange that for the borrower, as sometimes this can resolve the problem immediately,” explains John Trethowan, Head of the Credit Review Office. “If the bank’s internal appeal is not successful, a credit reviewer is assigned to the case. The credit reviewer then makes contact with the borrower to understand the business and its needs, and also to collect all relevant data to determine either existing, or potential future viability. We frequently find that the credit reviewer can discover relevant information that the banks didn’t have or didn’t ask for.” Having assembled the relevant the information, the Credit Review Office panel then determines whether the SME can support the proposed lending. If it feels that the loan application is viable, it will work with the borrower and the bank involved to seek a solution which meets the borrower’s needs and is also acceptable to the bank. If it feels that the borrower may not be able to sustain the loan, it will tell the borrower why it is unable to support

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the appeal, but will also provide advice on what to do next to improve the proposal. “Whether the loan appeal is upheld or not, feedback from most borrowers is that this process of working with them to understand their business is very helpful, and they wish their bank had taken such an interest in them and their business,” says Trethowan. Depending on the cooperation and openness of the borrower, the complexity of the business, and the degree of challenge in the lending application, it typically takes four to six weeks to research the background and viability, and to make a case for the borrower.

We frequently find that the Credit Reviewer can discover relevant information that the banks didn’t have or didn’t ask for. RECENT TRENDS The two Irish pillar banks report their SME lending performances each month to the Credit Review Office. According to these reports, new lending has been increasing over the past few years. However, since the bottom of the economic downturn during mid-2013, two other factors have been at play – namely, that there has been a large amount of restructuring of problem loans as banks deal with the issues from the lending boom prior to 2008, and that there has been a continuing decline

Ewa Figaszewska

The Credit Review Office ensures that viable small and medium-sized enterprises have access to the finance they need in order to grow and develop.

John Trethowan, head of the Credit Review Office

in demand for credit since 2013, as measured by the Department of Finance’s six monthly credit surveys. Banks explain the lack of demand for lending as SMEs being cautious in taking on debt, following some bad experiences in the downturn, and that many SMEs are self-funding investments. Some SMEs are now sourcing their borrowing from a range of emerging finance providers, some of which are providing innovations such as debtor finance on foreign invoices.

DEMONSTRATING VIABILITY In the experience of the Credit Review Office, credit is available for most businesses that can demonstrate current or future viability. The Office suggests that good preparation and documentation before applying for credit will ensure a better outcome – thus it is particularly helpful in aiding SMEs when presenting their projects and cases, as Trethowan explains. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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SME FUNDING CREDIT REVIEW OFFICE

“SMEs, especially the micro and smaller SMEs, are poor at presenting their projects to the banks to gain support,” he says. “For banks to lend, they require well documented and credible business plans, financial accounts, current trading positions from management accounts, and cashflow projections, to show the impact of the costs of the proposed lending and the benefit it will generate.”

The Credit Review Office is imperative for any business or person who needs funding to start a business, or indeed to keep a business growing. Banks have a limited amount of time to listen to their customers and, unless the borrower’s case is well prepared, a credit decision is largely taken on the information provided to

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the bank. The Credit Review Office reviewers can take more time with the borrower to better understand their business and how it is trading – rather than relying on historic financial information – which for businesses still recovering from the economic downturn, can be extremely positive. The Credit Review Office helps real people to access the funding that their business needs to grow. This is illustrated by Darren Grant’s story. Grant established the Organic Supermarket in Blackrock, Co Dublin back in 2008, when he received initial bank support to get the business off the ground. However, in 2010, his application for further financial assistance was rejected by his bank. At a loss, Grant turned to the Credit Review Office, and within two weeks, the bank had overturned its initial decision, following the Office’s recommendation. Speaking about the experience, Grant says: “When the

banks said no, the Credit Review Office did extensive and timely due diligence on my company and found strongly in favour of supporting my business.” This saved eight jobs and allowed Grant to expand his business successfully. He now employs 26 people, and the Organic Supermarket has become the largest independent organic retail operation in the country. “I cannot recommend the Credit Review Office enough,” he says, “as they bring equity to a seemingly unfair battle for viable businesses to obtain credit in Ireland.” If you are a borrower who believes that your business is viable but who has been refused credit, you can appeal the decision.

For more information, contact the Credit Review Office at 1850 211 789, or visit the website www.creditreview.ie

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SME FUNDING MICROFINANCE IRELAND

Setting the Standards in Lending Microfinance Ireland (MFI) provides business loans to small businesses experiencing difficulty in securing funding from traditional sources.

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icrofinance Ireland (MFI) was set up by the government five years ago under the Action Plan for Jobs. It was intended to provide loan finance to small businesses which were experiencing difficulty in securing funding from traditional sources. It provides business loans from a2,000 to a25,000 to start-ups and existing businesses, either for set-up costs, working capital or business expansion, and to support the creation and retention of jobs. As part of its loan packages, MFI also offers expert one-to-one mentoring to approved loan applicants through Local Enterprise Offices, increasing the chances of small businesses achieving commercial success, and helping to sustain jobs in the longer term. “When Microfinance Ireland was established back in 2012, banks were not lending, and small businesses were finding it very hard to get much-needed financial support,” says Garrett Stokes MFI’s CEO. “As the economy recovers, more and more people are trying to establish businesses and seeking finance. While banks are lending again, there will also be a need for an organisation like Microfinance Ireland to meet the needs of small businesses that do not meet standard bank lending criteria, and we continue to see a growing demand for Microfinance loans.” As a not-for profit and governmentfunded lending organisation, MFI is unique in the marketplace. Since its

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Garrett Stokes, CEO, Microfinance Ireland

inception, MFI has received almost 3,000 applications, and has approved over a19 million in loans to over 1,300 businesses, supporting over 3,000 jobs. “What we are trying to do is ensure that every sustainable business receives finance. It’s great to finance people and to support businesses so as to create jobs,” says Stokes. Once MFI receives a completed application, it assigns it to one of the its credit assessors. They, in turn, contact the applicant to discuss their plans in order to get a good understanding of the business. “Our aim is to give a credit decision within ten days and, following approval, draw down of the loan is quite straightforward, with the loan funds lodged directly into the customer’s business bank account,” explains Stokes. As an indicator of the need for the services offered by Microfinance Ireland and the successful manner with which the organisation has risen to demand, the European Commission recently awarded MFI with a

certification of compliance with the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision. The certification confirms Microfinance Ireland’s position as a best-in-class micro credit provider in Europe, being one of the first four institutions on the continent to qualify and the only organisation in Ireland to receive the award. Recipients of the award must comply with 175 standards and ethical practices set down by the Commission across several areas including customer relations, governance, credit and risk management, and management information systems. “As a small micro credit provider in European terms, we are delighted to have reached the standards of business behaviour and performance required to achieve this award,” says Stokes. “These standards are for the benefit of our customers, the Irish government who funds us, regulators and partner organisations.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 18:01


SME FUNDING FEXCO

FIXING FINANCE NEEDS FEXCO Asset Finance is perfectly placed to work with businesses in need of finance at a discounted rate.

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ith three decades of experience, FEXCO Asset Finance is a specialist leasing and hire-purchase provider, offering a wide range of tailored and flexible asset finance options. FEXCO’s solutions provide access for SMEs to the finance necessary to grow their business. Its product offering currently encompasses 68 different asset types, including technology, healthcare, plant and construction equipment, finance for haulage, coach and bus, and leasing of more traditional vehicles.

In September 2016, FEXCO became an on-lender for the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). Through SBCI, FEXCO has in place a a70 million facility, allowing borrowers to avail of a 1.57 per cent discount on the standard interest rate for specialist equipment and vehicle leasing. To date, FEXCO has distributed 20 per cent of the facility and anticipates drawing down the full a70m from SBCI within the next two to three years. Mike O’Halloran, CEO of FEXCO Asset Finance, says that being an SBCI on-lender leaves his company better placed to work with businesses in need of finance at a discounted rate. In addition to the SBCI funding, FEXCO, as a private enterprise, can leverage its own

company fund to lend to business. “One of the big advantages we bring to the market is that we can cater for more varied types of business,” says O’Halloran. “Not every sector or industry qualifies for SBCI finance, but through FEXCO’s own funding book, we can consider more niche industry types seeking access to finance. “We want to consider all SMEs as potential customers, no matter what sector they are operating in. FEXCO Asset Finance ensures our customers are guaranteed a quick response on an application, personal service and transparent finance options.” Contact FEXCO Asset Finance on 1890 800 404 or visit www.fexcoassetfinance.com

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SME FUNDING SBCI

Making

Finance Flexible The Strategic Banking Corporation (SBCI) was established in 2014 to avail of both national and international sources of funding for the purpose of making low-cost credit available to Irish SMEs.

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ince its inception, SBCI has provided a657 million in low-cost flexible finance to over 15,000 SMEs across a wide range of sectors throughout Ireland – saving them an average of 1.15 per cent on their borrowing rates. Eighty-four per cent of SMEs taking out SBCI loans have done so for the purposes of investing in their business. A further 11 per cent borrowed for working capital purposes, while 5 per cent refinanced loans from banks exiting the Irish market. SBCI offers low-cost loans to help with working capital, investment or refinancing of existing loans from a lender that has exited the Irish SME market. It also offers leasing and asset finance to allow SMEs to buy or hire vehicles or equipment that they need, as well as invoice finance that helps SMEs to manage their cashflow better. Furthermore, SBCI recently took over responsibility for managing the Credit Guarantee Scheme, which makes it easier for SMEs to borrow from a number of banks by getting a Government guarantee for part of their facility. It has also entered the risk-sharing space, enabling it to share some of the lending risk with its lending partners and make SBCI loans available to SMEs that have had difficulty in accessing finance in the past.

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Nick Ashmore, CEO, Strategic Banking Corporation (SBCI)

By sharing some of the credit risk with lenders, we can make finance much more accessible for SMEs that have had trouble accessing it in the last few years.”

“SBCI loans bring real cashflow savings to SMEs – both in terms of a lower interest rate and the ability to borrow over longer terms,” says Nick Ashmore, CEO at SBCI. “In addition, 2017 has seen us enter the risk-sharing space for the first time. By sharing some of the credit risk with lenders, we can make finance much more accessible for SMEs that have had trouble accessing it in the last few years.” A key factor in the establishment of the SBCI was the lack of available low-cost, flexible finance for SMEs

and lack of competition in the SME lending market. SBCI is addressing these issues by acting as a conduit for cheap funding from external sources, such as the European Investment Bank and German promotional bank KfW. There are five non-bank lenders that have used SBCI funding to significantly increase their activity in the Irish market – which in turn brings more choice and better terms for SME borrowers. Additionally, SBCI has recently added to what it offers in two significant ways. “The first way came from the Government extending our mandate to take over responsibility for managing the Credit Guarantee Scheme,” explains Ashmore. “This initiative was set up to encourage additional lending to commercially viable SMEs which, under normal lending criteria, are unable to obtain new or additional facilities from their bank.” The second offering arises from SBCI’s new ability to offer risk-sharing with banks and other lenders. Thanks to the EU’s COSME programme (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), SBCI has signed a counter-guarantee agreement with the European Fund for Strategic Investments that will allow SBCI to support a100m of loans to SMEs in Ireland over the next three years. “This agreement will make it possible for SBCI to support additional attractive loans to around 2,000 SMEs through risk-sharing initiatives – extending our reach and making it easier for SMEs to access SBCI loans,” says Ashmore. For details of all SBCI on-lenders and loans, leasing and financing deals, visit www.sbci.gov.ie InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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OUR FOCUS? YOUR SUCCESS. If you are looking for a legal firm that builds their team around yours, look no further. At RDJ, we believe that your priorities should inform how we work together. That’s why we are committed to being responsive to our clients’ needs, offering tailored support for your long-term business strategy as well as your short-term needs across industries and borders. And with strategic locations in Dublin, Cork, Galway, London, and now Belfast, we are where we need to be to get you to where you want to be.

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CORK

DUBLIN

G A LW A Y

LO N D O N

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LIST OF 2017 WINNERS Connacht/Ulster Law Firm of the Year MACSWEENEY & COMPANY SOLICITORS, GALWAY Connacht/Ulster Solicitor of the Year BREEGE MCCAFFREY DM O’CONNOR AND CO SOLICITORS, GALWAY Banking, Finance/Restructuring & Insolvency Law Firm of the Year RONAN DALY JERMYN, CORK, DUBLIN, GALWAY AND LONDON Sponsored by CBL Insurance Criminal Law Firm of the Year MICHAEL J STAINES & COMPANY, DUBLIN Legal Executive of the Year GILLIAN MOORE KEATING CONNOLLY SELLORS, LIMERICK Munster Solicitor of the Year ROSSA MCMAHON PG MCMAHON SOLICITORS, LIMERICK Munster Law Firm of the Year O’FLYNN EXHAMS SOLICITORS, CORK Employment Law Firm/Lawyer of the Year BEAUCHAMPS, DUBLIN Sponsored by Sunday Business Post Family Law Team/Lawyer of the Year KEITH WALSH SOLICITORS, DUBLIN Irish Language Practitioner of the Year SAMANTHA GERAGHTY - P. O’CONNOR & SON, MAYO Sponsored by Foras Na Gaeilge Property, Planning, Probate Law Firm of the Year EVERSHEDS SUTHERLAND, DUBLIN Sponsored by ENKI In House Legal Team/Lawyer of the Year FEXCO GROUP, DUBLIN Sponsored by Thomson Reuters Excellence in Marketing & Communications MCCARTHY + CO., CORK Sponsored by Kantar Media Service Provider to the Legal Profession DIPLOMA CENTRE, LAW SOCIETY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN Sponsored by Ashville Media Litigation Law Firm/Lawyer of the Year PHILIP LEE, DUBLIN Sponsored by Hibernian Legal Leinster Solicitor of the Year SUSAN WEBSTER & COMPANY, KILDARE Leinster Law Firm of the Year HANAHOE AND HANAHOE SOLICITORS, KILDARE Excellence in Client Service BYRNEWALLACE, DUBLIN Sponsored by Financial Times Law School of the Year UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK, LIMERICK Legal Book of the Year THE LAW OF COMPANIES (4TH EDITION), DR THOMAS B COURTNEY, DUBLIN Sole Practitioner/Sole Principal of the Year Award ANTHONY FAY & COMPANY, DUBLIN Sponsored by AIB Private Banking Law Student of the Year CLARA HURLEY – UCC, CORK Sponsored by Bloomsbury Professional Dublin Solicitor of The Year Rachael Liston - Orpen Franks Solicitors, Dublin Sponsored by Bonhams Dublin Law Firm of the Year Reddy Charlton, Dublin Sponsored by Lincoln Recruitment Law Firm Innovation Award CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION UNIT - CHIEF STATE SOLICITOR’S OFFICE, DUBLIN Sponsored by Documatics Lifetime Achievement Award THE HON JUSTICE MR RONAN KEANE, DUBLIN Sponsored by The Institute of Legal Research & Standards Law Firm of the Year RONAN DALY JERMYN, CORK, DUBLIN, GALWAY AND LONDON Sponsored by AIB Private Banking InBUSINESS | Q7 2016

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Legal Eagles

Raise the Bar

The who’s who of Irish law gathered for the sixth annual AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards.

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he Irish Awards host Miriam O’Callaghan legal profession were out in force on the evening of Friday May 12th as law firms, legal practitioners and in-house legal teams descended upon the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin for the sixth annual black tie gala AIB Private Banking Irish Law Awards. The awards set out to identify, commend and publicise excellence and outstanding achievements in Irish law and recognise exemplary practices of leading law firms and teams right throughout the country. The event welcomed attendees and nominees from all corners of the country representing the legal profession in Ireland. Law Firm of the Year, sponsored by AIB Private Banking, was awarded to Ronan Daly Jermyn, one of Ireland’s top ten law firms, with offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway and London and the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by the Institute of Legal Research & Standards, was presented to The Hon Mr Justice Ronan Keane, in recognition of his contribution to the legal profession in Ireland. New categories in the awards this year included Dublin Solicitor of the Year, sponsored by Bonhams, which was awarded to Rachel Liston of Orpen Frank Solicitors, for her excellence in dealing with clients, hospitals and patient bodies in improving the systems and protocols in place for patients and victims of medical and professional negligence. Dave McLaughlan, Head of AIB Private Banking, sponsors of the prestigious awards, said: “Many of our valued customers are in a legal profession, so we are delighted to be associated with an event that recognises their excellence and continued dedication to Irish law. The awards received a 36 per cent increase in entries this year – proof that the legal professional continues to grow and influence much of Irish society.” The awards reception and proceedings were hosted by RTE’s Miriam O’Callaghan and charity partners for 2017 include the Solicitors’ Benevolent Association, the Barristers’ Benevolent Society and the PeterMcVerry Trust.

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LAW AWARDS 2017 RONAN DALY JERMYN

A Legal Firm with Presence InBUSINESS speaks with Richard Martin, Managing Partner at Law Firm of the Year 2017 Ronan Daly Jermyn about the work of his firm and its plans for the future. Q: Can you give some background on Ronan Daly Jermyn?

A: We are a top ten Irish law firm with offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway and London, with a staff of more than 230. Over the past four years, we have opened a fourth office in Dublin, seen our staff numbers more than double, and established strategic alliances with UK, Northern Ireland and US law firms. We are unique in terms of the Irish legal market in that we are the only firm with a substantial presence in three of the country’s

leading commercial centres. A recently announced strategic alliance with Belfast law firm, John McKee, means that the firm now offers an all-Ireland legal service for clients who trade in both parts of the island.

Q: What are the firm’s areas of expertise?

A: We have invested substantially in our corporate and commercial team, expanding to meet the growing demand for merger and acquistion services. We are particularly well regarded for our work in the technology sector,

Richard Martin, Managing Partner, Ronan Daly Jermyn

having recently advised on deals such as the sale of Trustev to TransUnion, MPSTOR to Sanmina, and Barricade to Sophos Ltd. Our strong corporate practice is further bolstered by a substantial tax practice that has doubled in size over the past two years, most recently with JM Burke Tax Solicitors joining the firm in 2016. In addition to advising on cross-jurisdictional tax matters, we are one of the few legal practices in Ireland with a dedicated tax investigations and disputes team. As well as winning Law Firm of the Year, Ronan Daly Jermyn was also awarded Banking, Finance/Restructuring & Insolvency Law Firm of the Year. We have exceptionally strong banking and finance practices, and we act for all of the major financial institutions in the Irish market.

Q: How has business been thus far in 2017? A: We’ve continued to grow, both in terms of head count and in terms of revenue over that period, particularly in the corporate, commercial, tax and commercial property space. Q: How do you view the current state of the Irish legal sector? A: We’re probably on the cusp of a period of some

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change, particularly at the upper end of the market. It’s no secret that two major international law firms have indicated that they are to open in Dublin, and I think others will follow. Part of that is Brexit motivated, but part of it is based on a globalisation backdrop where major international companies want single suppliers for their professional services in the countries in which they operate.

Q: Do you expect Brexit to directly impact your firm? A: Brexit is going to impact our clients, particularly those who are involved in exports to the UK. That’s an obvious one. There are both threats and opportunities for the legal sector. We are seeing some relocations out of London, and Luxembourg and Frankfurt seem to be the preferred choice at the moment, but some have come to Dublin. I think that’s going to be a positive. Q: What are your key objectives for the future? A: Ronan Daly Jermyn plans to continue to make significant investments in the area of technology. Our clients want more services delivered faster, more securely and at a lower cost. Technology will underpin how we will achieve this. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 17:26


LAW AWARDS 2017 THE LAW SOCIETY

LESSONS IN LAW The Law Society scooped a prestigious industry award for the second successive year at the Irish Law Awards 2017.

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he Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre was awarded the coveted ‘Service Provider to the Legal Profession’ for a second successive year at the recent Irish Law Awards 2017. The award recognises excellence in the provision of services to the legal profession and highlights the diverse range of courses and innovative use of technology in delivering content to course participants. Accepting the award on behalf of her team, Dr Freda Grealy, Head of Diploma Centre, remarked on the achievement: “We’re delighted with the profession’s recognition for our programme. We ran 33 diploma courses over the last 12 months, with

more than 1,000 participants – and numbers keep growing every year.” The on-site provision of continuing professional education is important to the Law Society’s members, and regular interactive workshops are a feature of all our courses. The Diploma Centre recently launched its autumn 2017 programme which has something for everyone with a wide variety of courses to choose from. It is launching six new courses, including a Diploma in Construction Law and Diploma in Regulation Law and Practice, all delivered by experienced and leading practitioners in an engaging and flexible learning environment.

Pictured at the Irish Law Awards are Brendan Twomey, Chair, Education Committee, Rory O’Boyle, Diploma Centre Manager, Freda Grealy, Head of Diploma Centre, Stuart Gilhooly, President, Law Society of Ireland and Ken Murphy, Director General, Law Society of Ireland

You can learn more about the Diploma Centre by visiting: www.lawsociety.ie/diplomacentre

DIPLOMA CENTRE Postgraduate courses with professional focus and practical insight 2017 COURSE NAME

DATE

FEE

Diploma in Law LLM Employment Law in Practice Certificate in Aviation Leasing and Finance Certificate in Juvenile Justice (New) Certificate in Company Secretarial Law and Practice Diploma in Environmental and Planning Law Certificate in Data Protection Practice Diploma in Finance Law Diploma in Construction Law (New) Diploma in Employment Law Certificate in Strategic Development for In-House Practice (New) Certificate in Conveyancing Diploma in Regulation Law and Practice (New) Certificate in Negotiation Skills and Practice (New) Certificate in Commercial Contracts Certificate in Pensions Law and Applied Trusteeship (New) Diploma in Sports Law Diploma in Mediator Training Diploma in Education Law Diploma in Commercial Litigation

8 September 2017 23 September 2017 28 September 2017 30 September 2017 3 October 2017 4 October 2017 5 October 2017 7 October 2017 11 October 2017 13 October 2017 13 October 2017 17 October 2017 19 October 2017 20 October 2017 21 October 2017 24 October 2017 25 October 2017 27 October 2017 3 November 2017 7 November 2017

€4,400 €3,400 €1,550 €1,550 €1,550 €2,500 €1,550 €2,500 €2,500 €2,500 €1,550 €1,550 €2,500 €1,550 €1,550 €1,550 €2,500 €3,000 €2,500 €2,500

CONTACT DETAILS

e: diplomateam@lawsociety.ie

t: 01 672 4802

w: www.lawsociety.ie/diplomacentre

Please note that the Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre reserves the right to change the courses that may be offered and course prices may be subject to change. Some of these courses may be iPad courses in which case there will be a higher fee payable to include the device. Contact the Diploma Centre or check our website for up-to-date fees and dates.

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LEINSTER • MUNSTER • CONNAUGHT • ULSTER Mayor launches living wage initiative, digital transformation at Dún Laoghaire, and hotel planned for Tayto Park.

Limerick Twenty Thirty appoints CEO, housing plans for Ennis, and calls for development of Killarney business park.

International interest in Killala site, Council chairman prioritising jobs in Sligo, and funding boost for Connaught counties.

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Development works at Cavan castle, Monaghan prepares to lure Northern companies, and Donegal Airport receives funding.

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MOVING FORWARD Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, on his plans for a vibrant city with a young population.

COUNCIL APPROVES WORKS

Westmeath County Council gives green light for works on former Imperial Tobacco premises.

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SOUTH-EAST AMBITIONS

In Association with

Wexford County Council is taking a pro-active approach to economic development in the county.

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MAYOR LAUNCHES LIVING WAGE INITIATIVE The Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr has launched the Dublin City Council Living Wage Initiative. The initiative recognises businesses which pay a living wage of a11.50 per hour to their permanent employees by granting them permission to display a Dublin Living Wage Plaque at the entrance to their premises.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr holding the Dublin Living Wage Plaque outside of the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin

WHAT’S ON IN

LEINSTER

11TH - 13TH AUGUST DUBLIN COMIC CON 2017 The Convention Centre, Dublin 1

11TH - 14TH AUGUST CARLINGFORD OYSTER FESTIVAL 2017 Carlingford, Co Louth

11TH - 20TH AUGUST KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL 2017 Kilkenny City

19TH - 20TH AUGUST GROOVE FESTIVAL Killruddery House and Gardens, Bray, Co Wicklow

[ COUNTY DUBLIN ] [ COUNTY WESTMEATH ]

COUNCIL APPROVES MULLINGAR WORKS Westmeath County Council has given the green light to Clarabased firm SteriPack Solutions to carry out works to the former Imperial Tobacco premises on Mullingar’s Dublin Road. The firm announced in April that it was planning an investment of several million euro to create a lifesciences park at the site. The application submitted on behalf of SteriPack Solutions by Malachi Cullen Consulting Engineers was for the change of use from a warehouse area to new offices, toilets, stores, canteen, clean rooms, research laboratory and a new reception lobby.

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AT DÚN LAOGHAIRE The first international DLR Summit took place on June 8th at the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, with international digital thought leaders examining digital transformation strategies and expert speakers from companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and IBM. The main, over-arching theme for the conference this year was digital transformation, with the summit encouraging delegates to take advantage of the ever-dynamic digital changes that are affecting economic, social and community structures today.

[ COUNTY MEATH ]

HOTEL PLANS FOR TAYTO PARK

TOP TAYTO PARK ATTRACTIONS

Tayto Park has confirmed that it has applied to Meath County Council for planning permission for a 250-bedroom family hotel, offering accommodation and leisure facilities for up to 1,000 guests. The hotel has been designed to be in keeping with the look and feel of Tayto Park, and will include a spa, meeting rooms, a function room that can accommodate up to 1,200 people, two sky bars and three restaurants. It is estimated that it will provide 150 jobs during construction and 272 full and part time jobs when completed.

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Tayto Factory Tour The Cú Chulainn Coaster Vortex Tunnel The Zoo Dinosaurs Alive exhibition

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: MUNSTER

LIMERICK TWENTY THIRTY APPOINTS CEO Limerick Twenty Thirty has announced the appointment of city native David Conway as its new CEO. Limerick Twenty Thirty was established by Limerick City and County Council to stimulate an economic renaissance in the city by implementing a a500 million programme of investment over five years. “As a Limerick man I am really delighted to be coming back home but to do so as CEO of a company that is going to have a truly transformational role on the city is something I am hugely proud of and excited about,” said Conway.

28TH - 30TH JULY WEST CORK HISTORY FESTIVAL Skibbereen, Co Cork

13TH - 21ST AUGUST FLEADH CHEOIL NA HÉIREANN 2017 Ennis, Co Clare

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LIMERICK TWENTY THIRTY PLAN Limerick is investing over a1 billion in enterprise and investment infrastructure as part of the ‘Limerick 2030 Vision: An Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick’, a 20-year action plan which aims to transform Limerick through the economic, social and physical renaissance of Limerick city centre and the wider mid-west region.

16TH - 22ND AUGUST ROSE OF TRALEE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL Tralee, Co Kerry

26TH AUGUST KILLARNEY CYCLING FESTIVAL Killarney, Co Kerry

HOUSING PLANS FOR ENNIS An application is to be made to Clare County Council for planning permission to build 148 houses at a prime location in Ennis, in what would be a major boost for the building trade and housing market in the area. The expansive elevated site earmarked for the development is behind a number of existing houses, and is a ten minute walk to the town centre – just a stone’s throw from a road network that puts Shannon and Limerick in easy reach.

[ COUNTY CORK ]

BILLION EURO DOCKLANDS PROJECT FOR CORK Cork City Council has announced an ambitious a1bn docklands project which would see over 220 hectares of land transformed into an urban quarter. It has published two briefing documents, one each for Cork City and Tivoli Docks, and has held workshops to hear the views of locals, business people and other interested parties. “There was a lot of engagement at each session and plenty of ideas and reaction. This stage of the process is like throwing a stone in a pond and seeing how the ripples spread,” commented Patrick Ledwidge, Deputy Chief Executive of Cork City Council.

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David Conway, CEO, Limerick Twenty Thirty

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MUNSTER

[ COUNTY KERRY ]

CALLS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF BUSINESS PARK The Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Brendan Cronin, has called on senior council management to develop the potential of Farranfore Business Park. Cllr Cronin said the site has tremendous potential for light industry and the creation of much needed employment. Kerry County Council says it has recently engaged with IDA Ireland to highlight the potential of strategic sites in the county, and the lands in Farranfore are among those being explored.

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INTERNATIONAL INTEREST IN KILLALA SITE The former Asahi site in Killala is coming under increasing attention from European and American companies interested in setting up a data centre there, members of Mayo County Council have been told. Pat McHale, executive engineer with the council, has described his hopes of a data centre being situated on the disused 20 hectare site as being “very realistic”. If the right proposal comes along, he has said, it will be put before county councillors for discussion.

WHAT’S ON IN

CONNAUGHT

5TH - 9TH AUGUST TUBBERCURRY OLD FAIR DAY FESTIVAL Tubbercurry, Co Sligo

[ COUNTY SLIGO ]

COUNCIL CHAIRMAN PRIORITISING JOBS The new chairperson of Sligo County Council says that bringing jobs to the region will be one of his main priorities throughout his tenure as Cathaoirleach. Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus Kilgannon was voted in as the new chairperson in June and has said that the council must continue to keep lobbying the government in an effort to bring jobs to the town. He also said that it is imperative that jobs are there for graduates from local colleges such as IT Sligo.

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26TH AUGUST FOOD FLEADH BALLINA FESTIVAL Inishbofin, Co Galway

2ND SEPTEMBER CONNEMARA TRIATHLON Connemara, Co Galway

21ST – 24TH SEPTEMBER CELTIC FRINGE FESTIVAL Streedagh, Co Sligo

[ COUNTY ROSCOMMON AND COUNTY LEITRIM ]

FUNDING BOOST FOR CONNAUGHT COUNTIES Counties Roscommon and Leitrim are set to benefit from CLÁR Funding, with a289,000 and a374,000 being announced for the counties respectively. The funding has been welcomed by Roscommon TD and Minister Denis Naughten, as well as Senators Frank Feighan and Maura Hopkins.

ROSCOMMON PROJECTS Some of the projects planned for Roscommon are Keadue Sports Field, which will get a50,000 for a multi-purpose games area, and Kilteevan Community Park, which is also to get a50,000 for a community space, park and playground.

[ COUNTY GALWAY ]

BALLINFOILE COMMUNITY CENTRE OPENS TO PUBLIC The long awaited opening of Ballinfoile community centre will take place in August, independent councillor Mike Cubbard has been informed. The state-of-the-art facility was officially opened last year by the then Mayor Frank Fahy, but it has yet to be used by local residents. Councillor Cubbard says the centre’s opening will be welcomed by local residents and community groups. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

26/07/2017 18:08


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS NEWS: ULSTER

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DEVELOPMENT WORKS AT CAVAN CASTLE Planning permission has been granted for development works at the historic Cabra Castle in Cavan. Plans have been approved to enlarge the terrace area at the castle and to relocate the golf clubhouse to a new location. The car park will also be relocated from the front of the castle to an enlarged car park to the south-east of the building with access paths, disabled car parking and a bus set down area.

3RD - 6TH AUGUST BALLYSHANNON FOLK & TRADITIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

10TH - 13TH AUGUST CARRICKMACROSS ARTS FESTIVAL 2017 Co Monaghan

11TH - 12TH AUGUST TASTE OF CAVAN 2017 Cavan Equestrian Centre, Latt, Co Cavan

18TH - 20TH AUGUST DONEGAL BAY MARITIME FESTIVAL Donegal Bay, Co Donegal

[ COUNTY DONEGAL]

Donegal Airport has received a22,500 in funding as part of a scheme for Ireland’s regional airports. Further grants are to be announced later on in the year, and Donegal TD Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher has said that a more substantial package is due to go to Donegal Airport. [ COUNTY CAVAN AND COUNTY DONEGAL ]

FUNDING FOR LOCAL MUSEUMS

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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TOP EXHIBITS & COLLECTIONS CAVAN COUNTY MUSEUM

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GAA History

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WWI Trench Experience

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The Great Famine

MONAGHAN COUNTY MUSEUM

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T he Watchmen – Policing, Crime and Punishment in Monaghan

ULSTER

[ COUNTY MONAGHAN ]

AIRPORT FUNDING FOR DONEGAL

a13,000 in funding has been announced for the two local county museums as part of a135,000 made available nationwide through the Local and Regional Museums Funding Scheme. Under the scheme, a10,000 has been allocated to Cavan Museum to provide display panels and screens for exhibitions, while a3,000 for Monaghan County Museum will be used for the scanning of the Marron Papers and to buy mannequins for the display of costumes.

WHAT’S ON IN

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Bronze Age Weapons and Tools

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Cross of Clogher

MONAGHAN PREPARES TO LURE NORTHERN COMPANIES Monaghan County Council is working to acquire sites for Northern Irish companies that may want to relocate after Brexit. The Irish Government says it is working to get “special status” for Northern Ireland once Brexit is completed, which would allow the area remain in the Customs Union, but with the future still unclear, Monaghan County Council is preparing to lure companies from across the border.

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A County Moving Forward InBUSINESS speaks to Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, about plans for a vibrant city with a young population, at the heart of a region of 400,000 people.

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imerick, both city and county, has been experiencing a period of development and innovation in recent years. At the heart of this is the Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan (LRFIP), one of the largest capital programmes and regeneration initiatives in the State. It includes a a253 million investment on physical programmes, a30m on social programmes, and a10m on economic programmes. A recent review of the plan suggests that significant progress has already been made with 300 jobs being created as a direct result of Limerick Regeneration funding, while a number of projects have already been completed or are in the works. Conn Murray, Chief Executive at Limerick City and County Council, suggests that the LRFIP review will serve to guide future investment within the region. “The review has set out a clear roadmap for the continued targeted investment in numerous areas, from housing to social supports and economic development, and the Government has again stated its continued support for the important and necessary work that is being carried out by everyone in the targeted areas.” Limerick is also in the middle of the largest commercial property development outside of Dublin, which will see over a500m worth of investment in creating state-ofthe-art office, retail, residential, education and enterprise space

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Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council

“THIS UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP UNDER THE NEW LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE PROVIDES THE BASE FOR A SUSTAINABLE AND BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ALL OF LIMERICK.” in Limerick. The development is being overseen by the Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC, with four sites already identified for rejuvenation. Furthermore, plans to renew rural areas are also in the pipeline. “Town and village renewal schemes are ongoing throughout the county, with significant investment in the Great Southern Greenway Limerick,” says Murray. “Limerick City and

County Council has provided in excess of a2.5m as part of a a17m investment in rural Limerick through our development companies Ballyhoura and West Limerick Resources. This unique partnership under the new Local Community Development Committee provides the base for a sustainable and bright future for all of Limerick.” The regeneration of the city and county of Limerick is not only purely economic. For a place that has never been short on cultural riches, there are plans to further develop Limerick’s offering when it comes to arts and culture. “The success of the celebrations for Limerick National City of Culture in 2014 resulted in a new focus on Limerick as a cultural destination,” says Murray. This cultural success was fundamental to Limerick’s impressive bid to become European Capital of Culture for 2020, which itself gave a renewed confidence to the citizens and sectors of Limerick that the place could deliver on its plans and host major events. The future, then, is bright for Limerick, and with the help of the Council’s extensive development plans, it will remain an extremely attractive location to visit, live and work. “Limerick is hugely competitive and affordable,” says Murray. “It is a vibrant city with a young population, at the heart of a region of 400,000 people. It’s got excellent international access through an uncongested airport and a superb roads infrastructure. It’s got housing – something that other Irish cities can’t boast – and an excellent graduate supply.” For more information on Limerick, visit Limerick.ie InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 14:12


LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN BUSINESS WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL

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South-east AMBITIONS Wexford County Council is taking a pro-active approach to economic development, with the aim of attracting significant new business investment and jobs to the county.

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he next few years promise to be exciting for Wexford, as much of a a200 million capital programme developed by Wexford County Council begins to come to fruition. Examples of the projects planned include the development of six greenways around the county, the urban regeneration of Enniscorthy town centre, the development of the Market House in Gorey and the completion of an adventure park in Carrigfoyle. Furthermore, the local authority has stepped into the property development market – partnering with the private sector to deliver property solutions that can deliver long-term benefits to Wexford. In Wexford town, for example, the local authority has acquired a 10-acre site and plans to develop a high-end business park there – focused on developing an internationally traded financial services hub. In New Ross, Wexford County Council, working with the local Chamber, has secured planning permission for two advance factory units. “If we have high-quality industrial units of this scale in place in the county, we will certainly attract more business and jobs,” says Tom Enright, Chief Executive of Wexford County Council. “Our ambition is to work with the private sector to bring this a4m development online for the benefit of New Ross and the wider county area.” The local authority has supported a submission by Gas Networks Ireland to the Commission for Energy

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Regulation to expand the gas network into New Ross. Should the multimillion euro extension proposal be successful, it would expand the industry types considering the town for future investment. In Enniscorthy, the council has bought a site just south of the town, where two existing Wexfordbased companies are examining taking up to five acres for their own developments. The Council is also in the process of purchasing an additional 15 acres to expand the scale of a new science, technology and business park. The local authority expects the estimated a10m development to commence as early as autumn 2017. Furthermore, Enniscorthy’s a45m flood relief project will be in place within three years, and a proposed new bridge will be sited directly across from the new park, ensuring easy accessiblity from all directions. The first completed project is the M11 Business Campus in Gorey. The local authority is confident that the north Wexford campus will become increasingly attractive, as commercial and residential property

pressures increase in Dublin. “IDA Ireland has placed the Gorey site in their portfolio of office space and is beginning to market the opportunity internationally,” says Enright. “We are really hopeful that this will bring some good results for Wexford, and Gorey in particular.” The Hatch Lab development is located on the campus and will operate under a new five year partnership with Bank of Ireland. The Hatch Lab offers incubation and co-working facilities for fledgling micro-enterprises within the innovation and technology sector, and will set a vibrant and ambitious tone for the M11 Business Campus. More information can be found at thehatchlab.ie. “The package of projects we are progressing is certainly ambitious, but it’s a much needed injection of capital investment into a county that will reap significant rewards for these efforts,” concludes Enright. For further details see www.investwexford.ie

The Hatch Lab at M11 Business Campus, Gorey, Co Wexford

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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

In Association with

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26/07/2017 18:08


IB PARTNER PROFILE MINCON GROUP

Tool MASTERS Shannon-headquartered engineering group Mincon Group plc is this year celebrating 40 years in business as a top producer of state-of-theart engineered rock drills and associated parts.

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incon Group plc, the Irish engineering group specialising in the design, manufacture, sale and servicing of rock drilling tools and associated products is celebrating 40 years in business in 2017. The company, which was founded in Shannon in 1977 by Patrick and Mary Purcell, manufactures its products for a variety of industries, including mining, exploration, waterwell, geothermal, construction, horizontal directional drilling, oil-gas and energy. Since its inception, Mincon has had a clear vision and determined focus which gives priority to the highest design specifications, world-class manufacturing methods and processes, and the delivery of superior products to its customers. This same vision remains within the company today, and the firm is proud to have developed an enviable global reputation for its high-quality products, which can be found on sites all over the world. Maintaining its vision has been achieved in three main ways. Firstly, the company has invested in modern manufacturing facilities in Ireland, the USA, Canada, England and Australia. These plants have been outfitted with the latest machinery, allowing Mincon to control all aspects of the production process. Secondly, Mincon has established customer centres located in key markets around the InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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world. Third, Mincon retains top class employees and is dedicated to continuous training. This has ensured that Mincon has remained at the forefront of rock drill manufacturing, sales and service globally.

A CUT ABOVE THE REST Mincon utilises the newest manufacturing techniques and processes to ensure the highest quality and performance of its products. Mincon products have proven themselves superior to others in the market through the close tolerances used in their manufacturing, special heat treatment processes, and superior designs. Having the staff and equipment to achieve this has ensured that Mincon products are continuing to outperform the competition. The design and manufacture of Mincon products is carried out in multiple locations around the world. DTH hammers and bits are manufactured in Ireland by Mincon International, DTH bits are

manufactured in the USA by Mincon Rockdrills USA, Inc., and reverse circulation hammers and bits are manufactured in Australia by Mincon Rockdrills PTY Ltd. The company’s Canadian manufacturing plant, Mincon Rotacan, manufactures rotary drill bits, drill pipe and adaptors. Through definite lines of communication from manufacturers’ agents, results from testing and feedback from the field are relayed back to the design and manufacturing functions to ensure that any concerns, or improvements that the company’s customers feel should be made can be dealt with. Speaking about his company reaching 40 years in business, Mincon Group plc CEO, Joe Purcell says: “We are proud to have reached this milestone. This is an exciting time for everyone at Mincon as we grow our product and customer service offering. We look forward to seeing what the next 40 years will bring for the group.”

Mincon Group’s premises in Shannon

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Collaborative Robotics Research and Development Custom Automated Solutions Full System Integration Total Solution Provide

Robotics and Drives specialise in custom robotic solutions using the latest technologies – full customer test suite available for testing the latest in vision and robotic applications –robotic training.

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GDPR

DOWN TO THE BUSINESS

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to come into force in less than a year to replace the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive.

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he General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU. The regulation was adopted on April 27th 2016 and will come into force on May 25th 2018, following a two-year transition period. The regulation will replace the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive. The GDPR emphasises transparency, security and accountability by data controllers and processors, while at the same time standardising and strengthening the right of European citizens to data privacy. As a regulation, it will not generally require transposition into Irish law, as regulations have a direct effect. Consequently, organisations involved in data processing of any sort need to be aware that the regulation addresses them directly in terms of the obligations it imposes. In the wake of recent worldwide cyber events, the need for effective data protection has become apparent. The ransomware attacks ‘WannaCry’ and ‘GoldenEye’ have illustrated the clear need for stronger data protection, and the GDPR will aid in this endeavour. However, the implementation of the GDPR will require comprehensive changes to business practices for companies involved in data processing. Therefore, education and support in relation to data protection and privacy will be a critical factor for the regulation’s success. Luckily, businesses will not have to go it alone. Over the next few pages, InBUSINESS speaks to a number of companies about how they plan to help Irish firms to transition smoothly into compliance with the GDPR before the two-year transition period is up.

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27/07/2017 14:17 10:21


GDPR GRANT THORNTON

The New Deal WITH DATA The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is aimed at strengthening data protection within the EU, comes into effect on May 25th 2018, and those over at Grant Thorton are advising organisations on how to become compliant.

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ike a wink and a smile, data protection and cyber security go exceptionally well together, often focusing on and benefiting from the same measures. Good security is essential to maintaining privacy, while privacy is one of the main reasons for security. The core principles of both disciplines are closely aligned – to protect. The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from May 2018 brings with it opportunities to improve business processes and controls in an efficient manner. The GDPR requires a reset of many organisational practices, and with fewer than 250 working days until the GDPR comes into effect, there is no time to lose. GDPR compliance will, for most organisations, require largescale changes to how personal data is processed. The Data Protection Commissioner has stated unequivocally that fines will be applied from day one.

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The implementation of a GDPR compliance programme requires the collaboration of diverse skills from across organisations, including human resources, marketing, operations, information technology, cyber security and sales. Like current risks relating to IT and data, GDPR is a business risk, and all areas of the organisation will need to contribute to the new ways of working as a true understanding of the risk emerges. Much has been made of the new fines that can be levied by the Data Protection Commissioner, with some offences now carrying a penalty of up to a20 million or 4 per cent of a group’s turnover, whichever is highest. The new rights of data subjects to pursue legal remedies in the case of a data breach has received less coverage. This new right does not require evidence of harm, and data subjects may join together in class-action-like suits, so there is much to be done to mitigate the risk. Responding to the challenge of the GDPR will require active collaboration across multiple areas of a business. For many organisations, this challenge will be led by the newly defined Data Protection Officer role to ensure regulatory compliance in the pursuit of privacy of data for customers. This multi-faceted role will need to combine IT, marketing, operations, data management, legal and regulatory awareness alongside business process, market pressures, business

strategy and business culture in an independent, demonstrable and transparent manner. The task facing most organisations is where to start. An initial impact assessment will firstly help to inform

Although most organisations have mature IT and cyber security controls and processes in place, there are always challenges due to the persistent activity of cyber criminals an organisation of how big the challenge is and which areas are most at risk. Following this, a gap analysis will indicate where further action is required. Then, a privacy programme to manage deliverables to address action will be needed. These steps should be repeated as required. Although most organisations have mature IT and cyber security controls and processes in place, there are always challenges due to the persistent activity of cyber criminals. Cyber criminals look for weakness in an organisation’s control framework, from people to processes to technology. Data protection is of paramount importance in relation to cyber security, as criminals monetise their activity by targeting key individuals and systems in organisations. In the event of a cyber-breach under the GDPR, organsiations now have to report to the supervisory authority in a timely manner and demonstrate that appropriate controls were in place. Don’t delay – the deadline for GDPR compliance is fast approaching.

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GDPR DELOITTE

In Defence

OF DATA The implementation of the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is suggestive of an increased focus among businesses on the area of data protection, but skills within the field may still be lacking. Deloitte has the expertise to aid firms moving forward.

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eloitte is the largest professional services firm in the world, with global revenues of $36.8 billion. In Ireland, Deloitte is number two of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms in the world, providing audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services to a wide range of clients in different industries. Given recent trends and events in the world of technology, data protection has emerged as a subject at the forefront of many companies’ list of concerns, with data now representing a prized asset. Companies recognise the need to protect it, but might not yet possess the necessary skills or expertise to do so. If this is the case, Deloitte is there to help. “Business has been strong due to the renewed focus on key risk areas such as cyber, operational risk and data protection, amongst others,” says Colm McDonnell, partner at Deloitte and leader of Deloitte Ireland’s risk advisory department. “This will only increase as new threats and risks arise across all industries and technology innovation keeps on its upward curve.” There have been numerous global events and trends that have thrust the topic of data protection into the public consciousness recently. The worldwide ransomware attacks ‘WannaCry’ - which targeted computers by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency - and more recently ‘GoldenEye’, serve as a reminder of the importance of cyber security. These events stress the importance of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Colm McDonnell, Head of Risk Advisory, Deloitte Ireland

The GDPR is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. The regulation was adopted in April 2016 and will apply from May 2018, after a two-year transition period. “The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation can only be a good thing as it will break down many cross border data transfer barriers within EU states,” suggests McDonnell. “It also sets a high bar for non-EU states to achieve, and we are already seeing other non-EU countries adopting similar laws.” The implementation of the GDPR presents a challenge to companies that do not possess the skills to adopt the new regulation. “The GDPR is regarded as a hot topic across all of our clients, irrespective of industry,” says

While there is a lot of fear-mongering regarding the GDPR, we like to focus on the opportunities, from a strategic perspective, that the GDPR will bring, and there are many. McDonnell. “The skills shortage in this area is presenting many challenges for organisations who are looking to the likes of Deloitte to provide that skill. While there is a lot of fear-mongering regarding the GDPR, we like to focus on the opportunities, from a strategic perspective, that the GDPR will bring.” Deloitte has the expertise to aid its clients ahead of the GDPR coming into effect in 2018. The regulation represents an important step in the right direction for the future protection of data, and it’s important that businesses don’t get left behind.

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Get your free GDPR Readiness Assesment

Our team will do all the heavy-lifting for you: setup, configuration, and analysis with concrete steps to improve your general Data Protection Regulation Compliance

Your dedicated engineer will help you: • •

Identify in-scope GDPR data Find and revoke excessive access to personal information • Audit user activity and detect risky behaviour/ransomware • Identify and prioritize gaps in GDPR compliance Schedule your assessment!

Get in touch: Limerick | Cork | Dublin 1800 844 321 info@asystec.ie | www.asystec.ie

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26/07/2017 30/06/2017 16:17 11:42


GDPR ASYSTEC LIMITED

Compliance

is Key The GDPR legislation was enacted in 2016 and allows for a two-year window to comply. Brendan McPhillips, Security and Data Governance Lead at Asystec Limited, outlines what your business needs to know.

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he General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation is an enhancement to the Data Protection Directive, which regulates the processing of personal data within the EU. GDPR extends the compliance requirements that companies already adhere to. GDPR legislation applies to any organisation that holds EU citizens’ personal data, which is defined as any information relating to an identified or identifiable person or data subject. Some organisations do not believe the legislation applies to them, as they do not obtain or process third party personal data; however, it applies to them if they hold employee or third party vendor information. Unlike the previous legislation, the fines for non-compliance are high – up to 4 per cent of global turnover. This is to ensure that controllers of personal data take note and introduce the controls that heretofore have been lacking. Another consideration is the legislation’s extra-territoriality nature. Unlike previous legislation – which did not adequately address an organisation residing outside of the EU, yet still possessed EU citizens data – the GDPR applies to any organisation that processes EU citizens’ data. We have seen there is a willingness to comply with the legislation, but also a gap in the understanding of what tasks will need to be undertaken. Customers need to map InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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personal data flows through an organisation and to understand who is accessing this data. Controls for access and to identify when breaches Brendan McPhillips, of sensitive Security and Data information Governance Lead at Asystec have occurred Limited must be fit for purpose and regularly reviewed. Customers must be able to Human error will be a key identify where legacy personal data consideration of compliance. Once resides, and to understand controls are agreed, and policies and procedures and technology are in how they can address a subject access place, one of the greatest sources of request within the timescales outlined compromise will be human error. It is in the legislation. imperative that developers, business Well documented policies and heads, IT and compliance staff are procedures must be in place around sufficiently trained to understand their breach identification and notification, responsibilities as part of the GDPR. personal data processing purposes, Asystec would encourage destruction of legacy data and data organisations to start the process minimisation. Documentation around immediately, to understand what what decisions have been made and the legislation entails, to understand why, will help when dealing with data flows through their organisation compliance requests. and to begin the discussions around GDPR compliance for an policies and procedures for current organisation will be a multi-discipline and future data gathering activities task. While there may be a Data within their organisation. Protection Officer (DPO) assigned, it Asystec can address many will need more than the DPO’s efforts to ensure compliance. Ensuring that all components of the GDPR legislation through its data-centric focus offerings relevant people within an organisation and solutions. In particular, our free understand the processes and GDPR readiness assessment will help processing of data will help to companies to understand some of ensure compliance. Companies struggling to fill an open DPO position, the key aspects of the legislation and highlight some of the efforts that will and who have not yet started any need to be addressed. efforts to meet the deadline for compliance, will be forced to rush For more information please contact efforts in 2018, when a lack of varonis@asystec.ie. resources will become prevalent.

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IB PARTNER PROFILE ROSSNAREE HOUSE

Quiet Exclusivity at Rossnaree One of Hidden Ireland’s luxurious country houses, Rossnaree House in Co Meath, offers a relaxing retreat in beautiful surroundings.

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James Fennell

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lavish new publication from Blackstaff Press, Hidden Ireland, Discover Ireland’s Most Beautiful Houses documents some of Ireland’s most alluring properties. Hidden Ireland is a fascinating family of historic and family-run private houses located around the country, each of which is full of character, charm, history and fine, traditional food. Featuring eclectic interiors, family portraits and prized collections of art, antiques and fine porcelain, as well as the marvellous architecture and magnificent gardens that these houses are known for, James Fennell’s evocative photographs combine with Josephine Ryan’s lively, authoritative text to tell the story of Hidden Ireland – the history, the style and above all the personalities that are at the heart of these glorious houses. As Ryan says in her introductory text, “The selection criteria for membership of Hidden Ireland is strict, and it’s as much about the people as the bricks and mortar. The houses are all privately owned, and the owners are as different as the properties, but they all have one thing in common – they are genuinely delighted to receive visitors. In return, they offer visitors a slice of their own lives – usually in an oasis of calm with the occasional bit of madness thrown in for the craic.” There are 30 historic properties in Hidden Ireland, alongside 22 properties available for self-catering stays, spread throughout the country.

Among these hidden gems is Rossnaree House, a private country house in Slane overlooking the Boyne Valley’s famous megalithic site of Newgrange. With views to the bend in the River Boyne, guests can still see the ruins of a small cottage where monks from the Cistercian Abbey of Mellifont set their salmon traps. Proprietor and artist Aisling Law, great-granddaughter of Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, oversees the day-to-day operations of this boutique bed and breakfast. Combining beautiful Victorian and Italian architecture with a breathtaking landscape, guests can stay in one of four luxury and individually styled rooms – The William Morris Room, The Bird Room, The Tiger Room and The River Room. Aisling’s private collection of Irish antiques and special artefacts from her travels in India and Africa combine beautifully to give Rossnaree an individual, eclectic style. Guests can enjoy a sumptuous Irish

breakfast in the elegant dining room or an artisan picnic basket on private land along the River Boyne. The kitchen’s mission is to eventually source all of its food from Rossnaree’s land – the grounds are home to a small farm with flocks of free-range farm fowl, including geese, guinea fowl, hens and roosters, cared for by resident bird-man Jurandir. Rossnaree House also offers an exclusive fishing package with private access to beats on the nearby Boyne, while the on-site Rossnaree Art School provides intensive three-day summer art courses for students in June, July and August 2017. Located only 40 minutes from Dublin and an hour from Belfast, Rossnaree offers an unrivalled experience, a peaceful retreat that you’re unlikely to forget. For more information, phone 041 982 0975 or visit www.rossnaree.ie InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 14:00


IB PARTNER PROFILE MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY

Knowledge and Expertise At Maynooth University, students are encouraged to develop a unique way of thinking so that they’re industry-ready when they graduate, as InBUSINESS discovered when we spoke to Maynooth University President, Professor Philip Nolan.

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ver the last decade, Maynooth University has roughly doubled its number of students on campus, with figures currently standing at around 12,000. This figure is expected to grow to about 16,000 or 17,000 by 2025, before the rates begin to stabilise. Such figures serve as excitement for Philip Nolan, President of Maynooth University, and are reflective of the quality research and outstanding courses offered at the university. For Nolan, one of the most unique and important aspects of Maynooth University is its focus on interdisciplinary discourse and interaction. Students are encouraged to engage with faculties outside of their own, not getting caught up in an echo chamber of their own specific areas of expertise. “At Maynooth, both at undergraduate and at research level, you hear people talking to each other across disciplines, and we know that really complex problems, both in research terms and in terms of our daily work and lives, require you to look at them from different perspectives,” suggests Nolan. “I’m a very strong advocate that if you expose a student to more than one discipline, they develop quite a unique way of thinking. The fact that they’re approaching things from two very different ways of thinking InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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Professor Philip Nolan, President, Maynooth University

makes them a unique problem solver when they’re working in a team after they graduate.” Nolan refers to a paradox of modern day employment – that employers today seek graduates with expertise in their own specific field, but who also possess the flexibility to engage with other fields and sectors. Maynooth University tackles this very issue through the quality of its courses as well as their structure. A particular emphasis has been placed on work experience and volunteering in recent years, the benefits of which will be felt by graduates about to enter the workforce. Research, too, is of pivotal importance, as Nolan explains. “The single most important thing that research does in Ireland is to produce highly-trained graduates at bachelors, masters and doctoral level,” he says. “Those people go on to work in enterprise, and these are the highly skilled people that employers talk about when a major company decides to locate in Galway or Kildare or Dublin. They talk about the talent pool, and quite an amount of that talent pool is now educated to masters or doctoral level. We can only do that

sufficiently if we are at the cutting edge of research.” A further jewel in the university’s current make-up is MaynoothWorks, the university’s new business incubator. It offers expert mentoring, a great network, executive coaching and access to funding for technology start-ups. The incubator is in a stateof-the-art building, featuring offices, hot desks, labs, conference spaces and meeting rooms. “We’re delighted with MaynoothWorks - it’s 90 per cent full,” says Nolan. “We opened it two years ago, so we’re beginning to think about expanding it.” There are currently around 30 startups operating out of the incubator, employing 70 staff. Nolan says the start-up success stories coming out of Maynooth University often surprise people. “Most think of Maynooth University as very much arts and social sciences, which we are and we’re proud of that. But we’re also very successful in the sciences and engineering, particularly in biotechnology, immunology, diabetes, wireless technology and imaging and drone technology.”

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IB PARTNER PROFILE DUBLIN PORT

Bringing in

The People The Irish ports are vital gateways to the UK and European markets, with Dublin Port, in particular, facilitating vast numbers of people and goods coming into Ireland.

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ublin Port has grown by 25 per cent in the last four years alone, with some 80 per cent of the goods entering Ireland coming in through the port. Healthy trade statistics for Dublin Port for the first quarter of 2017 show continued growth of 4.2 per cent, after last year’s record throughput of 34.9 million gross tonnes. The current pace of growth sees Dublin Port on course for its fourth consecutive recordbreaking year. The largest part of Dublin Port’s business is roll-on/roll-off freight trailers and lift on/lift off containers. The former grew by 7.7 per cent in the first three months of this year, while lo-lo containers grew by 0.1 per cent. May 2017 was a record month for the port, with a total throughput of 3,182,834 gross tonnes.

Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services, Dublin Port

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While cargo is the backbone of Dublin Port’s operations, it also has a significant role to play in tourism. There are currently 14 ferry crossings between Dublin and the UK daily, carrying over 1.8 million passengers and over 500,000 passenger vehicles to the country in 2016. On top of this, Dublin welcomed 109 cruise ships in 2016, carrying almost 160,000 passengers, each of which spent an average of a100, resulting in a a1.6 million boost for the Dublin economy. This year, Dublin city will welcome over 200,000 cruise passengers holidaying aboard 130 cruise ships. Dublin Port Company has been the driving force behind the development of Dublin’s flourishing cruise tourism business. Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services at Dublin Port Company, believes that, as the cruise tourism business evolved, it was clear that Dublin Port was particularly well placed to become an attractive cruise turnaround home port. “As cruise lines build and deploy new ships, new markets are created,” he says. “In our experience, cruise lines will seek

home ports for these new, larger ships and Dublin has strong potential to become an attractive cruise turnaround home port. The proximity to the city centre of the berths for cruise ships to be built as part of Dublin Port Company’s Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project, the proximity of Dublin Port to Dublin Airport, and growing passenger demand for Dublin as a marquee cruise tourism destination, all support this objective. Home porting is the next step in creating a positive economic impact for the city, enhancing inbound tourism and contributing to the development of the surrounding Docklands area.” Cruise Dublin, Dublin Port Company’s new Cruise Tourism Development and Marketing agency, was established last year to promote Dublin as Ireland’s premier port of choice for all things cruise. Its efforts have already borne fruit, with Celebrity Cruises earlier this year confirming Dublin as a home port to one of its guest Solstice-class ships during summer 2018. It is estimated that over 14,000 people, primarily from the US and northern Europe, will start their cruise holiday from Dublin on a Celebrity Cruises ship in 2018. The initiative will be worth an estimated a6m to Dublin and the surrounding area in knock-on economic benefits, and represents the most significant increase in Celebrity Cruises’ investment into Ireland. The opportunities that the investment will bring to the city are extensive, providing a platform for Dublin Port to grow further, welcoming more cruise ships and holidaymakers to Dublin for the first time. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

27/07/2017 14:03


IB PARTNER PROFILE NEW IRELAND ASSURANCE

Retirement Savings MADE SIMPLE James Skehan, Head of Pensions at New Ireland, gives InBUSINESS the lowdown on its pension fund offerings.

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ew Ireland offers its customers two IRIS pension funds. The first, Active IRIS, is actively managed by a combination of State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) and Legal & General Investment Managers (LGIM), and the second, Passive IRIS, is passively managed by State Street Global Advisors. Both funds operate on a target date basis, meaning that customers select the date from which they expect to take their retirement benefits and the fund automatically invests their savings in an appropriate asset mix made up of assets such as equities, bonds and cash. In the early years, the fund mainly invests in equities and other assets with a higher potential for growth. Fifteen years before the selected retirement date, the fund starts to gradually move into lower risk assets automatically, without the need for customers to make any complex investment decisions. The rate at which the assets move from higher risk to lower risk continues over the last five years, culminating in a final asset mix at retirement of 75 per cent low to medium risk and 25 per cent cash.

BUSINESS OWNERS AND COMPANY DIRECTORS The vast majority of company directors and self-employed people opt to take 25 per cent of their fund as a lump sum and use the balance to invest in an ARF/AMRF (Approved Retirement Fund/ Approved Minimum Retirement Fund) at retirement. The new asset mix at retirement of the IRIS funds lends ideally to this scenario and InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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provides an ideal platform to decide on an investment strategy going into retirement. While a small minority of business owners may wish to take an active role in investment decisions, New Ireland believes the lifestyle strategy behind its IRIS funds provide an ideal solution for most individuals.

GREATER FLEXIBILITY IRIS funds can be mixed with other available funds if an investor wants to implement their own pension investment strategy. This flexibility might appeal to retirement savers who like the automated investment strategy that IRIS provides, but who

“Successful business people by and large achieve their success by concentrating on their own business and by focusing on what they know best.

want some level of active investment decision-making. The flexibility of the IRIS funds also allows for changes to retirement plans, simply by changing the end date on the IRIS fund. Furthermore, if customers want to increase or decrease the risk profile of their fund, they can do so by changing their expected retirement date within IRIS.

RETIREMENT SAVINGS Successful business people by and large achieve their success by concentrating on their own business and by focusing on what they know best. The improved IRIS lifestyle

James Skehan, Head of Pensions at New Ireland

funds from New Ireland invest pension savings in an appropriate asset mix based on your term to retirement, giving customers the time and freedom to concentrate on themselves and their business.

Terms and conditions apply. New Ireland Assurance Company plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of Bank of Ireland Group. The Company may hold units in the fund on its own account.

WARNING The value of your investment can go down as well as up. If you invest in this fund you may lose some or all of the money you invest. This fund may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates. If you invest in this product you will not have access to your money until your retirement date.

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IB PARTNER PROFILE KPMG

Opportunities for Change New research suggests that CEOs have disruption on their minds.

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recently conducted survey by KPMG reports that three in four CEOs worldwide are aiming to disrupt their sector. This then leads to the question of what the ramifications of such distruption would mean for a company and the manner with which it operates? For CEOs in Ireland, making bold moves in the market, while ensuring resilience in a changing world, inevitably has implications. To prepare for uncertainty in the years to come, CEOs are strengthening their existing markets and core businesses, reports KPMG in CEO Outlook, a survey of Ireland’s leading chief executives. A significant number of CEOs (73 per cent in the Republic of Ireland and 64 per cent

in Northern Ireland) are increasing their presence in established markets as a strategic priority. By comparison, 73 per cent of chief executives in the Republic of Ireland are looking at new markets, versus 48 per cent of their counterparts in Northern Ireland. According to Shaun Murphy, Managing Partner of KPMG in Ireland, the impact of Brexit is inevitably causing many CEOs to reassess where to focus their attention. “The UK will remain a major market for business on this island, and while the hope is for frictionless trade – regardless of jurisdiction – it makes sense to explore additional opportunities.” The study also found that almost half of local CEOs (47 per cent in the

Disrupt and grow Irish CEO Outlook 2017

90%

For many of our clients, innovation isn’t necessarily about changing everything they’ve got. Republic of Ireland and 44 per cent in Northern Ireland) expect their business to be transformed into a significantly different entity within three years. “For many of our clients, innovation isn’t necessarily about changing everything they’ve got,” says Darina Barrett, Head of Financial Services with KPMG in Ireland. “It’s more about pursuing opportunities to change because it makes sense and not being wedded to something just because it has always been there.”

of Irish CEOs see disruption as an opportunity – not a threat.

Learn more at kpmg.ie #CEOoutlook

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27/07/2017 14:06


IB PARTNER PROFILE ŠKODA

COMPACT QUALITY The ŠKODA KAROQ has recently been unveiled with lots of space and state-of-the-art technology.

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ot on the heels of the recently released KODIAQ, ŠKODA has unveiled a new compact SUV, the KAROQ. The vehicle offers exceptional space and functionality for five people and includes new technologies such as driver-assistance systems, full LED headlights and, for the first time in a ŠKODA, a digital instrument panel. Five engine variants are available, from 85kW (115 bhp) to 140kW (190 bhp), and a number of ‘Simply Clever’ features are included in the SUV, such as a rear seat VarioFlex system and a virtual pedal for hands-free opening of the boot. The ŠKODA KAROQ is a sports utility vehicle with character. Its exterior shape, modified lines and larger dimensions present a completely new vehicle with an emotive and dynamic design. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 521 litres with the rear seats in place. With the rear seats folded down, the volume increases to 1,630 litres. The VarioFlex system consists of three separate seats, which can be individually adjusted or completely removed to reveal van-like proportions with a maximum load capacity of 1,810 litres. The KAROQ is at the top of its segment in terms of innovative connectivity solutions. The infotainment building blocks come from the second generation of ŠKODA’s Modular Infotainment Matrix, offering state-of-the-art functions InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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and interfaces, and equipped with capacitive touch displays. The ŠKODA KAROQ offers a comprehensive range of driver assistance systems. New systems are available for the KAROQ in order to keep the car at a safe distance from the car ahead, to make it easier for the driver to change and keep in lane, to point out important traffic signs, and to assist when parking. A freely programmable digital instrument panel is available in the KAROQ, and the cockpit displays can be set to the driver’s individual preferences. Full-LED headlights with clear-lens optics are available as an option for the ŠKODA KAROQ. In the interior, new LED ambient lighting in the decorative door trims and the dashboard creates a pleasant atmosphere, which can be set to one of ten colours. The ŠKODA KAROQ chassis also sets benchmarks in its segment and

demonstrates its quality, even off the beaten track. From the Ambition trim level upwards, Driving Mode Select with Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow (4x4) modes is available on request. The off-road mode with all-wheel drive improves the driving characteristics on rough terrain. Speaking at the unveiling of the KAROQ, Ray Leddy, Head of Marketing at ŠKODA Ireland, said: “After the huge success of the KODIAQ, our SUV journey continues with the arrival of the KAROQ. As part of ŠKODA’s 2025 Strategy, the brand will be continually expanding its model range over the coming years. The primary focus will be on broadening the SUV range. Irish customers can expect to see the KAROQ in dealer showrooms this winter in time to order for January.”

For further information visit www.skoda.ie

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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT ARAMARK WORKPLACE SOLUTIONS

Solutions SPECIALISTS InBUSINESS spoke to Roger Brennan, MD of Aramark Workplace Solutions, about opportunities for the FM sector and navigating the threat of Brexit.

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s Ireland’s largest facilities management provider, Aramark has the experience and resources to provide its clients with turnkey solutions, something that Roger Brennan, MD of Aramark Workplace Solutions, believes is a compelling reason for clients – both national and international – to look to Aramark when taking the decision to outsource. “Across all divisions, we are uniquely positioned to deliver all non-core services to any organisations looking to transition to an outsourced model,” explains Brennan. The company’s solution services are certainly wide-ranging. They include front-of-house, mechanical and electrical, cleaning, building fabric, projects, energy solutions and landscaping. “Because we have a food services division and property management division, it allows us to offer total facilities management solutions,” Brennan adds. When it comes to the type of clients on Aramark’s books, every industry seems to feature. The client base includes companies from tech, B&I, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, public sector and aviation sectors. As Brennan points out, “our business is structured appropriately to operate in almost all business environments”. In terms of the economic landscape for FM companies in Ireland right now, despite citing

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the usual challenges of increased costs in staffing and materials, the commoditisation of services, inflation and the bid to retain talent, Brennan is positive about the sector’s prospects here. “With economic growth returning we are now seeing an increase in construction and the continuation of foreign direct investment companies choosing Ireland as a European base,” he says. “This augurs well in both the short and long term. Facility management in Ireland continues to thrive, with many organisations identifying the benefits of opting for an outsourced model.” Brexit is inevitably a concern, as with most businesses based in Ireland, but Brennan identifies how Britain’s exit from the EU can be an opportunity for Aramark and the FM sector in general. “Brexit might mean uncertainty over the coming years, but it does offer facility management organisations the opportunity to modernise and strengthen their customer offer,” he suggests. “We believe this is not the time for facility management to wait passively for whatever may happen, but rather seize the moment and show strong leadership. Aramark is well positioned to navigate its way forward.” With economic growth having returned coupled with more and more major multinationals choosing to open headquarters here, the feeling is that facility management companies stand to gain in the years ahead. “Facility management in Ireland continues to thrive, with many organisations identifying the benefits of opting for an outsourced model,” suggests Brennan. “With so many global businesses now maintaining operations in Ireland, as well as public sector and indigenous Irish

Roger Brennan, MD of Aramark Workplace Solutions

businesses, we are in the fortunate position of not only providing services locally, but also internationally.” Brennan will certainly be keeping abreast of the changes and opportunities within the sector, ensuring that Aramark remains the go-to company for businesses considering the option of outsourcing. “Since my appointment I’ve taken my time to visit clients and customers to take their views on board and have a thorough knowledge of every account,” he explains. “As a member of the exec team of Aramark, it is important that I take the time to immerse myself in all aspects of our business and this will continue for the foreseeable future. Having operated in various roles within Aramark Work Solutions I have broad knowledge of what we do well and it is my intention to refine and strengthen these USPs ensuring that we remain at the forefront of the FM sector.” InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT CBRE

FIRST CLASS FM CBRE Global Workplace Solutions is Ireland’s leading facilities management and maintenance service provider, counting some of Ireland and the EU’s most successful companies as its clients.

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echnology is playing a vital role in enabling CBRE GWS to support its clients’ facilities. Employee expectations as to how and where they work, as well as clients’ reporting and cost management obligations, have created opportunities for CBRE GWS to refine FM service delivery by developing and applying smart building technologies. The use of technology allows CBRE GWS to monitor building performance, identify faults, and implement solutions – all in real time. Facilities management today is about more than simply providing

trade or other services to run a building. It’s about investing time in knowing each client and its business, and understanding its decision making processes. The enduring relationships that CBRE GWS creates with each client enable it to adapt services to meet the fluctuating markets in which clients operate. Partnering with each client and assuming full responsibility for the management and maintenance of clients’ facilities – from providing help desk support and contract administration to electrical and mechanical maintenance, and specialist technical services for critical

environments – mean that CBRE’s clients are free to focus on their own clients and core businesses.

Facilities management is about partnering with clients to create a workplace that benefits asset owners, employees and building visitors. It’s about creating a competitive advantage for clients through making workplaces function safely, productively and efficiently. This is CBRE GWS. We know our clients, their businesses and their assets. We’re in a position to provide the best advice and services to manage and maintain buildings, assets, and facilities. The decision to outsource doesn’t need to be troubling. Contact CBRE GWS for a candid discussion about a FM strategy to suit your assets, needs and budget. • • • • • • • • •

Asset condition survey and life cycle management Electrical and mechanical maintenance Energy and sustainability Building fabric maintenance and repairs Cost management and reporting Maintenance strategy Capital expenditure programs Supply chain and procurement management Smart buildings technologies

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CBRE GWS Ireland Ireland’s leading FM provider Telephone: 00 353 (0) 1 829 3987 Email: Michael.baumgart@cbre.com Website: www.cbre.ie/ie_en/services/corporate

27/06/2017 14:50

27/07/2017 14:11


LIFESTYLE: motoring

THE NEW BMW 5 SERIES IS FASTER, MORE FUEL EFFICIENT AND LIGHTER THAN ITS PREDECESSOR, KEOGH. WRITES OLIVE KEOGH 130

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LIFESTYLE: motoring

ext year marks the launch of BMW’s new flagship, the 8 Series coupe. It is designed to go head-to-head with the Mercedes S-class coupe and convertible and BMW boss Harald Krueger says it will demonstrate that “razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand in hand”. The new model will launch in Europe next year and BMW is keeping the likely price tag under wraps. However, competing vehicles from Mercedes currently cost in the region of €100,000 €270,000. The 8 Series replaces the 6 Series coupe and cabriolet. The 5 Series may be a little further down BMW’s food chain and less of a halo product. Nevertheless, it’s a big selling model and hugely important for the brand as a result. The 5 Series was recently replaced although one would be forgiven for not noticing as the styling changes are subtle. That’s partly a business decision as continuity of styling helps support residual values. What has changed is the scale of the techfest on board and it now comes with advanced features such as voice activated navigation and a concierge service that connects the driver to a BMW call centre

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agent who will locate a restaurant or the nearest ATM and send the address details to the navigation system. The cabin of the new 5 Series feels very much like being in a scaled down 7 Series and it has benefited significantly from a 7 Series-derived technology upgrade. Examples include remote parking, dynamic cruise control, evasion aid and (optional) gesture control for the main functions whereby you wave your hand in front of the centre console to do tasks such as accepting a phone call or turning up or down the audio controls. The 5 Series is a fully connected vehicle and Microsoft Office 365 users have access to a secure server connection for exchanging emails, calendar entries and contact details. The new model is faster, more fuel efficient and lighter than its predecessor thanks to the magnesium, aluminium and high-strength steel under body. It also gets new suspension and is tight and precise to drive. The ride comfort is firm and a slightly edgy over poor surfaces, but to some extent that’s the price

one pays for choosing “a driver’s car”. The safety spec is sky high and includes tyre pressure monitoring, park distance control, driving assistant plus, multiple airbags and dynamic cruise control. The test car also had xDrive (allwheel-drive) which is well worth considering for what it brings to the party in terms of grip and stability. The biggest selling 5 Series model here will be the 520d and prices for the Series range start at €51,950. Automatic transmission

is standard along with a multimedia navigation system with a 10.25” touch widescreen. Drivers of the 5 Series are typically saloon buyers, but there is also an accomplished estate or Touring version available at a starting price of €55,790. It is well worth considering before rushing off to buy an SUV or crossover, which will provide an appealing higher driving position for sure, but will trail the Touring by some margin when it comes to bootspace.

MODEL: BMW 5 Series 530d X Drive M Sport automatic ENGINE: 2993cc diesel PRICE: €90,736 CO2 EMISSIONS: 138g/km FUEL CONSUMPTION: Combined cycle 5.3l/100km

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MOTOR ING: LIFESTYLE: motoring

Stride

IN ITS

ONCE A MINIVAN, NOW A PROPER SUV, MOTORING CORRESPONDENT OLIVE KEOGH GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE ALL-NEW PEUGEOT 3008.

he mid-sized car market is feeling the squeeze. On one side, it is facing intense competition from the skyrocketing popularity of SUVs and crossovers while on the other it has to cope with the premium car makers migrating into its space in search of niche sales with smaller models. Major stalwarts of the segment such as the VW Golf and Ford Focus saw their European sales drop by 7.9 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively in 2016 while sales of SUVs rose 20 per cent to one million. Other main casualties of the changing tastes are

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body styles. Three-door hatchbacks will soon be a thing of the past while other body types are also under pressure from rising sales of SUVs and crossovers in particular. Those set to benefit most from the change are manufacturers with a choice of SUVs and crossovers to offer. It also helps to have an SUV good enough to beat off stiff competition to win the European Car of the Year by a margin of 23 votes – a feat achieved by the all-new Peugeot 3008. If you thought the 3008 was more minivan than SUV, you’re right. It was.

But the latest version has been transformed into a proper SUV and everything about it has been ungraded in the process. The new, almost macho styling makes a bold statement while the redesigned cabin, with its digital instrumentation, has made a big move upmarket. There have also been major improvements to the equipment and technology levels. The new 3008 comes in five trims levels: Access, Active, Allure, GT Line and GT and prices start at €25,995. The test car, however, was at the top end of the range and even came with its own electric scooter which stores neatly in the boot area with its charger. If you wanted to buy one separately it costs around

€1,375 and is called the Peugeot e-KICK. Standard equipment on the 3008 GT included a smartphone charging plate, electronic stability control, Nappa leather upholstery, dual zone climate control, hill assist, blind spot detection and active lane keeping assistance. One option worth having, even at €550, is the electronic tailgate. It might sound like a frippery, but once you’ve sampled the convenience of an electric boot lid you will never want to return to the manual alternative. No more putting shopping down to open the boot or getting your hands wet or dirty while doing so. The 3008 has a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating and comes with flat InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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LIFESTYLE: motoring

MODEL: 3008 GT 6-speed automatic PRICE: €44,945 ENGINE: 2.0 Blue HDI, 180bhp CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km): 124g/km FUEL CONSUMPTION: 4.8litres / 100km

folding rear seats that can be easily folded from the boot. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, the raised driving position is appealing and there is ample cabin storage for small items. The boot comes with a double floor for maximum storage. There is a choice of petrol or diesel power including Peugeot’s multi award-winning 1.2-litre PureTech 130bhp turbo petrol engine. On the road, the 3008 takes everything in its stride. It is nippy and neat for city commutes, but equally at home at motorway cruising speeds. It handles well and feels very secure thanks to the advanced grip control technology which works in conjunction with the hill assist descent control system. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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BOSCH IN BID TO SAFEGUARD MOTORCYCLISTS Automotive supplier, Bosch, says its new digital protective shield technology could prevent one-third of all motorcycle accidents. The technology “connects” cars and motorbikes and an image of a motorcycle flashes on the car driver’s infotainment screen to alert him or her that a motorbike is approaching. Bikers are 18 times more at risk of being killed in an accident than car drivers and two of the most dangerous potential collision points are at intersections and during overtaking. Bosch has teamed up with Autotalks, Cohda Wireless, and Ducati to develop its solution which works by exchanging information (up to ten times a second) about vehicle type, speed, position and direction of travel.

TUAM-BASED FIRM IS TRUE TRAILBLAZER IN TECH While Ireland’s presence in the automotive supply market is a shadow of what it once was, Tuam in Co Galway is blazing a trail when it comes to supporting the future of autonomous driving. Tuam is home to Valeo Vision Systems (VSS), a significant operation within the French-owned Valeo group, a world player in driver assistance systems. Tuam’s expertise is in cameras that help drivers to reverse and manoeuvre safely and customers include BMW, Volvo and VW/Audi. VSS, which employs over 700 people, was formerly Irish-owned company, Connaught Electronics. It was acquired by the French in 2007. Valeo was the first to market in Europe with what has become a common piece of equipment on our cars today - the reversing camera.

FORD TO OPEN INNOVATION HUB With the advent of technologies such as autonomous cars and driverless travel pods, car manufacturers are fast becoming providers of transport solutions not just producers of hardware. Ford was quick to see how the wind was blowing and will boost its presence in the mobility solutions space later this year when it opens a dedicated office in London to focus on future mobility solutions for European cities. The company says the office will accelerate its R&D into urban transport challenges and the unit’s location in the Here East innovation hub puts Ford right in the heart of a vibrant digital and entrepreneurial community with close academic links. The unit will employ approximately 40 people from relevant specialist backgrounds.

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LIFESTYLE: motoring

Charging Future into the

TESLA HAS LAUNCHED ITS FIRST OFFICIAL STORE IN IRELAND. CONOR FORREST TAGGED ALONG ON THE OPENING DAY TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE AUTOMOTIVE FUTURE.

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28/07/2017 14:19


LIFESTYLE: motoring MODEL: Tesla Model X 90D PRICE: €115,050 (€150,325 as tested) POWER: 416hp (90kWh battery) 0-100KM/H: 4.8s TOP SPEED: 250km/h MOTOR TAX: €120 per annum

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t happened with an electronic whirr rather than a gasoline-powered roar, but Tesla has officially arrived in Ireland. Earlier this year, the American automaker launched its first Irish store (not a dealership) and service centre in Sandyford, with a Supercharger unveiled at a fuel station just off the M8 in Ballacolla, Co Laois – free charging stations that can charge Tesla’s cars in minutes rather than hours. Interest in Tesla’s arrival in Ireland is unsurprisingly strong. After all, it’s a while since a new brand arrived on Irish shores, and this is Tesla, a company propelled forward by captain of industry Elon Musk. Musk might have a comic book supervillain’s name and he does own a giant drilling machine, but there’s no doubting his drive towards setting the world on a less destructive course, striving towards goals that include a significant reduction in global warming and investing heavily in getting man to Mars should we fall short of saving the planet. Though Tesla previously accepted orders from customers here via its Irish portal, now you can simply swagger into the sleek and modern store in Sandyford and have your name added to the waiting list for the Model X electric SUV or the powerful Model S electric sedan. Both share certain similarities. As the battery is located in the floor, a low centre of gravity adds to stability, handling and performance, as does all-wheel drive with a motor on each axle – standard across the X and all bar one of the S. Inside, a 17-inch touchscreen dominates the central console, controlling the vast majority of functions, including the software updates that arrive over the air, free for the vehicle’s lifetime. Both can seat up to seven people. On the downside, both also share certain question marks over interior quality, given their expensive price tags. Standard equipment includes active safety technologies such as collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking, sat nav, full LED headlights and a medical-grade HEPA filter that strips pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollutants from the outside air, not to mention

Tesla’s nifty auto-pilot system. The Model X is Tesla’s latest effort, having launched in 2015. Despite looking a little ungainly, its panoramic windshield makes you feel as if you’re in the captain’s chair of the Starship Enterprise – Tesla says it’s the largest ‘curved windshield’ on any vehicle currently in production, though a small rear window restricts visibility while reversing, as does the middle rear headrest. As with all EVs, it’s quite nippy, accelerating from 0-100km/h in 3.1 seconds, accompanied by responsive steering and plenty of grip, and a top range of 565km. However, it’s a little too weighty to feel truly sporty, and not overly exciting beyond the fabulous acceleration. The seats are comfortable and the cabin is nicely refined – in the absence of engine growl you can hear more noise from the road and tyres, but it’s by no means overwhelming. Opt for smaller wheels if you can – the 22-inch options look nice but make the ride a lot firmer. What really stood out for me is how incredibly practical the Model X is inside – the second bench row folds flat, opening the interior up to a whopping 2,493.9L of storage space. And, considering there’s no engine, there’s even more room for storage under the bonnet. If you opt for three rows your boot space is understandably reduced, though the false floor can be removed to access further storage space underneath. The double-hinged falcon wing doors are a nice touch – they look quite cool but also offer better entry and manoeuvrability, particularly when parked in tight spaces. However, the Model S is what most of us were there to drive. Sit behind the wheel of a top-of-the-range Model S P100D, as I did, and you’ll experience something that is hard to put into words. I imagine it’s akin to stepping out of a plane with a weight on your back and plummeting at speed towards the ground. The acceleration is truly astonishing – the aptly named Ludicrous mode will shift you from 0-100km/h in a mere 2.7 seconds, 0.2 of a second slower than the 8.0L 1,500hp Bugatti Chiron. A proper driver’s car, it’s comfortable, fast, looks

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LIFESTYLE: motoring

MODEL: Tesla Model S P100D PRICE: €165,350 (€209,035 as tested) POWER: 605hp (100kWh battery) 0-100KM/H: 4.8s TOP SPEED: 250km/h MOTOR TAX: €120 per annum

the part and can travel up to 613km between charges, putting paid to range anxiety. The same practicality is here in spades – luggage space front and back totals 894L, rising to 1,795 once the rear seats are dropped. The cabin is well refined, dimming the sounds of the outside world, and if you’ve got a big family you can opt for an extra two rear-facing seats that fold up from the boot floor, though suitable only for kids. It’s safe too, scoring an impressive five stars in the Euro NCAP safety test. It’s also incredibly easy to drive – like the X you simply sit in, flick the gear selector to D, hit the accelerator and move off with a disquieting lack of noise. Driving around town can be a little uncomfortable, thanks to the sheer bulk, but the power is delivered evenly at low speeds. Reversing into parking spaces would be tricky without the reversing camera and sensors, but technology saves the day. If you’re not feeling up to the challenge, download the Tesla app and let the car drive itself in and out of the space while you watch.

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Electric Decisions With top of the class range, Tesla has essentially put paid to range anxiety. The Supercharger in Laois is just one of a number planned in the coming months and years, free for the equivalent of roughly 1,600km each year and incurring a “small” fee thereafter. Ten destination chargers are available at locations across the country, or you could simply avail of Ireland’s impressive network of free public chargers, though you’ll have to fork out around €400 for an adaptor for the ESB’s fast charge units. You can also buy a home charger from Tesla for about €500 that will top up your new wheels from empty overnight. If you’re still feeling nervous, just ask Model S owner Grattan Healy for some reassurance.

Healy recently completed a 9,500km trip from Galway to Morocco via Edinburgh – Dublin to Cork should be a doddle. However, EV ownership in Ireland thus far has been fairly disappointing, with roughly 2,000 sold here over the past number of years despite Government incentives of up to €10,000. The best-selling model is the Nissan Leaf which, at €21,490, doesn’t cost much more than the new Micra, and quite a bit less than the Volkswagen e-Golf or BMW i3. Given Tesla’s high prices for the Models X and S, they remain motors for early adopters, for those keen to get a taste of the future and have the bank balance to comfortably do so. The Model X 75 D, featuring a 75kWh battery with a range of around 417km, has a starting price of €107,591. If range is your key concern, €119,100 will get you the P100D version with a 100kWh battery and a distance of around 565km on a single charge. The Model S is also a pricey proposition – think €84,300 for the base model with a 75kWh battery and a range of 490km. If you want the most exhilarating experience, the P100D will set you back a cool €165,350. Then again there are significant fuel savings to be made, not to mention annual road tax of just €120 per year. And what other car can add new features over a 3G connection as the car ages? Depending on how keenly Tesla’s incoming and supposedly affordably priced Model 3 (the first aimed at the mass market) will be priced, the brand could potentially provide a significant boost for EV interest in Ireland, even if it only persuades more drivers to look into this whole EV business. It represents the future of motoring – sustainable and efficient without having to sacrifice style, not to mention bristling with cool technology. Swing by Sandyford and see for yourself.

Corporate Customers Alongside private buyers, Tesla is keen to promote its capabilities as a company car. In addition to government incentives, low road tax and fuel bills, Tesla cars are eligible for the Accelerated Capital Allowance, which allows you to “cut your company’s taxable income by 100 per cent of eligible energy-efficient equipment in the first year of purchase”. InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

28/07/2017 14:19


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26/07/2017 18:03


LIFESTYLE: innovation

INNOVATION NATION InBUSINESS looks at the latest innovations and technologies that are shaping our future. In this issue we look at skincare products with an Irish connection.

Virtual reality company OCULUS is temporarily cutting the price of its hardware, as it tries to figure out why immersive games technology has not taken off among consumers.

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In its latest efforts to curb abusive behaviour on its platform, TWITTER has rolled out new features to help users disable notifications from accounts that they want to block.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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LIFESTYLE: innovation

PESTLE & MORTAR SKINCARE Founded by Newbridge native Sonia Deasy in 2014, Pestle & Mortar was born out of a desire to create a line of skincare for women, free of harsh chemicals. Deasy spent 18 months in research to examine how hyaluronic serum would work as an anti-ageing ingredient. The result is a cosmetic brand with five products, which are now available in 160 stockists in Ireland. It garnered lots of media attention recently when it sold out on QVC, the US-based shopping channel, in just seven minutes. It will launch in Asia before the end of the year after its initial success at home and in the US. www.pestleandmortar.com

SUU BALM SKIN MOISTURISER In 2015 Singapore-based Irish doctor John O’Shea launched an itch-relieving skin moisturiser under the brand name Suu Balm. Aimed at people suffering from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, the cream, which contains 3 per cent menthol, relieves itching and moisturises the skin. It can also be used for sunburn, insect bites, hives and chilbains. Recently, O’Shea secured listings with 460 pharmacies in Ireland to supply Suu Balm. www.suubalm.ie

MY UV PATCH STRETCHABLE SKIN SENSOR

Chinese AI company SENSETIME, which specialises in facial recognition software, has raised $410m in a bid to develop computer vision and deep learning technologies.

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VODAFONE and ESB’s joint venture Siro has successfully completed the first ‘live’ trial of Siro’s 1Gbps broadband network.

UV Patch, the first-ever stretchable skin sensor, has been developed by Cork-based PCH International in partnership with L’Oréal. www.laroche-posay.ie/uv-patch

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LIFESTYLE: travel

Stunning

Stockholm A ELLEN FLYNN TOOK A TRIP TO THE SWEDISH CAPITAL TO EXPERIENCE THE NORDIC ELEGANCE, HISTORIC SIGHTS AND FABULOUS CUISINE SPREAD ACROSS THE CITY’S ARCHIPELAGO.

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s the plane descends over Stockholm, you are first and foremost struck by the vast waterscape below; the immense Lake Malaren to the west and the numerous canals flowing east into the Baltic Sea. Sweden’s capital is actually spread across 17 islands and the city’s built-up area covers just 40 per cent of the total space, making it one of the greenest cities in the world, tying for the lowest amount of air pollution with Wellington, New Zealand. Sometimes referred to as the Venice of the north, for its stunning architecture and waterways, an exciting experience awaits within.

Discover the City

The city that nestles amidst these waterways seamlessly blends past and present, the Gamla Stan (Old Town) existing in harmony with fashionable boutiques and surrounded by the clean, elegant lines that Nordic design is famous for. At first glance it may seem difficult to navigate the 14 islands that make up the city, but you quickly realise it is anything but. Stockholm’s 57 bridges make the islands easily accessible and nicely compartmentalised – your own two feet and a pair of sturdy walking shoes are the best bet, though boat trips offer the chance to experience this unique city from a different vantage point. If you’re visiting during the summer, be sure to take a trip out over the water to Götland,

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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LIFESTYLE: travel

WHere To

Sweden’s capital is spread across 17 islands and the city’s built-up area covers 40 per cent of the total space, making it one of the greenest cities in the world.

MEET...

Grand Hotel Stockholm Ideally situated on the waterfront, the Grand Hotel has beautiful views towards the Gamla Stan and the Royal Palace. Also home to fabulous Swedish restaurant The Veranda, it’s the perfect spot to meet your clients for fika before you get down to business. www.grandhotel.se

EAT... Rolf’s Kök Rolf’s Kök (Rolf’s Kitchen) features a traditional menu with uncomplicated, fresh food that is prepared with skill and precision. Be sure to try the oysters served with a delicious in-house tabasco-like sauce. www.rolfskok.se

SLEEP... Stockholm’s answer to Sicily. When summer hits many Swedes flock to the largest island in the Baltic Sea, known for its stretches of sandy beach and island culture, the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of busy urban streets. If you’re looking to experience some Nordic history, Gamla Stan is a must-see, dating back to the 13th century. The nearby Vasamuseet contains the original Vasa warship that was built for King Gustavus Adolphus and which sank on its maiden voyage in the early 17th InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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GETTING THERE

BY AIR: Scandinavian Airlines fly daily from Dublin to the Swedish capital. For more information visit www.flysas.com/ en/ie.

BY FERRY: Boats run from the city centre to the archipelago, but there are also some useful lines for hopping between central islands. Visit www. waxholmsbolaget. se/visitor

century. Situated near the Djurgården area, the open air museum in Skansen is well worth a visit, housing a zoo with native Scandinavian animals and an outdoor museum exhibiting scenes and artefacts from traditional Swedish culture and life. Stockholm’s art scene reflects an adventurous side to the capital. The world’s longest art gallery (110km) is hidden underground – 90 of the city’s metro stations are decorated with breathtaking sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by more than

The Nobis Hotel

A respite for those with demanding schedules, the Nobis provides seamless five-star service, a relaxing Nordic spa and wellness centre, and meeting and event rooms. www.nobishotel.se

SEE...

The Royal Palace One of Europe’s largest palaces, the Royal Palace is the official residence of the King of Sweden and is home to no less than five museums! www.kungahuset.s

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KNOW before you go

READ The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson is a great introduction to Nordic crime drama and a good way to discover top spots to eat and chill throughout Stockholm.

Ninety of the city’s metro stations are decorated by artists from across the globe

Vasa warship at Vasamuseet

TRANSPORT The underground is the easiest way to get around the city – get a pre-paid card if you’re making a few trips. Buses are cashfree. Download the SL app with interactive maps.

WATCH Swedish romantic horror Let The Right One In is a taste of Nordic noir that’s both uplifting and devastating. Made all the better if your journey takes place during mid-winter.

SIGHTSEEING The Stockholm Pass is good value for money, providing free entry to 60 top attractions, free bus and boat tours, and a free guidebook.

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Skansen, the open air museum in the Djurgården area

150 artists from across the globe. If your tastes are a little more refined, stop by the Fotografiska museum of modern photography or the Wetterling Gallery, which houses contemporary Scandinavian art. Alongside its historic past, cultural highlights and watery vistas, Stockholm is one of the top MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) destinations in the world. There are numerous hotels and venues in which to host conferences, meetings or events, all with that crisp Scandinavian aplomb. Take Munchenbryggeriet, a brewery converted into a conference and event centre in the heart of the city, whose sheer size means it can host just about any event. The four-star Nobis hotel

in the Norrmalmstorg district is a popular choice for business trippers, offering a relaxed, contemporary environment for business and leisure.

Hearty Fare Swedish cuisine goes far beyond the meatballs you’ll find in IKEA. Traditional fare is simple and hearty, with modern culinary skills transforming them into dishes of fine dining worth a Michelin star or two. Seafood is an ever-present menu option in Stockholm with sublime dishes of oysters, crayfish and a Swedish favourite, pickled red herring served with boiled potatoes, sour cream, boiled eggs, and hard sharp cheese. To try some high quality Swedish cuisine head to Gastrologik, an innovative

Swedish salad with herring and beet

restaurant that uses Sorrel and spruce cusine seasonally available from Gastrologik ingredients to create modern Swedish fare. If you’re travelling solo, grab a seat at the community table to meet and chat with fellow foodies. Coffee enthusiasts are also well catered for. The Swedes have their own special word for sharing a cup of coffee with a bite of sweet pastry – fika. Stop by the Södermalm district, affectionately nicknamed Söder, for a great selection of cafés, trendy boutiques and markets. A great spot for people watching, Mellqvist Kaffebar is author Stieg Larsson’s favourite fika spot, and serves delicious roasted coffee and a selection of decadent, freshly baked Swedish sweets. All you need is time and one simple Swedish phrase – Har ni Wi-Fi? InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

26/07/2017 17:40


LIFESTYLE: books

BOOKS ON

TESTED

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

ADULTS IN THE ROOM: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment

D

uring a brief stint as Greek finance minsister from January to July 2015, Yanis Varoufakis found himself on the other side of the negotiating table with Europe’s political and financial elites – the people he refers to as “the deep establishment”. As he attempted to re-negotiate Greece’s relationship with the EU, Varoufakis was disturbed to note the apparent tendancy of the European leadership towards authoritarianism. Varoufakis argues that this supposed contempt for democracy will see the collapse of the entire EU – a process which he believes has already begun, with Brexit representing a major telltale. The solution, he argues, is to usher in an era of transparency and accountability in a reformed European Union. Written, in part, with the help of audio recordings that he took in conversation with some of the most powerful figures in Europe, Adults in the Room offers an extraordinary insight into Europe’s agenda and the people behind it.

AUTHOR: Yanis Varoufakis PUBLISHER: Bodley Head RRP: 18.99 AVAILABLE: easons.com

YOUR TRAVEL COMPANION

The Stockholm Octavo AUTHOR: Karen Engelmann PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Publishers AVAILABLE: harpercollins.com

The Stockholm Octavo transports its reader to a colorful Scandinavian world of intrigue and magic in a dazzling golden age of high art, music, and fashion. Brilliantly interweaving history, romance and suspense, it’s a masterwork of historical fiction, featuring an unforgettable cast , which brings a real and imagined history to astonishing life.

InBUSINESS | Q2 2017

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“The ability to grasp the basics of coding can now help any professional to work smarter.”

AUTHOR: Rob Perciva PUBLISHER: Kogan Page AVAILABLE: easons.com

Alpesh H. Patel is an award-winning entrepreneur who runs Peshmode Ltd, a UK-based AUTHOR: advisory and Alpesh H. Patel business PUBLISHER: Peshmode Ltd consultancy, RRP: specialising in 24.53 market strategies, AVAILABLE: entrepreneurship amazon.co.uk and sales solutions. His achievements include generating over $500 million in revenues for Motorola and creating his own pan-African consumer brand, which he eventually sold to a multibillion-dollar company. Before all that however, Patel was a young refugee in Britain, having fled Idi Amin’s repressive regime in his native Uganda. Tested recalls Patel’s path to success from uncertain beginnings, with the author writing honestly about his experiences with the dark side of entrepreneurship and the psychological strength it takes to keep going.

Data and digital technology shape every aspect of our lives, yet very few people understand how the software that dominates the modern world actually works. Consequently, coding has become one of the most in-demand skills on the job market. Confident Coding offers insightful and inspirational guidance to coding, providing a step-by-step learning guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Python, explaining how to build an iPhone or Android app and successfully debug code.

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FIFTH

THE InBUSINESS INDEX

SWITZERLAND

FOURTH NORWAY

90.27 6 CANADA TH

89.84 11TH - IRELAND

Ireland just missed out on a top ten spot with an overall score of 88.91. It performed well in the area of opportunity but did fall down in the shelter component. It is one of a number of highincome countries which saw declines in the availability of good, affordable housing, primarily driven by the housing markets in urban centres.

90.10

89.66

1ST DENMARK

SECOND FINLAND

90.57

90.53

1ST - DENMARK

3RD ICELAND

Denmark takes the top spot on the 2017 global ranking with a strong performance across all the components. It leads the world in shelter and personal rights. It ranks second on access to information and communications and personal rights, and ranks third on personal safety. These results are not surprising as Denmark has long been admired for its successful social welfare policies and quality of life.

90.27

7TH NETHERLANDS

NINTH AUSTRALIA

43RD - BRAZIL

10TH

89.82

Among the five BRICS countries with emerging economies, Brazil performs the best and is placed 43rd in the world with a score of 73.97. It lags behind in the areas of personal safety and personal rights. In the Brazilian Amazon, the Social Progress Index has helped make visible the social needs of the often forgotten populations living in remote areas.

In this issue, InBUSINESS explores data from the 2017 Social Progress Index.

8TH SWEDEN

89.30

NEW ZEALAND

89.30

ABOUT THE SOCIAL PROGRESS INDEX The Social Progress Index is an aggregate index of social and environmental indicators that capture three dimensions of social progress: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity. The 2017 Social Progress Index includes data from 128 countries on 50 indicators. For more information go to www.socialprogressindex.com.

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