InBusiness Connecting Irish Business
Ted Success of Ted Talks Assessed
Character Building for
Alves The New Face of
and its new customer strategy
a2.70 ÇÇÓää ÎÎä£n
on why companies should be tapping into
Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant: Amy Woods Commercial Editor: Conor Forrest Editorial Contributors: Conor Forrest Valerie Jordan Olive Keogh Aoife Loy Dean Van Nguyen
8 Movers & Shakers 11 Opportunity Ireland ONE OF OUR BRAND VALUES IS INNOVATION, AND YOU CANNOT SAY YOU ARE INNOVATIVE UNLESS YOU LIVE UP TO WHAT YOU PREACH.”
22 Going Soft
Up close and cuddly with the new face of Ryanair Words: Joseph O’Connor
n the world of sales and marketing, finding an individual whose background initially lay in engineering is something a little out of the ordinary. But for Paulo Alves, BMW Group Ireland's new Managing Director, it's something which gives him a unique perspective. Introducing himself to a new world is nothing new for Alves. In his student days, he chose the UK as the destination for his Erasmus programme, a way to force himself to learn English, and a move which would prove quite significant for his journey through the motoring industry. It was in the UK that he found his first job with Rover Group, a dream move for the young Portuguese who had grown up watching and falling in love with the Rover SD1 featured on police show Dempsey and Makepeace. Having worked on the Rover 25 and the 45 facelift, Alves witnessed the eventual collapse of Rover (then owned by BMW), a series of events which he remembers to this day and made an indelible mark on the young engineer. “To some extent, that was almost heart-breaking for me,” he recalls ruefully. “It was a big lesson in how companies cannot get complacent.” As an engineer, Alves' last project was the Mini R56. However, a different arena was calling. The world of sales/marketing and engineering could almost be 18
30 Thirty Years of TED
Managing Director: Diarmaid Lennon
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Ted Talks celebrates milestone birthday Words: Valerie Jordan
On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.chambers.ie
39 Chambers Catch Up
AS BMW GROUP IRELAND ENTERS A NEW ERA WITH PAULO ALVES AT THE HELM, CONOR FORREST SPOKE TO THE NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT HIS PLANS FOR THE BRAND HERE IN IRELAND.
Sales Director: Paul Clemenson
12 Start-Up Central 112 The IB Index
Production Executive: Nicole Ennis
Character Building for Business
26 As Seen on TV
The changing landscape of Irish television Words: Dean Van Nguyen
Creative geurilla advertising agency Rabbit Hole Promotions
Steps 34 Cautious to Recovery
Jim Power’s economic outlook Words: Conor Forrest
36Beyond the Pill
Chatting with the new Boehringer-Ingelheim chief
108 The Last Word
Waterford brewer says “ladies like beer too” Words: Joseph O’Connor [Lifestyle]
A real-time conversation with Twitter’s Stephen McIntyre
InBusiness | Q2 2014
3 Business News
Words: Conor Forrest
Production Manager: Mary Connaughton
All articles © Ashville Media Group 2014. 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
The new face of BMW Ireland
Design and Layout: Alan McArthur Front Cover Photography: Colm McDermott
Visions of Paulo
Editor: Joseph O’Connor
98 Motoring: New offerings from Skoda and Opel 102 Gadgets: Headphones and record players 104 Travel: Valerie Jordan touches down in Copenhagen 107 Books: How to escape the corporate world
It’s Our Business We are proud to be the trusted advisors to Ireland’s most successful privately owned and family businesses. Helping you succeed is at the core of what we do. To find out more on how we can help you contact Colin O’Brien or Olivia Lynch at 353 1 410 1000.
© 2014 KPMG, an Irish partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. The KPMG name, logo and “cutting through complexity” are registered trademarks of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.
he Irish Times have revealed their Top 1000 Companies in Ireland list for 2014. CRH remain the top performing firm, followed by Google and Microsoft. According to the Top 1000 2014 survey, the good news is that more companies are growing their sales – and their profits – than those that are declining. And furthermore, Ireland’s top companies are out performing their foreign-owned peers. Sixty-two per cent of Irish companies grew their turnover in the most recent financial year, compared with 57 per cent of foreignowned firms. The differential is even greater when it comes to US companies, with a little more than half (56 per cent) of US companies growing their sales. Irish SMEs are also doing well - 60 per cent of Irish companies with employees of between 10-250 employees grew their turnover in 2013. Despite a relatively positive outlook, the survey showed that there are still more than a few companies – particularly in the construction and retail sectors – that continue to struggle.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
8: P fizer
A Priceless Plug
Mapping Out Industry Benefits
reland’s inward investment promotion agency, IDA Ireland, has been given a priceless plug on Stateside television. In a recent episode of Silicon Valley – the new HBO drama series following six geeks trying to make it as billionaires in the cutthroat US technology world – the show’s protagonists attended a tech conference where, in the background of one of the scenes, there was a shot of an IDA stand. The surprise appearance comes ahead of the IDA opening a new office in Austin, Texas. Hugh Mangan, Head of Business & Marketing at Ordnance Survey Ireland, OSi Chief Executive Colin Bray and Alan Gray from Indecon.
A report commissioned by Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) reveals that the geospatial information industry contributed a69.3 million to the Irish economy in 2012. When multiplier impacts are included, this is estimated to be over a120m. The industry generated sales or output valued at a117.5m in 2012, and spent a total of a84.4m on wages/
salaries. 1,677 full-time equivalent persons were directly employed by the industry, which, in total, supports the employment of 3,087 people. The report estimates that the use of geospatial information accrues annual savings of a82m in the public sector, time savings with an economic value of a279m, and competition benefits of a104m.
Geospatial Information Industry:
Cover Story “One of P18 our brand values is innovation, and you cannot say you are innovative unless you livE up to what you preach.” Paolo Alves, Managing Director, BMW Group Ireland.
full-time equivalent persons directly employed
contributed to the Irish economy
savings made annually in the public sector InBusiness | Q2 2014
Irish firm to join network celebrations
SM Farrell Grant Sparks, the Republic of Ireland independent member firm of leading audit, tax and advisory network, RSM International, is joining in the global celebrations in honour of the network’s 50th anniversary. RSM Farrell Grant Sparks has been a member of the RSM network since April 2009.
Julian Caplin, Jim Mulqueen and Aidan Scollard of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks.
Since its foundation in 1964, RSM has grown to become a network with member and correspondent
firms in 108 countries who employ over 32,000 people across more than 700 offices.
Irish Receive Fulbright Award
A record 40 Irish winners have received American Fulbright Award scholarships, which are given to Irish students by both the Irish and US governments. Since 1957, the Fulbright Scholarship Board has provided Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States. This year’s awarding of the scholarships included the inauguration of the Tech Impact Awards in Digital Technology, established to reward shortterm, non-commercial projects and research in the US for up to three months. This award will look at areas such as optical communications, online laboratory environments, human-computer interaction technology and digital humanities. The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on August 26th 2014.
VFI Elects First Female President
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), the representative body for 4,200 Irish pubs outside Dublin and accounting for an estimated 50,000 jobs, has elected its first ever female President. Noreen O’Sullivan from Nenagh started her two year term in May as head of the pub representative body.
A Step Ahead of Launderers
FTA Ireland has welcomed the news that a new marker to help tackle fuel fraud appears to be working following its introduction by the UK and Ireland governments in February. However, the association repeated its warning that complacency is not an option, and there is always the danger that fuel launderers will find a way to remove the new marker.
Chorus of Approval
Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical has announced a new partnership with the Wexford Opera House and Wexford Festival Opera. As part of the partnership Ecclesiastical will sponsor the festival event and insure the venue, one of the finest opera venues in Europe. The Wexford Festival Opera celebrates its 63rd year this year and the 2014 programme includes 3 mainstage evening operas.
GAA on the Go
Fulbright Award recipients Cian Ó Concubhair (TCD), Treasa De Loughry (UCD), Vikki Ní Bhréin (Notre Dame School, Churchtown), Dr Enda Murphy (UCD) and Síne Nic an Ailí (Conradh na Gaeilge).
InBusiness | Q2 2014
The GAA and RTÉ Digital have launched GAAGO, the new subscription-based online streaming service, which will offer live and on-demand GAA games to audiences outside of Ireland starting with the 2014 GAA Championships. All 45 televised games from the 2014 All Ireland Senior Football and Hurling Championships, as broadcast by RTÉ and Sky, will be available to watch this season.
The Burning Question
How important is it to learn from failure in business?
Growing Interest in
Paolo Alvez Managing Director, BMW Group Ireland When I joined Rover Group, and then saw the company collapsing, it was a big lesson for me in how companies cannot get complacent. You can be on the top of your game one year and very quickly the market shifts. You’ve got to keep looking to the future, and never get complacent.
Stephen McIntyre Managing Director, Twitter Ireland The only way you can succeed in a fast-paced business is to try things that are likely to fail. It tends to be an inherent part of any successful business and it’s obviously the ones that react and learn fastest from failure that tend to do the best.
David Watson, CEO of XL RE Europe SE, Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, and David Gallagher, Country Manager, XL Insurance Irish Branch pictured with ‘The Edge of Light’ and ‘Fenster’ by Mark Joyce.
usiness to Arts, the non-profit organisation that supports partnerships between business and the arts, is beginning to see a growing interest among corporate companies in both collecting and displaying visual art in their buildings. The organisation is currently engaging with five client companies developing ideas around bespoke visual art programmes. One of these is global insurance and reinsurance organisation XL Group, which has recently confirmed a significant investment in more than 20 works by 17 artists currently working in Ireland. The purchase follows an open submission process and exhibition at XL Group’s offices on St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. The artists selected range from undergraduate to senior artists and span 22 to 60 years in age. The artists are based in Dublin, Belfast, Galway, Sligo and Clare and include many artists of note including Alice Maher, Nick Miller, Mark Joyce and Garrett Phelan.
Jim Power Chief Economist, Friends First To me, the biggest lesson one should learn is that you should stick to your knitting. Businesses should do what they’re good at, which is the business they’re involved in.
Kenny Jacobs Chief Marketing Officer, Ryanair I’d have run campaigns that have been great successes and run campaigns that weren’t successful and you have to be prepared to have a go. That’s how you learn and adapt. I certainly couldn’t be afraid of failure in terms of the job I’ve got to do here – the evolution we’ve got to make with the Ryanair brand.
SME Survey Published The SME Credit Demand Survey, covering the period October 2013 - March 2014 has been published. This survey series, currently being conducted by Red C on behalf of the Department of Finance, is the most comprehensive survey of SME credit demand in Ireland, covering 1,500 respondents and involving over 5,000 direct calls to SMEs.
Commenting on the survey, Minister for Finance Mr. Michael Noonan TD said: “A strong SME sector is vital for the continuing recovery of the Irish economy and I am heartened to note that there are further signs in the survey results that confidence is growing among SMEs and their customers.”
The key conclusions of the survey are: • Trading conditions are improving for Irish SMEs with 74 per cent (up 2 per cent) of companies surveyed responding that turnover has increased or remained stable. • 23 per cent (up 2 per cent) said they have increased staff numbers. • The proportion of profit-making businesses increased from 48 per cent to 51 per cent over the survey period. • 26 per cent of respondents reported a decrease in turnover, compared with 28 per cent in September 2013. • 35 per cent of SMEs requested credit (down 1 per cent). Most demand continues to be for cashflow and working capital purposes.
InBusiness InBusiness | Q2 2014
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Please note that the provision of this product or service does not require licensing, authorisation or registration with the Central Bank of Ireland and, as a result, it is not covered by the Central Bankâ€™s requirements designed to protect consumers or by a statutory compensation scheme. Invoice Finance is provided through AIBâ€™s wholly owned subsidiary, AIB Commercial Finance Limited (AIBCF). AIB Commercial Finance Limited is a company within the AIB Group. Allied Irish Banks, AIB and AIB Group are registered business names of Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. Registered Office: Bankcentre, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Tel: +353 1 660 0311; Registered in Ireland: Registered No. 24173.
Movers & Shakers
Movers Shakers Tamara Whitney
New title: Head of Sales Employer: Nestlé Ireland Previous role: Business Unit Controller, Pernod Ricard
New title: CEO, Global Finance and Accounting Employer: arvato Financial Solutions Previous role: Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, arvato
New title: Partner Employer: Dechert LLP Previous role: Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran
New title: Solicitor, Chartered Tax Adviser and Notary Public Employer: FitzGerald Solicitors Previous role: Tax and Commercial Law, McGuire Desmond Solicitors
Nestlé Ireland has appointed Tamara Whitney as its new Head of Sales. Whitney assumes responsibility for Nestlé Ireland’s sales operations which includes its wide portfolio of products across the confectionery, beverage, food and pet care categories. She will lead Nestlé’s commercial strategy in Ireland as it continues to expand its presence and deliver category growth.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner arvato has announced that Rainer Majcen has been appointed CEO, Global Finance and Accounting at arvato Financial Solutions and managing director of arvato Finance Services Ltd. Majcen will assume responsibility for arvato’s global F&A business, including the company’s public sector business in Ireland.
Global specialist law firm Dechert LLP has announced that Mark Browne has joined the firm as a partner with its Financial Services Group in its growing Dublin office. Browne has more than a decade of experience advising on all areas of investment funds in both Ireland and the Cayman Islands, in both the UCITS and alternative space and across all asset classes from equity to property.
FitzGerald Solicitors has announced the appointment of Solicitor, Chartered Tax Adviser and Notary Public, Douglas Sadleir to the firm. Having trained in general practice at SLP Solicitors, in property, probate and litigation, Sadleir moved to specialise in tax at Grant Thornton, Dublin, and subsequently in the area of tax and commercial law at a leading Cork practice from 2007 to 2013.
Movers & Shakers
New appointments in the business community nationwide.
New title: Regional Recruitment Manager for the South East Employer: Matrix Recruitment Previous role: Recruitment Manager, Matrix Recruitment
New title: Senior Account Manager Employer: Fuzion Communications Previous role: Account Manager, Springboard PR & Marketing
New title: Marketing Executive Employer: Fastnet Recruitment Previous role: Business Unit Controller, Category Co-ordinator, Umbra
New title: Director Employer: EY Ireland Previous role: Senior Manager, Accenture
Aoibhinn Twomey has recently been appointed as a Senior Account Manager at Fuzion Communications. Twomey is an accomplished PR professional with a background of eight years in journalism, working with regional, national and international publications. She brings with her a wealth of experience and copywriting skills from her broad career as a journalist to Fuzion’s diverse range of clients.
Fastnet Recruitment, the HR consulting and recruitment solutions firm, has announced the appointment of Liam Burke to the position of Marketing Executive. A graduate of Waterford Institute of Technology, Liam holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and a Certificate in Media Engineering and brings a wealth of experience in brand management, digital marketing and market research to the role.
Niamh O’Beirne has been appointed as a Director with EY Ireland in its Performance Improvement Advisory team. She brings over 14 years of consulting experience to EY and will be responsible for leading the People and Organisational Change Practice in Ireland. O’Beirne will also lead and build the Central Government business across Advisory.
Matrix Recruitment, which specialises in Accountancy, HR, Engineering and IT sectors, has announced the appointment of Suzanne Dunne as Regional Recruitment Manager for the South East branch. Dunne has worked with Matrix for the past seven years as Recruitment Manager. She came to Matrix with a wealth of experience in the recruitment industry.
HQ – Dublin 40 Grand Canal Street Upper Dublin 4 Ireland T: +353 1 667 5008 E: email@example.com W: www.sri-executive.com
Company: Aldi Company: Voxpro Sector: Technology Location: Cork
Company: Emydex Technology
Announcement: Aldi has announced 450 new jobs across its network of stores, which it hopes to fill by the end of 2014. The jobs are across a number of positions in the retailer including managerial roles, staff for new stores and additional staff for existing outlets.
Sector: Agri-food Location: Dublin Announcement: Irish-owned Emydex Technology is to create 20 fulltime software jobs in Dublin over the next eighteen months, doubling its workforce. The agri-food software company, which already employs 22 staff, has also announced a major deal with the Meat Corporation of Namibia in Africa.
Announcement: The home-grown technical support company has vowed to take on 350 new staff with its latest expansion. Taoiseach Enda Kenny hailed Voxpro as an Irish success story as it announced plans to increase its workforce in Cork to 850.
Opportunity Ireland InBusiness highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country.
Company: SAP Sector: Technology Location: Dublin / Galway Announcement: Global business software firm SAP operates in 130 countries, including Ireland, where it already employs 1,200. The company has announced that it is to add 60 research and development roles at its R&D centre in Citywest in Dublin. It also expects to fill a further 200 technology support positions in Dublin and Galway this year.
Agency Assistance InBusiness | Q2 2014
Company: Longford Green Isle Foods Sector: Agri-food Location: Longford / Galway
Announcement: Indian IT consulting and outsourcing company, Wipro, has announced it will increase its workforce in Shannon, creating 100 jobs over the next year. The firm currently employs 200 people, who deliver IT and business process services to banks and financial service businesses across Ireland and the UK.
The recently published Forfรกs Annual Employment Survey 2013 has shown employment in enterprise development agency assisted companies at 303,155, an increase
of 8,579 jobs in total permanent full-time employment. There was also an increase in part-time employment of 3,827 jobs to 46,167 in the same year. The Forfรกs Annual Employment
Announcement: Longford Green Isle Foods has announced that the company is to create an additional 115 jobs over the next five years as part of a f30 million investment in its operations in Ireland. This investment also secures the jobs of the 700 people currently employed by Green Isle.
Survey provides an analysis of employment levels in industrial and services companies under the remit of IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and รdarรกs na Gaeltachta.
Start-Up Central News, views and profiles on the latest start-ups in Ireland.
Bright Idea Wins Inaugural Award
How It All Started
Eamon Moore, Managing Director, E-MIT Solutions
An early-stage business idea focused on LEDs as an alternative light source for solar simulators has been declared overall winner of the inaugural UCD CleanWeb Sprint Award. The UCD CleanWeb Sprint is a new one-day initiative designed and delivered by the UCD Earth Institute in collaboration with NovaUCD. It aims to encourage the development of commercial outputs arising from UCD CleanWeb research by engaging with researchers at an earlier stage in the commercialisation process. Laura Tobin, a UCD PhD engineering student, who is carrying out research on high-powered LEDs as an improved alternative light source for solar simulators, was presented with the award and a a1,000 prize fund to assist her to further develop her business idea, as it was judged to have the most commercial potential.
How did you fund your business initially? It was self-funded initially with a small business loan taken out in the early years to fund expansion. What’s the best advice you were given? Never call yourself an entrepreneur, let other people do that. What was the most important lesson you learned starting out? Don’t be afraid to compete with the so-called “big guns”. Your biggest make or break moment? I was on holiday in Las Vegas when I received a call from a client with a server issue. I was still on my own in the business so I had to resolve the issue remotely from the business centre in the hotel. Returning three hours later my wife said “something has to change here!” She was right and when I returned from holiday I started to build up the E-MIT team. I have never looked back since. Would you change anything in hindsight? Plenty, but any challenges that I faced or mistakes that I made were all part of the learning process and I am all the stronger and wiser for that today.
Laura Tobin, overall winner of the UCD CleanWeb Sprint.
rise in the number of Irish tech start-ups was recorded in April 2014 compared to the same month last year, according to figures from Vision-net.ie.
Company: E-MIT Solutions Location: Northwood Business Campus, Santry, Dublin 9 Product: IT Support, Consultancy & Outsourcing. Staff:
InBusiness | Q2 2014
An average of
Start-Up Profile: UrAbility
start-ups were established every day in May 2014, according to credit and business risk analyst, Vision-net
“The truth is that we need more start-ups. They are the life blood of any economy.” Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton appealing for more start-ups when he launched an online guide for SMEs in Dublin in May.
Connecting Start-Ups with Multinationals The it@cork European Tech Cluster has begun the second round of its initiative to connect startups in the Munster region with multinationals. The DealStart programme helps fledging businesses to grow faster, smarter and more profitably by matching them with a large company mentor in the area of procurement and business development. DealStart enables the organisations involved to share information, insights and expertise on procurement with small enterprises.
UrAbility is a new Irish company which supplies face-to-face training in the form of assistive technology summer camps, school training and assistive technology assessments. Founder James Northridge, who recently impressed judges on RTÉ’s Dragon’s Den, explains his start-up’s concept and vision. Where the idea came from UrAbility.com is an idea that I had a few years ago, when I was struggling to find useful information online about dyslexia and using assistive technology. It has been a passion of mine for a while but I only got around to making it happen in the last few months. I went back to college to complete an MSc in Disability Studies
UrAbility Founder James Northridge.
in UCD part-time over the past 2 years. This gave me a greater understanding of disability and how assistive technology can be of benefit. UrAbility’s vision To create a global digital learning platform for people that use assistive technology products to empower their future, this service is supported with face-to-face training in the form of assistive technology summer camps, school training and student assistive technology assessments. We are changing the face of education for students with special needs, by providing training in assistive technology both in the classroom and online.
DecaWave wins Angel
Investment Award Irish start-up DecaWave has been selected as Europe’s most successful business financed by early stage investors at a gathering of more than 350 high-net worth individuals from across Europe and the US in Dublin last May. The company was recognised at the ninth annual EBAN awards, which ran alongside the 14th annual European Business Angel Congress. The conference brought more than 350 elite business angels and investors from across Europe and the US to Dublin Castle. In November, DecaWave unveiled the first integrated circuit on the market to electronically identify the specific distance to any object, person or thing with plus or minus 10cm precision.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
# Character Building for
Business Head of Twitter’s European HQ in Dublin, Stephen McIntyre tells InBUSINESS why Irish companies should be tapping into real-time conversations. he tech giant that is Twitter made Dublin its European base back in 2011. The firm currently has a staff of 140 but says, unlike the social media platform, it will not stop at 140 characters. It plans to increase its workforce to 200 before the end of the year after settling in well to what many are calling Ireland’s answer to Silicon Valley, the Dublin Docklands area. InBUSINESS caught up with Stephen McIntyre, Managing Director of Twitter Ireland to see how businesses can get the most out of Twitter using advertising. 14
IB: So what goes on behind the doors of a company which boasts one of the world’s most instantly recognisable logos? Is it all beanbags and foosball tables? SMI: I don’t think there is a beanbag in the house. I actually feel very hard done by! We have more than twenty distinct functions at this stage, including sales, marketing, engineering, finance, HR, recruitment, legal – really all of the main functions that exist in San Francisco now exist in Dublin. IB: Could you explain the concept of real-time marketing and how business can benefit from it? SMI: The main idea is that everyday conversations which are happening all the time are an opportunity and a marketing moment for businesses. When I say conversations, I mean there are millions of conversations happening online all the time about every possible topic, from sports to the weather to shopping to politics, and businesses that are paying attention can take advantage of that. Marketing hasn’t changed – you’re
trying to communicate a message to a specific target audience – the context has changed. I’ll give you an example: During the World Cup there are forty-odd football matches taking place over the course of a month and each of those is a moment that can be planned for. If you are a business that has some connection to sport or even to the conversation that is likely to be going on at the time, then you can plan for that. So that’s really what real-time marketing is about. I think the companies that do it best – they practice. No business gets good overnight. A brand like Oreo (which became renowned for its ‘dunk in the dark’ tweet which went viral when the lights went off in the Superbowl) is a great example. The lesser known part of that story is that Oreo had been getting really good at this real-time marketing on Twitter over the previous year so they had been trying lots of different things, reacting to much smaller events, and then when the really big one happened – which was entirely unpredictable – they InBusiness | Q2 2014
Stephenâ€™s Favourite Tweet: England lose on penalties. For more on our culture and traditions visitengland.com ;)
InBusiness | Q2 2014
were ready because they had practised and they had mobilised for that. I think getting started is important even if you are fairly small and then distinguishing between planned events and unplanned events and making sure you are timely and relevant. That’s really what it’s all about; a tweet that’s excellent immediately after a football match will be ignored tomorrow because the moment has passed. IB: Could you give me examples of Irish companies making good use of Twitter? SMI: There are tens of thousands of businesses using Twitter and we found that right back from its original launch nearly eight years ago businesses were some of the first to use the platform. In Ireland – on the large business side – you have guys like Paddy Power who are excellent on Twitter and they have a playful, cheeky voice that they have in the rest of their marketing so it’s all very coherent. Electric Ireland and Rabodirect are also very good on Twitter. In terms of smaller or more recent businesses – Hailo are excellent. They tend to tweet a lot in real-time about what is going on around the city, things that might affect transport and therefore their taxi business. And also since introducing our self-service advertising system, a lot of local and smaller businesses around Ireland have taken advantage. Pet Sitters Ireland is one that uses Twitter very well to promote their pet business. So there are really all sorts, big and small. 16
IB: Should every company have an employee working on its social media strategy? SMI: I think having, for example, only one employee thinking about social media is a guaranteed losing strategy and it’s becoming a more old-fashioned idea. The reason I believe that is because it is essentially entrusting a company’s brand to one person. Social media, including Twitter, is another form of communication that a company can use to express its voice and express its personality. You need to have people at all levels in the company and in different departments – from marketing to PR to customer service and up to the executive C-suite as well – thinking about how social media will impact the way that they express themselves. In order for it to be really effective, it has to run throughout the organisation. IB: What is behind Twitter’s new look? SMI: We wanted to give people more control over their profile. That included giving people the ability to make it more visual. We also wanted profiles to become a more attractive destination page and to give people a better first impression if that was their first interaction with Twitter, which it often is. They’re the main reasons behind it and we’ve generally had good feedback so far. IB: Do you have a favourite tweet to date? SMI: I’m a football fan and I would have to say a tweet from the English Tourist Board (@VisitEngland)
during the European Championships in 2012. They sent it out immediately after England had been knocked out of tournament on penalties against Italy. They said: “England lose on penalties. For more on our culture and traditions visitengland.com.” It was just perfect. It was just at the moment when all of England was grieving online and it just touched a nerve. Everyone was so used to losing on penalties and it drove a huge amount of traffic to their website. It was retweeted almost 10,000 times. I think it’s a great example. IB: Does Twitter have any big plans for its 10th anniversary? SMI: It’s a tough one because that’s still two years away and two years is a long time in technology. If you look back on the year that Twitter was founded, it has since then become a household name around the world and become a companion experience to millions of people going about their daily lives. It has changed the way a lot of people communicate and the way that a lot of industries – news among them – have communicated. I suppose we’ll find a way to celebrate that involves all those things but precisely what that celebration will be is hard to predict. IB: I have to ask, are you currently wearing a Twitter t-shirt? SMI: I’m not wearing a Twitter t-shirt right now but I should be. I have about 20 of them. You can’t get too fat with those things. They’re very revealing! @stephenpmc was in conversation with Joseph O’Connor.
Stephen’s Favourite Ted Talk: Deb Roy – The Birth of a Word MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language — so he wired up his house with video cameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son’s life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch “gaaaa” slowly turn into “water”. Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn. www.ted.com/talks/deb_roy_the_birth_of_a_word Go to page 30 for more on TED
InBusiness | Q2 2014
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Paulo As BMW Group Ireland enters a new era with Paulo Alves at the helm, Conor Forrest spoke to the new managing director to discover more about his plans for the brand here in Ireland.
n the world of sales and marketing, finding an individual whose background initially lay in engineering is something a little out of the ordinary. But for Paulo Alves, BMW Group Ireland's new Managing Director, it's something which gives him a unique perspective. Introducing himself to a new world is nothing new for Alves. In his student days, he chose the UK as the destination for his Erasmus programme, a way to force himself to learn English, and a move which would prove quite significant for his journey through the motoring industry. It was in the UK that he found his first job with Rover Group, a dream move for the young Portuguese who had grown up watching and falling in love with the Rover SD1 featured on police show Dempsey and Makepeace. Having worked on the Rover 25 and the 45 facelift, Alves witnessed the eventual collapse of Rover (then owned by BMW), a series of events which he remembers to this day and made an indelible mark on the young engineer. “To some extent, that was almost heart-breaking for me,” he recalls ruefully. “It was a big lesson in how companies cannot get complacent.” As an engineer, Alves' last project was the Mini R56. However, a different arena was calling. The world of sales/marketing and engineering could almost be 18
of our brand One values is innovation, and you cannot say you are innovative unless you live up to what you preach.â€?
CV: Paulo Alves Role: Managing Director, BMW Group Ireland Lives: Quiet countryside near Swords, Co. Dublin Family: Partner and newly acquired Irish puppy Currently Reading: Overloaded email inbox Favourite Film: Monty Python’s Life of Brian Hobbies: Motorbikes, classic cars, DIY
described as polar opposite but for Alves, bridging the gap was a challenge he couldn't ignore. “I just needed another challenge so I jumped from the world of engineering to the world of sales and marketing with the UK team,” he explains. “I held a number of roles in areas such as market intelligence and marketing communications – covering all national communications across the UK. And now the journey brings me over to Ireland.” An Irish Opportunity For Alves, Ireland represents an exciting opportunity to bring his idea of a completely customer-centric focus to life. “It was Sir Stuart Rose who said 'the customer is no longer king – but master of the universe'. And it's so true,” he enthuses. “We've discovered that customers have the power to decide – when they walk into our showrooms they can often know much more about the cars than we do – they can focus on just one car and research it to death.” An interesting side effect from the financial crash is that it polarises customers, Alves has found. Customers look at the spectrum of offers and decide to go one of two ways – value (which has great brands in the guise of Kia and Hyundai, for example) or they go premium. “And I think if they go premium, suddenly their expectations are higher than they were before,” Alves notes. “My focus is that we meet those expectations and take them beyond that.”
Providing customers with a brand experience, rather than a simple deal on a car, is a key focus for Alves in his new role. BMW are currently piloting the concept of the BMW and Mini 'genius', for example – brand ambassadors who will welcome customers into the showroom, and accompany them on their experience of the products BMW has to offer. “It's not about selling the car at all,” he explains. “We're trying to stress that this is a different approach – allowing people to get closer to the product, and ask the questions they are perhaps too intimidated to ask; how many people actually know how a head-up display works?” New Faces If there's one thing which shines through our interview, it is Alves' clear interest in the cars BMW produce. It's evident that he is incredibly passionate about these cars (and motorbikes) – both from an engineering and a design point of view – and it is his goal at BMW Group Ireland to ensure that this enthusiasm permeates the organisation at every level – both in terms of BMW's product range, and for the development of an immersive consumer experience. 2014 has already been a great year for BMW customers and enthusiasts with the launch of the 4 Series convertible and the 2 Series Coupe, while coming soon is the 4 Series Grand Coupe, an X3 refresh, a brand new X4 and an X6 addition towards the end of the year. Alves is also keen to give the M range a InBusiness | Q2 2014
For further details on some of the dealers and companies partnering with BMW Ireland turn to page 55.
“We’ve discovered that
customers have the power to decide – when they walk into our showrooms they can often know
much more about the cars than we do.”
2014 has already been a great year for BMW customers with the launch of the 4 Series convertible.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
push, a breath of fresh air in a world in which people are perhaps a little sensitive talking about performance. But, as he stresses, “our customers love cars, they love performance and they love driving, so we need to give M a presence again.” Something which is also generating quite a lot of excitement – both in terms of BMW Ireland and the motoring world – is the BMW electric 'i' range. Though the internal combustion engine is here to stay for the foreseeable future, for BMW, i represents a brand shaper, a signal to consumers, the public and the motoring industry about the direction BMW wishes to take. “One of our brand values is innovation, and you cannot say you are innovative unless you live up to what you preach,” says Alves. “BMW i is really about pushing the boundaries, looking to the future and making sure that we are there.” And for Alves, who has followed the i journey from inside the organisation, its innovation is there for all to see, and his enthusiasm and passion for the BMW brand truly comes to life. “I still love when we get someone to test drive the car – you always remember the first time you drive an electric car. I come from an age in which any car which did 0-100 in less than ten seconds was mindblowing! And this does it in seven seconds? Isn't that incredible?” An Exciting Future Having just entered his new position in May, Alves is quite excited about the opportunities to grow and develop the BMW brand here in Ireland. Despite the Irish dealer network having gone through an incredibly tough period, sales of BMW, Mini and BMW motorcycles are beginning to rise once more, financial services have become wellestablished, while products such as BMW Select have gone from strength to strength. With a dealer network hungry for success, a team which possesses incredible passion for the BMW brand and a business left in a strong position by his predecessor, there's no doubt in Alves' mind that the future of the Irish market is looking quite promising. “I'm a man with no excuses,” he says with a smile, “because it's probably the perfect time – with the people, the network, the product – to hit a market that is just about to start taking off. All of the economic indicators are pointing in the right direction, so I believe it's a great time to be in business.”
Electric Power and Performance Despite what some may think about electric cars, the i3 is no slouch on the tarmac. The electric motor provides 170hp and 250Nm torque, ushering you from 0-100 in just 7.2 seconds, accompanied only by the sound of eerie silence.
The i3 can be charged at home, via a BMW wallbox or the charging cable, but also on the go at the everincreasing number of charging stations around Ireland, which the i3 can find for you via BMW ConnectedDrive Services. The 130-160 km range is more than enough for city driving, while the i3 with Range Extender makes 240300 km trips a possibility.
Design Philosophy BMW i stands as a firm marker, an indication of BMW’s intention to strive for sustainable motoring. The design is compact, yet flowing, with a distinctive front grille which marks it out as a member of the BMW family. Its ample interior is constructed from KENAF fibres, Eucalyptus wood and naturally tanned leather complimenting a freestanding steering wheel, the absence of a central tunnel between the front two seats, and opposing doors.
Soft nless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll be aware that Europe’s biggest airline, Ryanair, has changed tack. Generally perceived as cheap and aggressive, Ryanair has had to reassess its macho swagger in recent times. Last September, the company announced that it might miss its annual profit target. Two months later, it predicted its first profit fall in five years, causing stock to plummet. It was time for action and Chief Executive Michael O’Leary’s message was clear when he went before investors: The airline would eradicate its well22
known irritants, be more responsive to customers and generally soften its image. The man tasked with this drastic makeover and heir to O’Leary as the public face of Ryanair, is Cork native Kenny Jacobs. Hired from British price comparison website Moneysupermarket and formerly of Tesco, Jacobs is a recognisably marked shift for the carrier. Amicable in nature and not in the business of using outlandish publicity stunts to attract more customers, Jacobs might just be the man to implement change. As the new Chief Marketing Officer, and with customer service and digital now top of the agenda, he has been thrown straight into the job at hand. But this
While the chief executive of Ryanair Michael O’Leary might not be seen as warm and cuddly, his airline is heading in that direction. Joseph O’Connor spoke to Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs who welcomed with open arms questions on the airline’s transformation.
is something, he tells me, which he fully expected. “That’s the way it works here, which is good,” he says. “There’s not much time for sitting around talking about what has to be done. You just have to get on with it. That’s the culture of the place. It’s fast-paced, you try things and you adapt.” The Strategy As part of the new strategy, Ryanair will spend about a35 million this year on advertising and digital promotions, effectively tripling its marketing budget. The strategy incorporates a customer service rebirth which will see the company engage with consumers via social media. There will also be a revamp of the aircraft
interiors and in-flight entertainment, along with the offer of a new business product and more userfriendly website. “The way I’d like to resposition the brand is to go from one that is all about cost and fares to one that’s about the lowest fares, the best choice of destinations and a great service,” says Jacobs. Meanwhile, digital and data are key elements of the airline’s marketing strategy. “We have 1.5 billion visits to the website every year. We had 82 million customers last year. We’re going to try and craft a very valuable data asset with all the transactional, behavioural and demographic data on our customers which will enable us to present a more personalised InBusiness | Q2 2014
The softly, softly approach After taking up the role of Chief Marketing Officer earlier this year, it is hoped that Kenny Jacobs can be at the forefront of a new customer-friendly Ryanair.
On his role: “It’s interesting being the person coming in with a fresh pair of eyes where we need a fresh pair of eyes.”
Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer, Ryanair.
Ryanair platform, via the website, via the app, via personalised emails and really just use that data to drive our marketing approach which drives better performance.” The Marmite Effect Given that, like Marmite, Ryanair is the airline people either love or hate, I was interested to know how Jacobs perceived the carrier before he signed up to his new role. “I probably would have flown at least ten times with Ryanair every year,” he says. “As a fan of Munster Rugby, Ryanair were the ones who had flights to places like Perpignan and Carcassonne while others didn’t. Also, I was living in Dusseldorf and I was able to fly direct to Kerry Airport. So I was a fan of the airline for making harder to reach parts of InBusiness | Q2 2014
Europe accessible for every day people.” It was really the ‘no frills’ image of Ryanair which Jacobs felt needed a revamp. “With the straightforward service they offered, you needed to be aware of what was required of you. There were elements of that which I would have wanted to change and that’s part of what we’re now doing. Once you played by the rules, you knew you were getting the best fares and you knew you were getting a great choice of destination. What we are now working on is making the customer service better and flexing it in parts where customers want us to flex it.” This service improvement is something that Ryanair attempts to manifest in its latest ad campaign with the image
1.5 billion visits every year.
million customers flew with Ryanair in 2013. Ryanair operates in
markets across the continent.
On social media: “We have 75,000 Twitter followers, a lot of those are in the UK and Ireland. We’ll be using social media more extensively over the next two years because it suits us as a brand. It’s the way we communicate sales, special offers and news to customers and it’s working really well. So I would see social media a key part of our communications strategy.” On the future of the Ryanair landing bugle: “We asked customers on Twitter what they think. We’ve had an interesting response. Some people love it, some people would love to change it. We’re working on what would be an alternative and we’ll probably try that in a few markets.” On Ryanair’s customer service: “The way we deliver customer service is a key part of the experience so that involves looking at the type of people we hire and the training they go through to ensure we’re giving great customer service in-flight. That’s part of what we are looking at.” On working for Ryanair: “So far so good. Customers like what we are doing. I like it here, it’s a good place to work and it’s great to be at a business that’s at a really interesting time in its life.”
The not-so-soft Ryanair
As Ryanair attempts to turn its back on its once abrupt culture, we look back at some of the more infamous statements made by the airline’s eccentric boss Michael O’Leary. On Ryanair’s in-flight service: “Anyone who thinks Ryanair flights are some sort of bastion of sanctity where you can contemplate your navel is wrong. We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things.” On the British Airways/Iberia merger: “It reminds me of two drunks leaning on each other.” On his salary: “I’m Europe’s most underpaid and underappreciated boss. I’m paid about 20 times more than the average Ryanair employee and I think the gap should be wider.” On himself: “I’m probably an obnoxious little bollocks. Who cares? The purpose is not to be loved. The purpose is to have the passengers on board.” On the Ryanair calendar: “We get slagged off for the calendar even though we raise a100,000 for charity every year. A bunch of academics at Trinity did one this year, getting naked behind violins and books and things, and it was all: ‘Ah, isn’t that nice?’ But when Ryanair does it, they’re exploiting their cabin crew, sexualising them.”
of a slick and stylish airline. The TV advert manages to leave the viewer feeling as though they missed the punchline. But that’s the idea, Jacobs assures me. “I think people kind of enjoyed the irony,” he says. “It has made a lot of customers sit up and go ‘wow, that was Ryanair talking in an ironic, tongue-in-cheek way about the new Ryanair’. “It’s a new tone of voice and conversation from Ryanair and I think it’s a style that works across Europe. It’s important for people here in Ireland to remember that we operate in thirty markets across the continent. We’re the biggest airline in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Belgium so while we are the biggest airline in Ireland, we are the biggest airline in Europe and we’re really a panEuropean brand so we need to have a European conversation with the European consumer and I think that new campaign starts us down that road.” From Stags to Suits One market Ryanair is now setting its sights on is that of the business traveller. In a bid to step up its assault on rivals outside of the budget sector, it plans to lure more high-end clientele with the introduction of flights to more primary airports such as Brussels, Lisbon, Cologne, Dortmund and Athens. There is also a new business schedule that is orientated towards the business traveller in terms of the times and days their flights are available.
In addition, the airline has begun selling through a global distribution system (GDS) for the first time in more than a decade. The deal, which sees Ryanair partner with e-commerce travel provider Travelport GDS, means its flights are now available for booking via third party agents. The final element of this strategy will come with the launch of a business product. This will be a business fare which includes a changeable ticket, fully manageable on mobile, which will provide for a fast-track service through a lot of the main airports in Europe. It will have a premium allocated seat along with an extended baggage allowance. It’s a far cry from an airline which was guaranteed to be listed on the average stag trip itinerary, but one which Jacobs sees as a significant move into a market which was mostly ignored by the airline in recent years. “They’re four key elements of our strategy for making Ryanair much more appealing to that big address of the market that is corporate business travellers, be they very big firms, be they the EU or be they SMEs in Ireland, the UK or across Europe.”
The Mentor Although the appointment of Jacobs is likely to see Michael O’Leary step back from spokesman role, the pair will undoubtedly be working in close proximity to each other, a facet of the job which Jacobs appears to be relishing. “I’m really enjoying it so far,” he says. “He’s one of the longest standing airline chief executives in the world and that breadth of experience makes it very interesting. He’s very driven and I suppose what Tony Ryan created, Michael O’Leary has brought to the place where it is today; the biggest airline in Europe. He knows everything about the industry and he’s got great drive and pride about what he has made happen here.” So how was his job interview with the Ryanair boss? “After the waterboarding it was fine,” he says before quickly intervening to assure me he was joking – just on the off-chance that I took him seriously. “Look it was fine. He’s a straight talker. He’s run the business for so long. He knows what is going to work and what is not going to work at Ryanair. We talked about what I would change and how would I change it.” Change is very much the word of the day at Ryanair which saw its number of passengers in May increase by 300,000 on the same month last year, at 8.2 million. If these are the changes Jacobs brings to the airline in future years, he can expect a cuddle or two from Michael O’Leary himself.
Kenny’s Favourite Ted Talk: Niall Ferguson - The 6 killer apps of prosperity Over the past few centuries, Western cultures have been very good at creating general prosperity for themselves. Historian Niall Ferguson asks: Why the West, and less so the rest? He suggests half a dozen big ideas from Western culture — call them the 6 killer apps — that promote wealth, stability and innovation. And in this new century, he says, these apps are all shareable. ww.ted.com/talks/niall_ferguson_the_6_killer w apps_of_prosperity Go to page 30 for more on TED
InBusiness | Q2 2014
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With the rapid rise of Netflix and TV on Demand services – as well as the migration of viewers from their time-honoured television sets to tablets, mobile phones and other devices – established institutes like RTÉ and TV3 are adjusting to a brave new world. Meanwhile, UTV’s entrance into the Republic looks set to alter the landscape further. Dean Van Nguyen looks at the changing face of Irish television as we know it. 26
InBusiness | Q2 2014
s the Northern Irish wing of ITV Media, UTV has long been a prominent brand in the Republic, with a generation of viewers from all over the island longfamiliar with the heavily accented stylings of Belfast native Julian Simmons and his trademark overtures that precede the latest instalment of Coronation Street. But the broadcast company – who first went on air back in 1959 – will soon be fully established in the south with plans to launch an all new UTV Ireland station currently in the pipeline. The announcement was made last November and came with a bold rallying cry that the network intends to fully take on our recognised broadcasters. “In terms of where we see our sights, let me be absolutely clear – we are a mainstream public service broadcaster. We are aiming to go head-to-head with RTÉ and TV3,” said UTV Managing Director Michael Wilson upon the announcement, as reported by the Irish Independent. “It’s one of the most significant investments that UTV has ever made.” UTV’s entry into the Republic will, of course, take a bite out of RTÉ and TV3’s viewing audience, but it will also have other knockon effects. UTV’s plans hinged on securing exclusive rights to broadcast ITV content in Ireland, meaning TV3 will lose some of their most popular shows like Coronation Street, Emmerdale and The Jeremy Kyle Show. Taking such a hit may appear to be a huge blow for TV3, but management are determined to fill gaps in the schedule with an aggressive new model. Rather than acquiring content from the UK and elsewhere, their focus will now turn to homemade original programming. For the first time in its history, TV3’s programming spend on originated content will exceed its spend on acquisitions. “It is probably our most InBusiness | Q2 2014
ambitious schedule ever,” says Jeff Ford, TV3’s Director of Content. “It’s really utilising all that money that was going to ITV for Coronation Street and Emmerdale, bringing it back here and actually making shows and employing people which is a big thing.” Home Grown Programming Focusing on Irish-produced content will certainly benefit the audiovisual industry. Ford estimates that one of TV3’s new flagship programmes – the upcoming twice weekly soap Red Rock – will employ between 100-120 people. Additionally, the company believes the new model will help ensure their financial security by taking the burden off advertising sales – which has been steadily falling worldwide – to generate revenue. “Instead of being an importer of content you’re an exporter of it, and it also means you can put what you want in the programme. So if we wanted to put some product placement in the soap, for instance, then we can,” says Ford. “If you own the shows you can export them to other countries yourself instead of us buying from other people.” This strategy has been deployed by RTÉ successfully in recent years. Crime dramas Love/Hate and Amber have been international hits for our state broadcaster. “Obviously advertising has taken a bit of a battering over the last five years so we’ve got to find new ways of sourcing funding,” says Glen Killane, Managing Director of RTÉ Television. “So one of those would be through content sales and intellectual property sales and we’ve led the way in Ireland in format development.” Helping push RTÉ’s hunger to produce more Irish-made shows is Format Farm, an initiative that supports the production and broadcast of original Irish TV pilots in a variety of genres. Launched in 2012, the scheme calls for new ideas for pilot episodes, the best of which air on primetime RTÉ One and RTÉ Two with a view to developing ideas that can be marketed
internationally. “It was an innovative step by RTÉ. We were the first to drive it as a collective,” says Killane. “It’s about RTÉ leading the way and encouraging the independent sector and independent producers to look at this as a way we can collaborate and punch through on the international stage.” While UTV Ireland will compete with RTÉ for viewers, Killane has welcomed their entrance into the Republic, believing domestic competition will help create a stronger sector that will ultimately benefit all parties and help fight off a bigger threat – UK-based channels who sell advertising in Ireland. “There’s opportunities for the independent sector and for TV talent to have new outlets for their talents, so I see that as a good thing,” says Killane. “From my perspective, channels based in the UK just selling advertising and contributing nothing to the sector here is a far bigger challenge and far more damaging because they’re not really contributing anything to the Irish audiovisual sector and I think that’s a huge challenge.” The Cutting Edge The introduction of UTV to the Irish audiovisual market and the subsequent change in strategy from TV3 will cause a noticeable change for the average Irish TV viewer, but ultimately may be dwarfed in the recent and rapid evolution of new technologies and changing consumer habits. Traditional television now runs side-by-side with non-linear viewing systems. Services like the online streaming platform Netflix have grown rapidly while many stations now provide an On Demand service, allowing viewers to watch certain programmes at any time they wish. With technology developing so rapidly – and viewers’ habits following suit – it’s a real challenge for Irish TV stations to keep moving with the times. “That’s my role, to try to make sure we’re not just following the pack but 27
UTV Ireland Pinch Senior Staff from TV3 Continuing an aggressive campaign as they look to carve out their own territory in the Republic’s audiovisual landscape, UTV Ireland have recruited several senior staff members from TV3 to make up their founding management team. Staff making the switch include Daragh Byrne, who will join the new channel as Commercial Director Ireland, overseeing television and online sales, and Daragh O’Halloran, who will take up the position of Head of Research. “I am delighted to welcome such highly experienced and talented broadcasting individuals to UTV Ireland,” said John McCann, Group Chief Executive of UTV Media plc. “These appointments highlight the wealth of talent and experience now available to UTV Ireland across various business disciplines.”
actually coming out ahead,” says Jill O’Brien, who as TV3’s Head of Digital is responsible for the company’s digital content strategy and has led the expansion of 3 Player – the company’s on-demand service – to a multitude of platforms including desktop, mobile and, more recently, Sky OnDemand, Samsung Smart TV’s and Xbox 360. “We have seen really strong growth. We only launched 3 Player in November 2011 and it’s just been growing since then. Last year there was 32 per cent growth across all of our on-demand platforms.” In 2011 the California-based Netflix made the bold move of announcing they would be acquiring original content for their subscribers. Beginning last year with the critical and commercial smash hit House of Cards, Netflix have continued to deliver on highly successful shows like dramedy Orange Is the New Black, gangster series Lilyhammer and a fourth season of cult sitcom Arrested Development. By acquiring exclusive rights to whole series, Netflix’s move was a change in the very fabric of how people watch their shows. Every episode of House of Cards was released at exactly the same time, meaning viewers could watch the 13 instalments at their own pace rather than tuning in at the same time each week. Some have argued that the advent of Netflix and OnDemand TV are killing off what has long been dubbed “Watercooler Television” – where shows are so popular they dominate office conversation the day after they’re aired. Others have praised the model as the future of TV. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, House of Cards star Kevin Spacey asserted that the success of the Netflix model proved that audiences wanted control. “They want freedom. If they want to binge then we should let them binge.” Netflix has come a long way in a short space of time and their model has been noted by Irish broadcasters. For example, the first
Múirne Laffan, Managing Director of RTÉ Digital.
episode of the latest series of RTÉ’s sketch comedy show The Savage Eye premiered on RTÉ Player on Monday 28th April, a whole week before it aired on RTÉ Two. “I think it’s interesting,” says Múirne Laffan, Managing Director of RTÉ Digital who leads the company’s overall digital strategy. “We are really open to experimenting with all of this. Ultimately it’s about meeting audience needs. We’re a public service broadcaster and we have to meet those audience needs and do it in an economically responsible way.” Laffan, however, doesn’t believe dropping marquee shows all at once is something we’ll see from RTÉ in the near future, asserting that the model isn’t something “economically that would work for us”. Social Gatherings A viewer trend that both RTÉ and TV3 are fully embracing, however, is the use of social media to encourage viewer interaction. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow users to join in the online conversation in real time. Rather than waiting for that water cooler interaction with a work colleague the day after their favourite show airs, audiences now engage in nationwide discussions from their armchairs before the credits role. “Integration with social media has been a key driver,” says Laffan. “It really has changed the relationship with audiences, it has changed how we interact with audiences and more or less how they interact with us.” InBusiness | Q2 2014
massive social media following that we’re driving through those sites as well. It’s been really beneficial not only in terms of our audience share [and] our international sales potential, but it will also impact our digital audience because we’re able to capitalise on those programmes in the digital sphere as well.” The team behind TV3’s upcoming soap Red Rock. Left to right: Element Pictures Company Director Andrew Lowe, producer John Yorke, Element Pictures Company Director Ed Guiney and writer Peter McKenna.
TV3’s Director of Content Jeff Ford, CEO David McRedmond and Commerical Director Patrick Kiely at TV3’s ‘Upfronts 2015’ launch to unveil the channel’s 2015 scheduled at The Shelbourne Hotel, May 2014. Photo: Brian McEvoy.
In encouraging the online conversation, much effort has been made by both networks to create additional online content that might drive a show’s success. TV3’s O’Brien points to The Great Irish Bake Off as an example of how integrating digital platforms into a show can help foster its growth. “This is why it’s so important to be producing our own shows as well, because there is so much more we can do around it in terms of expanding the editorial content. We film online exclusive interviews for our digital department. We house all the recipes there, we’ve a
Regulations With so many developments in the way consumers are now accessing content, it raises challenges for those charged with regulation. The job of policing what appears on our screens falls to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, an organisation formed in 2009 to replace the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC). The BAI regulates content across all broadcasting platforms and their key text in terms of non-linear audiovisual media services is the On Demand Audiovisual Media Services Code. According to BAI Chief Executive Michael O’Keefe, the organisation is currently monitoring new developments relating to how television is consumed. “From our perspective we’re the regulator of content,” says O’Keefe. “So on one level it’s important for us that we have an awareness of developments in the area [of changing viewer habits], but clearly what concerns us from a regulatory perspective is the regulation of the services. In a lot of cases, as you know, the new services are the same as provided on the linear, traditional broadcasting services. No particular issues arise there. Where it does become an issue is if there’s a service that is separate or distinct from the traditional services and how they are captured
from a regulatory perspective.” One of the challenges from a regulator’s point of view is the last major piece of regulation in this area was the Audiovisual Media Services Directive which was introduced by the European Commission in 2009. The BAI transposed all of the requirements from that directive to their On Demand Audiovisual Media Services Code in 2011 and that’s effectively the regulatory regime we currently have in Ireland. “I suppose what’s happened is that in the last number of years things have moved on in certain areas but the regulation hasn’t tended to change,” says O’Keefe. “There has been discussion. We meet twice a year with a European regulatory group who meets with the European Commission. There has been some discussion about a revision of that directive. But the view at the moment has been to take things relatively steady because the industry is new and they’re reluctant to have too much regulatory intervention at this time. So there are discussions at a European level but there are no plans at this stage to revise the regulatory structure in place.” Content Rules UTV Ireland will begin broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland in January 2015, offering the Irish public an even wider choice of programming. With the rapid acceleration of technology tough to predict, new challenges will continue to arise for Ireland’s audiovisual sector, but there’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that content will always be king. And as long as that remains a central ethos, it’s the viewer who will benefit the most.
93% 9pm 230 mins
of all households in Ireland have a TV.
Source: TAM Ireland Ltd May 2014
InBusiness | Q2 2014
peak viewing time for all video content. Source: TAM Ireland Ltd
Total viewing to all video per day. (TV live catch-up, on-demand, paid for services.) Source: TAM Ireland Ltd April 2014
n 1984 TED was born, a oneoff two-day conference on technology, entertainment and design, in Monterey, California. It’s now the most famous conference on the planet, attracting huge names like Bill Clinton, Malcolm Gladwell, Jane Goodall, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Today there are three annual TED events: TED, TEDActive and TEDGlobal, plus a multitude of TEDx events, the TED-Ed educational initiative, TEDBooks, the annual TED Prize and, of course, TED Talks. TED is devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’ and the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. TEDsters (the official name for TED speakers) bring big ideas to an engaged audience in well rehearsed, sub-18minute speeches. Its ability to spread these ideas is the key to its success. TED really gathered momentum globally around 2006 when Julie Cohen, Director of TED Media had the idea of a television programme to spread TED’s ideas. When the BBC told her TED talks were too intellectual for their audience she decided to put the talks online. No one at TED anticipated how popular the talks would become: Over a billion views later fans confess to having whiled away hours and hours on TED.com, absorbed in the ideas of innovative thinkers. That’s the beauty of TED – you can find intelligent talks on an enormous range of topics. You can learn, engage and be inspired by leading experts in a particular field for a bite-sized period of time.
“Happy birthday dear TED. It’s been a very successful 30 years.” InBusiness’ Valerie Jordan looks back on the history of an event which seeks to share good ideas on all topics through short, but contagious, talks.
A one-off TED conference included a demonstration of the compact disc, the e-book and cuttingedge 3D graphics from Lucasfilm.
The first TED event lost money and it was six years before Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks tried again.
Chris Anderson met with TED’s founders. In 2001, Anderson’s non-profit Sapling Foundation acquired TED. Anderson became curator.
The TED prize was established. It was first awarded to Robert Fischell, Edward Burtynsky and Bono.
TED Videos began to be posted online to test whether there was an audience for them. There was.
The new TED.com was launched to showcase more talks.
TEDx was established by Lara Stein to open up the TED format to local, independent organisers who wanted to create a TED-like event in their own community.
Chris Anderson at TED2013.
James Duncan Davidson
TED2015 takes place in Vancouver, Canada, March 16 - 20. Tickets are US$8,500. TedGlobal is in Rio de Janeiro next October, tickets priced at US$6,000. Even if you can afford the prohibitive cost, TED is invite only. Understandably TED has come under fire for elitism, but it also works hard not to be elitist: Post event, most of the talks are made available for free on TED.com. Its mission, afterall, is to make innovative thinking and great ideas accessible to everyone. To that end their open translation project was launched in 2009 and more than 50,000 translations have been published in over 40 languages. This is also where TEDx events come in. Established by Lara Stein in 2009 to open up the TED format, TEDx events are independently organised events to spread ideas, inspire and inform at a community or local level. As part of the TEDx licence a quarter of the day is devoted to official TED videos, and TEDx events, like the official conferences, cannot be used to raise money, even for charity. Diversity of topics is also key. Unlike an industry conference TEDx can’t be used to focus on or sell one school of thought. Talks, performances and demos are all permitted, under the 18-minute rule, but must be carefully prepared to engage the audience, spread ideas and spark conversation. The spread of TEDx events since their establishment in 2009 has been extraordinary: More than 10,016 TEDx events have happened in more than 130 countries. The
James Duncan Davidson
TED talks you might have missed
TED phenomenon will continue to spread into the future. The next thing is TEDx Adventures – where the audience listens to talks and then participates in experiences led by a local expert. Already more than 100 TEDx organisers from 18 different countries have attended training on TEDx Adventures. Here’s to many more years of ideas and inspiration. To find a TEDx event locally visit www.TED.com. The Next TEDx event taking place in Ireland is TEDxTallaght brought to you by South Dublin Libraries, October 16, 2014. www.tedxtallaght.com.
Eli Praiser Beware online “filter bubbles” As web companies strive to tailor their services to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge our worldview. Eli Pariser argues that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and democracy. www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_ beware_online_filter_bubbles
Benjamin Zander The transformative power of classical music The engaging conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra helps the audience realise an untapped love for classical music and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_ zander_on_music_and_passion
Mark Ronson How sampling transformed music Sampling isn’t about “hijacking nostalgia wholesale”, says Mark Ronson. It’s about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. Watch the DJ scramble 15 TED Talks into an audio-visual omelette. www.ted.com/talks/mark_ronson_ how_sampling_transformed_music
Donald Sadoway The missing link to renewable energy
TEDx Adventures began providing expert led handson experiences to participants.
TED honoured innovative, ingenious and intelligent advertising with Ads worth spreading.
TED Talks celebrated its one billionth video view. TED Radio Hour debuted in partnership to bring ideas from TED Talks to public radio listeners.
TED celebrated its 30th anniversary. At the time of going to print there were 1,700+ TED videos online and 30,000+ TEDx videos.
In this accessible, inspiring talk, Donald Sadoway takes to the blackboard to show us the future of large-scale batteries that store renewable energy. “We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big. We need to think cheap.” www.ted.com/talks/donald_sadoway_ the_missing_link_to_renewable_energy Eli Pariser, Mark Ronson & Donald Sadoway images by James Duncan Davidson. Benjamin Zander image by Andrew Heavens.
abbit Hole Promotions was established in 2012 inspired by the emergence of a large number of structures in premium locations which were deemed suitable for marketing and promotion. The recession had left unfinished, unused and derelict buildings and construction sites throughout the major cities and their suburbs which led to an increase in dumping, littering, loitering, vandalism and a general demise in the aesthetic of numerous locations. This coupled with the fact that the capital was already saturated with standardised methods of advertising such as billboards, posters and banners, led to the creation of Rabbit Hole Promotions’ unique Street Advertising Spaces (SAS). In order to garner further interest in their SAS, the group decided to use the specialist and 32
relatively unexplored medium of street art / graffiti. This medium aims to set clients apart from their competitors and provide them with a bespoke platform to target potential customers in a manner which would genuinely interest them. From here, Rabbit Hole Promotions developed into a creative guerrilla advertising agency providing a range of unique products and services. As with any business, their primary objective is to generate revenue, however they are happy to rejuvenate and revitalise the streets with dual purpose artwork in the process. Rabbit Hole Promotion’s managing director, Mark Lacey, gave us some background on the agency and the growing adoption of street art for advertising among Irish businesses. IB: Where did the idea for the name ‘Rabbit Hole Promotions’ come from?
ML: A combination of Alice In Wonderland and The Matrix. ‘Advertise With Us and See How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes.’ IB: Are there many other companies out there doing what you’re doing? ML: There are several companies and individuals providing somewhat similar products and services, however our company is the first of its kind as all aspects of each campaign are carried out in-house. IB: What kinds of businesses are using your service and do you see a growing demand for this alternative form of advertising? ML: Since we began, the demand has grown exponentially. We have been fortunate enough to work with a broad spectrum of brands, from small and medium enterprises to large multinational corporations. Given our competitive
Mark Lacey, Managing Director of Rabbit Hole Promotions, tells InBusiness how the creative guerrilla advertising agency is providing businesses with an alternative marketing platform while rejuvenating the streets with eyecatching artwork. pricing and the extremely positive response from the general public, our unique products and services appeal to businesses of a diverse nature. IB: What kind of opportunity does street art advertising offer a company when compared to more traditional forms such as billboards, bus shelter ads, etc? ML: First and foremost our aim is to provide our clients with an intelligent and effective campaign, which is used to optimise the results and benefits of such, without disrupting their cashflow. We provide a platform which is both beneficial and accessible to all business sizes whereas the services you have outlined above are somewhat elitist due to budgetary restrictions. We feel the general public react better to our medium as, not only is it more creative, it sets our client’s brand apart from the crowd as a company InBusiness | Q2 2014
using its imagination in an attempt to attract customers. This coupled with the aspect of pricing I have previously outlined is a successful formula that is mutually beneficial for all involved. IB: As artists and creative people do you feel your work is sometimes compromised by client demands? ML: Initially we allowed clients to dictate design and we were producing campaigns even if we felt our medium didn’t suit their brand. We were generating revenue at the expense of our artistic integrity in order to expand the company. After several revisions of our brand we decided that this was not beneficial to either ourselves or our clients. Now we simply request our clients send us a basic brief which we will expand and generate designs based upon, through several hours of brainstorming, which we then forward for approval. Now we only produce RHP generated designs as we feel they will have the best benefit for both the client and ourselves. IB: Do you have any favourite street ads you have designed to date? ML: The general consensus amongst us would be that the street advertisement we produced for Wildcard Distribution to promote the release of the documentary Far Out Isn’t Far Enough is the favourite to date. This is due to both the design and the subject matter. We were fortunate enough to be introduced InBusiness | Q2 2014
to the protagonist Mr. Tomi Ungerer who was one of the most interesting characters we have had the pleasure of meeting. We would share several of his ideals and beliefs in relation to creativity and thus it was an excellent experience all round. Advert for Phantom 105.2FM.
IB: Despite being specialists in the field, how do you address the challenge of advertising your own services? ML: Our own marketing plan is almost solely comprised of our client campaigns acting as a promotional outlet for our products and services. Nothing portrays their effective nature better than themselves. This combined with social media and our – if we may say so ourselves – excellent website, provides the perfect underground advertising platform we require to expand. Our clients should find comfort in the fact that we are too busy generating promotional ideas for them to generate them for ourselves. IB: Any other challenges your company faces? ML: With several clients there is an initial level of scepticism as they fear we merely paint where we feel like it without permission, which of course is not the case. We rent our street advertising spaces from the land owner. We also have the odd member of the general public attempt to convince us we are mutilating the city scape due to our chosen medium. We have given
Advert for M&M’s.
Advert for Independent Pizza Company.
this some serious thought and have come to the conclusion that this is not the case and therefore, with a clear conscience, we can continue. So essentially we create employment, generate revenue for the land owner and maintain the façade of their property, provide our clients with primary outlets to promote their brand through a unique and bespoke medium which
generates mass exposure, prevents expenditure on graffiti removal and rejuvenates and revitalises space in the public realm. Once we explain it to people like that it’s high fives all around. IB: Any major plans for Rabbit Hole Promotions in the coming years? ML: We are constantly expanding our range of unique products and services and we are constantly exploring alternative avenues within the industry. We hope to establish ourselves as a leading brand within the Irish industry and we have also recently incorporated a US subsidiary in New York which we intend to commence operating this summer.
For further information on Rabbit Hole Promotions and their services, go to www. rabbitholepromotions.com
Mark’s Favourite Ted Talk: Jon Ronson – Strange Answers To The Psychopath Test Is there a definitive line that divides crazy from sane? With a hair-raising delivery, Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test, illuminates the grey areas between the two. www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_ answers_to_the_psychopath_test Go to page 30 for more on TED
to Recovery Steps
Friends First chief economist Jim Power tells Conor Forrest about the challenges facing Ireland’s economic recovery.
n recent weeks and months, economic news emanating from Ireland has begun to reflect a more positive tone, and several indicators are pointing towards some form of recovery in the Irish economy. Jobs are being created on a larger scale than before, recent announcements reflect increased availability of credit to the struggling SME sector while credit agency Moody’s upgraded Ireland’s credit rating by two spaces, reflecting a more stable economic situation in the country. In April this year, one industry forecast made predictions of a rise in GDP by 2.9 per cent, citing growth in both job creation and consumer spending. Jim Power, Chief Economist at Friends First, is a little more cautious.
Careful Confidence “I’m forecasting two per cent GDP growth this year, so it is close to the lower end of the spectrum,” he explains. Power may be right in preaching caution. Last year, the Budget predicted real GDP growth of 1.5 per cent and real GNP growth of 0.9 per cent. While GNP growth surprised – expanding by 3.4 per cent, GDP last year actually contracted by 0.3 per cent. However, there is some compelling evidence to suggest that a recovery of sorts is currently under way. For example, Q1 2014 retail sales are 5.6 per cent higher than in the same period in 2013, though car sales make up a substantial part of this figure. Elsewhere, employment increased by 60,900 to the end of December last year, with a reduction in Ireland’s unemployment rate to 11.7 per cent. “Manufacturing is very strong, the housing market is starting to pick up from a very low base, the Exchequer deficit is falling – in the first four months of the year it was about a1.8 billion lower than the same period last year, and tax revenues are growing by 5.6 per cent year-on-year,” Power adds. Ireland’s successful exit of the Troika in December was followed by the issuing of bonds at historically low rates of interest, while the country’s debt rating has improved since the beginning of the year. And while the number of business insolvencies in the economy still remains too high, the figures are dropping, while business and consumer confidence surveys continue to improve, as does the external view of Ireland and its economy. “A lot of indicators are supporting the notion that the economy hit the ground in 2012, followed by modest recovery in 2013, and that continues so far into 2014,” says Power. As Power notes, however, there are several significant challenges which could prove quite difficult to overcome should an economic recovery really pick up steam. Sovereign debt levels remain extremely high, as do personal debt levels, particularly on the mortgage front, while, according to Power “the taxation burden is, in my opinion, too high. We have reached the point where the tax burden is starting to stifle economic activity, and any further increase in the burden would be detrimental.” Power also points towards the issues revolving around the banking sector, which is still not functioning properly in terms of credit flow, continued hits on discretionary spending, problems posed by the housing market in regard to supply and demand, particularly in Dublin, and the fiscal consolidation process which is due to rear its head once more in October with the scheduled delivery of a a2bn budget. “If that’s delivered – and I hope it’s not – then that is certainly going to impose further pain on the economy,” Power explains. Austerity Power’s final point is the next step in Ireland’s fiscal authority plan – a a2bn budget which many commentators hope will not be as severe, should InBusiness | Q2 2014
projected economic growth come to pass, or even surpass expectations. Much has been made of the negative impact of austerity in Ireland, and political platforms have been created solely on the basis of tackling and removing such financial pain. And while Power is certainly aware of the pain such fiscal authority has created, he believes there was no choice. “Rather than fiscal austerity, I would prefer to describe it as learning to live within our means again as a country. We need to balance expenditure with taxation, and we’re moving in that direction again with the fiscal consolidation programme since 2008.” “There’s a few things austerity has achieved,” he continues. “We have abided by the conditions that were laid down by the Troika back in 2010 to get our deficit down to three per cent of GDP by the end of 2015, so we’re moving in that direction. We’re still borrowing but the rate is coming down, making the situation a little more sustainable. It also had a significant impact on the external view of Ireland – we tackled the crisis head on, and early, and in some senses it’s starting to work. We’ve also taken some wasteful expenditure out of the equation – the public sector is certainly becoming more efficient.” SME Lending For Ireland’s banks, a major problem exists in the form of the SME sector. Outstanding credit to SMEs accounts for 63 per cent of domestic bank lending to non-financial enterprises - r55.9bn at the end of 2013. Worryingly, approximately f33bn of this figure is tied up in property, making it quite vulnerable. In Friends First’s latest Economic Outlook, compiled by Power, it is noted that later this year, the ECB will conduct a stress test on 128 banks, including those in Ireland. UCD economist Morgan Kelly has recently warned that the test could reveal the ‘poor health of SME lending’, which could further result in the foreclosing of loans, forcing thousands of SMEs out of business, not to mention the impact such a move would have on the banks themselves. Though such a move would be highly unlikely, given the maelstrom it would generate, the Irish SME sector remains in the midst of some very challenging times. “SME lending surveys are showing some improvement in credit conditions, but it’s still very, very difficult,” says Power. When people speak of a credit problem, the problem in reality only exists for Irish InBusiness | Q2 2014
Jim Power, chief economist, Friends First.
fiscal austerity, I would prefer to describe it as
learning to live within our means again as a country.”
Moody’s recently upgraded Ireland’s credit rating by two spaces from Baa3 to Baa1, reflecting a more stable economic situation in the country.
SMEs – larger corporations have access to international markets. “It’s a very difficult situation, but it is starting to get a little bit better. There is a long way to go, however, and Government needs to push along the notion of trying to add to sources of non-banking finance for SMEs. We’re starting to move in the right direction, but the SME sector is nowhere near getting the required credit it needs to keep going.” Power is also an advocate for increased debt resolution for SMEs on the part of the banks. “I think policymakers and banks are faced with a choice – viable businesses being made unviable by non business-related debt. They have a choice – you either address that debt or you let the business go out of business. I think the correct approach – if it’s a sustainable business – would be to write off some of that debt. It has to happen.” Though the economy has begun the painful process of rebuilding, it would be a mistake to think that no issues or challenges lie ahead. While the recovery is currently mainly centred around Dublin and the surrounding area, a comprehensive policy tackling sovereign, personal and SME debt levels, coupled with an ease in taxation could see the recovery spread across Ireland and gain real traction. 35
Zinta Krumins has been with Boehringer Ingelheim for more than 25 years in a career that has taken her across the various functions of the business and all over Europe. As of January 2014 she has been in the position of Director of UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. On a recent visit to Ireland she spoke to InBusiness about Boehringer Ingelheim’s operations in Ireland and her diverse career to date.
IB: Your career has taken you from the UK to the company’s headquarters in Germany, to Denmark, Turkey, back to Germany and full-circle back to the UK. What have been the benefits and challenges of moving? ZK: I’ve a wide range of experience in all facets of the business. Boehringer Ingelheim as a company is very supportive of people who are interested in having an international career. They will try to give people the opportunity to expand, to develop, to move into new areas if that’s what they want to do. It’s hard work and it is tough moving to a new country where you don’t speak the language, you don’t understand anything, you don’t know the business or what the market is like, but you become adept at figuring out where the pressure points are going to be and what you need to do and understand very quickly. 36
IB: The subject of women in business and the shortage of women in top management positions is still a very relevant issue. What are your thoughts on this? ZK: Very interestingly I was involved in a project during my first time in corporate headquarters looking at women in management – Boehringer Ingelheim had very few women in senior leadership positions. Part of that work identified that it wasn’t necessarily a women in management issue, it was a diversity issue. It’s very important that leaders in corporations and organisations understand that there is a value in diversity – not just women, but different ages, different nationalities, different groups of people. The difference of thought, the difference of voice that can come into decision making is extremely valuable.
Diversity exists and there is a value to that diversity. IB: In your new position as Director of UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar, what are you looking forward to developing and overseeing in the Irish operation? ZK: The outlook for Ireland is very positive. We have the benefit that [Ireland] is a small company – we have a different framework for working than in the UK where it’s a much larger company. What we have here is the ability to create a good environment where people can talk to each other and generate ideas and support the healthcare sector in Ireland. That for me is very important. To ensure the universal health proposition of the Government comes true, to work with Government and say ‘how do we support you in your ambitions?’ InBusiness | Q2 2014
Since inception here in 1962 the company has grown continuously. We are always launching new products. We’ve had one launch already this year – an oncology product – and we’ve another product coming late this year or early next year. I think the business in Ireland offers many opportunities for innovation, whether in medicine or in other aspects of partnership within the health service. I look forward to bringing more innovation to the Irish market and to working with my colleagues to really understand what’s going on here. IB: As a company Boehringer Ingelheim takes its corporate social responsibility seriously. What initiatives do you have in place? ZK: We partner with an organisation called Ashoka in a programme ‘Making More Health’. Ashoka identifies entrepreneurs in the healthcare environment who are trying to change and provide support within their communities. In Ireland we’ve taken it a step further with ‘Change Nation’ and we’re supportive of a number of projects that are providing support to aspects of the Irish social infrastructure and healthcare to bring Ireland further forward in having a robust healthcare for its population. We provide sponsorship and we provide our own knowledge and skills. Quite often the entrepreneurs don’t have everything they need to be able to expand their embryo concept in to other geographical areas or to a wider network. We are able to provide an entrepreneur with marketing, financial planning, business development – it depends what the entrepreneur needs. It’s a very close involvement. IB: You also support the children’s charity Barnardos. Is that an important relationship to the company? ZK: Ireland decided that it really wanted to do something to support children and families outside Making More Health. They’ve had an ongoing InBusiness | Q2 2014
Zinta’s CV in Numbers Rebecca Kilbane, Ashoka Ireland and Dr Colin Edwards General Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Ireland at the announcement of their partnership.
Dr Colin Edwards receiving the InBUSINESS Editor’s Choice Best in Pharma Award 2013.
relationship with Barnardos. We do a fundraising cycle every year – this year we’re doing the Ring of Kerry – but we also provide other types of support for children and their families, like if a house needs painting or gardening. We provide the time for our staff to do that because it’s a very valuable contribution that we can make. IB: Boehringer-Ingelheim was the recipient of the InBUSINESS Editor’s Choice Award for Best in Pharma. What did this mean to you and your colleagues? ZK: For us it was really valuable recognition of Boehringer Ingelheim as a company that provides more than just medicine to the market. As a corporation we try to work ‘beyond the pill’ and it is valuable recognition for us that others see that. It really motivated the team, they were very happy to receive it. And it was a big surprise, we were not expecting it, which I think probably made it even more exciting. Zinta Krumins was in conversation with Valerie Jordan.
years’ experience in pharma
years with Boehringer Ingelheim
years spent outside the UK
years as Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim Turkey
stints at Corporate Headquarters in Ingelheim, Germany
months as Director of UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar 37
Support to match your ambition We know that the right support for your business will help bring opportunity within reach. We offer support, information and products to help you get off to the right start. Find out what support is available at ulsterbank.ie/startup
Important Information Ulster Bank Ireland Limited. A private company limited by shares, trading as Ulster Bank, Ulster Bank Group and Banc Uladh. Registered in Republic of Ireland. Registered No. 25766. Registered OfďŹ ce: Ulster Bank Group Centre, Georgeâ€™s Quay, Dublin 2. Ulster Bank Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
A round up of all the news and events from Chamber networks nationwide.
Shannon Chamber has called on the Government to review the rating system in Ireland and to replace it with a model that reflects current and future economic climates. This call was made at the Chamber’s spring lunch in Dromoland, Co Clare in May at which Mr Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government gave the keynote address. The newly appointed Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Mr Jianguo XU, was guest of honour.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government pictured at Dromoland with Helen Downes, Chief Executive and Kevin Thompstone, President, Shannon Chamber.
Chamber Comment “This is a further vote of confidence in the Irish economy although it is vital that the Government does not lose sight of the crucial issue of short term funding for SMEs, which this initiative does not address.” Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot responding to the announcement that a Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland will be established.
Jobs Fair Breaks Borders
Chamber Comment “In this strategy the Government has recognised the relationship between strategic growth in the construction sector and a broader, sustainable economic recovery.”
Paddy Matthews, President, Dundalk Chamber with Dympna Boyles, Eures Coordinator.
Eures Cross Border Partnership in association with Dundalk Chamber of Commerce held a Jobs and Advice Fair on May 23rd in the Marshes Shopping Centre, Dundalk. The event was attended by both local employers, locally based employment advice agencies, business start-up advisers and a number of cross-border advisers who
gave information to those interested in employment and career development options both North and South. There was a number of companies with vacancies exhibiting on the day including National Pen, Irish Homecare Services, Servisource Recruitment, Teleperformance, Vesta Payment Solutions and MJM Marine Ltd.
Delegates meet with the Lord Mayor of Trafford and the Lord Mayor of the City of Manchester.
outh Dublin Chamber along with 40 local businesses took part in a trade mission to Manchester in early May. The mission was led by Minister Brian Hayes TD and provided participants with an insight into how Irish people set up business in the UK and traded with UK companies. As part of the visit, delegates met with Manchester City Council and visited Media City. The County Council was represented by the County Manager Danny McLoughlin and Deputy Mayor Eamon Tuffy. Through the presentations, meetings with Manchester business people and hearing from agencies set up to promote trade in both countries, members were given good overview of the possibilities that exist there.
Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot welcoming the launch of the Government’s new construction strategy, which aims to create 60,000 new jobs by 2020.
A Smarter Approach to Travel Parents, teachers and pupils of Scoil Iosa N.S. gathered early on the morning of May 2nd at An Lochain car park, Knox Street, Ballyhaunis for the first of the Smarter Travel Ballyhaunis days. They were joined by Ballyhaunis Chamber, Ballyhaunis fit4life, Annagh Wheelers, Ballyhaunis Tidy Towns and the RSA. Ballyhaunis Smarter Travel is an initiative of Mayo County Council along with Ballyhaunis Organisations to help promote more sustainable methods of travelling to work, school and other places which are within walking distance.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Tralee Chamber Alliance
In 2012 a group of people representing various sectors of business life in Tralee came together to lead, energise and mobilise the local community. The members of Tralee Chamber Alliance, all from the business, industry and tourism sectors, have a combined vision that will see Tralee become a vibrant community and a great place to live, work and visit. Chief Executive of the Alliance, Kieran Ruttledge says: “We are trying to improve all aspects of the town from its appearance to promoting all that it has to offer. We believe that Tralee is a wonderful place to live, work and visit and we need to get that message out there. We have a fabulous Institute of Technology offering a great variety of courses and a modern Technology Park which is an ideal base to set up a business.”
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Martin Murphy, President, Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Peter Bishop, Deputy CEO, London Chamber of Commerce, Dan Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to Britain, Gina Quin, CEO, Dublin Chamber, Breon Corcoran, CEO, Betfair.
delegation of business people from 38 Irishbased companies descended on London in mid-May as part of a two day trade mission organised by Dublin Chamber of Commerce. The mission, which was supported by Siemens and the Doyle Collection, was hailed as a huge success. The aim of the London visit was to enhance business opportunities and relationships in the UK for Irish companies. A busy two day schedule included briefings from UK business leaders, a number of site visits, and a networking reception in conjunction with London Chamber of Commerce at the Irish Embassy in London, with guest speaker, Breon Corcoran, CEO, Betfair.
The Fingal Dublin Chamber of Commerce celebrated 20 years as a Chamber with a business and social evening on May 15th 2014 in the Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport. Over 120 Chamber Members, key stakeholders, guests and friends from throughout the Fingal region and beyond, enjoyed an inspiring evening of speeches from special guests, Christoph Mueller, Chief Executive, Aer Lingus, Stephen McNally, President, Irish Hotels Federation, Paul Reid, Fingal County Manager, Chamber President Siobhan Kinsella and Chamber Chief Executive, Tony Lambert.
Chamber CEO Tony Lambert, Lynn Cawley, GM, Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport, Stephen McNally, President, Irish Hotels Federation, Siobhan Kinsella, Fingal Dublin Chamber President, Christoph Mueller, CEO, Aer Lingus and Paul Reid, Fingal Chief Executive.
Chamber Comment “Local authorities, along with the Office of Government Procurement, need to make procurement work for local businesses and the local economy before more companies close and jobs are lost.” Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot speaking in light of the revelation that some local authorities continue to award tenders based on lowest price.
Chambers News Procurement
ublic procurement is big business. Estimates vary greatly as to its worth; however, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform suggest the market is worth a16 billion, which amounts to over 10 per cent of GDP. Accessing these contracts can be vitally important for the survival of many businesses, particularly microenterprises and Small and Mediumsized Enterprises (SMEs). These are the businesses that give life to local communities and provide much needed employment throughout the country. However, there are a number of problems with the existing structures and processes surrounding public procurement in Ireland, which hamper the ability of companies to successfully bid for contracts. These problems can be grouped into three key areas: firstly, there is too great an emphasis on the price of goods and services being bought; secondly, the procedures involved are unnecessarily complex;
Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, outlines the importance of adopting a strategic procurement policy for Ireland in order to help businesses win contracts. and thirdly, too many contracts are won by companies outside the State. The first main problem with procurement is the fact that contracting authorities have a tendency to judge bids on price alone. The recently established Office of Government Procurement, located within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, is explicitly mandated to cut the procurement budget and this rationale filters through to all public bodies.
A Need for Strategy Attempts to generate savings in public expenditure through public procurement can actually result in a greater cost. This cost comes when small companies are excluded from the tendering process resulting in business closures, job losses, and the subsequent reduction in tax revenue and increase in social welfare. Furthermore, the cheapest option is not always the best option. We believe a more strategic approach to procurement, which doesnâ€™t dogmatically focus on best price, would have numerous benefits. Specifically, a genuinely strategic policy on public procurement could stimulate the economy, incentivise innovation, support business and promote job creation. The view that public procurement should be used as a strategic policy tool is recognised by the Government. It is explicitly stated in the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and
Ministers and officials now accept that procurement must be more than a cost saving exercise. It must not merely be an administrative exercise to reduce public spending. However, we contend that more must be done and it must be done right away. The second issue is that many micro-enterprises and SMEs feel excluded from a process which many simply do not have the time or resources to engage with. Even at the pre-qualification stage many public bodies require an amount and depth of information that is disproportionate to the size and value of the contracts on offer. The centralisation of procurement into the OGP results in contracts which are too large for micro-enterprises and SMEs to bid for. There are countless examples of small companies who could supply products such as stationary, books and electronic equipment to local schools, hospitals, libraries and other public services that simply cannot compete for the size and type of contracts on offer. The final issue is that a disproportionate number of contracts offered by public bodies here are won by companies outside the State. TenderScout suggest that public sector contracts worth F9 billion will be available in Ireland in 2014. However, they claim that in 2013 only 10 per cent of companies participated in any of the 7,500 opportunities to sell through the public procurement process.
Seamus Butler, President, Longford Chamber.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Chambers News Procurement
supported or revenue raised through taxation should become the norm in tendering procedures. • Fourthly, contracting authorities must be more aware of how public money is spent further down the supply chain on major capital works. This can be a significant source of income for many micro-enterprises and SMEs. • Finally, simplifying the process of pre-qualification and reducing the amount of material that must be provided by suppliers is vital. The entire process of procurement would greatly benefit from increased consistency and standardisation. Not only would it make the process less costly for companies involved, it would also encourage more companies to look to public procurement for opportunities.
Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive with Damien English T.D., Chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.
Furthermore, the value of contracts going to other territories is 8.8 per cent, much higher than the EU average of 3.5 per cent. This amounts to almost a800 million worth of public contracts not going to Irish businesses. While the Minister has defended this by stating that most of the contracts remain on the island of Ireland, going north of the border, this is of little comfort to struggling SMEs in the State who are obliged to conform to the much more stringent regulatory and legislative environment around employment.
Recommendations So, what can be done to improve the situation? Chambers Ireland recently launched a White Paper, A Strategic Procurement Policy for Ireland, which makes 15 recommendations. Among these we propose the following: • Firstly, moving the OGP to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation would be a significant, symbolic and practical move. It would signal a desire to adopt an approach to procurement that focuses on job creation and
InBusiness | Q2 2014
maintenance, rather than securing the lowest price. • Secondly, new European Union directives on procurement must be transposed into national law in a timely fashion, without any goldplating. On optional elements of the directives the most business-friendly one must be chosen. • Thirdly, there must be a reduction in the number and types of contracts being awarded on the basis of price alone. An appreciation of the benefits to the Irish economy in terms of jobs created, businesses
We recognise that much work is being done in the whole area of procurement; however, not enough is being done to support the many companies who rely on public contracts for their survival. The recommendations above, along with the others in our White Paper, would result in a procurement policy of benefit to both buyers and suppliers. Crucially, however, it would also benefit all public procurement stakeholders and contribute to a far-sighted, sustainable economic recovery.
Public Procurement in Numbers: Public procurement market is worth
€16bn (over 10 per cent of GDP).
€800m worth of public contracts not going to Irish businesses.
In 2013, only
of companies participated in the 7,500 opportunities to sell through the public procurement process.
of contracts are going to territories outside Ireland
worth of public sector contracts will be available in Ireland in 2014.
Partner Profile Microfinance Ireland
Credit Microfinance Ireland is continuing to provide access to finance for SMEs
icrofinance Ireland (MFI) was launched as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs one year ago to provide loans from a2,000 up to a25,000 to micro-enterprises with less than ten employees and with a turnover of less than a2 million per annum. The Loan Fund exists to provide support to businesses that have formally or informally been declined credit or sufficient credit by their bank. The objective is to support the maintenance and creation of jobs in the local community throughout Ireland. New start-ups and existing businesses set up as sole traders, partnerships or limited companies are all eligible to apply. Lorna Coleman, Business Development Manager with Microfinace Ireland recently briefed the boards of Mullingar, Kilkenny, Cavan and Newbridge Chambers. Addressing the boards, Coleman said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to brief Chamber boards on what we do and how we can help their members who may be having issues with access to finance. MFI offers one simple product for both working capital and capital expenditure.”
where it’s due
• T he business must have been declined credit or sufficient credit from their lender • The business must be commercially viable with demonstrated loan repayment capacity •A n up to date Tax Clearance Certificate will be required
Higher Risk Lending 100 per cent of applicants who apply to MFI have previously been declined facilities due to lack of track record, insufficient security or levels of existing debt with their bank.
No fees, charges or early repayments penalties There are no other fees or charges connected with a loan from MFI. Loan repayments may be increased or repaid earlier with no other penalty charges.
An alternative to banks, not a competitor MFI is not competing with banks – co funding with banks is a common feature of MFI loans for businesses that have not been approved sufficient credit by their bank. MFI also works with the banks to promote the loan funds by including reference to MFI on their bank decline letters.
Apply in the first instance to MFI
• Loans from a2,000 up to a25,000 • Loan terms from 3 up to 5 years • Applications welcome from all sectors
Applicants do not have to appeal their decision to the Credit Review Office (CRO) before applying to MFI. Should their application be declined
Lorna Coleman, Business Development Manager, Microfinace Ireland addressing the Mullingar Chamber board
by MFI they still have the right to appeal the original bank decision to CRO under the terms of that scheme.
The same interest rate for all lending purposes The majority of MFI loans are for working capital to fund wages, business overheads, marketing and purchase of stock. Loans for these purposes are provided over three year terms. Banks typically provide 12 month overdraft facilities for these purposes. MFI’s interest rate is competitive by comparison with bank overdraft rates.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Partner Profile Microfinance Ireland
Both MFI and banks also lend over 5 year terms for capital expenditure such as equipment and vehicles for the business.
Stats to date: • 440 jobs supported • 3m approved to 200 microenterprises • 50 per cent approval rate • 60 per cent start-up businesses / 40 per cent existing businesses
Documents required to support an application • MFI Application Form • Business plan • Three year cash flow projections • Six month personal bank statements • For existing businesses in addition to above – copy of latest audited accounts and six-month business account statements On approval, applicants will be required to provide an up to date Tax Clearance Certificate.
How to Apply Applicants who have been working with their accountant and/or business advisor and who have already supplied the above documentation to their bank may apply directly by post to Microfinance Ireland, Jefferson House, Donnybrook, Dublin, 4. For more information visit www.microfinanceireland.ie
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Lorna Coleman, Microfinance Ireland and Pat Whelan, President, Mullingar Chamber.
Mullingar Chamber Board members with James Kiernan of Chambers Ireland.
Chambers News Mediation
Mediation Mediation is providing parties with an easier way to resolve commercial disputes.
n June 6th, Chambers Ireland participated in a conference on mediation organised by the European Association of Judges for Mediation (GEMME) in Paris. This conference was organised as part of the Mediation Meet Judges project, in which Chambers Ireland is a partner along with a number of Chambers of Commerce and Dispute Resolution Centres from across Europe. One of the main aims of this conference was to learn how several European states are using court appointed mediation as an alternative to litigation in resolving commercial disputes. Court appointed mediation schemes use a process whereby prior to a commercial dispute coming before the courts, the case facts are reviewed by a judge or another representative of the court. If it appears that the matter could be more effectively resolved through a process of mediation, the court can arrange for the parties to meet with a suitably qualified mediator and discuss the possibility of entering a process of mediation.
What is mediation and how can it benefit your business? Mediation is a flexible settlement technique, conducted privately and confidentially, in which a mediator acts as a neutral facilitator to help the parties try to arrive at a negotiated settlement of their dispute. The parties have control over
both the decision to settle and the terms of any settlement agreement. In mediation proceedings, parties remain in control of the outcome by negotiating a contractually binding, win-win agreement based on their business interests. Since control over the decision to settle and the terms of any settlement agreement remains with the parties, the mediator has no power to impose a settlement on the parties but facilitates the parties’ settlement negotiations.
Whilst litigation through the courts focuses on parties’ legal rights, mediation allows parties to take into consideration their commercial interests.” In the course of the mediation, the parties can exchange settlement proposals, which may lead to a negotiated agreement. Such proposals can be made directly between the parties or through the mediator. Mediation usually takes less time than litigation and involves lower costs. Furthermore, the process enables parties to reach an agreement on solutions which could not be achieved through an adjudicative process such as litigation. For example, the parties’ preferred solution to a contractual dispute may be to renegotiate the terms of a contract. The renegotiation of a contract is possible in mediation, whereas it is unlikely to happen if the
parties have endured an adversarial litigation process. Whilst litigation through the courts focuses on parties’ legal rights, mediation allows parties to take into consideration their commercial interests. The mediation process can help parties acquire a better understanding of each other’s needs and interests so that they can look for a solution which accommodates these needs and interests as far as possible. Mediation can be a particularly useful tool when the parties in dispute have an ongoing relationship (such as a joint venture or long-term supply contract). A number of EU member states have successfully developed courtappointed mediation schemes for commercial and civil cases. Chambers Ireland is working with partners who have designed schemes in countries such as Belgium, France, Italy and Spain to identify mediation schemes that may be suitable for implementation in Ireland. The Mediation Meet Judges project will continue throughout 2015. If you would like any further information on mediation in commercial disputes, contact Chambers Ireland. This article has been produced with the financial support of the Civil Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Chambers Ireland and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Chambers News European Parliament of Enterprises
Down to Business
Irish business will be at the heart of Brussels when they represent Ireland at the European Parliament of Enterprises this October.
n October 16th 2014, businesses from around Europe will take over the European Parliament for a day. 775 entrepreneurs, representing SMEs from the 28 EU member states will take part in the European Parliament of Enterprises (EPE). These ‘MEPEs’ will debate the issues that affect European businesses today and vote directly on resolutions which will be presented to European and national policy-makers. Entrepreneurs will debate and vote on three key issues: Internationalisation, Access to Finance, and Energy. These topics are the result of a ‘cross-comparison’ between the political priorities put forward by the EU Institutions and Chambers of Commerce from across Europe. For each of these areas, a representative of the European Commission and of the European Parliament will be invited to follow the debates and give immediate feedback to the companies. The aim of the event is give the floor
to entrepreneurs and business owners, the generators of economic growth in the European Union and to let the new crop of European politicians know what the business community needs from them in the future in order to maintain growth. This process will enhance the understanding of EU legislators of the needs, concerns and challenges that businesses are confronted with across the European economy. It will also allow the members of
the business community to have a better understanding of the goals of the European Union and of the role of each institution in the legislative process. The participating businesses will also have a unique opportunity to network with representatives of the European Union institutions, international business associations and other entrepreneurs. Chambers Ireland is the coordinating body for Ireland and will be putting together a delegation of Irish companies to travel to Brussels and represent Ireland at the European Parliament of Enterprises. If your company is interested in getting involved in the European Parliament of Enterprises, contact your local Chamber or Chambers Ireland for information.
Concept History The European Parliament of Enterprises is organised by EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, once every two years. The first edition of the event was launched on October 14th 2008 on the occasion of EUROCHAMBRES’ 50th anniversary. The concept of the EPE originated from the consideration that there is a democratic gap between the EU institutions and the main actors of economic growth which are the entrepreneurs. EU legislators do not take sufficiently into account the entrepreneurs’ concerns. On the other hand, the role and functioning of the European Union are insufficiently known to businesses.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Aims and objectives The EPE aims to bring companies and institutions face-to-face for one day, so as to enhance mutual understanding. The EPE represents a unique opportunity for businesses to have a direct debate with high representatives of the EU institutions and to provide them with a direct bottom-up feedback on EU policies.
Votes During the EPE entrepreneurs also exercise their voting rights on major EU business-related issues. The results of the votes are presented by EUROCHAMBRES to the relevant political interlocutors from all the EU institutions as “the voice of European businesses”.
PartneR Profile Volunteer Ireland
Inspiring employees through
volunteering Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Volunteer Ireland, explains how her organisation can help companies of all sizes inspire their employees to volunteer.
hat does volunteering mean to you? Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular among Irish-based companies and can form an invaluable part of a company’s CSR programme. Volunteering encapsulates countless ways of offering your help, skills or time to benefit others. From once off bucket shaking to long term mentoring, anyone can volunteer and there are countless ways in which to do so. As the national volunteer development agency, Volunteer Ireland works to increase access to, awareness of and quality in volunteering in Ireland. The group promotes and celebrates volunteering on a national level by offering bespoke training, support and consultancy to interested organisations. In recent years we have seen a significant increase in companies interested in undertaking volunteering projects and creating an employee volunteering programme. There are
countless benefits of volunteering for companies big and small. It is a common misconception that employee volunteering is something that only big, multinational companies can offer. At Volunteer Ireland we are seeing more and more SMEs facilitating employee volunteering activities, ranging from granting paid time off for individual volunteering right through to organising companysponsored team volunteering activities. Deloitte has carried out its annual Volunteer Impact Survey for almost 10 years now - assessing the connection between workplace volunteerism activities and employee engagement. The research has consistently found that employees who participate in their volunteer activities organised by their employer are twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career and more likely to be very satisfied with their employer. For employees, an opportunity to lend their time, skills and expertise to a charity or community group can help to increase job satisfaction, attitude and overall morale. Team volunteering projects can be a great way of improving communication across departments and between employees and supervisors. A change
of environment can be good for staff too. We often find that employees who work in an office environment relish the opportunity to work elsewhere, applying skills which they typically may not get the chance to use on a professional level. Volunteer Ireland provides a comprehensive Employee Volunteering Support service to help Dublin-based companies increase the effectiveness and overall impact of their employee volunteering programme. In addition to a host of helpful factsheets and comprehensive guides available to download on Volunteer Ireland’s website www.volunteer.ie, Volunteer Ireland provides training, consultancy and volunteer management services to support companies interested in volunteering. We also offer an ‘Inspiration Day’ service – matching teams of employee volunteers with community groups and charities in need of practical help and resources. A team of employee volunteers can often tackle big tasks that organisations have struggled to carry out. Through our network of 23 affiliated local volunteer centres and Volunteer Information Services in Ireland, there are Volunteering Supports available to companies in 19 counties across Ireland. Volunteer Centres and Volunteer Information Services match volunteers with suitable volunteering placements and can advise and support companies of all sizes on ways to inspire their employees to volunteer.
For more information on Volunteer Ireland’s range of employee volunteering services for companies, or to find your local Volunteer Centre or Volunteer Information Service, visit www.volunteer.ie.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Expand Your World with an Executive MBA The NUI Galway Executive MBA: - integrates an academically rigorous and challenging real-world business education - is AMBA accredited which is internationally recognised as the global standard of excellence for MBA education - provides an excellent return on investment resulting in increased confidence, competence and capability to accelerate your career
More Information visit:
www.cairnes.nuigalway.ie/mba J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics
Partner Profile Shell
Shell’s support for education has become a highly valued community benefit in the Erris region of County Mayo.
n Monty Python’s irreverent Life of Brian film, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Judea (John Cleese) demands of his fellow rebels to name “just one thing that the Romans have ever done for us?” The crowd shouts “aqueducts, sanitation, roads, irrigation, medicine, and education…” Nelson Mandela was clear about the power of education. “Education is the most powerful
weapon which you can use to change the world,” he said. For Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL), which is developing the a3 billion Corrib gas project in northMayo, education has become the foundation stone for which its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy was built. Wherever it operates in the world, Shell strives to be a good neighbour to the communities which host its facilities.
Regardless of whether the location is Manilla or Mayo, the company has three guiding objectives; minimise community impacts, maximise local benefits and leave a lasting positive legacy. While the Corrib field will bolster Ireland’s energy security when it comes on stream next year (at peak production, Corrib has the potential to supply up to 60 per cent of Ireland’s gas needs), the overarching goal of SEPIL’s CSR strategy is to contribute to the long-term economic, social, environmental and cultural development of the Erris region in County Mayo.
Educational inclusion Shell’s focus on education, which began in 2007 with the launch of a third level scholarships scheme for pupils attending the four local secondary schools, has since blossomed into a full-blown Educational Inclusiveness Programme (EIP), which now comprises 12 interrelated initiatives. This comprehensive programme supports teachers in their work, helps students to develop their potential, and supports families who want their children to progress to third level education.The programme is a shining example of a high value partnership approach between a company and its local community. Shell’s EIP takes an holistic approach to enhancing educational opportunities in Erris by providing a range of closely aligned supports which have broadened educational horizons for students in the locality. Students visit Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal as part of Engineers Week 2014.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Partner Profile Shell
The Educational Inclusiveness Programme comprises: • 16 third level scholarships provided annually to students to enable them to progress to third level education. By the end of 2013, 77 scholarships were awarded and over a750,000 invested in this valuable educational initiative; • Summer Internship Programme, which provides paid summer internships to third level students in an area related to their study discipline. Since it started in 2008, 60 students from Erris have received three-month paid internships; • Apprenticeship Scheme to assist students who may not be in a position to progress to third level studies via traditional routes; • T en Irish language summer scholarships provided annually with a total of 28 awarded to date for local students, particularly relevant as the project operates in a Gaeltacht region; • Provision of ‘Shell Young Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ to second level students; • Increased exposure to STEM subject activities via ‘Engineers Week’ engagement for second level students on our worksites; • Support for the professional development of teachers in the area via company participation in the BiTC ‘Management Excellence for Teachers’ initiative provided to 40 second level teachers; • Staff volunteering with the BiTC Skills at Work programme; • Staff volunteering in the BiTC Time to Read literacy initiative; • Support for the GMIT Innovation in Business Centre Student Awards –
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela both direct financial support and the provision of staff volunteers as judges at the awards; • Provision of IT equipment to twelve primary and secondary schools in the region; •3 5 Shell staff volunteers committing a total of 305 hours volunteering time annually.
Management Buy-in The EIP has the full support of SEPIL’s Managing Director Michael Crothers who has hailed it as “the most important community initiative we have because it is no less than an investment in the future of Ireland. That Shell can contribute such a valuable resource, which is welcomed by the community and by our educational partners, as an investment in our young people and our country, is in itself a positive legacy of the Corrib project,” he said. The company has provided the necessary staff resources and financial support to allow the design and roll out of the various elements of the programme. It has also encouraged staff to build partnerships with development agencies and NGOs with educational expertise to design the diverse elements within the programme. When Shell began engaging with its neighbours in Erris on how to shape its community investment strategy, the company did not set out to change the world, but in some ways the opportunities provided by the Corrib Project Partners have proved to be life changing for many local students. As a recent scholarship recipient said of the programme: “I am the first person in my family to go to college. My parents are so proud of me. Without the scholarship, it would
Engineers’ Week student visit
2014 third level scholarship programme launched by Erris principals, the scholarship board, Shell.
have been impossible for us to afford rent, fees, and living costs. I shall be forever thankful for the Corrib Scholarship Programme.” As Shell prepares to deliver Corrib gas into the national grid during 2015, being a good neighbour in Erris means the company’s Educational Inclusiveness Programme will continue to deliver benefits, address local needs and build capacity in a sustainable way, throughout the 20 year life of the gas field.
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Partner Profile An POst
for a Nation
John Daly, Retail Operations Director of An Post, recently addressed an Oireachtas committee on the future of the national post office network. He tells InBUSINESS about An Post’s post office retail network.
he post office network is the largest retail network in Ireland. We handle some 1.7 million customer visits to post offices nationwide each week. We have 1,147 offices nationwide, 57 of which are operated directly by An Post with the remainder run by independent retailers (postmasters) as contractors. To quote our Chief Executive, Donal Connell, “The size of the post office network is crucial for our commercial agenda. Its very scale allows us to service our customer needs across the country.” This scale is also a key factor in us retaining and winning more business.
of customers in a rural area. The post office network comfortably exceeds these requirements. We run that network in a business environment that is tough, both for us, and perhaps most importantly for all of our customers. We trade in challenging conditions, not least of which has been a sharp decline in mail volumes. We have introduced a number of successful new products in the last few years, including our foreign exchange business. We started with FX cash and last year enhanced the
service through the introduction of Sterling and US Dollar PostFX cards. We’ve already won 30 per cent of the market and we’re looking at introducing further currencies based on feedback from customers. This is an illustration of the type of sustainable business we are seeking to introduce in the post office network. We have continued to grow our banking services for AIB and will continue to talk to other financial institutions about extending the service.
Network Reach The reach of our network attracts business as diverse as bill payment and banking services for major organisations, the provision of social welfare payments, State Savings, foreign exchange and retail products including postfone and gift vouchers. Geo-directory data shows that over 99 per cent of addresses in the country are within 10km of a post office and 93 per cent are within 5km of a post office. In the recent contract we won with the Department of Social Protection, the department specified that outlets must be available within 3km of 95 per cent of customers in an urban area and within 15km of 95 per cent
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Staff of Blackpool Post Office, Co. Cork which was named 2013 Post Office of the Year.
Partner Profile An Post
A Trusted Brand In 2013, we grew the State Savings funds, on behalf of NTMA, by another a1.9 billion. This demonstrates the trust our customers have in these products, in the An Post brand and the post office network. We have also introduced dedicated insurance zones in a number of larger post offices where customers can get quotes for their motor, home and travel insurance needs or for life assurance. Alternatively, customers can provide their details and our call centre will contact them directly to discuss their requirements. The provision of Government services is a key part of what we do. The Department of Social Protection
Counter clerk Kinga Koziol prints out individual stamps using the Stamps On A Roll (SOAR) system in Blackrock Post Office, Co. Dublin.
John Daly, Retail Operations Director of An Post.
(DSP) cash payments contract is for two years and can be extended for up to another four years. Retaining this contract was critical as DSP business is a huge part of our activity and our revenue. DSP clients, as well as collecting their welfare payments, are major users of other services at post offices such as bill payments, mobile top ups and money transmission. We are aware that the Department of Social Protection is moving through a phase of significant transformation aimed at delivering more modern and efficient services to their clients and providing value for taxpayers and the economy. An Post is determined to further develop products in order to compete for any future tenders. As leaders in the development and application of post office counter technology, we will continue to innovate and to invest in next generation systems and products to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our other current and future corporate customers with innovation and efficiency. We note the publication of the Financial Inclusion Working Groupâ€™s report on the Standard Bank Account. In their view, one of the key elements required for a successful national roll out of this type of bank account is greater involvement by the credit unions and An Post to have the best possible channel for reaching the target cohorts and making the Standard Bank Account available to all. There is much discussion about financial inclusiveness and the cashless society. An Post supports the Governmentâ€™s programmes and, in this regard, we believe that we can play a major part in ensuring their success. Many of those without bank accounts currently use the post office as their preferred location for the management of their finances.
Improving Services We are continually looking at our service standards and the quality of our post offices. We have opened
new offices in City West in Dublin and Glencar in Letterkenny, both of which are performing very well. We reopened an office in Terenure in Dublin. In the last two years we have relocated or renovated almost 80 post offices, including offices such as Newcastle West in Limerick, Walkinstown and Malahide in Dublin, Gracedieu in Waterford and Ballisodare in Sligo. Customers all around the country are reacting very favourably to these improvements and this is evidenced by increased sales and business activity in these offices. A very good example is our office in Blackpool in Cork which was relocated last year. Customers have reacted very favourably - so much so that this office was named as the Customer Plus Post Office of the Year for 2013, based on increased sales and the improved customer service offering. Much of our network was developed centuries ago when Ireland was a very different place and like so many organisations it has not been immune to the huge social and economic changes in the country. Over the years we have seen a reduction in the number of post offices, reflecting decisions by local contractors to leave the business. In many instances their decision has been prompted by a belief that local levels of business are no longer sustainable as demographics change and customers choose to shop in other locations. In large part we have worked to maintain the network at something approaching its current level of coverage. The drive for change and improvement must continue and we must have the flexibility to add new goods and services as we work to maintain the network. We must also continue to take decisions on a commercial basis so that our costs match our revenues. There is much that we already do in acting as the trusted intermediary between the State and its citizens, who are our customers. And there is more that we can do.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Executive Choice Dominated by the German automakers – including BMW – executive saloons are required to hold several roles; great at covering large mileage on business calls during the week, and of course ferrying the kids around at the weekend. Fuel economy, comfort for long distance driving and practicality are just some of the features the best executive cars incorporate effortlessly, alongside a great range of engines to choose from. BMW’s executive offering spans its 3, 5 and 7 Series line ups, offered through the official dealership network here in Ireland. Compact, efficient and yet powerful, the 3 Series Saloon is at the heart of what BMW does best, while its Touring and Gran Turismo variants form the remainder of the entry level specification to BMW’s executive-class vehicles. For executives searching for something with InBusiness | Q2 2014
a little extra comes the hugely-popular 5 Series which still sets the standard for handling in the executive market. For the more environmentallyconscious, there’s also the BMW Active Hybrid 5, part of BMW’s contribution to the world of hybrid motoring which features intelligent energy management with all of the power you’d expect from a BMW. And at the top of the pile sits the 7 Series, which remains BMW’s flagship executive model, a worthy rival to similar offerings from Jaguar and Mercedes. Customisation and exclusivity best describe what the 7 Series offers its drivers, alongside power and performance, agility, comfort and space. In the following pages, InBUSINESS profiles a number of companies working in conjunction with BMW Ireland to bring customers closer to the trusted brand.
BMW Ireland J Donohoe Motors
Treat yourself to the
J Donohoe Experience J Donohoe Motors continues to deliver on its service excellence promise and acts as a model BMW dealer.
Donohoe Motors began its outstanding service to motorists of the South East over a hundred years ago and for almost twenty of those years, it has been a main BMW dealer. The company’s ethos of fair dealing and delivering quality service has to be experienced to be believed. The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action which J Donohoe fully supports. The staff and management of J Donohoe Motors take immense pride in building long term customer relationships and going the extra mile to deliver the unique J Donohoe experience. Whether it’s sales headed by Tommy Davitt or aftersales headed by Tom O’Leary you can be assured of quality attention at all times. J Donohoe Motors is a family owned business and its day-to-day operations are headed by Dealer Principal Kevin McCarthy. With its premises located at Quarrypark, just north of Enniscorthy on the N11 and a little over an hour from Dublin, it consists of a modern BMW showroom, a twenty-four bay workshop and a comprehensive parts department.
The Service The business now offers an all encompassing service over the life cycle of vehicle ownership from sales to aftersales. New and premium selection BMWs are offered along with the support of a full suite of financial products for both consumer and business users. Customers can also choose a fixed price service inclusive package for up to 100,000 kilometres or five years, whichever
comes first. For those who don’t opt for this package, every effort is made to ensure that day-to-day running costs are manageable. For example, an oil service from as little as a139.62 can be arranged through J Donohoe and bmwservice.ie. The financial offering available with BMW includes Consumer Hire Purchase, Personal Contract Plans, Business Hire Purchase and Contract Hire with or without maintenance. Tyre insurance and Shortfall/Gap insurance are also available to safeguard against any unforeseen costs and give peace of mind.
The Product The centre piece of what we offer is of course the BMW Product range. This premium quality and multi-award winning brand, which is at the cutting edge of innovation, makes a great choice considering the lifetime costs of motoring. The unique combination of vehicle price, finance, maintenance, fuel consumption, road tax and resale value make driving a new or premium selection BMW a compelling choice. The model range is growing all the time from the well known 1, 3, 5, 7
The company’s ethos of fair dealing and delivering quality service has to be experienced to be believed.”
Series, X3 and X5 to the new 4 Series Coupe and Convertible, the 6 Series Coupe and 6 Gran Coupe. Coming soon are the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the 2 Series Active Tourer and X4. The range of models ensures there is a BMW to suit anyone who wants to experience the joy of owning and driving this premium product. We can structure packages to suit all needs and they are available for the entire BMW range. We are open six days a week in Enniscorthy so please come along and meet our dedicated team who will be delighted to meet you and help you make a sound motoring decision. Call us on 053 9 242526 or email us at bmw@ jdonohoebmw.com and we will make an arrangement that suits you. For more information about J Donohoe and its range of BMW cars visit www.jdonohoebmw.ie InBusiness | Q2 2014
BMW Ireland BMW Financial Services
for BMW Lovers Brian Merrigan, Managing Director, BMW Financial Services Ireland, tells InBUSINESS how their finance packages are making it simple and financially sensible for customers to stay with the BMW brand. Q: Can you provide a brief overview of the services BMW Finance provides to customers?
A: BMW Financial Services through its Business Partnership Programme offers a wide range of financial solutions including Contract Hire, BMW Select, and Regular Termed Hire Purchase Agreements. Using our dealer partners we can offer any corporate entity, big or small, ‘Total Cost Of Motoring Packages’ including maintenance, tyres and service inclusive. Q: How well is BMW Finance progressing in terms of growth and uptake thus far in 2014?
A: We have seen over 20 per cent growth in retail customers year to date when compared with 2013. The market this year is showing good growth across the board with encouraging increased sales in the premium sector and financial services are benefiting from this. In fact, I believe those manufacturers that have a captive financial services company are driving this growth. The availability of funding and tailored finance packages is making luxury cars more affordable than ever. The growth trends this year InBusiness | Q2 2014
tend to be in the area of PCP type deals. This is where the captive finance company underwrites the future value of the car to the benefit of the customer. In our case, BMW/ MINI Select is proving a tremendous success.
Q: How flexible are BMW’s finance packages, and what impact has this flexibility had on customer response?
A: Flexibility is best demonstrated by BMW Select. So how does it work? The customer decides on the BMW of their choice and the repayment period - either 24 or 36 months. We agree on the maximum annual kilometres that will be sufficient for their needs. BMW Financial Services then provides a Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV) for the specific model. The GMFV is the amount that BMW Financial Services guarantees to the customer at the end of the agreement subject to the kilometres driven and fair wear and tear. At the end of the agreement the customer chooses the option that suits best. Part-exchange the car, any of the surplus value over the GMFV goes towards the next BMW as a deposit. Alternatively, the customer can keep the car
Brian Merrigan, Managing Director, BMW Financial Services Ireland.
by paying the GMFV plus a small purchase instalment. Finally, the third option is if the customer decides they can return the car once they have satisfied the terms of the agreement and there is nothing more to pay. BMW Select offer total peace of mind, and is available on every model in the BMW range, including used cars up to two years old, which is truly unique.
Q: Will current and potential customers see the introduction of any new BMW finance products or services throughout 2014 and moving into 2015?
A: BMW Financial Services supports the group’s sales activities by offering car buyers a range of finance products tailored to their needs.
My job over the coming years is to ensure that we continue to innovate and find sensible compliant financial solutions that benefit our customers. Having introduced Select in 2011 to the Irish market, from 2014 onwards we will start to see customers coming to the end of their agreements and our job is to retain these valued BMW/MINI customers by ensuring that their choice to stay with the brands is made simple and financially sensible. I believe that unique, low rate offers to loyal customers, along with the comfort of the guaranteed minimum future value, will continue to make BMW Financial Services options the first choice for these valued customers.
BMW Ireland Colm Quinn
Success and Growth
at Colm Quinn Despite enduring some tough times, Colm Quinn has not only survived, but thrived.
n 2007, Colm Quinn identified a need in the midlands of Ireland for a Centre of Excellence for luxury cars. Having worked at a premium brand dealership for 18 years, in later years as a Sales Manager, Colm recognised many shortcomings in the luxury car segment and realised that there was an exciting opportunity to open a luxury premium brand dealership in Athlone.
Seizing Opportunity When the opportunity presented itself in late 2007, Colm began discussions with BMW Group Ireland. A site was identified, the planning process was instigated, funding was secured through turbulent financial markets, a contractor was appointed and works began on purpose built state-of-theart showrooms which would open in June 2009. During this construction, the company traded from a temporary facility starting with just one employee and has grown steadily year-on-year to currently employ 60 people. This was achieved through adapting the business to suit the economic downturn during the business period in 2008, when the economy collapsed, stock markets plunged, financial institutions buckled, the Euro currency was in crisis, the motor industry was in turmoil, property markets plummeted, there were huge unemployment levels and mass immigration not to mention the sudden death of the ‘Celtic Tiger’. “We believe that our greatest asset and the key to our success is InBusiness | Q2 2014
our people. Since the beginning, in this very difficult market, we have endeavoured to employ the appropriate number and calibre of staff required to ensure our customers are treated to a service that is second to none. Initially, being a start-up business, it was very difficult to recruit people as we were considered to be ‘crazy’ within the motor industry for opening a new showroom when so many were closing. Through hard work and perseverance we have built a wealth of experience in our management team and are now ready for the upturn in the economy.” Colm says. All members of the team at Colm Quinn live and breathe the processes of the Colm Quinn customer journey and, as such, are always aware of the initiatives required of them to ensure that the customer is supported throughout their full experience with the dealership. As the only authorised BMW and MINI dealer in the midlands and mid-west, Colm Quinn offer the highest levels of service and expertise whether you are looking to buy a new car or maintain your current car. The dealership showcases the latest new BMW and MINI models, plus the widest choice of BMW Premium Selection approved used cars, and MINI Cherished Cars.
Building for the Future Colm Quinn is a one-stop shop for all your motoring needs – from the purchase of your new car and arranging financing to a number of different options including contract hire, servicing, tyres and body repairs. Further expansion is planned for Colm Quinn Athlone to construct a new Body Shop later this year employing an additional five people. The company is also in the process of building their second dealership in Galway which is due to open October 2014 – employing a further 25 people. The team At Colm look forward to Quinn, we bringing the Colm believe that Quinn experience our greatest to BMW customers in Galway and the asset and surrounding areas. the key to
our success is our people.”
BMW Ireland Bridgestone Ireland
A Solid Investment Choosing a good quality tyre is important for ensuring vehicle safety, explains Bridgestone Ireland’s Jackie Wherity.
he market leader here in Ireland for consumer and commercial tyres, Bridgestone, has seen an increase, not just in the premium, but in the midrange tyre the company offers. “In 2013 consumers showed an awareness of the false economy of buying cheaper secondhand tyres as they have to replace those tyres sooner and thus, they don’t represent value for money,” explains Jackie Wherity, Consumer Sales Manager with Bridgestone Ireland. “I think that consumers have become more conscious that they want more value for money, and for that reason we have seen a strong performance in Q1 2014.”
I think that consumers have become more conscious that they want more value for money, and for that reason we have seen a strong performance in Q1 2014.”
An Important Investment Bridgestone is constantly investing and upgrading their product range, with a focus on low rolling resistance for environmental and fuel-saving reasons, as well as keeping in line with tyre labelling legislation introduced previously, which grades noise, performance and rolling resistance. “You’ll see our tyres are constantly evolving to improve in those areas,” says Wherity. “In Firestone – our mid range brand – we have a new range of 4x4 tyres launched in June, which is a first step in revitalising this long-standing brand within the company.” Despite recessionary times dictating that consumers have less disposable income, Wherity is keen to stress the importance of investing in good quality tyres. “The NCT have given us some statistics which show that the second largest failure in NCTs concerns tyres,” she says. “It is quite worrying that people have been putting it on the long finger. Nobody
Jackie Wherity, Bridgestone Ireland.
likes to discover that they need a new set of tyres, but it’s for the safety of the vehicle. Bridgestone work very closely with all of the major car manufacturers to ensure the tyres are designed specifically for that vehicle – to make sure it stops within a certain range, and in the wet, and in terms of the vehicle’s handling.”
Continuing Development Bridgestone continue to develop a number of technologies, the most recent of which is their ologic technology. ‘Ologic’ refers to a brand new tyre concept, the result of a partnership between Bridgestone and BMW Group. The car manufacturer’s i3 brand heralds a new direction for the company, displaying a vision for sustainable motoring in the years to come. High levels of efficiency, coupled with performance, demanded
a new tyre concept, which Bridgestone has provided with their new ologic technology. This combines a large diameter with a narrow tread pattern – the result of which is increased aerodynamics and rolling resistance, with significant grip in both wet and dry weather conditions. The organisation also believes this ologic technology will help them attain one of the long term goals – contribution to a global target of 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. “For us, that is a major development going forward,” Wherity explains. “It’s a milestone in automotive history. That’s going to be the way forward – perhaps not for our generation, but certainly down the road.” InBusiness | Q2 2014
BMW Ireland Frank Keane
the Horizon Mark Bradley, Dealer Principal at Frank Keane BMW, talks about the dealership’s association with the BMW brand, and how investment and innovation is driving their growth.
s outlined in the recent quarterly report from Friends First, new car sales totalled 51,123 in April 2014. The figure for new cars licensed for the first time increased 44.9 per cent on the same month last year – the car industry here in Ireland has been the driving force behind consumer spending in 2014. So far this year, Mark Bradley, Dealer Principal at Frank Keane BMW, has noticed a sizeable increase in the demand for new and used cars at their dealerships in Blackrock, and on the Naas Road. “We’ve seen a good step up in the demand for new and used cars,” Bradley explains. “It’s a good start, and hopefully we can continue it for the remainder of the year.” The dealership has been associated with the BMW brand since 1967, having previously served as importers of BMW and Mini, and positive customer experiences remain a key element of how Frank Keane BMW does business. “It’s the most important thing,” Bradley acknowledges. “People can buy BMWs from a number of locations in Ireland – what differentiates us is the experience, such as when customers return, meeting up with familiar faces on the customer and sales side of things. It’s the atmosphere and the staff which make the difference. That is the most important thing – the bar has been raised in terms of standards across the network – all of the dealerships look excellent, all of the cars are in great condition. I think InBusiness | Q2 2014
customers make a decision about the brand much earlier than they make a decision about the retailer and the relationship, and that’s all about service standards and customer experience.”
Business Partnership One initiative which Frank Keane has and continues to be involved in is their BMW and Mini Business Partnership Programme, designed in conjunction with BMW Financial Services, and which provides for businesses managing a fleet of between 2 and 15 vehicles. “It’s really about giving a personal and local service to business users where they can have a connection with a dealer, and take advantage of packages which were previously only available with larger leasing companies,” says Bradley. “We can offer contract hire with or without maintenance. The most popular reason businesses use contract hire is to keep the car off their balance sheet, and to have a consistency and a predictability about their running costs.” Under the programme, businesses can lease a car from Frank Keane for a two or three year period, and then simply hand it back. The benefits are obvious. “There are no disposal issues, no residual value problems, there’s no tying up capital and having a depreciating asset on the balance sheet,” says Bradley.
Mark Bradley, Dealer Principal at Frank Keane BMW.
“They have the ability to run a car in exactly the same way as larger fleets.” With some positive economic signs on the horizon, Frank Keane have continued to invest in both their staff and their premises, including a recent makeover for their Blackrock showroom to bring it up to the latest standards. “That sums up the way we operate as a company – we do look forward,” Bradley explains. “Where other businesses are I think perhaps downsizing customers or consolidating, make a we’ve seen our group grow in the decision last three years, and about the brand much it’s quite exciting. earlier than When the market does return, we’re they make well-positioned a decision to take advantage about the of it.”
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Let Learning Take its Course Upskilling or reskilling is one of the fundamental ways by which we can achieve personal or professional growth, whether you are a school leaver seeking to enter third level education for the first time, a university graduate looking to augment your qualifications for career advancement, or if you have been out of the education system for a number of years but are hoping to transfer new skills to your workplace. Whatever your motivation, there are plenty of adult learning courses on offer throughout the country and employers are reaping rewards from investing in their staff through further education. In the following pages, InBUSINESS profiles a number of institutions offering flexible courses and rewarding those with a hunger for higher education.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Further Education NUI Galway
Back to Work Nuala McGuinn, Director, Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at NUI Galway, explains how courses at the university are providing students with skills that are transferable to the workplace.
UI Galway’s Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, which was relaunched last March, offers an extensive range of parttime programmes, including certificate, diploma, degree, and masters’ awards. It caters for people who want to enhance their career prospects by developing skills but also for those who simply want to study for their own enjoyment and pleasure. Nuala McGuinn, the centre’s director, says the name has changed but its ethos remains the same. “That’s our new title but the message is that we’re continuing to do exactly what we did for 40 years. There was always an ethos of extending the university campus to outreach locations and to people in communities. We adopt the notion of good student support, encouraging people back into education whatever their experience has been.” And gaining relevant experience is a key focus of the adult learning courses at NUI Galway. For those already in employment, each programme includes practical projects which provide students with skills they can take back to the workplace. “Anything they learn from the classroom can be transferred to their job and we give them opportunities to use their company as a case study for assignments or as a way in which
Pictured at the launch of the NUI Galway Adult Learners Information evening were Dr. Sheila Garrity, Dr. Niamh Nolan, Dr. Anne Walsh, Nuala McGuinn (Director), Suzanne Golden, Deirdre Hardiman and Helen Casey.
they can knit the theoretical with the practical,” says McGuinn. This approach proves to be a major asset for both student and employer and it is something which is often missing in many adult education courses. “We are firm believers that if a student is investing their time or if an employer is investing money in those people, they have to get something back. The best way to do that is to make sure that right through the programme the content is relevant to what they are doing in the workplace.”
Courses on Offer The courses run across four colleges in the university; science, business, engineering and arts and humanities. Some of the popular programmes in science include the diploma course in Medical Device Science and the diploma in Lean and Quality Systems. Another is the online masters in Software Engineering and Database Technologies, which has seen a greater demand since the evolution of cloud computing. Companies which focus on their analytical and business information systems have shown interest in the diploma in data analytics. It’s not all the obvious
subjects however - the centre also offers a BA in Early Childhood Studies, a range of language diplomas as well as BA and MA courses in training and education.
Flexibility One of the great advantages of the adult education courses at NUI Galway is the flexibility they offer learners, many of whom have busy lifestyles to contend with. A number of the programmes are offered through classroom-based teaching at the NUI Galway campus and in a number of outreach locations within the Border, Midlands and Western (BMW) Region. An increasing number are also offered online or through a blended learning format, requiring class attendance on a monthly basis. The courses are also flexible in that they do not require long-term commitment at the time of registration. “Our programmes are structured so that students can take a certificate for one year, a diploma in the second year, they can continue for four years to do the degree or else do stand-alone CPD modules,” says McGuinn. “What we’re saying is that there’s flexibility there, so come and talk to us.” InBusiness | Q2 2014
Further Education NUI Galway
Honing the Skills to Succeed
Dr Alma McCarthy, Director of the Executive MBA Programme at NUI Galway, tells InBusiness why the university’s MBA offering is both valuable and distinct for prospective students. Q: Speaking in general, what advantages does an MBA programme confer on students?
A: The MBA is a general management programme which enhances and develops business and management capabilities and prepares students for strategic leadership roles. The programme places an emphasis on strategic decision making and develops practical and professional skills for success in increasingly complex environments. The MBA develops managerial knowledge and skills that have immediate applicability. It provides an opportunity to meet like-minded, ambitious executives from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences and challenges participants to think differently. The MBA also expands the career choice and earning potential of participants. Q: What factors ensure that MBA programmes continue to remain popular for business professionals?
A: At NUI Galway, we recently undertook a full curriculum review of the MBA programme to ensure it is contemporary and relevant. The review included a benchmarking InBusiness | Q2 2014
exercise of the leading international business schools and top ranked MBA programmes where we examined best practice in MBA education. Following that review, we included new bespoke modules on important issues such as ethics and governance as well as focusing on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, for example. We also introduced a new feature to the programme on career and professional development where students work on their personal and professional development and hone important transferable leadership and management skills throughout the two years.
Q: What ensures NUI Galway’s MBA offering is both valuable and distinct for prospective students?
A: The NUI Galway MBA is one of the leading MBA programmes in the country and NUI Galway MBA graduates are very successful in national and international MBA competitions. For example, we have won the MBA Association of Ireland national strategy competition for MBA programmes on the island of Ireland on the last two
occasions we entered as well as winning an award in the MBA World Trophy competition in 2013. The NUI Galway MBA is AMBA accredited which is the global mark of excellence for MBA education. Findings from the 2014 NUI Galway MBA Career Survey indicate a very positive impact of the NUI Galway MBA on career advancement and earning potential: • Respondents who graduated in 2008, 2010 and 2012 report an average earnings increase of 51 per cent, 26 per cent and 20 per cent respectively in their current salary compared to earnings when starting the NUI Galway MBA. • 83 per cent of respondents have changed job (either in the same organisation or have moved) at least once since starting the NUI Galway MBA with 68 per cent of these changes being described as promotions, 14 per cent as lateral transfers and 32 per cent as career changes. • 91 per cent of those who did change job believe that the MBA qualification assisted them either to a
Dr Alma McCarthy, Director of the Executive MBA Programme at NUI Galway.
great extent, some extent or a small extent to make the change. Of those who have changed jobs since starting the MBA, 39 per cent report they have changed job once and 61 per cent have changed job twice or more. These findings indicate that the NUI Galway MBA represents an excellent return on investment in terms of salary and career progression.
Q: Are incoming students continuing to arrive with financial backing from their employers?
A: In the past, about 70 per cent of students on the NUI Galway MBA got tuition fee support from their employers. This trend has held steady over the past number of intakes and looks similar for the next programme.
Further Education DIT
Lessons in Leadership The focus of the Graduate Business School at DIT is on the advancement of professional management practice and this is also reflected in our MBA.” Postgraduate programmes at DIT College of Business are focused on the application of learning in real world contexts.
he DIT MBA provides a focused response to the smart economy. Delivered on a part-time basis over two years, the MBA is designed to develop participants’ management and leadership capabilities, with a particular emphasis on innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship. The programme is targeted at experienced business and nonbusiness graduates and is currently populated by ambitious managers from a wide range of backgrounds, including engineering, science, IT, marketing, HR and finance. Any MBA is a significant investment in time and fees for any prospective candidate. DIT MBA executives sign up to advance their career in management, to acquire the latest thinking in management practice, to be better managers and to professionalise their practice. In common with most MBA students they will seek a step change in their career progression that comes from an enhanced capacity to deliver value and leadership to their organisation.
Real World Application of Learning The focus of the Graduate
Business School at DIT is on the advancement of professional management practice and this is also reflected in our MBA. The DIT MBA learning approach is focused on high impact teaching pedagogies that respond to internationally benchmarked standards and the type of development journey sought by MBA students who want their programme to have immediate impact on their professional practice, and in a lot of cases demonstrate an early return on the investment of their employers where they are sponsoring their participation on the MBA. There is a constant focus on the application of learning in real world contexts. Students engage in live cases, and often real companies will bring real scenarios and challenges into the MBA workshops. Students work on these challenges and present solutions to the companies. MBA programme participants also get to work on challenges facing their own organisations and assignments enable them to learn more about their employer and better equip them to create better value there.
Learning Environment The mix of backgrounds and experience within the MBA group is what makes the programme unique. The real value of the MBA lies in close peer learning, facilitated by the DIT
teaching faculty. Working in relatively small groups allows participants to explore issues and discuss them in a number of different contexts – this leads people to reflect on current practices in their organisation and how they might improve performance in certain areas.
Personal and Professional Development One of the unique features of the programme is the emphasis on personal and professional development or soft skills. According to Ciaran Byrne, Vice President, TTS Corporate Markets CitiGroup NY, this focus has been extremely valuable. “The soft skills seminars, ranging from personal effectiveness to time management, have had a great influence on me and given me the tools to progress my career and increase my effectiveness in my industry,” he says. “My confidence and leadership skills have increased tenfold.”
International Study Visit One of the most prominent themes engrained in the DIT MBA is innovation and how managers can drive and lead entrepreneurship within organisations. This is brought to life on the DIT MBA International Study Visit. In the second year of the programme the MBA travel to Silicon Valley, California to take part in a week long programme of interactive workshops and simulations on business model planning and design thinking. These sessions are supplemented by numerous on-site company visits. DIT is now recruiting for its September 2014 intake, for further information on the DIT MBA please visit http://dit.ie/mba/. To book a meeting with programme management please contact Eoghan O’Sullivan, MBA Development Manager. T: +353 1 4027024, E: firstname.lastname@example.org InBusiness | Q2 2014
Further Education IBAT College Dublin
A Qualification for
Modern Business Shape your professional future with the MBA at IBAT College Dublin.
he IBAT College Dublin MBA programme was developed alongside industry experts and corporate partners to ensure it meets the requirements of modern business. The qualification is synonymous with entry into a career in senior management and is recognised globally as a benchmark in management excellence. The complexity of a managerial role is captured within the range of modules contained within this programme and will produce graduates that can take their place among peers internationally. The MBA is a
challenging programme but our students find the entire experience of an MBA to be a life-changing one. Combining state of the art facilities for postgraduate education with extensive high speed information and learning services, the MBA course from IBAT College Dublin aims to help students to realise their full potential. The course is intensive and challenging, and learners will graduate with a solid knowledge in human resources, financial analysis, internationalisation in corporate finance, strategic marketing, operations management and leadership. There is also a strong focus on the practical skills required to back up the learnersâ€™ knowledge in the workplace. The MBA academic
team at IBAT College Dublin includes practitioners and sector specific specialists with a wealth of business experience, both in an Irish and an international context.
MBA Taster Session This free taster lecture on Wednesday June 25th at 6pm will be followed by a Q&A session with the MBA Programme Director and current students, giving you an insight into the level of study and commitment involved in undertaking the MBA. Email: email@example.com or call 01 8075055 to register your attendance or for more information. IBAT College Dublin is now enrolling for the full-time and parttime MBA with intakes commencing September 2014 and February 2015. If you or someone you know are interested in finding out how the IBAT College Dublin MBA can shape your professional future visit www.ibat.ie
College, just way more focused. Study with Irelandâ€™s leading industry focused College. The Postgraduate School at IBAT College Dublin is now accepting applications for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the MA in Global Entrepreneurship commencing September 2014 on a full-time and part-time basis. Q Master of Business Administration (MBA) Q MA in Global Entrepreneurship Q Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Visit us: Wed 25th June, 6pm Free MBA Taster Lecture
Register your attendance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A. IBAT College Dublin, 16-19 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, D2. T. (01) 8075055 E. email@example.com W. www.ibat.ie
Further Education IT Carlow
Academic Excellence The IT Carlow MBA is providing its students with an insight into the challenges facing future leaders and managers working in an ever changing world.
he IT Carlow MBA provides the knowledge, skills and tools needed to be a successful manager. IT Carlow MBA blends academic excellence with exposure to contemporary business practice. The experience that our MBA provides will give you a broader perspective on the challenges facing future leaders and managers working in an ever changing world. This MBA is specifically aimed at practitioners who seek to enhance their personal and academic development.
Features of the MBA at IT Carlow: • Small class groups, which supports individual learning needs and requirements • Focused on your personal and professional development • State of the art campus • Global perspective from learners, module leaders and industry experts • Engagement with high level industry representatives throughout the programme of study • Modules relating to the current business environment • Balance of contemporary business theory and practice throughout all modules, supported by extensive online resources • Emphasis on career development opportunities for students
Course Content • Global Business Leadership and Ethic • Strategic Business Finance • Commercial Law • Corporate Governance • Advanced Strategic Management • Strategic Marketing Analysis • Strategic Marketing Implementation • Strategic Human Resource Management • Research Methods • Dissertation
Course length: completed within 2 years (part-time) For more details and how to apply please contact: IT Carlow, Kilkenny Road, Carlow T: 059 917 5280 E: LLLCentre@itcarlow.ie W www.itcarlow.ie/LLL
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iB Survey SRI Executive Search
SRI Executive Search continues to find and recruit the most qualified candidates in the most sought-after positions from around the globe.
RI Executive Search is a global executive search practise, specialising in the recruitment of professionals for the not-for-profit, climate change, life science, commercial and academia sectors. With clients including the Minister of Finances of the 20 major developing and developed countries, the company has a strong international presence and is widely respected. In addition to being the sole provider for UNICEF and UNDP (the largest UN agency), it is one of seven partners to the World Bank but the only partner not headquartered in the US. The company was set up in 1997 by Helen McGardle and primarily focused on the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland. With a background in both pharmacy and executive search, Helen expanded the company at home and abroad. At that time, her husband Seamus McGardle, Managing Director and Co-founder, was working as a senior executive for Guinness. In 2008 he took the plunge and changed career, joining Helen at the helm of the business. They now have a team of about 30 people, with offices based in Dublin, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpar, Nairobi, Chicago, New York, Mexico, Nice, and Dubai. Ten per cent of the business is based in Ireland, with the remainder overseas. The business in Ireland is critical and really important to SRI and they wish to grow this based on current market traditions. A large proportion (80 per cent) of business comes from the not-for-profit sector, with 20 per cent from commercial clients. InBusiness | Q2 2014
The Global Stage McGardle attributes SRI’s success to their status within the international market. “Competing on the global stage raises the standard for SRI,” he says, citing Russell Reynolds and Korn Ferry as examples of the kind of firms they are competing with. “We’re competing against global NYSE-quoted companies. All are search practices and that’s the challenge, but we’ve been able to establish ourselves as a niche. From a cultural point of view, we offer a different perspective to search practices based in the US. The size of our company makes us more flexible, more adaptable, and more empathetic than larger search practices.” Diversity is an important buzzword for SRI, and securing the right mix of candidates for any client is crucial. “The mix is incredibly important to donor and recipient countries,” McGardle says. Similarly, the current SRI team itself is disparate in nature; 80 per cent of members are female and 50 per cent come from developing countries. These research teams are in-house at SRI Executive Search, and the company seeks out people from different backgrounds and diverse cultures. Client satisfaction is an important value engendered in the SRI team. ‘Your Trust Is My Responsibility’ is the principle each team member works to, and this differentiates them from other search practises. “The trust the client places in us is the responsibility of each and every team member. A lot of one-way search practices don’t prioritise filling the role, they simply choose the first face. We feel this does not demonstrate true care to complete the assignment,
Seamus McGardle, Managing Director and Co-founder, SRI Executive Search.
and to us that is our lifeblood, one of the values we have, and everybody here lives it,” McGardle says. The company has further plans to expand the business globally and to establish a stronger foundation in Central and Latin America. They will open an office in Singapore in September. They will also assess further opportunities in Central and Northern Asia and West Africa in the coming years. Ireland remains a challenging market with none of the global search practices present so the market is still very unique in terms of its needs and understanding. They aim to expand the commercial side of the business building on their not-for-profit client base as corporate responsibility becomes more important.
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IB Survey Johnson & Perrott Fleet
to Beat The future is looking bright for Johnson & Perrott Fleet.
s the summer now approaches, there’s no shortage of green shoots appearing, not just in the beautiful Irish landscape but also within the Irish motor industry. This sector has always been a good barometer of the economy. Stalwart companies such as Johnson & Perrott Fleet are among those seeing much more positive sentiment among consumers, which is real, tangible proof that the long-awaited economic recovery is well underway. According to Gerry Madden, General Manager of Johnson & Perrott Fleet, one of Ireland’s leading fleet management companies: “2014 has already been an extremely positive one for Johnson & Perrott Fleet. We’re delighted that so far this year almost 30 new customers have selected Johnson & Perrott Fleet as their preferred fleet partner. Almost every day we are contacted by companies with ageing fleets asking us to put together a finance package that enables them to replace their ageing fleet vehicles in a costeffective way.”
Centuries of Transport Solutions Johnson & Perrott has a proud association with Irish transportation since it was established in 1810 as a manufacturer of horse-drawn carriages. Today, its core business is still the provision of transport solutions, with three separate divisions in motor retail, fleet management and commercial van rental. Johnson & Perrott Fleet is now one of the fastest growing fleet management companies in Ireland, managing almost 2,000 passenger InBusiness | Q2 2014
We’re delighted cars and light commercial that so far vehicles. At the core of its this year almost success is a commitment to 30 new delivering quality customers products and services at have selected competitive prices. Johnson & Perrott Fleet Strategic as their Transformation preferred The Johnson & Perrott fleet partner.” Motor Group has undergone a strategic transformation programme which has delivered an organisation that is profitable, has no net debt and is fully equipped for the upturn in the Irish economy. This ability to develop new competencies in a way that can be merged with centuries of tradition and experience has cemented Johnson & Perrott Motor Group’s foothold in the motor industry. The group’s reputation has been widely recognised this year, with the company winning both SME Company of the Year in Cork and Deloitte Best Managed Company Awards in Dublin.
Madden adds: “Winning these two accolades in the same year was a fantastic achievement for the directors, management and employees of the Johnson & Perrott Motor Group, which currently employs 95 people. We made a strategic decision to continue with a programme of investment in our core business despite the very difficult trading environment in the motor sector, and this decision has really paid off.”
Flexible Fleet Solution Johnson & Perrott Fleet continues to attract successful Irish SMEs and internationally branded blue chip companies who require a fully managed yet flexible fleet solution backed up with outstanding driver support. Its reputation as a company focused on developing long-term sustainable business relationships based on service excellence would suggest that the future remains very bright for Johnson & Perrott Fleet.
iB Survey Glohealth
GloHealth CEO Jim Dowdall spoke to InBusiness about the company’s continued success in the Irish market. Q: Have the recent months and the last year been successful for GloHealth?
A: Yes, hugely so. It is almost two years since we launched GloHealth and in that time we have had unparalleled success which, I am delighted to say, continues today. In just 2 years over 90,000 customers have switched to GloHealth because we responded to the challenges health insurance customers face today. With GloHealth, our customers can tailor their health insurance cover to meet their own particular needs, giving them greater control over their health insurance spend.
Q: What factors drive the organisation?
A: Put simply, it is about driving customer focused innovation and delivering the best value for our customers. Right from the start we redefined health insurance by allowing our customers tailor their health cover to suit their needs, not ours. No longer does it need to be ‘one size fits all health insurance’. We’ve further built upon that approach with the recent introduction of our next generation tailored cover, which allows people control the cost of their health insurance by only 74
paying for the cover they need. A culture of innovation permeates through everything we do in GloHealth. For
Jim Dowdall, CEO, GloHealth.
example, when it comes to claiming, our ‘scan and send’ claims service means you can claim as you go and you no longer have to
We understand fully that our success will continue to be dependent on our customers recognising that what we do is different and best responds to their needs.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
iB Survey Glohealth
wait until the end of the year to claim, when finding all of those receipts can challenge even the most organised of us.
Q: How do you measure GloHealth’s success?
A: It is of course our customers who determine how successful GloHealth is, we understand fully that our success will continue to be dependent on our customers recognising that what we do is different and best responds to their needs. The fact that over 90,000 customers have already made the decision to switch to GloHealth is a measure we are very proud of. We are also delighted that our customers include many of the largest and newest companies operating in Ireland. Successful companies like Facebook, Dell, Boston Scientific Ireland, TripAdvisor, Kleinwort Benson Investors and Airbnb have all chosen GloHealth to be their health insurance provider. Being recognised by InBUSINESS at the end of 2013 as the ‘Best Private Health Insurer’ in Ireland was also pleasing for our team but at the end of the day it is the number of customers, individuals and companies alike, who decide that GloHealth is the best option for them that is our key measure. That’s why a relentless focus on always responding best to our customer’s needs is part of our DNA.
Q: How important is listening to consumers, and responding to their needs?
A: Any successful company knows how important it InBusiness | Q2 2014
is to continuously listen and respond to the needs of your customers. It is no less important in the health insurance industry, particularly when you consider the ongoing affordability challenge facing so many customers. We continuously research and maintain a real understanding of the needs of health insurance customers. This informs all we do. The fantastic response of health insurance customers to GloHealth over the last 2 years demonstrates that this is time well spent. Our job is to continue to respond to the challenges faced by our customers. The recent launch of our next generation tailored cover demonstrates this with GloHealth customers now having even greater flexibility to tailor their benefits and control the cost they pay for their health insurance cover.
Q: Universal health insurance is targeted for 2019 – will this be a positive step for Irish health insurance?
A: The recent announcement and the release of the white paper on universal health insurance is positive, because it means that real debate on the future of health care in Ireland can now start. It is important that all stakeholders have an opportunity to engage and GloHealth will actively participate to shape the future for this market, a future which must have customer’s interests at its core. However, while UHI is the stated intent for
2019, it is also critically important that no one loses sight of the challenges facing health insurance customers today. We will continue to work on behalf of our customers to ensure their interests and needs in 2014 and 2015 are addressed.
Q: How important is competition for the Irish private health insurance market?
A: Our view is quite simple - competition is a good thing. There was a competitive deficit in the market and the launch of GloHealth has brought an injection of innovation and value. That is very positive - health insurance customers now have real alternatives and they can be satisfied that they are getting the best value for their health insurance spend. Q: What are corporate customers searching for in regards to health insurance?
A suggestion for any company that provides health insurance as a benefit is to consider how satisfied they are with their current insurer. Are they comfortable that their insurer provides them with the best value and continuously demonstrates to them that their custom is important? If the answer is not a resounding yes, then they should start to consider their options. Changing health insurer can be a straightforward and rewarding process and can provide an opportunity for very positive engagement with employees, ensuring they understand and have a greater appreciation of the benefit being provided to them by their employer. Health insurance is an expensive benefit and it is important that companies are satisfied that they, and their employees, are getting the best return for that spend.
Q: How does the future
A: Corporate customers
look for GloHealth?
are no different to individuals - they are looking for best value with innovative benefits. Companies recognise that health insurance is an important benefit for their employees and it is clear that more and more corporate customers are now shopping around. We’re seeing an increasing number of companies consider their options at an earlier stage, not waiting to just before their renewal date, so that they can make sure they have a health insurance solution which delivers greater and more sustainable value.
A: It is clear that individuals and companies are, more than ever before, looking at their options and for alternatives. Our intent in GloHealth is to never relent on our focus on innovation and value and we are determined that the record breaking success GloHealth has achieved over the last 2 years will continue. We intend to always be regarded as the benchmark for quality health insurance in Ireland and by doing this we are really confident that we will sustain our strong level of growth over the coming months and years. 75
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Chase Paymentech Europe Limited, trading as Chase Paymentech, is a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMC) and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. ÂŠ 2014, Chase Paymentech Europe Limited. All rights reserved.
iB Survey Chase Paymentech
Processing Success With the continued dominance of e-commerce, and the rise in popularity of m-commerce, Chase Paymentech Europe MD Shane Fitzpatrick explains how Chase Paymentech can help merchants chart a successful route.
s online retail continues to play a major role in the world of business, a major concern for merchants is the search for robust, secure and stable payment providers. What payment companies process for their clients is their lifeblood, the fundamental day-to-day cash they need to run their business. But, as the market shifts and changes, as retailers adapt to m-commerce and multichannel relationships between merchants and their consumers, securing a provider who can offer a solid foundation, security and advice can be tricky as they attempt to navigate these waters. Global payment processing and acquiring firm Chase Paymentech, owned by JP Morgan Chase, has a wealth of global clients including many of the major e-commerce brands. Shane Fitzpatrick, MD Chase Paymentech Europe, understands the need for an always-on service, providing security and technologically solid foundations. “In 2013, we processed more than $760 billion of merchant revenue. If you’re a UK or Irish firm and you choose in favour of Chase Paymentech, you’ll receive the resources, tools and solutions needed to help grow your business. We have more than 25 years’ experience in payment processing and merchant acquiring. Once payment information is captured at the front end, it resides with us, fully encrypted, with features like tokenisation in place, so a merchant doesn’t actually have to house, own and host this information.”
InBusiness | Q2 2014
A Step Ahead Recently, the relationship between merchants and consumers has developed significantly with several channels coming to the fore, from bricks-and-mortar to online retail and, more recently, mobile or m-commerce. “What we’re seeing in this space is an emergence of a multi-channel relationship between merchants and their consumers,” says Fitzpatrick. “Many retailers from the high street have moved into e-commerce and now, with the emergence of mobile, we’re looking at this relationship expanding.” Having identified such trends, the company attempts to remain one step ahead, developing a host of solutions for their clients. Counted amongst these, for example, is Safetech, a suite of advanced fraud tools which provide real-time analysis, prevention, encryption and prevention, protecting online retailers against fraudulent payment activity. “We do our best to listen and understand our merchants,” says Fitzpatrick. “In the background, while we watch, observe and listen, our challenge is to remain one step ahead.” But simply facilitating customer payments securely and quickly aren’t the only concerns for retailers – for merchants, managing the customer experience is key. To ensure efficiency
Many in these retailers areas, Chase from the high Paymentech has delivered street have a new moved into solution – e-commerce the Dynamic and now, Hosted with the Payments emergence Page. of mobile, Merchants we’re looking retain full control of the at this relationship look, touch and feel of expanding.” their checkout page, while the page remains hosted by Chase Paymentech. Going forward, Chase Paymentech continues with its ethos of listening to the clients it serves, delivering innovative solutions towards the issues it identifies and remaining one step ahead. “It’s a fascinating space to be in when you’re working with clients and customers who are nearly revolutionising checkout, but the age-old problems are unchanged,” says Fitzpatrick. “Am I going to get paid on time, is it going to reconcile nice and easily, and is it going to be done in a secure and confidential fashion? The same philosophies and principles, just being applied to a new way of living.” 77
iB Survey KPMG
in the Family Family Business Transfers continue to be a major tax challenge, according to Olivia Lynch, Family Business Partner with KPMG in Ireland.
ncouraging entrepreneurship and strengthening the domestic economy are national policy objectives for obvious reasons. One of the greatest challenges is ensuring sufficient motivation to owners to want to build a business worth passing on to the next generation. Not surprisingly, the role of tax and its impact on business is usually on the agenda of family owned concerns. According to the European Family Business / KPMG Tax Monitor, a survey of 23 European countries that looks at the impact tax can have on the transfer of a business to family members upon inheritance and retirements, family businesses – including those in Ireland – need to take note of and prepare for the potential heavy tax implications associated with the transfer of business ownership through inheritance or retirement. The impact of tax on a family business can vary dramatically from country to country. The report ranks Ireland fourth highest in terms of the headline rate of tax due on succession through inheritance and third highest in terms of the headline rate of tax due on succession on retirement. However, when Irish exemptions and reliefs are applied to these headline rates of tax Ireland ranks seventh highest and fifth highest respectively – still indicating a comparatively high level of tax for Irish private and family owned businesses. These taxes are charged on retirement or inheritance, which means no cash has been generated
by the individuals or the business as a result of the business transfer. The funds to meet the tax levy must be found from other sources. This reality can severely hinder the future growth and investment capacity of a business. This is why it is important for Irish privately and family-owned businesses who want to transfer ownership to the next generation to fully understand the tax implications of their personal objectives. Given the complexities and conditions attached to the various tax reliefs in Ireland, it is important that the family business owner seeks early advice on the tax implications so they can plan ahead. For instance, as of January 1st 2014 further restrictions apply to the capital gains tax relief afforded to an owner of a family business transferring their business to other family members. While no cap on the relief applies where the owner is aged between 55 and 66, a new a3 million consideration cap will apply for individuals aged 66 or over. This change will inevitably impact the timing of when family business leaders transfer ownership to the next generation. While imposing this age-related cap might encourage earlier involvement of the next generation, the timing forced by these age limits may be damaging to the business. For example, the next generation may not yet have the necessary skill and experience to take over the running of the business. The tax treatment of inheritance and retirement can also have the reverse effect on a family’s behaviour whereby the leader of the family
Olivia Lynch, Family Business Partner with KPMG.
business may hold on to While control of the imposing business for this age tax reasons, which can be related frustrating cap might for the next encourage generation earlier and act as a involvement constraint on of the next business growth. generation, The private the timing and familyforced by owned business these age sector is vital to Ireland’s limits may economic be damaging recovery and job to the creation. While business.” it is encouraging that countries, including Ireland, have reliefs for this sector, more needs to be done in Ireland. Family-owned businesses will be hoping that future tax policy doesn’t act as constraint on them realising their potential for growth and the economic benefits that this can deliver. InBusiness | Q2 2014
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Law Awards 2014
Leaders in Legal professionals in Ireland were recognised at this year’s Irish Law Awards.
egal professionals from across the country were recognised at the third annual Irish Law Awards on May 2nd 2014. The awards commend excellence in Irish law and recognise the outstanding achievements and exemplary practices of leading law firms, legal practitioners and in-house legal teams. Cork-based firm Ernest J. Cantillon received the Special Merit Award for its work on the Louise O’Keeffe case. The award was presented in recognition of the landmark lawsuit against the Irish State, which saw Cork woman Louise O’Keeffe take Ireland to the European Court of Human Rights for failing to protect her as a child. A lifetime achievement award was presented to Maurice Gaffney, SC, who has practised law for almost 60 years. Known as ‘The Father of the Bar’, the 97-year old was recognised for his outstanding and continuous contribution to the legal sector in Ireland. The Bar Council’s Human Rights Award was presented to the barristers who voluntarily represented the victims of the Magdalene Laundries. The award was given in recognition of their fight for justice for the women of the laundries who were mistreated to such an extent that their human rights were violated. Law Firm of the Year was awarded to William Fry and Sole Practitioner/ Principal Law Firm of the Year was presented to Marion Campbell Solicitors. Legal Website of the Year was awarded to McCarthy & Co and Litigation Case of the Year was presented to ByrneWallace. The Pro Bono/Public Interest Lawyer/Team of the Year was awarded to KOD Lyons.
Lawyers of The finalists all hues play were selected an influential by an esteemed adjudication role in the panel comprised lives of all of 20 leading who live on national and the island of international Ireland. legal experts, headed by Dr Eamonn G Hall, Solicitor & THE IRISH LAW AWARDS 2014 Notary Public and Chairman of the judging panel of The Irish Law Awards. Dr Hall said: “Lawyers of all hues play an influential role in the lives of all who live on the island of Ireland. In the complex web of legal relationships, society needs lawyers. “Of course lawyers do not exist 2 May 2014 Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin www.irishlawawards.ie
Maurice Gaffney, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, with Miriam O’Callaghan at the Irish Law Awards in the Four Seasons.
for their own sake; lawyers must remember they serve their fellow man and woman. That is why we celebrate the service of the dedicated law firms and individual lawyers who have been acclaimed as having demonstrated in an exemplary manner exceptional achievements in the law during 2013.” Hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan, the awards took place in The Four Seasons Hotel Dublin. The event is a unique opportunity for those working at the forefront of the Irish legal profession to be recognised alongside their European and international peers. This year’s awards received a total of 360 nominations across 25 categories, which marks a 20 per cent increase on last year. For the full list of winners go to www.irishlawawards.ie/recipients-2014
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Law Awards 2014 VP McMullin Solicitors
VP McMullin Solicitors completes a hat-trick of accolades at this year’s Law Awards.
t is over 90 years since VP McMullin Solicitors was first established by Vincent P. McMullin. From humble beginnings, the firm has experienced exponential growth to become not only the market leader in the provision of legal services in the north west of Ireland, but a multi award-winning law firm representing clients throughout the country. With offices across the county of Donegal in the towns of Ballybofey, Ballyshannon and Letterkenny and a recently opened office in the Capel Building, Dublin 7, VP McMullin have become experts in providing clients with advice that is uniquely tailored to their specific needs. The firm offers expertise in a wide range of practice areas and has a long-standing reputation for providing legal services that combine the highest levels of quality with professionalism and integrity to a number of client types, including public bodies, large private companies, SMEs and private individuals. At the Irish Law Awards 2014, VP McMullin managed to scoop the Ulster Law Firm of the Year Award for the third year running. It was the firm’s ability to demonstrate continual improvement both in terms of its processes and its practices that once again tipped the scales in its favour. Speaking after the win, Managing Partner James Sweeney said: “Providing a quality legal service to all our clients in the most effective and cost efficient manner has always been our focus. We achieve this through the hard work and dedication of all our support InBusiness | Q2 2014
Miriam O’Callaghan Broadcaster, Brian McMullin Partner and Bernadette Smith Partner.
staff, solicitors and partners and also through the effective use of technology and quality systems.” This focus on technology has been central to VP McMullin’s consistently strong showing at the Irish Law Awards. As evidence of its technological focus, the firm achieved the Q6000 Gold legal Quality Standard as recently as October 2013, building on the Q6000 Quality standard it had held prior to the achievement of the Gold Standard. Such innovation and dedication to excellence will
The VP McMullin Team
ensure the firm continues to stand out from its peers as it looks ahead to its centennial anniversary. For further details see www.vpmcmullindublin.ie
Award Sponsor Profile: Keyhouse Keyhouse builds and supports state-of-the-art practice management software designed specifically for Irish law firms. As partners, the company works beside its clients, advising and consulting to completely change the way they work. They automate workflows, improve productivity and introduce mobility to make practices more efficient; more streamlined; more profitable; and more effective. Keyhouse has helped more than 300 legal practices, corporate legal departments and state bodies of all sizes and all over Ireland to make the step up to being sustainable, profitable enterprises. Keyhouse were delighted and proud to be associated with the Irish Law Awards again this year, sponsoring the Law Firm Innovation Award.
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iB Survey Netwatch
Watch This Space Irish firm Netwatch is committed to remaining the leader in the field of remote visual surveillance across four continents.
stablished in 2003, Netwatch, from its Carlow Communication Hub, monitors in excess of 33,000 security cameras across the globe. The principle behind the Netwatch System is crime prevention and thus, as we detect intruders before a crime is committed, we are in a position to stop that crime from taking place. Netwatch began from a personal experience; a friend of Niall Kelly and David Walsh was attacked when responding to a traditional burglar alarm and was lucky to escape with his life. They decided there had to be a better way than allowing someone to walk, unprotected, into a real life crime scenario and the idea for Netwatch was born. Traditional CCTV cameras provide a visual record of a crime retrospectively; however, they do not prevent the crime taking place. The Netwatch system deploys the most advanced video processing technologies to alert intervention specialists in its Communication Hub to unacceptable behaviour on a client’s property. Live personalised audio warnings are then issued to intruders, preventing criminal activity. The Netwatch Managed Service model provides a cost-effective, accountable system, utilising the latest technology proven across thousands of Netwatch customer sites and designed, installed, serviced and monitored on a managed service basis, for a fixed daily fee. Heavily invested in R&D, Netwatch is committed to remaining the leader in the field of remote visual surveillance and thanks to the vast advancements in its proprietary software – Cratos – InBusiness | Q2 2014
Regardless of which sector they fall under, each and every client Netwatch deals with aspires to the same objective; the peace of mind that their assets, business, home or family is securely protected.”
the system has prevented more than 40,000 crimes since its inception. Netwatch’s focus on innovation has led to the ‘CRATOS’ platform, a companywide software programme which allows the firm to manage the flow of live incidents from thousands of Netwatch sites worldwide. ‘CRATOS’, after the Greek God of strength, partnered with the firm’s external ‘VERITAS’ Detection System means Netwatch are the first organisation in the world to introduce an entire enterprise solution for visual security and they are passionate about utilising emerging technologies in order to maintain their competitive edge. Netwatch now operates in four continents with clients across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the USA. In 2013, Netwatch expanded its
David Walsh, CEO, Netwatch.
international operations in North America with the opening of its New York office in June 2013, the second office to be opened in the United States alongside Boston. Growth in the North American markets has also resulted in growth for the company’s Irish operations, as all monitoring is undertaken by intervention specialists based in Netwatch’s Carlow Communications Hub. When Niall Kelly and David Walsh started Netwatch back in 2003, it was with a goal to create a fearless environment for their customers, a purpose that they and every single member of the Netwatch team still stand for today. Regardless of which sector they fall under, each and every client Netwatch deals with aspires to the same objective; the peace of mind that their assets, business, home or family is securely protected. This quality in service delivery also helped Netwatch to win numerous awards and accolades in 2013 such as ‘Most Innovative Company in EMEA’, ‘Silver Stevie Award for Diversified Services’ as well as ‘Ruban d’Honneur’ recipients for the European Business Award in Customer Focus.
Private Health Insurance IHAI
Access is Key Research shows that 250,000 people have left the private health insurance market since 2008. These figures coincide with moves by private health insurers to hike their premiums. Catherine Whelan, Chief Executive, Independent Hospitals Association of Ireland, tells InBUSINESS the impact the 2013 Health Amendment Act has had on the health sector and how Universal Health Insurance would alter the landscape. Q: Who are the Independent Hospitals Association of Ireland and what are your objectives?
A: The IHAI is a representative group for the twenty private hospitals in the country. Those hospitals are a combination of mental healthcare providers and providers of acute or general hospital services. We treat in the region of 400,000 people each year which is about one in every five patients who gets treated in the country.
Q: How did the Health Amendment Act of 2013 impact the health sector?
A: The IHAI had raised concerns last year in relation to the likely impact of the Act on not just our own sector but also on the entire healthcare system. If you think about what is involved, the passing of the Act enabled public hospitals to charge a patient who is a holder of private health insurance regardless of the bed they are accommodated with within the hospital. In our view, the ultimate impact of the Act is that it impairs access, quality and affordability of care for people. Economist Colm McCarthy undertook research to consider the likely economic impact this would have and
he indicated that if the legislation went through, which it now has, it would lead to an increase in premiums of between 15 and 20 per cent and lead to another 300,000 people leaving the health insurance market. We’ve already seen substantial increases in premiums flagged by insurers with most, if not all, indicating that those increases were as a result of the impact of that piece of legislation. It is important for us to remember that while sometimes we can think about this as being an issue that only impacts on the private health insurance market, we’ve had 250,000 people leave the private health insurance market since 2008 but all of those people are now entirely reliant on the public health system for the provision of their care so in effect what we are doing is putting more and more pressure on the public hospital system which is already clearly under a huge burden.
Q: How would the introduction of Universal Health Insurance (UHI) change the landscape?
A: We are supportive of the principle of UHI, a health system that promotes equal access to quality healthcare on the basis of what people
Catherine Whelan, Chief Executive, Independent Hospitals Association of Ireland.
need rather than what they can afford. We do have a number of concerns as to how the UHI initiative will be implemented – the main one being how this system will work in relation to the definition of what is in the ‘standard basket’. The process of deciding what is within that basket doesn’t just impact us in terms of understanding where our own services fit within that, but as a consumer, knowing what’s in the basket at least gives you the opportunity to consider the proposition for what you’re entitled to by paying your UHI premium when compared to paying your private health insurance premium.
One of the questions we have about the UHI initiative is how the principle of ‘faster access’ will apply. One of the key principles in the UHI proposal is that no individual will be able to access a service any quicker than another individual by virtue of paying more. We undertook a piece of consumer research earlier in the year and asked people ‘why do you continue to purchase private health insurance each year?’ Over 80 per cent of them indicated that the reason they did was to avoid having to join any sort of queuing system. So from a consumer perspective this is key. InBusiness | Q2 2014
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iB Survey AIB Invoice Financing
working capital Deirdre Moore, Head of AIB Commercial Finance Ltd., and David Avery, Head of Business Development, AIB Commercial Finance Ltd. tell InBusiness about cash flow solutions, supporting business growth and their Invoice Finance product. They also point out that they are very much open for business. Q: How does AIB’s Invoice
Q: Who is this product for? DM: Typically it suits a
Finance product work?
DA: Ordinarily businesses have to wait between 60 and 90 days for customers to pay invoices. We’re easing their cash flow pressures, by making up to 85 per cent of the invoice amount available the day they assign the invoices to us. When their customers pay the invoice in full that then releases the 15 or so per cent difference.
company that provides a service or product to another business on credit terms. They effectively provide a customer with a product or service, then they bill the customer for that service and wait up to 90 days to be paid. Most companies that sell on credit, and have a requirement for cash to bridge working capital, are suitable for Invoice Finance.
DM: We provide finance that directly relates to the performance of a business. It grows in line with business growth.
DA: We’ve a very mixed portfolio of clients, from corporates, to large household names and all types of SMEs. The reason they use Invoice Finance is to assist and take the worry out of funding working capital.
Q: How do businesses raise invoices with AIB?
DA: It’s all online on our Client Manager system. There are a few misconceptions about the product that it’s very cumbersome admin-wise, but it’s very simple. Our clients would go on to the system daily, weekly or fortnightly, whatever suits. It’s very flexible. If a client notifies us before 11.30 am, Monday to Friday, they can get the equivalent of up to 85 per cent of the invoice amount into their own account that afternoon, so it’s quite immediate. It’s a simple, flexible product and we’re very conscious
Q: Is this product suitable for exporters?
of tailoring the product to suit our customers’ needs. We understand that businesses are different.
David Avery, Head of Business Development, AIB Commercial Finance Ltd.
DM: Invoice Finance isn’t just suitable for domestic debtors, it’s suitable to fund export debt as well. Access to finance
Invoice Finance is primarily a working capital facility but may also be used to fund transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, buy-outs, management buy-ins, and capital expenditure programmes.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
iB Survey AIB Invoice Financing
for businesses in an export market is crucial to supporting their growth. We want to support businesses in both export and domestic markets.
AIB’s Invoice Finance platform can accommodate invoices raised in currencies such as Sterling and US Dollars alongside Euro trade debts.
Q: Who is responsible for credit control when accessing this form of finance?
DM: Credit control stays with the customer. It’s a completely confidential facility. From a business perspective there is no interruption to our customer. They deal with their own customers in the same way they always have. However, feedback from our customers suggests they become even more aware of the importance of credit control after taking the product on board.
Q: What are the costs associated with Invoice Finance?
DA: It’s very competitive pricewise. It’s cheaper than an overdraft typically. It’s also different to the traditional overdraft where a business has a limit which can be quite rigid. Invoice Finance directly mirrors growth and provides the funding to businesses to finance this growth.
DA: Because so many people have been stung by borrowing too much there is a little bit of a fear of borrowing and there is a lot of media hype around credit not being available but AIB are very definitely open for business.
Q: What finance package
Q: What service package
do AIB offer customers?
do AIB offer?
DM: We can provide our
DA: We pride ourselves
Invoice Finance product alongside a wider debt package or singularly if the customer only has a working capital requirement. We’re part of the AIB group and work closely with relationship managers to provide a package that’s tailored to specific business’ needs.
on our service and regularly seek feedback from our clients to ensure what we offer is the best in market. We take the time to fully understand each business and structure our facility to suit. Building a mutually beneficial relationship with clients is key to achieving this.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Deirdre Moore, Head of AIB Commercial Finance Ltd.
To find out if your business could benefit from Invoice Finance: Contact Deirdre Moore Email: deirdre.a.moore@ aib.ie Tel: 01 641 4017 Contact David Avery Email: david.g.avery@aib. ie Tel: 01 641 4807 Or visit www.aib.ie/ invoice-finance
How Invoice Finance Works 1. Invoice customers as usual. 2. N otify AIB via online portal. 3. A IB immediately provide up to 85 per cent of invoice value. 4. D ebtor pays 100 per cent of invoice on due date. 5. A IB releases the remaining value of invoice.
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IB Survey Bibby Financial Services Ireland
Ronan Horgan, Managing Director, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, tells InBUSINESS that the traditional banking model is outdated and urges SMEs to consider alternative ways to finance their business. Q: Could you outline your main products and services to business and the ones proving most popular?
A: Bibby Financial Services is the world’s largest independent invoice finance company that provides a1 billion of funding to over 7,000 SMEs globally annually through 47 offices. Bibby Financial Services, through our Invoice Finance products, gives all SMEs access to funding immediately through one of their most valuable assets: their invoices. We have a full range of products, from fully managed domestic invoice finance to export finance and trade services. Due to demand from Irish SMEs we introduced confidential and disclosed invoice discounting. This completes our suite of products with the aim to provide flexible funding facilities and solutions that release cash tied up in outstanding customer invoices quickly and professionally. Invoice finance, at its most basic, is a method of raising working capital by converting trade debts into cash on an ongoing basis. InBusiness | Q2 2014
Under this funding facility, a company can access funds of up to 90 per cent of the value of its invoices. In cash flow terms, this is the equivalent of having 90 per cent of a company’s eligible invoices paid within 24 hours.
Q: How important are the services provided by Bibby Financial at a time when it is reported that banks are not lending to business?
A: In all of our communications to SMEs we are urging them to think outside the bank when it comes to financing their business. However, according to the results of the Bibby Financial Services SME Tracker survey May 2014, 74 per cent of Irish SMEs do not shop around and only approach one institution when seeking finance. The traditional banking model is outdated and it is no longer in a position to adequately finance the range of varied funding requirements of SMEs. At Bibby Financial Services we are offering the alternative route to accessing finance and we are open for business.
Ronan Horgan, Managing Director, Bibby Financial Services Ireland.
Q: Are you seeing growing
A: SMEs comprise the
demand for your services among Irish companies?
overwhelming majority of all Irish businesses. Over 70 per cent of Irish workers are employed in an SME and they generate 50 per cent of Ireland’s annual turnover. We are urging SMEs to think outside the bank when it comes to finance for their businesses. Irish and European SMEs are too dependent on traditional banks for funding. This model is outdated and there are no signs that the banks have the ability to meet SMEs’ credit demands for the foreseeable future.
A: Absolutely, we are dealing with an increased number of new clients on a day-today basis who hear about us through our existing clients and our strong referral network. However, there is still a lack of awareness of Invoice Finance with many companies still too reliant on traditional forms of finance.
Q: Do you have any plans to grow your Irish presence in the near future?
A: Yes, earlier this year we launched our s60 million fund that we have readily available to fund SMEs. This is part of a threeyear growth plan we have in place and Ireland is an important part of the global success of Bibby Financial Services. Q: How important are SMEs to a sustainable economic recovery in Ireland?
Q: Who should businesses contact for more on your services?
A: For more information on Invoice Finance and to find out how we can help your business please call Bibby Financial Services Ireland on 01 297 4911 or visit www. bibbyfinancialservices.ie 89
IB Survey Ulster Bank
on the Future Ulster Bank’s head of business banking, Ken Murnaghan, spoke with InBusiness concerning their efforts in extending credit and advice to Irish SMEs.
n the recent quarterly economic outlook by Friends First, chief economist Jim Power noted the current difficulties facing SMEs in Ireland, including the issue of access to credit. While larger companies can take advantage of the international capital markets, Irish SMEs do not have such access, and instead rely heavily on banking finance. In an attempt to combat this issue, the Irish government recently announced that a500 million in additional credit would be made available to Irish businesses with the establishment of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). For Ulster Bank, making credit available to Irish businesses is a key priority. At the beginning of 2014, for example, Ulster Bank announced that it was making a1.2 billion available for businesses this year, alongside a programme of useful supports. “Like everybody, we’re enthusiastic about capitalising on the future and one of the things we’re spending time on at the moment is our Ahead for Business campaign,” explains Ken Murnaghan, head of business banking at Ulster Bank. “We’ve been aware of the difficult operating environment for our customers and we’ve been acutely aware of the challenges for banks to re-find their feet as the market improves. What we were very keen to do was to put a commitment out there in terms of what we want to do in 2014 across the country. In Q1 this year we launched a series of 15 events across the country, but for us it’s really about a mindset of how we work week-byweek, making sure we’re getting our ‘open for business’ and ‘ambition to
grow’ messages out there, with both our staff and our business communities.”
What we were very keen to do was to put a commitment out there in terms of what we want to do in 2014 across the country.”
Ahead for Business is by no means the first business support scheme the organisation has launched; an ambition to use their balance sheet to greater effect has been noticeable in the guise of the various supports Ulster Bank has launched and been involved with in the last few years. SmallBusinessCan is an example of this – though Ulster Bank have a minority holding in it, with the website operating independently of the bank. “What we like to think is that it can be critical of us as well as supportive of us,” Murnaghan explains. “It’s very much a support for our microcustomers – it’s about bringing basic levels of information and support to particularly start up and early stage enterprises.” Murnaghan also speaks with pride of BusinessWomenCan, launched a year ago, and of Ulster Bank’s agri proposition, which the bank has invested significantly in. “With dedicated accredited agri specialists across the island, we have about 30 people in the programme, and have introduced innovative products like an adverse weather fund, and a dairy expansion loan,” he says. “These have gone down very
Ken Murnaghan, head of business banking, Ulster Bank.
well. I think all of these initiatives indicate a real appetite for us to deliver on the Ahead for Business campaign.” Though many businesses throughout the country remain in recovery mode, Murnaghan remains quite optimistic about their chances and opportunities for success. “What we see very strong is a big uptake in business confidence – people are now seeing the opportunity for the future. Many of the things Ireland has been known for over the last two decades remain true – a young, educated, outwardly mobile workforce, and a world economy that is interested in dealing with a workforce like ours. I’d be not only optimistic, but confident about the years ahead for Ireland,” Murnaghan concludes. InBusiness | Q2 2014
iB Survey Friends First
Protection Against the Burden of Stress New research has found that work/life imbalance is resulting in an increase in stress-related claims from the Irish workforce.
he number of employees making income protection claims for psychiatric reasons has increased in recent years, according to data released by Friends First. Income protection offers a replacement salary of up to 75 per cent of your income if you are unable to work due to illness, injury, accident or disability. Orthopaedic (26 per cent) and psychiatric conditions (24 per cent) are the top two illnesses followed by cancer (18 per cent) which required employees to make an income protection claim in 2013, according to the research. An analysis of the data for 2013 also demonstrates that there is a high level of claims being made by females, with 54 per cent of total claims made by women in comparison to 46 per cent of claims by men. Commenting on the findings, Karen Gallagher, Product Director, Friends Frist said: “What is evident from the most recent claims data is that while the level of claims made by customers for orthopaedic
and cancer illnesses are still high, a growing number of clients are making claims for psychiatric conditions such as depression. The level of these claims has increased over the past two years, from 17 per cent in 2012 to 24 per cent in 2013. We have also seen a shift in psychiatric claims from males to females with 64 per cent of claims for psychiatric conditions being made by females with only 36 per cent of claims in this area coming from men.” Also commenting on the findings, Dr Ciara Kelly, partner in Carrig Clinic GP Surgery in Greystones added: “We know from TILDA data and anecdotally from everyday life that women tend to bear the primary responsibility for caring and rearing. Whether that is through raising children or indeed older dependent parents, women tend to carry primary responsibility in this area. Many women are also operating in the workforce in full or part time roles – the combination of pressures on the home front and in the workplace can have a debilitating
Claims admitted in 2013
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Karen Gallagher, Product Director, Friends First.
impact on the mental health of some women, as this data demonstrates.” Friends First has paid over a145 million in income protection claims over the past five years and over a35m in 2013. The average claim per annum is approximately a20,000 while 86 per cent of claimants are aged between 40 and 65 years of age. The average claim lasts about five years and the current claims acceptance rate exceeds 90 per cent. “Many more women are now the primary earners for their families,” said Gallagher. “We would urge women to take stock of this to make sure that this income is adequately protected in the event of illness arising. People do not realise that unless they have income protection cover through an individual, group or company policy, if they have to leave the workforce for a prolonged period due to illness, they will have to rely on the social welfare system which will entitle them to a payment of only a9,776 a year.”
iB Survey Molson Coors
for the Publicans Molson Coors and Sky have joined forces to offer ontrade discounts on live sport.
reland’s third largest brewer, Molson Coors, and Sky, the provider of the most comprehensive televised sporting content in Ireland, has announced that they will be working in collaboration to help pubs boost footfall and broaden the customer experience through live sport. In a first for the industry, independent licensed premises that buy a Sky TV commercial subscription and drinks from Molson Coors’ portfolio can save up to 30 per cent on their Sky subscription. This deal comes at an exciting time for pubs in Ireland, with Sky’s recent announcement that it has secured a three-year deal to show 20 live matches from the All-Ireland Gaelic Football and Hurling Championships, including the semi-finals and final. The GAA content joins Sky’s great line-up of year-round Irish sport, which includes the Irish UEFA World Cup Qualifiers and Euro 2016 Qualifiers, Irish Rugby Union autumn internationals and summer tour to Argentina, Irish clubs in the Pro 12 Rugby and European Champions Cup rugby, and the Irish Open golf. This is in addition to Sky’s continued coverage of Barclays Premier League, Champions League football and European Challenge Cup.
Supporting Irish Pubs This long-term agreement between Sky and Molson Coors forms part of both companies’ commitment to supporting Irish pubs, helping to add value and drive footfall through providing great sport and innovative brands. In addition to benefiting from the business value of live sport InBusiness | Q2 2014
at significant discounts, pubs will also gain access to Molson Coors’ and Sky’s existing support services to help drive strong results for their businesses. These include Sky’s free online ‘Making the Most of Sport’ training, Sky Sports Preview Magazine and free access to the Sky Sports PreviewLIVE website, which offers free customisable branded POS, fixture posters, daily fixture updates and a weekly planner. To date, Molson Coors Ireland has invested over a25 million since its entry into the market four years ago and it is the fasting growing brewer in Ireland. The company puts their customers at the centre of what they do and makes doing business with pubs easy by delivering a strong portfolio of beers which will continue to delight beer drinkers. Molson Coors delivers this great customer experience via their team of dedicated and passionate people who put quality, service and sustainability at the core of how they operate their business and by embedding customer experieince via excellent delivery of that service through their people along with an expanding portfolio of quality brands.
Keith Fagan, Sales Director Ireland, Molson Coors; Alison Dolan, Deputy Managing Director, Sky Business and Robert Blythe, Head Of Marketing, Ireland and Craft Beer at Molson Coors Brewing (UK) Ltd.
Answering Customer Demand There is an extremely strong demand within the industry for new, exciting products to stimulate sales. Molson Coors’ goal is to help stimulate new business for their customers by answering consumer demand for alternatives to what’s been on offer to them over the past decade. Molson Coors will continue work to give the public a compelling reason to support their local pub and off-licence. Robert Blythe, Head Of Marketing, Ireland and Craft Beer at Molson Coors Brewing (UK) Ltd commented, “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Sky by delivering great tasting beer with great sports entertainment to our customers. Molson Coors and Sky are committed to supporting the industry by coming up with innovative ways to help drive customers back into their local pubs. Nothing does that better than the mix of great drinks from Molson Coors’ wide selection of beer along with top class sport.”
DUBLIN INSPIRES: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE Google, Intel, IBM, Emirates, Microsoft, Accenture, Oracle, KPMG and Teradata are some of the most dynamic giants of today’s business world.
this professionalism has won us no less than 25 industry awards.
They all share a relentless commitment to innovation, service and excellence. So it’s not surprising that they’ve hosted events somewhere with an identical attitude: The Convention Centre Dublin.
Located in Dublin’s rejuvenated docklands – home to many of the capital’s most progressive companies – The CCD has 18,500 hotel rooms nearby, Dublin Airport only 15 minutes away and one of Europe’s most vibrant cities on its doorstep.
The CCD distils all the forward-thinking attitudes that now make Dublin so attractive to world-class businesses like Facebook, Kellogg’s, Pfizer plus many others. And since we opened our doors in 2010,
So if you want a world-class venue for your next event, visit www.theccd.ie today. You’ll soon see why we’ve inspired such confidence in some very inspiring companies.
Contact our Sales Team on: T: +353 1 856 0000 E: email@example.com W: www.theccd.ie
Notice Central Bank
Almost Time to
Cheque Out With less than three months to go before e-Day, Ronnie O’Toole of the National Payments Plan asks if your business is ready to stop using cheques.
-Day is on September 19th, less than three months away. This is the day that central Government, local authorities and State agencies will stop issuing and accepting business cheques. So if your firm traditionally pays its government levies and rates by cheque, or receives payments by cheque for services to government bodies, it’s time to change the way you administer your accounts. e-Day is part of the National Payments Plan (NPP), an initiative designed to reduce costs and improve cash flow in the Irish economy. If Ireland was to match best payment practice in Europe, savings of around a1 billion per annum could be made, with benefits directly flowing to small businesses. SMEs issue and receive more than 60 per cent of all cheques in Ireland, and they are a particular focus of the e-Day project.
Savings for SMEs Cheques are disproportionately expensive for small businesses to use. A recent study by payments company Sage found that a small business sending and receiving just six cheques a week could save almost €5,000 per year by switching to electronic payments. Moving your payments to direct debit, for example, will help cut money spent on bank charges and stamp duty, and time lost lodging cheques. One of the primary motivations for e-Day is to tackle Ireland’s late InBusiness | Q2 2014
payments culture. The payment cycle in cheque-intensive countries is a whole month slower than it is in countries where cheques are no longer in widespread usage. Some businesses report that they like cheques because they help manage cash flow. However ‘managing cash flow’ for one business is just a late payment for another. This practice should be stopped. The NPP’s target is to double Ireland’s number of e-payments per capita by 2015, thereby reducing our cash and cheque usage to the EU average. e-Day is intended to remove over 1.7 million cheques from our banking system in the coming year, and they will be replaced by swifter, less expensive and more secure payments for our business community. To prepare for e-Day, your business should find out how each
Ronnie O’Toole, Programme Manager of the National Payments Plan.
public sector body you engage with will make and receive payments after September 19th. The options are Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), direct debit or card payments, and your system will need to match theirs. For further details contact Ronnie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Advice Snap (Ireland)
Want To Be Successful?
Franco De Bonis, Director of Digital Marketing Services at Snap, explains how making people smile, think or even dislike you can be good for business.
omeone told me a long time ago that “people buy from people” and so when selling your products and services you should be yourself. But what if you are a quirky individual with a wicked sense of humour who runs a shoe shop, restaurant or flower shop? Traditional views would have you acting in a friendly, professional demeanour at all times, which of course is correct, but that same view would strip you of all your personality too. The answer is to be yourself and let your company personality embody your own. You are probably wondering whether being quirky can apply to any company, large or small. The answer is yes. The only difference is the amount of quirkiness involved. Obviously if you are a funeral director or investment bank, your opportunity to be quirky will be somewhat curtailed (although it’s still possible); but everyone else can explore the realms of possibilities in order to make people laugh or think. And yes, even making people dislike you can work, but you have to really know what you are doing. Ryanair is a prime example of this, with CEO Michael O’Leary going out of his way to reinforce the no-frills nature of his cheap flights ethos. But as much as I am advocating for you to be quirky, witty or controversial, remember that you can’t force this. If you are a conservative individual/company that tries to be quirky you’ll get found out and ultimately it could damage your business. It has to be you or you have to fully embrace the change for it to become a successful strategy. I had two really good examples
You are probably wondering whether being quirky can apply to any company, large or small. The answer is yes.
of this where I was once asked to review a website for a potential client. They sold printer cartridges and toner. Their site was pretty conservative and basic, but one of the menu items was ‘Humour’. On that page was a series of rather risqué jokes. The whole thing was simply inappropriate and executed badly. There was no reason for it, it was just there, like a guy standing at the back of a funeral in a Spiderman outfit! The second example, on the other hand, was an email I received from a business coach. It was around Valentine ’s Day and he closed off the email with three Valentine related jokes. They were innocent but very
funny. However, the whole email, including the business part of it was written in a familiar and disarming way, so that by the time I reached the jokes I was ready for them. There was no disconnect. I had also previously met this person and although he was very professional, he did his business with a glint in his eye and a wit that had you laughing as much as thinking. So, embrace your quirkiness and free your humour. It doesn’t have to be about full-page ads in national magazines. It might just be a single line on a product label, an image or tagline on your vans or a daily witty comment on your street sign. It can all work to make you memorable. InBusiness | Q2 2014
Discover a convienent, compact and cool city. Travel: page 104
Lifestyle motoring • gadgets • travel • books
Motor ing: InBUSINESS’ new motoring correspondent Olive Keogh reviews the Opel Insignia Country Tourer & Skoda Octavia L&K. page 98
Enjoy your gadgets on the go. Gadgets: page 102
InBusiness | Q2 2014
MotoR Tour ing: de Force
Price from €34,495 Engine 2-litre turbo diesel engine with 163bhp CO2 Emissions (g/km) Manual: 119 Automatic: 149
Opel has responded to stiff competition in the SUV and crossover market with the Insignia Country Tourer, writes Olive Keogh.
owards the end of last year the Opel Insignia had its mid-life makeover to freshen the exterior styling, rework the engine range and make detail changes to the interior. The Insignia is already a good-looking executive saloon and the new grille adds additional
road presence at the front end. At the back the chrome strip now runs into the light clusters for better definition. Inside, the dashboard array has been pared back to remove clutter and reduce the number of buttons and there is a new multimedia system with smartphone integration. The Insignia competes in a busy segment that includes benchmark models such as the Ford Mondeo, Avensis and Passat. It offers high levels of
comfort and in the newly launched Insignia Country Tourer version, 540 litres of boot space with the rear seats up and 1,530 litres with the back seats folded. For those taking the Country Tourer on a long distance holiday trip the 70-litre fuel tank will ensure the gaps between fuel stops are long. Prices for the Country Tourer front-wheel-drive start at €35,495 with prices for the all-wheel-drive version starting at €37,995. Both two and four-wheel-drive models have a 2-litre turbo diesel engine with 163hp. SUVs and crossovers are steadily stealing market share from traditional estates and the Country Tourer, with its
Consumption Manual: 5.4ltr/100km Automatic: 5.5ltr/100km
off-road capabilities and slightly rugged looks, is Opel’s response. Audi did something similar when it introduced Allroad versions of its mainstream estates. So the suspension has been slightly raised and there’s protective cladding underneath should one venture onto rough terrain. The AWD system will cut in automatically if slip is detected and will then switch itself off during normal driving to save fuel. The Country Tourer comes with the top five star safety rating from Euro NCAP. Opel has to compete in Germany against the premium brands there so it tends to offer very well equipped products. Standard features on the Country Tourer for example include Opel’s IntelliLink infotainment system, which comes with Bluetooth and voice recognition, an eight-inch touch screen centre console and an eight-inch driver display cluster screen. Bi-xenon adaptive forward lighting and parking sensors are also standard. Keeping things sweet on the road is Opel’s FlexRide with adaptive dampers that come into their own when poor surfaces, ramps or speed bumps make an appearance. The default ride quality is firm but not aggressively so and the overall impression when driving an Insignia is one of control, good grip, minimal body roll and stability.
Substance The Skoda Octavia L&K delivers on space and power when compared with its predecessor, writes InBusiness Motoring correspondent Olive Keogh.
koda may once have been a Cinderella car brand. Not any more. Its international sales are on a strong upward curve and its ambition to sell 1.5 million cars by 2018 looks entirely achievable given its performance so far this year - the brand’s sales were up globally by 12 per cent in the first quarter. Skoda in Ireland played its part in this success, as it became one of the five best selling marques here for the first time. This positions it alongside market leader VW, and long established dominant brands Toyota, Ford and Nissan. Skoda would like an Irish market share of 8 per cent by 2016 and it now has a seven-strong model line-up capable of delivering this. The
Octavia is the company’s biggest seller by a margin both here and globally, but Yeti and Rapid are also performing well. A new Yeti was launched here last December and Skoda has also added a smart looking hi-spec edition of its Citigo urban runaround called the Monte Carlo. This is a sporty little number with tinted glass, sports seats and distinctive aluminium wheels at a starting price of €12,995. Also new to market are Laurin & Klement versions of the Superb and Octavia. Laurin & Klement (L&K) is essentially a premium specification package that lifts the models up a notch in terms of comfort and equipment levels. In the case of the Octavia L&K, versions are
The Octavia and Superb includes the Laurin & Klement (L&K) premium specification package which lifts the models up a notch in terms of comfort and equipment levels.
distinguished by features such as bespoke alloys and Bi-xenon/LED headlights. The upholstery is a combination of alcantara and leather and the front seats are heated. There is also a 10-speaker Canton sound system, Bluetooth with voice control and cornering front fog lights. The Octavia L&K comes with a choice of two engines: a 1.8-litre (180bhp) TSI petrol engine or a 2.0-litre (150bhp TDI) with a choice of six-speed manual or 7-speed DSG (direct shift gearbox) automatic transmission. The Octavia is available as a saloon or Combi (estate). Four-wheel drive is already an option on the Combi and will be on the saloon later in the year. Prices for the Octavia L&K saloon start at €31,995 and at €33,470 for the Combi. The Octavia has been replaced as Skoda’s “compact” saloon by InBusiness | Q2 2014
Price Saloon from €31,995 Combi from €33,470 Engine 2.0 litre TDi diesel (150bhp) CO2 Emissions (g/km) 109g Consumption 4.1ltr/100km
the new Rapid, so the latest Octavia (launched last year) has grown up quite a lot. It is bigger than its predecessor and offers a great deal of cabin space with much improved head and leg room and class leading boot space of 590 litres. It is also better equipped, has more efficient power units with stop/start technology and comes with a five star safety rating. ESC and multiple airbags are standard. It is a comfortable and pleasing car to drive with composed road behavior that makes it a smooth motorway cruiser. The hallmarks of Skoda cars are space, value for money, a comfortable ride, good equipment levels, pleasing driving dynamics and a comprehensive safety specification. The Octavia ticks all the boxes and with the L&K specification it does so with some style. InBusiness | Q2 2014
Motoring News: Audi tops SUV List SUVs are usually a discretionary buy so it’s always interesting to see where those with money are spending it. Year to date just over 1,000 premiums SUVs have been sold here with Audi (377 units) leading the pack followed by Range Rover (290 units) and BMW with 237 units between X3 and X5. Its X1 model has sold 74 units. What will change in the years ahead is the level of choice in the segment. Existing players are adding smaller models such as the GLA from Mercedes and the NX from Lexus. European sales of luxury SUVs are expected to reach 1 million by 2020. Right now the Audi Q3 dominates European sales followed by the BMW X1 and the BMW X3. The Q5 is fourth and the Range Rover Evoque is fifth.
Top selling premium SUVS in Ireland (year to date) Audi Q3...............................................208 Audi Q5............................................... 169 Range Rover Evoque.......................... 165 BMW X5.............................................. 160 Range Rover Sport...............................25 Volvo XC60......................................... 123 BMW X3.................................................77
New Class Member Raises the Bar
Volvo targets budget conscious buyers The Volvo S60 and V60 are already well-established choices within the corporate motoring segment. But with transport budgets still tight in many companies, Volvo is targeting price conscious buyers with special “S” editions of its fleet-friendly model. The new trim level is available with Volvo’s low emissions 1.6 D2 diesel engine in both saloon and estate styles. The S level brings features such as City Safety, hands free Bluetooth, electronic climate control and a high performance sound system. Pricing begins at €29,995 for the S60 D2 and with CO2 emissions of just 103 g/km, the road tax is €190. Prices for the V60 estate start at €32,545 and the same road tax rate applies. “These new versions are a real value proposition as they come in at affordable prices with a high level of specification, band A3 taxation, fantastic fuel economy and competitive BIK for the business customer,” says Volvo Car Ireland managing director, Adrian Yeates.
New to market is the latest version of the Mercedes C-Class. Built as a successor to the 190, sales of the C-Class are now heading towards nine million making it the marque’s top seller. This fifth generation model has raised the bar considerably with great attention paid to improving the styling and the feel of the vehicle inside and out. It is slightly bigger than the outgoing model but also lighter and more aerodynamic. All of the engines and gearboxes used in the new model are either new or substantially upgraded. Technology is central with many voice controlled features and Apple’s new CarPlay system due to be fitted on later C-Class models. The engine choices at launch are the 2.1-litre C220 Bluetec diesel and the 1.6-litre C180 and the 2-litre C200, both petrol. There will also be a hybrid. There are four trim levels: entry, Avantgarde, Exclusive and AMG Sports pack. Prices begin at €37,750 for petrol models and at €37,950 for diesel versions.
InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eye catching gadgets on the market. Aux In 3.5mm jack (play MP3 players and iPods)
Connect Flash Drives / SD Cards (up to 2GB)
3 Speed turntable / Radio / CD Player
Stereo Speakers - 2 x 5 Watts RMS
teepletone S Roxy 3 USB CD Encode MP3 Record Player If you love the style of the ‘60s, you’ll be taken by the Steepletone Roxy 3. This retro style music system is an eye catching piece that will add to the furnishings within your home, office, or business establishment. This model is a 4-in-1 music centre that has an MP3 playback and recorder, radio and CD. Perhaps the big draw (apart from its appearance) is its ability to record music from vinyl and CD into MP3 format via USB device or SD card. If you’re looking for style over substance and not expecting too much in terms of sound quality, the Steepletone Roxy fits the bill.
USB 2.0 Port and SD card slot for MP3 Playback
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker Enjoy your music on the go, everywhere you go. The Bose SoundLink® Mini Bluetooth® speaker delivers full, natural sound from an ultra-compact speaker that fits in the palm of your hand. It connects wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth® device, so you can listen to your music, videos or games anytime, anywhere. Just grab it and go. Available for €199 from Harvey Norman.
Music streaming service Spotify has revealed it now has 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million active users in 56 markets worldwide. The company revealed that since it launched in 2008 it has driven more than US$1bn to rights holders.
The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Telefónica Ireland’s mobile telecommunications business O2 Ireland by Hutchison 3G (H3G). The deal will bring the number of mobile operators in Ireland down from four to three - Vodafone, Meteor and O2/3.
Coloud Boom Nokia Headphones Last year, Nokia paired up with Zound to release a range of Coloud headphones. These noise cancelling cans are part of an affordable family of accessories ranging from in-ear buds to over-the-ear. If you’re after the high-end, expensive headphones such as Beats these won’t be for you. Nonetheless, the sound quality is decent enough given the price. Available for €24.99 at www.expansys.ie
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Sony Xperia Z2 Sony’s waterproof smartphone, the Xperia Z2, was released in Ireland in late April. The latest model hasn’t had much of a facelift since last year’s Z1. Instead Sony has focused on making notable upgrades on the inside. The Z2 comes with 3GB of memory and a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801. Available for purchase at all Vodafone stores.
Netflix is to launch its online movie and TV subscription service in six more European countries, an indication of its global expansion strategy. The service will be launched in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg in late 2014.
Irish wearable tech company Lumafit has reached its crowdfunding target of US$60,000 to develop a Bluetooth headset for tracking fitness. The Dublin-based firm officially launched its Kickstarter project in May.
Valerie Jordan pays the Danish capital a visit and discovers it’s a convenient, compact and cool city that turns a business trip into a true pleasure.
here’s a Copenhagen for everyone: It’s a cyclist’s dream, a foodie’s paradise and utopia for a designer or architect. It’s also one of the simplest cities in the world for doing business: Compact and navigable with excellent transport, plush hotels aplenty with an abundance of wining and dining options available. Yes, Copenhagen is an expensive city but it’s worth adding an extra
couple of days onto a business trip to make the most of what the Danish capital has to offer. Denmark is top of the world’s happiness index – its income taxes are also among the world’s highest, which facilitates the Nordic model of welfare state. Most Danes believe their tax levels appropriate and value the associated benefits. Workplaces operate with a less structured hierarchy in general and working arrangements are flexible for most. It’s still a serious business environment – organised, efficient, innovative and the Danes’ perfect English eliminates much of the difficulty of doing business abroad.
Copenhagen is also home to Bella Convention Centre, one of Europe’s largest convention centres. The city is characterised by its distinctive bridge districts, an abundance of water, open space and wide bike paths which line almost every street. More than half of Copenhagen’s commuters travel by bike, including serious business people in smart suits. In 2011 the International Cycling Union assigned Copenhagen the first official ‘Bike City’. It’s easy to travel around Copenhagen by bike, taxi or metro, but be warned that the metro is currently undergoing a huge upgrade and expansion. This means
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Where To Meet...
The Admiral Hotel The Admiral’s location is superb, overlooking Copenhagen’s quayside and across the harbour to the Opera House. Inside, it’s maritime, modern and ambient. The Admiral has a range of meeting packages and for a special event a schooner can be chartered from May until October. www.admiralhotel.dk
Geranium Copenhagen has a wealth of top-class restaurants. Experience ‘New Nordic’ cuisine at two Michelin-starred restaurant Geranium, which uses local, organic and biodynamic produce. Request a seat where you can see into the open kitchen and watch artists at work. www.geranium.dk
Nimb Hotel there are occasional detours and diversions on both lines. The works are due to be completed in 2018 to alleviate traffic and make streets even safer for cyclists. Copenhagen aims to be carbon neutral by 2025.
Hospitality Hotel d’Angleterre is the city’s iconic, luxury option: an unmissable landmark building at Kongens Nytrov in the heart of the city. It might not be an option for most business travellers – though its trendy Balthazar bar is worth an after-hours visit – so try The Admiral, Nimb Hotel or Radisson Blu Royal Hotel for a comfortable but more affordable InBusiness | Q2 2014
Aer Lingus and SAS fly daily from Dublin to Copenhagen. Norweigian Air also flys the route 4-5 days per week.
Metro or S-Train is the most efficient route to the city centre – cheaper and quicker than taxi.
business stay. If you’re attending a conference at Bella Convention Centre, the integrated Bella Sky Comwell hotel is just ten minutes from the city. Dining options abound, Noma, voted number one in the The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2014, placed Copenhagen firmly on the foodie map. At the time of going to print Noma was full until September, so if you’re keen to dine in the world’s best restaurant book well in advance. But it’s not all about Noma. Copenhagen is famous for its pastries, good coffee, fresh fish and the city has a total of 14 Michelin-starred restaurants. No trip to
This boutique hotel is conveniently situated beside Central Station and the must-see Tivoli Gardens. Recently renovated, each of the 17 rooms is unique with antiques, art, huge bath-tubs and four-poster beds. The food offering is also exceptional and any of its four restaurants are suitable for a more spontaneous business meeting. www.nimb.dk
Canal Tours If you don’t want to cycle, canal boats are one of the best ways to see the city in a short amount of time. A tour through the canals and the harbour passes many important Copenhagen landmarks including the Little Mermaid, the Opera House, Amalienborg Palace and the Black Diamond www.stromma.dk
In 2011 the International Cycling Union assigned Copenhagen the first official ‘Bike City’.
before you go
iSpot Copenhagen The official guide app for Copenhagen has information on where to eat, drink, shop, what to see, how to get there and a calendar of events. Available:
Noma was voted number one in the The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2014. If you’re keen to dine in the world’s best restaurant book well in advance.
CPH Airport This app gives flight times, security waiting time, a shopping and eating guide and maps for Copenhagen Airport. Available:
No trip to Copenhagen is complete without sampling the local delicacy, smørrebrød.
Copenhagen is complete without sampling the local delicacy, smørrebrød. Smørrebrød is described as open rye sandwiches with various toppings, which does it little justice. Visit Aamans in the city centre for the gourmet experience.
Mobilbilletter This app uses GPS to locate you, find public transport tickets and the best route to your desired destination. Available:
It’s well worth staying in Copenhagen for a few days post business. In the centre you’ll find Medieval churches, cobbled alleys, the coloured buildings of Nyhavn and excellent shopping. Don’t be underwhelmed by Copenhagen’s mascot the Little Mermaid – instead take it for what it is and continue exploring the
surrounds and diverse districts. From Osterbro, Christianshavn is a bustling canal town home to Freetown Christiania – an autonomous neighbourhood regulated by Christiania law. Nørrebro and Vesterbro are trendy, hip areas and between them affluent Frederiksberg is its own municipality. The National Museum gives an interesting overview of Danish history and culture. Danish design is world famous and enjoys a popularity that shows no sign of waning. The Design Museum is a central resource for the study of design and its history in Denmark. The Danish Design Centre, inaugurated for the
millennium, showcases an array of innovative and functional Scandi design concepts. For fashion head to Strøget – one of Europe’s longest pedestrianised shopping districts. Worth a day trip, Louisiana is a beautiful private gallery with an important collection of modern art. Louisiana’s architecture, impressive collection, sculpture park and spectacular views across the sound to the Swedish coast warrant the 25-mile trip. The prime time to visit Copenhagen is spring, when the weather is warm, the evenings are long and the tourists haven’t arrived en masse. If you have some flexibility in your arrangements then opt to travel after April. InBusiness InBusiness | Q2 2014
Lifestyle: Lifestyle: books travel
InBusiness looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge.
Ireland and Germany: Partners in European Recovery
Corporate Escape: The Rise of the New Entrepreneur
he Rat Race’, ‘Working for the man’, or ‘Spin one’s wheels’ – whatever someone calls their mundane nine-to-five corporate existence, many dream of a better life where they are truly in control. However, the world lacked a guidebook for making this bold transition. Executive coach Maite Barón has stepped in to help with a book that has this year earned her a Nautilus Silver Book Award. While Corporate Escape: The Rise of the New Entrepreneur is designed to help anyone leave the corporate world and embark on building their own business as a ‘New Entrepreneur’, it will benefit anyone in a process of change. Through innovative strategies and action-focused exercises, Corporate Escape aims to develop the mindset and effectiveness of a ‘New Entrepreneur’, equipping you with the skills, ambition and emotional resilience to survive and thrive on your own, whatever the direction you choose. Based on over 14 years’ experience working with both high performance individuals and within large organisations Corporate Escape is all about embracing life to the full, overcoming limitations, fears and self-doubt. It’s about discovering who you are, what you want and why that matters to you, then taking the decisive action necessary to achieve it.
Your Travel Companion
Author: Peter Høeg Publisher: Picador Available: amazon.co.uk
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Publisher: Ecademy Press Limited RRP: a14.99 Available: amazon.co.uk
Publisher: Oak Tree Press Available: oaktreepress. com
Sacrifices made by the Irish people were crucial not only to Ireland’s recovery but to the recovery of the Euro and European economy. However, high levels of public and private debt remain obstacles to a lasting recovery. That’s according to a new book entitled Ireland and Germany: Partners in European Recovery. With a foreword from An Taoiseach and contributions from NTMA Chief Executive Officer John Corrigan and Central Bank Deputy Governor Stefan Gerlach, the book contains chapters from leading figures in finance, business and government. Published as a dual-language English and German text, this book tells the remarkable story of Ireland’s recovery and shows how vital it was to the broader European recovery.
Smilla’s Sense of Snow For your business trip to Copenhagen, why not bring along million-copy bestseller Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1992), which earned Danish author Peter Høeg immediate and international literary celebrity. This thriller follows Smilla Jaspersen in her attempts to understand the death of a small boy who falls from the roof of her apartment building. Høeg’s books have been published in more than 30 countries.
Author: Maite Barón
It’s not enough to just think differently. Gaining competitive advantage means taking action.
How to Build Competitive Advantage by Thinking Differently Leadership expert Warren Bennis provocatively states that good business leadership is a matter of survival, calling for a “new generation of leaders - leaders Author: not managers.” But if leaders are so Anthony Sturgess important, are we doing enough to help & Phil Higson them succeed in such demanding and Publisher: critical roles? In their new book, Phil Kogan Page Higson and Anthony Sturgess address Available: this question and aim to stimulate uncommon leaders to both think and act differently. leadership.co.uk
The Last Word
Ladies like beer too. That’s what Gráinne Walsh tells Joseph O’Connor while reflecting on her jump from a successful IT career into the uncertain world of brewing.
he scene is a small café in a rural French town and it’s 9.30 on a sunny morning. There’s an elderly lady sipping on a half glass of beer or a ‘demi’ as the locals like to call it. It was a simple setting but one which Gráinne Walsh, co-founder of Metalman Brewing Company, drew great inspiration from. “I just thought it was awesome,” recalls the Waterford brewer. “Nobody was judging her. No one was looking at her like she had 11 heads. There was no problem with getting a beer at that time. It was such a normal and sensible attitude to have towards having a glass of beer on a sunny morning. It mightn’t be for everyone but it was
definitely for this lady and it just seemed perfectly normal.” While Walsh is not envisaging an Ireland where much of its population engages in an early morning tipple, she believes a move towards an appreciation of well-produced, quality beer is a good one and this attitude has spread exponentially here in recent years. And the figures back it up. According to Bord Bia, craft beer volumes for 2012 were estimated to have grown by 44 per cent. The growth is mostly focused on the domestic market despite the recession and the relatively depressed drinks trade. Sales here were up by 55 per cent
while exports increased by 26 per cent. As consumers become more accustomed to quality craft beer and demand greater choice, a vast number of micro breweries have emerged in Ireland over the past five years. One such brewery is Metalman. Born out of a desire to see more beer produced by independent brewers in Ireland, Metalman Brewing Company is the brainchild of Walsh and her partner Tim Barber who say they were frustrated by the lack of flavoursome, authentically Irish beer on the market. Their first offering, Metalman Pale Ale, was brewed under contract at the White Gypsy Brewery in Templemore, and
launched in March 2011. The Waterford brewery was commissioned at the Tycor Business Centre and production was moved across in May 2012. Since then, Metalman have been busy producing lots of pale ale as well as seasonal brews every few months. Their beer is described as a refreshing, American-style pale ale, brewed with hops from the US west coast, and last year it was voted Beer of the Year by Beoir, an independent group aimed at raising awareness of Ireland’s native independent microbreweries.
Career Change Walsh didn’t make an obvious transition into brewing. Instead she called time on a successful IT career in January 2011 to focus full-time on establishing Metalman. Her time in the industry began with a graduate recruitment InBusiness | Q2 2014
programme in IBM. She held subsequent roles in major tech firms AT&T and Amazon. “It was a very interesting journey for me, says Walsh, cringing at her own use of the word ‘journey’. “When I came out of college things were very good in the IT industry. I had an applied maths and computing degree. I didn’t make a conscious decision to work as a programmer, an engineer or anything like that. It just kind of happened.” But the writing was on the wall, according to Walsh, when she found herself unhappy in a job that on paper satisifed her every interest. So where did beer come in? “It came from drinking it,” laughs Walsh. “I suppose I’ve always enjoyed beer. Tim and I started homebrewing when we came back from travelling in 2005. We were living in Waterford at the time and it was very difficult to find craft beer in the area. We decided we’d chance our arms at homebrewing. We had mixed success but we kept at it.” Highly influenced by the craft beer scene in Seattle where Walsh and Barber had been travelling to on business trips during their time in Amazon and Microsoft respectively, the couple’s perseverance paid dividends. Three years on from its initial launch, Metalman, named after a navigational aid on the Waterford coast erected in 1823, has become a highly respected brand among brewers and beer afficianados alike.
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Steve Ryan Photography
The Last Word
Women and Beer One issue that Walsh has been quite vocal about is how, historically, beer has been marketed towards men and not women. She points to a recently published industry report which chose to ignore the female statistics for research purposes, citing the fact that men make up the majority of people who drink beer as the reason for doing so. “This is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” warns Walsh. “Only the male data is going to be used for marketing and sales which means women won’t be as interested in beer because it won’t be delivered to them, which means that more men will drink it, less women will drink it and there will just be an ever decreasing circle of women enjoying beer.” Walsh is determined to overcome this stigma. “What we are really trying to do is fight against that attitude. Women have very well developed palates and, more often than not, can pick out flavours in a beer that men won’t be able to because of
the differences in their palates. Some women enjoy sweetness more than others in the same way that some men enjoy a lager more than an ale or a stout. Everyone’s palate is different but it’s frustrating to see this sweeping generalisation ‘women don’t drink beer so we won’t worry about that aspect of it for now’. I think the attitude is changing but only because women are demanding it. It’s not changing because people are looking at women differently as beer consumers and that’s something we are trying to drive.”
Gráinne Walsh, co-founder of Metalman Brewing Company.
Walsh thinks the attitude ‘women don’t drink beer’ is changing but only because women are demanding it. “It’s not changing because people are looking at women differently as beer consumers and that’s something we are trying to drive.”
Out on Your Own Setting up your own brewery is as tough as establishing any entreprise and most brewers will tell you that they went out on their own out of a love for beer rather than pursuing wealth. What advice would
According to Beoir, 13 micro breweries were established in Ireland in 2013.
The Last Word
Walsh have for any homebrewing enthusiast who is thinking about taking the plunge? “The hardest bit is always starting,” she says. “We talked about it for a long time before we did anything concrete. We kept saying ‘some day we’ll have our own brewery, when we make a beer it will be great’. We weren’t even homebrewing at that stage!” Her advice is relevant to any budding entrepreneur, not just to would-be brewers. “Don’t ever think about the starting as this big binary on-off thing because it can be paralysing to think you’re leaving something behind in favour of this huge risk,” she says. “If you have done your homework properly it’s not going to be a huge risk. Research is really important but don’t get completely bogged down in it, so much so, that you don’t ever start.” According to Beoir, 13 micro breweries established in Ireland last year. So can this craft beer revolution continue for some time yet or is there a danger of over-saturation in the market? “I think there is certainly room for more [micro breweries] than there are at the moment,” says Walsh. “Ireland in the past has supported a large number of them. Things were a little different back then but shelf life and distribution networks are better these days.”
She adds: “Like any fledgling industry where there are suddenly a large number of entrants to the market, the public will be faced with a much wider choice than they had previously and I think there will be less support for breweries simply because they are Irish. People will become much more discerning about which beers they actually like and don’t like. There are many micro breweries in Germany but people, rather than deciding which brand of beer they’re going to drink and expecting it to be available in every bar, they go to the bars where they serve the beers that they like. I think we’re going to see a lot more of that here. I suppose we will see survival based on consumer choice rather than the approach that we have seen to date with the big beer industry where it’s just ubiquitous supply.” When asked, Walsh would not be drawn on her favourite beer. “There’s no such thing,” she argues. “That’s like saying ‘what’s your favourite food?’ For every beer – for me anyway – it depends on the day of the week, the humour I’m in, the weather outside, how much fun I’m having, and also my expectation of what that beer should be like. It’s very hard to be judgement-free.” Her response is a reflection of how complex beer can actually be. Either that or the sign of a fine female palate.
An American style pale ale, dark gold in colour with a delicate white head. ABV: 4.3% Available in: Keg and cask
A hazy golden wheat beer with a punchy Belgian twist. ABV: 4.5% Available in: Keg and cask
Recommended food pairing: It goes well with robust, full-flavoured dishes such as Thai or Indian curry, steak with pepper sauce.
Recommended food pairing: Light (but not delicate) shellfish dishes, like mussels or clams, will sit well with the spiciness of Alternator, or try a pulled pork sandwich with barbecue sauce.
A dark beer with a light body, bursting with cocoa notes and a devilishly hoppy character. ABV: 5% Available in: Keg and cask Recommended food pairing: Best with a big juicy burger. If you can get your hands on some biltong to nibble on while you sup a pint, you won’t regret it.
A pale amber beer, hopped exclusively with lots of New Zealand varieties. It makes for a delightful spring beer. ABV: 4.8% Available in: Keg and cask Recommended food pairing: The fruitiness of the hop flavours makes Windjammer a good accompaniment to battered fish and chips.
A range rather than one particular beer, Chameleon is Metalman’s vehicle for experimentation. If Gráinne and the gang want to try something a bit different, or a variation on a theme, it is branded under Chameleon. So far there has been ginger, chilli, lime and a multitude of dry hops. Anything goes really! Available in: Keg and cask
A dark beer made with black and chocolate malts, hopped with Pacific Jade and Bramling Cross with a whack of sweet orange maté added at the end of the boil. ABV: 6.2% Available in: To appear at locations that have seasonal Metalman beers on tap, and the brew from Hardknott should be bottled shortly.
Gráinne’s Favourite Ted Talk: Caroline Casey – Looking Past Limits Activist Caroline Casey tells the story of her extraordinary life, starting with a revelation. In a talk that challenges perceptions, Casey asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have. www.ted.com/talks/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits Go to page 30 for more on TED
InBusiness | Q2 2014
The InBUSINESS Index In this issue, InBUSINESS explores data from the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom.
2nd Hong Kong
90.1 89.4 (
5th New Zealand
81.6 81.2 (
80.2 78.7 76.5 76.2 76.1 (
7th Hong Kong
Throughout the 20-year history of the Economic Freedom Index, Hong Kong has been rated the world’s freest economy, but its strong commitment to economic freedom has become somewhat less exceptional as average world economic freedom has advanced. This year, Hong Kong recorded its second highest economic freedom score ever.
Chile has been consistently rated one of the most free economies, achieving economic freedom scores above 70. Three of the country’s ten economic freedoms — freedom from corruption, investment freedom, and financial freedom — have recorded score gains of 20 points or more since 1995. Sustaining Chile’s high level of regulatory efficiency and market openness, monetary freedom and trade freedom have notably improved as well.
( No Change)
Ireland’s economic freedom score is 76.2, having increased by 0.5 point from last year due to improvements in trade freedom, labour freedom, and the management of public finance that offset small declines in monetary freedom and freedom from corruption. The Irish economy has become the second freest economy in the Europe region and has regained a place among the world’s top ten freest economies.
About the Index of Economic Freedom This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Index of Economic Freedom. Economic freedom is measured based on ten quantitative and qualitative factors, grouped into four broad categories, or pillars, of economic freedom: rule of law (property rights, freedom from corruption); limited government (fiscal freedom, government spending); regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and open markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the ten economic freedoms within these categories is graded on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall score is derived by averaging these ten economic freedoms, with equal weight being given to each. Source: The Heritage Foundation in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. For further details visit www.heritage.org/index
InBusiness | Q2 2014
Value through Innovation
Even after a century of experience, we remain intensely curious. For the sake of future generations. Boehringer Ingelheim has always remained true to its character as an independent family-owned company. Our vision drives us forward. It helps to foster value through innovation in our company and to look to the future with constantly renewed commitment and ambition. Today, we operate globally with 142 affiliated companies in 50 countries. With more than 41,500 employees worldwide and a track record developed over 125 years, we are dedicated to improving the outlook for healthier lives. www.boehringer-ingelheim.ie