Ireland’s Business Quarterly
Connecting irish business | Q3 2013
Gateway to Prosperity
Shannon Airport CEO on the future for the Midwest
AFRICA The shift in focus from aid to trade
forging its footprint Ronan Kneafsey on how eircom services are supporting business
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Contents News 03 08
Business News Movers & Shakers
InBusiness looks at what is behind the momentum in the commercial property market.
News and opinion from Chambers Ireland, Ireland’s largest business network.
The Last Word
Sodexo Ireland's Margot Slattery, talks to Sarah Kiely about her love of food, buying Irish and why inclusion in business is key.
Colm Gorey reports on how Ireland has established itself as a hub for the multi-billion dollar aircraft leasing industry.
Forging Its Footprint Ronan Kneafsey of eircom Business tells Joseph O'Connor about how the company is forging a bigger footprint in the technology market.
A Gateway to Prosperity
Shannon CEO Neil Pakey speaks to Dean Van Nguyen about the future of the airport and Shannon region.
Now, with a growing middle class population in Africa, the time is ripe for the focus to shift from aid to trade, writes Joseph O'Connor.
Benefits to Being Direct
Up and Atom
Strides in nanoscience are benefiting businesses in Ireland and across the world, writes Conor Forrest.
No Basket Case Business Seán Travers profiles Hampers & Co Ltd, a business which has been sourcing, customising and delivering hampers of treats for 20 years.
Seán Travers speaks to Amie Peters at An Post about how direct marketing is helping businesses get their message to the masses.
Powering the Nation Conor Forrest speaks to ESB's Jim Dollard about his own journey within ESB and the challenges facing the organisation today.
New Lease of Life
Audi's first compact saloon should be a genuine competitor in the compact car market, writes Conor Forrest.
InBusiness profiles some of the latest business books on the market.
Making the Difference KPMG's Karina Howley tells InBusiness how their CSR programme is a philosophy which permeates the entire firm
Chambers Ireland's CSR Awards 2013 A special supplement to mark this year's CSR gala.
InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eye catching gadgets available.
Joseph O’Connor travelled to Tanzania to report on the work of the Amani Butterfly Project.
Editor (Ashville Media Group): Joseph O’Connor Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant (Chambers Ireland): Amy Woods Commercial Editor (Ashville Media Group): Conor Forrest Editorial Contributors: Vaida Balbieriute, Conor Forrest, Colm Gorey, Sarah Kavanagh, Sarah Kiely, Sean Travers, Dean Van Nguyen Design and Layout: Leon Hayden, Edel Quinn Advert Design: Alan McArthur, Kevin O'Connor, Jennifer Reid Photography: Thinkstock.com, istockphoto.com Production Manager: Len Wilson Production Executive: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Diarmaid Lennon Published by: Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: +353 1 432 2200, Fax: +353 1 676 7100, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.ashville.com On behalf of: Chambers Ireland, 3rd Floor, Newmount House, 22 - 24 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 400 4300, Fax: +353 1 661 2811, Email: email@example.com, Web: www.chambers.ie All articles © Ashville Media Group 2013. 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
Business News A round up of all the news from the world of Irish business.
Digiweb acquires Belgian company
igiweb, Ireland’s largest independent telecommunications company has announced the acquisition of the retail assets of Belgian based internet service provider, Mondial Telecom, in an all cash transaction. The acquisition, which was led by Declan Campbell, Digiweb MD of Consumer Operations & Services, further strengthens the Digiweb presence in Belgium. As a result of the transaction, Digiweb will now serve in the region of 25,000 residential and small to medium sized businesses throughout Belgium with the provision of broadband, fixed line and mobile phone services. Commenting on the acquisition, Campbell said: “this is a great opportunity for Digiweb as it further grows our operations in Belgium into new areas such as mobile broadband and
telephony. Digiweb will now have in the region of 25,000 residential and business users spread all over Belgium. Our ongoing aim is to continue offering excellent service and value in that market.” Digiweb, headquartered in Declan Campbell, Digiweb MD of Consumer Operations & Dublin, is a leading Services. telecoms provider, Campbell concluded; “All aspects of offering residential and SME customers our Belgian business are managed from a wide range of cost effective broadband Ireland and Digiweb has commenced and telephony packages. This acquisition recruitment of additional positions at supports Digiweb’s strategy to grow our Dundalk based Operational Centre revenues both in and outside of Ireland. to deal with this expansion”.
Lero launches global software model
ero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, has launched a new model which includes guidelines designed to allow global software teams work better together. The programme is the culmination of 10 years’ research into the issues involved in managing and implementing global software development. Lero, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, is recognised internationally as a centre for Global Software Engineering (GSE) research. GSE is also used by multinational and small to medium sized enterprises internationally. Due to a global workforce, this method of work continues to experience substantial growth in the software industry but
many companies have reported serious problems when trying to implement global software development. Dr Ita Richardson, Co-Principal Investigator, Lero, said: “Many indigenous and Dr Ita Richardson, Co-Principal Investigator, Lero.solutions company, E-drive Group. multinational technology companies have outsourced or shared costs. However, the results are often software development activities across disappointing.” She added: “We set out multiple sites in different countries to discover why and were then able to – often because of a shortage of develop guidelines and a global teaming skills in their home market or to save best practice model.” InBusiness | Q3 2013 3
Irish companies PLAN TO INCREASE ICT spend
ver 40 per cent of Irish companies plan to increase ICT spend over the next 12 months, with more than one third (36 per cent) of IT managers saying that the main driver is to create business or competitive advantage. That is according to new research published by industry journal ComputerScope, in association with O2. The survey of 267 Irish IT managers conducted during July and August showed that gaining competitive advantage is cited as the main driver of IT spend, cost reduction (21 per cent) is in second place followed by “keeping the lights on” (17 per cent) and facilitating an increasingly mobile workforce (16 per cent). “The survey suggests that IT budgets are being unshackled and that IT is becoming more strategically important to Irish businesses,” said Alan Brown, Business Director at O2. “While
Alan Brown, Business Director at O2.
controlling costs and ‘keeping the lights on’ were major factors during the downturn, this study indicates that the momentum is now moving towards companies using IT to boost competitive advantage and customer service as well as facilitating an increasingly mobile workforce.”
“The outlook appears to have improved for IT with just over one in five companies (22 per cent) saying that they expect to reduce their budgets over the next 12 months compared to almost double that (41 per cent) who plan to increase spend,” added Paul Hearns, Editor of ComputerScope.
Barry Group rolls out new chill distribution solution
arry Group has announced plans to launch a nationwide chill distribution solution representing a capital investment of €1 million for the company which is expected to yield up to €200 million in business over the next five years. The introduction of the centralised chill distribution solution will also result in significant increases in sales and profit margins for Costcutter retailers. These increases will be generated through better buying, cost and time efficiencies while also incorporating a new intuitive I.T. system. This specially developed retail software supporting chill distribution solution, called BEACON, gives the retailer increased business intelligence when placing orders through the Barry Group. BEACON has a number of advanced options such as providing the retailer
4 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
with information on Top Selling products across the Costcutter network of stores, up-todate Recommended Retail Prices (RRPs) and the ability to set-up repeat orders; all aimed at allowing retailers streamline the order process and concentrate on Jim Barry, Managing Director of the Barry Group and Holly Barry at the announcement. other elements of their business. competitors in the supply chain market Barry Group’s chilled distribution offered the company an opportunity model has been an extensive area of to tailor its chill distribution solution research for the Barry Group with 12 top level staff dedicated to this project to better take advantage of technology for the past 18 months. The changes and offer its retailers what the company and difficulties experienced by some believes to be a best in class solution.
Things only get going when everybody and everything pulls together. Eddie Jordan always had his eye on the bigger picture. Get the right people on the team, add the right components and anything is possible. It was. Bringing the right elements together is vital for your business as well. Which is why eircom business does it for you. By bringing landline, superfast broadband and unlimited eMobile together in one great value bundle youâ€™re free to focus on whatâ€™s really important â€“ driving your business forward.
eircom. Driving Business Forward
Visit eircom.ie/business Call 1800 303 504 Terms and conditions apply. See eircom.ie/business.
Compass Group Ireland signs sizzling deal
reland’s leading food and support services company, Compass Group Ireland, has signed a deal which will see Cork-based Hodgins Foods provide sausages and black pudding products to all of its units across the country. The deal reinforces Compass Group Ireland’s commitment to working with Irish suppliers and is valued at €400,000 a year for Hodgins Foods who source all of their pork in Ireland from Irish farmers. Hodgins will employ additional staff to meet the new contract’s supply demands. Hodgins foods is a family-run business based in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. Run by craft butcher Mervin and his
wife, they began distributing the sausages in 1993 when a local wholesaler heard about Mervin’s homemade sausages and asked if he could sample them. He was so impressed with the quality of the sausages that he requested a regular supply that he could distribute throughout Ireland. Employing over 30 people, Hodgins produces a range of specialised recipes for sausages and puddings which include gluten-free sausages and puddings, traditional and flavoured sausages and low fat sausages. Fiacra Nagle, managing director, Compass Group Ireland, said: “We are
absolutely committed to working with Irish suppliers wherever possible, and our partnership with Hodgins Foods will ensure that our customers continue to enjoy outstanding product, chosen for its quality, freshness and superb Irish recipe and heritage.”
Signs of hope for Irish jobseekers in Q4 2013, according to Manpower
here are some promising signs in the Irish labour market as employers report a net employment outlook of -4 per cent on the basis of seasonally adjusted data, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. This three percentage point improvement from both three months ago and last year at this time suggests that Ireland is
not back to its historical best but there is hope once again for Irish jobseekers as outlooks improve in most industry sectors and regions. The quarterly research includes interviews with 620 employers throughout Ireland who were asked “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of December 2013
Cara O’Leary, Sales Director, Manpower Ireland. 6 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
as compared to the current quarter?” Quarter over quarter, employers report improved hiring prospects in seven of the 11 industry sectors. Most noteworthy is the improvement reported by employers in the finance, insurance, real estate, business services sector and the construction sector where outlooks improve by eleven and nine percentage points, respectively. Meanwhile, the most pessimistic sector hiring prospects are reported by agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employers with an outlook of -18 per cent, the weakest forecast since Q4 2003. “We are seeing some improvement in the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey figures for Q4 2013, and this is a hopeful sign for jobseekers,” said Cara O’Leary, Sales Director, Manpower Ireland. “The forecast is relatively reserved, but employer confidence is growing both quarter over quarter and year over year. Most notable are the improvements in the construction, finance, insurance, real estate and business services sector – which were severely impacted by the downturn in our economy.”
Opening the Vault Ireland's first independent safety deposit box facility opened in September as a result of an initiative by two Irish entrepreneurs.
errion Private Vaults is the brainchild of jeweller Seamus Fahy and media owner, David Walsh, and is located at a secure location close to Merrion Square in Dublin. The vault, which has been constructed using the very latest state-of-the-art security technology, has several thousand safety deposit boxes of varying sizes. Clients will retain a deposit box for an annual fee that starts at a350 including VAT. Co-founder Seamus Fahy said that he always used safety deposit boxes as a jeweller in London for a number of years before returning to Dublin to set up Voltaire Diamonds – a diamonds by appointment specialist. “In London I rented safety deposit boxes – near the diamond district in Hatton Garden. Most of the people I worked with took this service for granted,” he recalls. “In fact there are safety deposit boxes available all over London.” However, when Fahy asked his bank in Dublin for a safety deposit box he was told no such facility could be provided as the banks were exiting this market. “That was three years ago. I realised that there must be many others in the same predicament – all seeking an affordable secure place to leave valuables like diamonds, gold etc,” Fahy says. He soon established a website, safetydepositboxes.ie, to gauge the level of interest in such a service here. The website garnered over 900 enquiries, primarily from all sections of Irish society and also from international business people and families living and working in Ireland. The venture was clearly worth pursuing.
Seamus Fahy and David Walsh, Merrion Private Vaults.
world,” explains Walsh. “Indeed many enquiries to the website have been from people abroad doing business in Ireland. They may be in Ireland for months at a time and want somewhere secure to leave their family’s passports and valuables while they are here.” Merrion Private Vault’s standard safety deposit box, which measures 3" x 5" x 24", costs a mere r350 (including VAT) a year, which is the equivalent of 78 cent a day, before VAT. There are four larger box sizes to choose from in order to meet customer requirements. “By keeping your valuables in Merrion Private Vault’s safety deposit box, you can remove them from your home insurance policy and reduce your premium,” Walsh points out. Independently-managed safety deposit boxes for individuals are a wellestablished service around the world but a new one to Ireland. Traditionally banks have provided boxes in various
While securing suitable premises for the vault, Fahy asked his friend David Walsh to become involved. Walsh owns Citybox, the largest mall media advertising company in Ireland and the UK. “An independent safety deposit box concept is tried and tested all over the
"By keeping your valuables in Merrion Private Vault’s safety deposit box, you can remove them from your home insurance policy and reduce your premium."
branches but are now ceasing or have ceased to provide them. Irish people have traditionally left important documents like property leases with their banks – often as security for loans – while keeping valuables like jewellery and cash at home. As well as valuables like jewellery, safety deposit boxes can also be used by businesses to store back-up data on their accounts including memory sticks and also for valuable documents such as leases and deeds. The start-up will initially create up to twenty jobs directly in the company and in supporting service providers. It is already taking advance bookings for the safety deposit boxes and has received ample enquiries to date. Merrion Private Vaults is conveniently located in the heart of Dublin, just off Merrion Square. Opening hours reflect the needs and schedules of the clients. Full details on Merrionprivatevaults.ie.
InBusiness | Q3 2013 7
Movers & shakers | News
Movers & Shakers New appointments in the business community nationwide. contractor market is becoming more and more regulated with international demands also affecting our Irish and international clients. The addition of Francis to our growing team, and his wealth of experience, highlights our continued commitment to ensure our clients can compete and be tax compliant on the international stage.”
planning, personal and corporate protection, and investments and inheritance tax planning to Grant Thornton. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Mooney held a number of senior positions and acted as a trusted adviser to a wide variety of corporate and professional clients. Most recently he spent six years at Invesco Pension and Investment Consultants and prior to that he was Pension Manager at Bank of Ireland Life. Commenting on his appointment, Mooney said: “I am delighted to be joining one of Ireland’s leading professional services firms. As it stands the team operate a very successful financial services division and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues to build on this success and further enhance the service Grant Thornton delivers to its clients.”
Pat Davitt - IPAV
Francis Farrell – Contracting PLUS Ireland’s leading accountant for professional contractors, Contracting PLUS has announced the appointment of Francis Farrell as Tax Director to lead their national and international tax teams. Farrell is a leading tax practitioner, specialising in employment tax, international mobility and social security. Having worked in this area for over 18 years, Farrell joins Contracting PLUS from Deloitte, where he was a Director on their Global Employer Services Group, previous to which he was a leading member of PricewaterhouseCoopers' employment tax team. He has advised many multinational organisations in respect of both their Irish and International tax obligation associated with employment tax and the cross border movement of people. Commenting on the appointment, Michael Dineen, Chairman and Founder of Contracting PLUS said: “The
Barry Mooney – Grant Thornton The regulated financial advisory arm of Grant Thornton has appointed Barry Mooney as Director of Financial Services-Investment, Life & Pensions, bringing over 18 years’ experience in the pension and investment industry. In his new position, Mooney will play a key role in expanding Grant Thornton’s Financial Counselling business which provides pension and financial advisory services to companies and individuals. He brings a wealth of expertise in personal and corporate retirement
Mullingar auctioneer and estate agent Pat Davitt has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV). Davitt, who has been in the auctioneering and insurance business for the past 31 years, has been a member of the IPAV since 1983 and served as president on two previous occasions. He succeeds outgoing Chief Executive Fintan McNamara. Davitt founded Davitt & Davitt Auctioneers in 1981 and was Managing Director of the company, now known as Sherry FitzGerald Davitt & Davitt, until 2010. He founded Davitt Davitt
Looking to add to your management team? Look no further than The Panel. Accountancy • Financial Services • Insurance • Banking • Funds • Legal • IT 8 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Movers & shakers | News
& Wallace Insurances in 1999 and was Managing Director until its sale to Campion Insurances in 2006. He was also heavily involved in accessing the Budapest property investment market and continues to have an interest there. Davitt is a past President of Mullingar Chamber of Commerce and a founder member of Midlands Gateway Chamber. He is a member of the Property Services Regulatory Board (PSRA), appointed by Mr Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence in 2012. He was a member of the Auctioneers' Review Group (ARG), appointed by Mr Michael McDowell TD, Tánaiste and Minister of Justice, Equality & Law Reform, from 2004-2006. He was also appointed an Arbitrator to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) where he served from 2004-2008.
Louise Connaughton – CIMA Ireland Louise Connaughton FCMA, CGMA has been elected chair of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Ireland, the all-island body representing 8,000 CIMA members and students. Connaughton was elected
subscription company. “Glossybox is an exciting, entrepreneurial company that has achieved huge global success since it was launched two and half years ago, selling four million boxes to date, Louise Connaughton, newly elected chair with Frank Nolan, with a box sold newly elected deputy chair, and Alan Flanagan, outgoing on average every chair CIMA Ireland. 20 seconds. The UK is one of the chair at the institute’s annual members best performing countries and I have meeting and succeeds outgoing chair, devised strategies to build on this even Alan Flanagan. further,” says Kavanagh. Connaughton is the European Glossybox is a monthly beauty operations manager for Xerox Europe subscription service, which delivers Limited Global Delivery Centres with five beauty samples wrapped in a operations in Dublin and Lisbon. Frank beautiful box straight to your door. Currently established in 15 countries Nolan has been elected deputy chair. worldwide, including Europe, China, Nolan is Finance Manager, Operations Japan, USA and Brazil, Kavanagh Beer Supply with Diageo and is a has been enlisted to run the UK and former Secretary, Deputy Chair and Chair for the CIMA Northern Area. Ireland office.
Rachel Kavanagh – Glossybox Global beauty subscription company Glossybox haved announced the appointment of a new UK and Ireland CEO in the form of Irish businesswoman, Rachel Kavanagh. Kavanagh brings with her a wealth of experience in the beauty industry as the founder and former managing director of multi-award winning brand Rockstar Tan. She welcomes the new direction and career change. Kavanagh will take complete responsibility for the UK and Irish Operations and drive continuous improvement in the operational and strategic performance of the
Tel: 01 637 7000 • www.thepanel.com InBusiness | Q3 2013 9
job creation | News
Job Creation InBusiness highlights some of the companies that are expanding operations and generating new employment opportunities around the country. I.T. Alliance Group Indigenous technology company I.T. Alliance Group is to create 75 jobs over the next year in a €2 million investment. The announcement was made at the official opening of the firm’s new 20,000 sq. ft. global headquarters in Park West, Dublin. The investment is supported by Enterprise Ireland. I.T. Alliance Group, which currently employs over 400 people, has developed a global niche as an IT outsourcing partner to the world’s leading IT outsourcing companies. The worldwide IT outsourcing (ITO) market is forecast to reach $288 billion in 2013. I.T. Alliance customers include Microsoft, BT, IBM, DELL and HP. I.T. Alliance started in a two person office in Dublin in 1997 and today its specialist areas include IT project management, IT service management, testing, infrastructure technologies and resource management.
years. The new jobs are being backed by the IDA.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is to invest €80 million in the development of a new medical education facility in Dublin. The development is expected to create 200 jobs during the construction phase, according to RCSI chief executive Cathal Kelly. The proposed facility will contain a two-storey underground gym, a 600-seat lecture theatre, two surgical simulations centres and a learning centre which will span three floors. The college is to fund the development through savings accrued from student fees and rental income from a number of properties it owns in Dublin city centre and a loan.
US technology company Qualcomm is to create 100 new jobs at its Mahon base in Cork. The firm is beginning the recruitment process immediately and is seeking engineers in particular. Qualcomm, which is based in San Diego, is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next generation wireless technologies. It has a 50 per cent share in the smartphone chip market and employs 26,600 people worldwide. Qualcomm set up in Cork last April and has operated in Dublin for the past five
Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has partnered with Australian retail chain Harvey Norman to open twelve new concession stores which will lead to the creation of eighty new jobs. The concession stores will open within each of Harvey Norman's outlets, with the first three Dublin stores set to be operational immediately. The mobile phone retailer says it also hopes to strike similar concession deals with a number of
10 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
“supermarkets and department stores” after Christmas, although it has not provided further details. The arrangement has been on trial at Harvey Norman’s Airside Retail Park outlet in north Dublin since last year. The Swords concession generated revenues higher than the average among Carphone Warehouse’s 80 Irish standalone stores, according to Peter Scott, managing director of Carphone Warehouse Ireland.
Airbnb Online accommodation service Airbnb is to establish its European headquarters in Dublin. It is understood that around 100 new jobs could be created as a result of the announcement. In a blog post on the company’s website, CEO Brian Chesky said the company would establish a Hospitality Innovation Lab and a European Customer Experience team in the capital. The decision has been welcomed by IDA Ireland CEO, Barry O'Leary, who said "Airbnb is a highly successful company bringing fresh, innovative ideas to the travel market and the broader digital economy. The company has already become a powerful brand globally, and it is great news to see Ireland now getting a chance to share in the company's success and future development." Airbnb was established in California in 2008 and currently boasts over 300,000 listings in 192 countries.
eircom business | cover story
Ronan Kneafsey, Managing Director of eircom Business, tells Joseph O'Connor how eircom is supporting Irish businesses and the public sector through its wide range of products, services and solutions and how it is forging a bigger footprint in the technology market.
Footprint 12 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
ver the last five years eircom has become much more than a communications provider. As Managing Director of eircom Business, Ronan Kneafsey is responsible for the products and services that eircom delivers to both public and private sector organisations. Having led the
eircom business | cover story eircom Business division through several significant transformations over the last few years, Kneafsey believes his team's experience has given them the inside track on the business community's technology needs. “As a result of the fact that we have been providing communications and IT infrastructure services to a large swathe of the private and public sectors in Ireland for many years, we have a lot of expertise and experience in translating our customers' business requirements into technology solutions that deliver business benefits,” he says. “In most cases, the services that we provide are fundamental to our customers' day-to-day operations, so in addition to our large investments in fibre and mobile networks, we are continually investing in developing a world-class service model.”
The Three Pillars eircom Business' services can be grouped into three main categories: • Fixed and mobile voice services • Data communications, including broadband • Managed services and solutions Fixed and mobile voice services cover all things telephony. This includes basic fixed landline and mobile telephony as well as advanced voice services for enterprises (such as freefone, teleconferencing and virtual private voice networks). Data communications refers to large private data networks which hook up IT systems for large corporations, linking their main offices with their branch offices so they can run all their IT systems effectively, plus broadband for small and medium enterprises. An example of this is the service eircom Business provides to the National Lottery. With approximately 3,500 sites around the country where people play the lottery, eircom provides the underlying network to connect this integrated system. It also includes eircom’s recently launched fibre-based broadband which offers speeds of up to 70Mb and eircom’s new 4G mobile data service, the first in Ireland. eircom’s 4G mobile network is the fastest in Ireland, and will give business users mobile data speeds of roughly ten times faster than previously available in areas where it
offers 4G. Kneafsey expects this to equate to average speeds of 20 to 25Mb, which he believes will “transform how many mobile business people do their day-today work. Accessing large multimedia files, uploading pictures or simply connecting to your company’s internal systems suddenly becomes almost as easy as when you’re in the office.” Finally, eircom Business offers a range of managed services and solutions to businesses, including managed network services, contact centre solutions, networking and security equipment. eircom Business is also one of the largest data centre operators in Ireland, providing hosting services to both Irish and global companies.
A Match Made in Cloud One international firm which eircom Business has partnered with in order to enhance its cloud proposition is Amazon Web Services (AWS). This partnership has boosted eircom's capability to add greater value to its customers who wish to reap the considerable benefits of cloud. AWS is the global market leader in the cloud sector, holding 60 to 70 per cent of the global market share, so teaming up with the cloud computing giant was a 'no-brainer', according to Kneafsey. “Our choice was two-fold; we could seek to build our own platform, which, as a regional telco, would be a challenge, or we could actually partner with a global player, and by far the market leader globally is Amazon Web Services. We felt for that reason they were really good partners for us, as they bring a vast, global platform to the table, while we have the strongest reach here on the ground, given that we already provide technology services to 100,000 business customers in Ireland.” The issue of cloud hosting and cloudbased IT services has been a lively discussion over recent years and eircom Business is determined to stay ahead of the curve in this area. The technology is in place and there is growing interest among companies determined to embrace it. Earlier this year, the Irish Greyhound Board announced a technology partnership with eircom Business enabling more international streaming of greyhound racing and data worldwide. The three-year deal,
“The mobile web is untapped for many SMEs and we want to change that.” valued at €1.1 million, sees eircom provide cloud computing and network services that will help to continue the modernisation of the Irish Greyhound Board through the latest cutting edge technology. This deal will bring new levels of entertainment and experiences to its customers and greyhound racing followers around the world, as well as help further reduce operational costs.
SAVINGS Reducing overheads is just one of the reasons why Kneafsey believes companies should embrace this technology. “There are a couple of things,” he says. “The biggest one is that it offers really good value for customers. Rather than having to spend a lot of money on expensive equipment that they may not necessarily fully utilise – except maybe during peak periods – they just pay for what they use as they use it.” The second real benefit of cloud is its flexibility and Kneafsey points to Smyths Toys as an example of a company which is using the service to its advantage. “It provides businesses with a lot of flexibility because they can increase and decrease their capacity in line with what they actually need,” he says. “They pay only for what they use - it's highly scalable. Smyths Toys, for example, has a peak in demand at certain times of the year for customers buying toys online - like Christmas. What the cloud allows them to do is actually meet that spike in demand very seamlessly, because there is huge capacity in the AWS platform, and then come January they can wind their capacity down and so reduce costs. What eircom does is help businesses such as Smyths Toys identify what parts of their IT estate can reasonably move to a cloud environment, design the cloud solution, migrate them, and then provide our customers with an enterprise-grade service level agreement once they are live, based on our ISO accredited service management model.” InBusiness | Q3 2013 13
eircom business | cover story
Ronan Kneasfey with Dryden Geary of Smyths Toys.
A Boost to Business Research conducted recently by Google found tens of thousands of small firms in Ireland do not trade online, losing valuable opportunities to target larger markets and increase revenue. With small and medium enterprises constituting over 99 per cent of businesses in Ireland, the prosperity of the wider economy may well be determined by the success and growth of these companies. Enabling businesses to develop a strong digital and mobile strategy is something high on eircom’s agenda. Digital Boost is an eircom initiative which helps SMEs to ‘boost’ their digital presence with the focus on smaller screens, such as smartphones and tablets. “eircom Business is committed to
helping Irish companies improve their business performance online. There is huge potential for SMEs to reach out to customers online - in particular, the rapidly growing number of people who are using their smartphones to browse for goods and services. The mobile web is untapped for many SMEs and we want to change that. Research has shown that more than 80 per cent of people who own a smartphone are using those handheld devices to browse online for goods and services. SMEs need to be able to target that market directly and Digital Boost now has advice on this as well as tips on how Apps can benefit businesses”. Kneafsey believes that Digital Boost has been successful in making more of the SME community aware of the tangible
“What we are doing is bringing a new dynamic to the mobile market, offering exceptional value, particularly through our mobile, broadband and landline bundles, so that's a core part of our strategy.” 14 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
results that can be achieved from being online but acknowledges that there is plenty more to do in the area. “There is a still a fair way to go for many Irish businesses really leveraging the web. We wanted to promote the advantages of businesses adopting the online model, and that's what Digital Boost is about. If you're a small business, being online can be about making yourself appear a lot bigger than you are and being able to grow your business more quickly than you would otherwise in a bricks and mortar environment.”
The Next Generation With the continued rollout of its WiFiHub service, coupled with the recent launch of eircom’s 4G network and investment to improve its 3G network, it is expected that eircom customers will be able to enjoy greater connectivity over a range of mobile solutions in the near future. The company is strongly focused on improving its 3G mobile coverage with 20 per cent of its 3G network sites having been upgraded using the newly acquired U900 spectrum. Under the new
eircom business | cover story
eircom's 4G rollout •
eircom’s 4G mobile service offers mobile data speeds that are up to 10 times faster than previously available. Users can expect peak speeds will reach between 20 to 25Mbps. Business users will experience significantly enhanced web browsing, email and video streaming. eircom has committed an investment of €330m to 4G over a five year period. The service is now live in Dublin, Carlow and Athlone, providing service to 1.2 million customers, almost 30% of the population. Over the coming weeks, rollout will continue to other key urban areas including Cork, Galway and Limerick. By the end of December 2013, 43% of the population will have 4G service.
measures, 74 per cent of customers will experience much improved data coverage and higher speeds where they previously would have had only 2G. eircom is rolling out Dual Carrier 3G to Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway that doubles its 3G speeds from a peak of 21Mbit/s to 42Mbit/s for customers with compatible handsets. The first phase is due to be completed soon covering Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. It is hoped that by June 2014, close to 70 per cent of eircom's 3G sites will be providing 42Mb. Meanwhile, eircom is investing heavily in its 4G services, with its first sites now operational in Dublin, Athlone and Carlow. Fourth generation mobile technology will provide broadband internet access to devices such as tablets and smartphones. The main difference between it and its predecessors is faster data transfer speeds and the types of media that can be accessed on a 4G-enabled device.
These 3G and 4G service developments all come on the back of the launch of eircom's eMobile business service. This is designed to address the requirements of Irish businesses – from SMEs to enterprises and the public sector – and aims to give businesses the freedom to work as they need to and help them manage their costs more effectively. Kneafsey believes eircom's entrance into this market has freshened up a somewhat stagnant space. “We are a new entrant to a market with a very limited number of providers, so there's a lot more choice available to business customers now that we have launched our business eMobile service. What we are doing is bringing a new dynamic to the mobile market, offering exceptional value, particularly through our mobile, broadband and landline bundles, so that's a core part of our strategy. We can already see that our bundled offerings are fundamentally changing the game, by offering Irish
“We have a lot of expertise and experience in translating our customers' business requirements into technology solutions that deliver business benefits.”
businesses value that they’ve never seen before, in an integrated package.”
Investing in its Future With such significant investments being made across a range of services, eircom Business has positioned itself well to provide communications and IT solutions to all kinds of businesses across the country. Working within an industry that is ever-changing has meant eircom can take nothing for granted and it can expect a busy year in 2014 in order to keep ahead of the curve. Kneafsey believes its investment in both people and technology has enabled the company to keep its business customers satisfied. “We have a very strong service heritage within the organisation so we're used to supporting mission-critical technology infrastructure for our customers on a 24/7 basis. That's a key element of what we have. It's part of our DNA. It's what we do and we've spent a lot of time investing very heavily in our service model, both from a people perspective – investing in our people and making sure we have the right capabilities to support the various technical solutions that we offer – but also in the technology which helps us support our customers in the right way.” InBusiness | Q3 2013 15
shannon airport | Feature
A Gateway to Prosperity
Neil Pakey, Shannon Airport CEO.
Having separated from the Dublin Airport Authority at the end of last year, Shannon Airport has gone from strength to strength, with more services from the US, in particular, but also Europe and the UK offering a significant boost to the region’s economy. Shannon CEO Neil Pakey spoke to Dean Van Nguyen about the challenge of developments, the importance of Shannon to the region’s economy and the airport’s future.
hannon Airport was granted full independence from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) last December, the airport merging with a restructured Shannon Development to form a new, publicly-owned, commercial body. In July, the Government formally approved the drafting of the Shannon Aviation Services and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2013, paving the way for the creation of the new Shannon Group. The move was welcomed 16 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
enthusiastically by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar, who asserted his satisfaction that Shannon Airport could perform to its full potential without the constraints of DAA control. “The decision taken today is an historic one and will free the board and management of Shannon Airport, together with their employees, to bring a fresh approach to the future development of the airport,” said Varadkar. Currently overseeing Shannon’s
evolution is Neil Pakey, who was appointed new CEO in May. Boasting over 30 years’ experience in the industry, the 52-year-old Scot has previously enjoyed stints as Managing Director of Liverpool John Lennon Airport and CEO of Peel Airports Ltd, as well as holding senior management positions at Manchester Airport. Pakey has taken the reins at a time of considerable change but he believes the new Shannon comes with great
Shannon airport | Feature opportunity, as well as some challenge. “Coming into the role obviously these were quite exciting times for me and the business,” beams Pakey. “Clearly business continuity is the first thing you have to ensure happens and that obviously couldn’t be taken for granted in terms of the importance of safety, security and all that. So the airport secured those things. In terms of organisation, we have to look at the organisation for the way we want the business to go. So for sure you’ve got the usual challenges of streamlining the business and taking it in the direction of travel. The merging of business always has big opportunities and things you have to sort out.”
A boost in employment When the Government revealed Shannon was to separate from the DAA, it also announced plans for an International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) – something Minister Varadkar called “a key element” of Shannon’s future that would build “on a range of aviation-related activities already undertaken in Shannon such as aircraft maintenance and leasing”. Jobs would follow as this entity developed. “Airport users, service providers, and
prospective new airport customers including airlines and companies have expressed an overwhelming desire to deal directly with Shannon on a separated basis,” added Varadkar. According to Pakey, IASC is a central component of the long term strategy as they look to build on the existing 40 aviation-related companies in Shannon. “There’s already an aviation cluster here in terms of businesses,” he says. “We’re well known for our aircraft leasing business, for example, but there’s also quite a lot of repairs and maintenance work going on here. So you already have, through the initial development of the Shannon Free Zone, an aviation cluster here to develop, take to the next level, and build upon. Over the last couple of months since I’ve been in office we’ve had quite a few meetings with potential partners and potential businesses to come in and further take that forward.”
Economic growth Since Pakey’s arrival, Shannon has enjoyed an increase in US flights with airlines US Airways, United Airlines and Delta. This has seen a dramatic turnaround in passenger numbers on US services, up by as much as 39 per cent in summer months on the equivalent
“Airport users, service providers, and prospective new airport customers including airlines and companies have expressed an overwhelming desire to deal directly with Shannon on a separated basis.”
month last year. In addition, last July Aer Lingus announced that year-round transatlantic services between Shannon Airport and New York and Boston would be restored. The news delighted the Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins who shortly after the announcement said the decision would give a significant boost to industry and tourism in the West of Ireland. “Aer Lingus’s decision provides a wonderful boost to an airport that is slowly but surely finding its feet in the months since autonomy was achieved,” said Arkin. “One need only visit the airport to see how the entire atmosphere has changed there. The commencement of new services between the USA and continental Europe in recent months has given management at Shannon the confidence to push on and garner new business.” Pakey echoes these sentiments, stressing the importance for the region’s economy that Shannon be “recognised across the Atlantic as being a gateway to the West of Ireland”. “Getting those US services has been a tremendous boost for the tourism or the visitor economy across the West of Ireland,” he says. “We’ve had good feedback from right up to the North West to as far south as Kerry in terms of servicing that market. “The biggest impact has certainly been that and you feel it when you go around the communities, the hotels and visitor attractions. They’ve all seen an increase in their numbers. “I think the feedback we’ve had from Kerry in particular demonstrates that without our services at that level
The Loop, Shannon Airport. InBusiness | Q3 2013 17
shannon airport | Feature
Future challenges “Whether it is people Formerly Chair of the UK Airport in Clare, the local area, Operators Association, there’s little in the industry that Pakey hasn’t already seen. and Limerick, or But just three months into his new post and he’s enjoying that challenge, happily whether it’s further citing the welcome he received locally as a afield, I think primary reason. “I think my enjoyment of it has been everybody wants enhanced by the warmth of the people,” to have a growing and he says. “Whether it is people in Clare, the local area, and Limerick, or whether developing Shannon it’s further afield, I think everybody wants to have a growing and developing airport because they Shannon airport because they can see it’s good for their business. So therefore, the can see it’s good for opportunities to develop partnerships, their business.” work with communities and gain more in the past, basically they’ve suffered somewhat in the visitor economy. Hotel bookings were down and so forth. By re-establishing those links and working with the brand Tourism Ireland [has] created [in] The Gathering, that’s really been a boost to the economy in these parts and in confidence, and hopefully from confidence, you continue to grow the economy.” Being recognised by the US as a gateway to the West of Ireland for tourism and business, is something Pakey hopes to replicate in other parts of the world. 18 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
and more customer loyalty is there to be built upon. It just takes a little bit more resource in those areas from our side and then we can really start to build the right stakeholder relationships and hopefully keep things going.” Moving forward, there are many challenges, from continuing the upward trajectory in passenger numbers, to developing IASC and, in the short term, achieving a solid financial footing. And the portents are good, with Shannon on course to reach its target of breaking even this year. According to figures published in The Irish Independent, June was the
first time in five years that Shannon managed to reverse declining passenger numbers, with figures climbing 8 per cent to 160,573, while in July they rose 9 per cent to 173,558. Varadkar has previously stated that if Shannon cannot raise its annual traffic numbers from 1.6 million to 2.5 million by 2021 it’s unlikely to have a long-term future, but Pakey is confident those numbers can be achieved. But in the more immediate future further developments are expected, with 2014 set to be as progressive for the airport as this year has been. “Hopefully [there will be] some more announcements,” reveals Pakey. “Certainly with the US carriers, there seems to be more of a business case based on results for them to have more confidence in putting more capacity on, whether that’s extended to the summer seasons or whether it’s going year round or going into the shoulder periods, for example around the seasons. And then hopefully we can show the US experience, some of the success of that, to some of the European markets and apply a similar approach to those markets. So there is quite a bit of development hopefully over the next 12 months to continue to do.” For profiles of the companies and organisations helping shape the future of the Shannon region turn to page 87. InBusiness | Q3 2013 18
Tell Us What You Want, We Will Source it For You (with a little “savoir faire”!) UBIFRANCE IRELAND is the Trade Commission of the French Embassy. This Governmental Agency is dedicated to finding business partners to Irish Companies by sourcing products from France. This complementary service to Irish companies saves them both time and money.
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opportunity africa | feature
Andrew Rugasira, Good African Coffee-Uganda, Minister of State Joe Costello, Dr Oluwakemi Bashorun, TCD, Francis Grogan, CEO Zambeef-Zambia, and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore at the 2013 Africa Ireland Economic Forum.
Opportunity Africa Ireland's relationship with Africa goes back a long way, from the work of missionaries to a strong development aid programme. Now, with a growing middle class population on the continent, the time is ripe for the focus to shift from aid to trade. Joseph O'Connor reports on how Africa is open for business.
ften when we think of Africa we are struck with images of famine, corruption, war and poverty. This can be a result of negative media coverage over a long period of time or the policy of NGOs and aid organisations, which use such images as part of their campaigns to generate aid. That is not to say these injustices are not happening in certain regions but it is a
complex and diverse continent that is undergoing radical change and playing an ever more important role on the global stage. At a time when much focus is on economies such as the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Africa has risen from the shadows of its difficult colonial past to begin promoting its wealth of resources and
attractive investment markets. It's one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world and this year, on average, the African economy will grow by five per cent. Meanwhile, Central Statistics Office figures show that Irish exports of goods and services to Africa were valued at over €2.7 billion in 2011. That's compared to €21.5 billion to the US. So Irish businesses are taking note. InBusiness | Q3 2013 21
opportunity africa | feature Government Strategy Responding to these new realities in Africa, the Irish Government launched its Africa Strategy in September 2011. The new strategy coherently brings together the different elements of Ireland's engagement with Africa, including efforts to build on development partnerships, advancing political objectives and strengthening trade and investment. It recognises that Africa is a diverse continent and that the pace and extent of progress is not uniform. Therefore the Government's strategy is to have a different approach in each country. Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello outlines the main thinking behind the strategy: “It was sort of a rethink of where we are in terms of our engagement with Africa and in terms of Irish Aid, and we've very much come to the conclusion that the problems experienced by Africa of poverty and development cannot be solved by aid alone and that there needed to be a very strong economic business investment input as well.” As part of this push to strengthen economic investment, the Africa Ireland Economic Forum was born. Now in its third year, the Forum provides an opportunity for representatives of African governments and Irish business leaders to discuss trade and investment
“It's interesting that during the Celtic Tiger there was scarcely a company at all, except for a couple of large companies, that had any interest in looking at Africa and now there's an enormous refocus.” 22 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
issues. This year's Forum, which took place in October, ran over the course of three days. It was the largest ever gathering of African and Irish business leaders, with directors and CEOs from over 200 Irish companies and delegates from more than 20 African countries in attendance; a good indication of the growing interest being expressed by the business community as well as embassies. Today, more than 170 Irish companies are doing
lease of life in Africa and is, for example, now engaged in providing the entire electricity for Botswana as well as a lot of other areas. Kenmare Resources is very much involved in Mozambique and companies like Kents and PW are huge employers right across various areas and they're in Nigeria and a number of countries around Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa. And of course there are the dairy companies with Glanbia and Nutricia involved in a number of areas. So we have a renewed interest with the result that since 2009 the Irish exports to Africa have increased by 200 per cent.”
An Enterprising Move
business in South Africa and employing over 13,000 people locally. In West Africa, Irish companies now employ more than 15,000 people directly. These figures are testament to the positive change in Ireland's relationship with Africa and these companies are leading the way for others to follow. “It's interesting that during the Celtic Tiger there was scarcely a company at all, except for a couple of large companies, that had any interest in looking at Africa and now there's an enormous refocus,” says Minister Costello of the radical change in attitude among Irish businesses. He outlines some of the Irish success stories thus far. “Tullow Oil has been very much involved and successful in areas like Ghana and Uganda. ESB International is getting a whole new
One organisation helping Irish companies to establish or build a presence in Africa is Enterprise Ireland. The government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets took a significant step in February 2012 by opening an office in Johannesburg, South Africa. The main purpose of the office is to provide a comprehensive service to clients seeking to increase their business in South Africa or Sub-Saharan Africa, including full research and partnering services. It aims to facilitate and to grow Irish trade with South Africa and act as a gateway to the greater continent. Fred Klinkenberg is Enterprise Ireland's Country Manager for South Africa. He explains the factors behind the move: “We saw strong economic growth across the board in Africa and we saw a very strong client interest in Africa. What we have said we would do as part of the decision - we established a base in South Africa because it is the country where we see the broadest base of companies from Ireland active. We have 200 clients active here. Thirty of those would have an operation established in this market. The others would actually work through third parties; local people, local partners. And those 30 companies which are active in this market would employ about 13,000 South Africans. We see South Africa as
opportunity africa | feature
Africa: The Stats •
• the gateway into Africa. So we start here and that's really our main focus.” South Africa, with a population of 48 million, and access to the 900 million Sub-Saharan African market, has experienced over 17 years of uninterrupted growth. It is the main economy in Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 30 per cent of total GDP, and is seen as the ‘gateway to the region’ with many South African companies trading on a cross-border basis. Nigeria is another market high on Enterprise Ireland's agenda and the organisation is seeing growing interest from its clients in establishing a link with the West African nation. This comes ahead of a planned trade mission to both South Africa and Nigeria this November. The focus of this mission is on growth sectors such as e-learning / education, financial services technologies and telecoms. The mission will link up with the AfricaCom trade fair in Cape Town.
Market Challenges In terms of the challenges facing Irish companies entering the African market for the first time, a shortage of skilled labour and poor regional integration have been cited as barriers to business. There are of course some cultural nuances which companies will encounter when doing business on the continent, but no more than in other regions, according
to Klinkenberg. “In the years that I have been with Enterprise Ireland, I've been involved in opening the office in Sao Paolo in Latin America, in Toronto where we had no office. I would say certainly between Sao Paolo, South America and Africa, I think Africa is the easy one in my view.” There are a number of common bonds between Ireland and Africa that perhaps go unnoticed when looking at the viability of doing business there, which Klinkenberg highlights: “We are English-spoken here, we have no time difference really. It's very Western, very European, very Britishfocused. So in terms of barriers – distance is a barrier, the time that it may take in terms of your cycle from first approach to final deal – it's not a barrier but you just need to be aware that that can take time, but no more time than in any other market I would suspect. The importance in Africa though is when you talk about these countries is to have a good local partner. I think for those companies that trade with Africa who can't set up their own operation because of resources and therefore have to trade via third parties – really the challenge is to find the right local partner. That's what we are geared to assist and that's our mainstay if you like in terms of why we are here.”
Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda had GDP growth averaging 6.5 per cent from 2005 to 2010. Africa has 60 per cent of the world's uncultivated arable land, 60 per cent of the world's diamond reserves, 40 per cent of its gold reserves and over 80 per cent of its platinum and chromium reserves. Africa has a collective GDP to rival Brazil’s or Russia’s. Mining in Africa has now bypassed Australia and Canada as the number one region where mining and investments are made in the world. By 2020 Africa’s collective GDP will reach $2.6 trillion, while the continent’s consumers will spend $1.4 trillion on goods and services. By 2040, Africa will be home to the world's largest working-age population.
An Experienced Presence With more than 14 million personal and corporate clients across Africa and the Indian Ocean, and a significant network of over 2,540 distribution points, Barclays is well positioned to provide first-hand experience and support to Irish companies looking to play a wider role in Africa’s future. The bank has a unique presence in Africa, dating back more than 100 years, and today delivers extensive personal and corporate banking services in 13 African countries. Benette van Dyk is Director of Trade Finance with Barclays Bank Ireland. Having formerly headed trade finance teams with the Standard Bank of South Africa and the FirstRand Group, the South African native is perfectly placed to support Barclays Bank Ireland’s clients looking to explore opportunities in Africa, leveraging her knowledge of the continent's trading environment. She believes the EU and US markets have become saturated and that now is the ideal time for Irish companies to look further afield; to look to Africa. “There is a huge up-and-coming middle class,” she says. “Africa has resources, there are commodities, and the middle InBusiness | Q3 2013 23
opportunity africa | feature class want quality goods which Ireland can cater for. There is also a lot of infrastructure being built in Africa and there are a number of engineering companies in Ireland that can carry out engineering work there. Irish companies do have the expertise which is why we really focus on Africa.” Last year, Barclays Bank Ireland published the findings of a report ‘Trade with Africa‘ which asked 200 Irish companies, which ranged in size from those with turnovers of €250 million plus to those with turnovers of less than €1 million, about their views on Africa as a place to do business. It found that while respondents were wary of the continent as a business partner, an impressive 91 per cent believe there is opportunity for Irish businesses today and 62 per cent believe this will develop positively over the next decade. A less positive finding of the report is that only eight per cent of those businesses surveyed said they planned to take ‘full’ advantage of the opportunities Africa presents, with the majority 62 per cent preferring to take ‘some’ advantage of these opportunities. The results reveal how there is still a reluctance to tap into the market, with perceived corruption remaining the biggest single barrier for Irish exporters looking to trade there, followed by poor governance and the current state of the continent’s infrastructure. Van Dyk believes that Irish companies should be opportunistic when assessing the market. “Businesses see the opportunities but they are scared of it because Africa is so big, and because they perceive it as corrupt and that there is no infrastructure,” she says. “This can be true, but what we try to show the businesses is that where the problems exist, they also create opportunities. Where there is a lack of infrastructure, for example, there is an opportunity to build it.” Despite some scepticism, van Dyk and Barclays will continue to encourage Irish companies, both big and small, to explore opportunities in Africa. “From a Barclays point of view, we are already present there. We have 50,000 people on the ground. We are not going away and will continue to invest in Africa. The opportunities are tremendous when it comes to Africa. Other banks haven't seen it 24 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
yet, or maybe not on the same scale, and the businesses that wake up to it now and actually grab those opportunities in Africa will be the ones to be there in the future because they entered the market before everyone tried to access it,” she concludes.
Future Shift Overall, it seems that Ireland has well and truly shifted its focus on Africa from aid to trade. Some companies are well ahead of the curve, having tapped into the vast market at an early stage; some are assessing the opportunities available and seeking advice from the likes of Enterprise Ireland and Barclays; while Benette van Dyk, Director of Trade Finance, Barclays Bank Ireland. others remain sceptical and somewhat daunted by a continent that feels too unfamiliar. the African people and we don't want Despite this major shift, Minister Costello anything to tarnish that. That's the sort of is determined the Government does not goodwill factor we will take when we are lose sight of the development challenges preaching to all our companies.” that remain on the continent and its In terms of what lies ahead for the commitment to addressing them. “We African economy, the continent is vast and are very much focused on Sub-Saharan inevitably different countries will move at Africa because there is still huge poverty, a different pace. But as a whole, the signs there's still huge diseases like malaria, are positive. McKinsey Global projected HIV, there's still very large numbers of that by 2020 Africa’s collective GDP will children dying through lack of nutrition. reach $2.6 trillion, while the continent’s But then that's one side of the coin and consumers will spend $1.4 trillion on we're dealing with that, our aid goes to goods and services. Perhaps to put some the areas of greatest need. But at the same perspective on this phenomenal growth at time all governments need to build up a time when much of the developed world their economy and that's an area that we struggles with recession, Fred Klinkenberg are focusing on as well.” provides me with an interesting anecdote; Minister Costello is also conscious of one which may seem overly optimistic approaching investment in the right yet indicative of how radical some of the manner and is keen to highlight those changes are. He retells a story delivered entering the market for the first time. by Swedish finance minister Anders Borg He says: “It's an exciting new approach at the World Economic Forum in South that we're engaged in when dealing with Africa earlier this year. Klinkenberg recalls: Africa and at the same time we are very “He told a story that in a hypothetical anxious that we do it in a manner that case in the year 2060 when he had a builds on our traditional relationship discussion with his granddaughter, that with Africa. We don't want to do it in any his granddaughter would say, 'was it really sort of exploitative or predatory fashion. true Grandad that at one stage Africa was We do it in the sense of engagement; we poorer than Europe?' If you think about build on the missionaries, we build on that one, it puts a perspective on the thing. Irish Aid; we build on our traditional The aid to trade story - that's really the relationship with African countries, with road we are walking on.”
Africa – exploring new opportunities for Irish companies Many Irish businesses now view Africa as more of an opportunity than a challenge. Certainly, as Africa develops, Irish attitudes towards trading with this high-growth emerging market are increasingly positive. Waking up to Africa’s potential Africa is a vast continent of 1.5 billion people in 55 countries, presenting many new trade opportunities. Historically, Irish businesses have tended to look to familiar territories first, such as the EU, the UK and the US. However, many of our clients are now seeing the benefits of expanding their horizons. The traditional concerns regarding poor transportation, unwieldy bureaucracy and payment security are still pertinent, but increasingly, companies are able to mitigate these risks.
infrastructure with the banks. Irish businesses must sustain their burgeoning optimism towards Africa to reap the benefits of emerging opportunities.
Positive outlook for Irish exporters Fortunately, Irish business is responding positively. Research undertaken by Barclays Bank Ireland PLC shows that Irish businesses see Africa as a growing opportunity, particularly in key sectors such as food and beverage, engineering and energy, telecommunications and IT, and life sciences4.
“African consumers are developing a taste for Irish quality.”
Africa is changing. Its fast-growing middle class is developing a spending power attracted to high-end goods that have to be imported. What’s more, African consumers are developing a taste for Irish quality, particularly in the food, beverage and services industries. And the very concerns many still harbour regarding Africa are providing some of the greatest opportunities. Investment in African infrastructure is providing openings for Irish construction, engineering, telecommunication and energy firms.
Execution is becoming easier. The continent is developing a series of trading hubs, with good governance, that can be used as launch pads across Africa. These include South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Ghana. With over 50,000 staff in Africa, we have a strong presence in these hubs and in other key economies such as Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. At Barclays, our aim is to demystify Africa. We have local trading experience and provide support to Irish businesses operating on the continent. Our clients can benefit from our global banking network and on-the-ground support, helping them achieve their African objectives and ambitions.
Certainly, Africa’s infrastructure needs are vast, with estimates suggesting US$69.7 billion will be spent on energy, water and transportation projects by 20201. Some 600 million2 people still live in remote areas with no access to electricity, which is likely to provide opportunities for the renewable energy sector. Around US$30 billion3 is required to upgrade the roads, railways and ports vital for Africa to continue its stellar recent performance – providing opportunities for Irish construction. Of course, many African states remain financially constrained – meaning that Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are becoming a popular route for developing
Benette van Dyk Head of Trade Finance Barclays Bank Ireland PLC E: email@example.com
To find out more about how Barclays Bank Ireland PLC can support your business expansion into Africa, contact Benette van Dyk on 01 618 2677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Calls may be monitored or recorded for security and quality purposes. 1Source: World Bank, 2011 in reference to the energy, water and transportation spend. 2Source: Internal Energy Agency: World Energy Outlook (2011). 3Source: World Bank, 2011. 4Source: Barclays, November 2012. Barclays Bank Ireland PLC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered in Ireland. Registered Address: Two Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Registered No. 396330.
26 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
AN POST | FEATURE
Benefits to Being Direct
Having launched last year by An Post, Admailer.ie is an excellent service for local businesses to target specific addresses and get their products out to the masses. SeĂĄn Travers speaks to Amie Peters, Head of Direct Mail at An Post, about this useful new technology.
irect mail has often been perceived by businesses as a complicated service with many preferring the more straightforward local press or radio to gain exposure. With Admailer, An Post is trying to make direct mail more accessible and affordable for businesses who want to advertise. "Admailer is a really useful tool for any businesses to get their product or service out to a wide range of customers in their local area. We call it 'turning your neighbours into customers'," says Amie Peters, Head of Direct Mail at An Post. The Admailer.ie website uses an easy three step process in sending out a local postcard campaign. The first step will take the user to a map screen where they can type in an address around Ireland and the map will automatically zoom into that address and pinpoint the location. The user will then be able to use a "radius or slider tool and a pencil tool", to control, customise and select a number of addresses within that specific area. The second step involves creating a highly customisable postcard to send out to their target market. Admailer provides a great variety of templates which in themselves are highly customisable. Businesses with no creative resources can use these templates with great ease, while others, which are more design-friendly, can upload their own templates online. Businesses are able to upload their own logos on the site, write related text or include images that are suited towards their market. The third step involves payment. Admailer's price includes the data, print and postage and to send out a postcard costs just 58c, which is "less than the
price of a stamp", according to Peters. Admailer has a minimum of 200 addresses that they can deliver postcards to, which means the minimum cost of direct mail on Admailer is just â‚Ź116 ex VAT. Peters says: "There is no maximum number of addresses so users of the service can customise how far reaching their direct mail is or just target specific locations." Peters assures users that the service will be able to tailor everything to their business needs and that it is not an "all or nothing service". Many businesses are taking advantage of Admailer's high customisation. "John's Meats Company from Monkstown are one of the early adopters of our service," explains Peters. "He got his staff to stand behind the counter with all beautiful meats on display and took a photograph on his iPhone. He uploaded it to Admailer and put a very simple offer of a 15 per cent discount on the back of the card. He initially decided to test one side of his street to which got fantastic results. Many customers loved the personalised postcard. He then sent the postcard out to the other side of the street. What I love to see is that he tested it first, used his own image of his staff and he very cleverly put a very simple offer on the back. Businesses that are doing that are getting the best results from our service." It's not just small local businesses that are using the service. Dominos Pizza and Magnet Networks are two of their biggest clients who regularly avail of Admailer.ie. With Admailer being such a successful and innovative tool for An Post, they are now gearing themselves up for the 2014 An Post Direct Marketing Awards
which will launch at the beginning of next year. Peters says the awards have grown exponentially over the years with more and more companies entering. She says the significance of direct marketing is that "businesses are looking for measurable marketing and they realise that they can be recognised for this at the Direct Marketing Awards". Last year, Cork-based Forza Direct Marketing picked up the award for Best Creative Campaign in promoting thermoform provider, Tekpak. Peters says the team at An Post are excited to see what candidates will bring to the table for next year's awards amid a time when more companies are seeing the tangible benefits from direct marketing.
Amie Peters. InBusiness | Q3 2013 27
Nanotechnology | Feature
Up & Atom Strides in nanoscience are benefiting businesses in Ireland and across the world. Conor Forrest spoke with Professor John Boland from Trinity College Dublin's CRANN Institute to find out more.
any birthdays around the globe are celebrated with cake, but few of these cakes, if any, are small enough to be dwarfed by a single grain of salt, barring a terrible misunderstanding with the caterers. Unless you're Irish nanoscience institute CRANN, that is, which recently created the world's smallest birthday cake etched onto a coin in celebration of their tenth year in existence. Their birthday cake measured just 500 nanometres in height, 2000 times smaller than the full stop at the end of this sentence.
Nanoscience Nanoscience is the study of atoms, molecules and objects on the nanoscale – 1-100 nanometres (nm) – where a human hair measures 80,000nm in 28 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
diameter. Nanotechnology was first introduced by Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman in 1959 when he proposed using regular-size robots to continually construct smaller and smaller replicas of themselves until they reached the molecular stage. Nanoscience has come a long way since then, and its products already inhabit the world around us – present in a host of commercial items such as mobile phones, laptops, sunscreen and cosmetic products. It's widely accepted that nanotechnology could revolutionise the world as we know it over the course of the next two decades in areas such as disease identification, renewable energy and ultra high speed communications. “The emergence of nanoscience has allowed us to see for the first time what
is going on at very small scales. What's so exciting about nanoscience is that we've learned some of the rules of how to make materials very smart, and how to integrate those materials to make better quality products. It's the first time we've been able to visualise what's happening on these scales,” explains Professor John Boland from the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) at Trinity College Dublin.
Where is Nano? For many, when they think about nanoscience and nanotechnology, it's something far removed from everyday life, restricted to nameless laboratories and scientists in white coats. The fact is, however, nanotechnology is all around
their feet which let them climb or stick to almost any surface, while some species of butterfly have nanofeatures in their wings which create colour by diffracting and scattering light.
Nanotech Around ten per cent of exports from Ireland are nano-enabled. In sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT), the nanotechnology element is incredibly important, as they seek to bring components to smaller and smaller dimensions. “The new chips Intel are making are 14 nanometres in size. The microprocessor in your laptop now is approaching having the same number of transistors as there are people on planet Earth,” says Boland. “Nanomaterials are also showing up in areas such as therapeutics and diagnostics. The critical thing about nanoscience is that it allows you to take very small objects which are even too small to see, and to add something to those materials so they can be made to go to specific areas, or assemble in specific ways. So you can make very smart drugs, that can target very specific regions of your body, for example regions which are diseased.” Trinity College Dublin's CRANN Institute.
us, even if we can't see it. Your iPhone, for example, contains nanotechnology in its memory drives. Microsoft's Xbox uses nanotech to improve performance – the 360 model contains 165 million transistors using IBM's nanotechnology. Nano coatings are used on guitar strings for better sound quality, golf clubs using Nanopreme shafts are stronger and lighter while some swim suits use nano coatings to make the material waterrepellant. Toyota uses nanocomposites in bumpers making them 60 per cent lighter yet twice as resistant to dents and scratches. Some Daewoo fridges use nanosilver which has antibacterial properties, nanomaterials are helping with the battery life of tools, while nanoparticles are also used in many makeup products. And nanotech isn't just man-made – it's found in nature too. Nanoparticles are constantly generated by sea spray or vegetation, and have been found in volcanoes in some instances. Geckos have nanofeatures on
Recognition Nanoscience is a broad concept, incorporating many different disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering under one large umbrella. Ireland is currently quite strong in this arena, ranked 6th in the world in nanoscience, and 8th in the world for materials science. “These rankings are based on publications by Irish scientists and are widely recognised throughout the world. In Ireland, about 70 per cent of those publications actually come from the CRANN Institute. We have emerged as a major player since entering the field about ten years ago with the foundation of CRANN,” says Boland. “We've grown as the government has invested in nanoscience and the development of world class facilities here in Ireland, which we've used to attract the best researchers to Ireland. CRANN has over 350 researchers from 45 different countries. Even companies from outside of Ireland come here to work with CRANN because they recognise the value of our research and
Melanie Crowley, Partner at Mason, Hayes & Curran.
Professor John Boland, Trinity College Dublin's CRANN Institute.
want to engage with a world leader.”
Broad The spheres of research at CRANN are quite expansive, and cover many different sectors, oftentimes with multiple uses for any particular discovery or technology. “It's relatively broad,” Boland explains. “That's the wonderful thing about nanoscience – the ideas you develop are useful in multiple sectors.” Take graphene, for example, the world's new wonder material; thin as an atom yet 200 times stronger than steel. With graphene flakes, one application involves the construction of nextgeneration transistors. However, the same material can be used to make extra strong, light weight plastics. CRANN are currently exploring uses for these materials, such as the manufacture of explosion-resistance petrol tanks for cars and light-weight aeroplane wings. At the moment, a number of other exciting and innovative discoveries have also been made available by the institute for licensing. Antibacterial paints and coatings have been developed to combat the problem of the spread of bacteria in hospitals. Microbes are unable to grow, even if the ideal conditions are in place. “CRANN works across a range of sectors. We're also working with the medical device sector – a major InBusiness | Q3 2013 29
Nanotechnology | Feature
contributor to the Irish economy,” Boland adds. “The critical thing is that you're taking an inorganic material – metal, ceramic or a piece of wire – and you're putting it into the human body. The body responds in a particular way to that inserted object. We're taking our knowledge of nanotechnology to coat implant materials in particular ways to enhance the outcome for patients.” Hip implants for example could feature coatings that enhance osteo-integration or that release drugs into the implant area, reducing swelling or combating infection. Energy is another field that is ripe for improvement using nanotechnology. Most recently, CRANN researchers announced the discovery of a new method of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using cheaper, more efficient and readily-available materials than those currently used, a discovery which the institute says will have a significant impact on the race to produce hydrogen gas – touted as the clean fuel of the future – more cheaply and efficiently.
License to Thrill While certain technologies developed at the institute are ready and available to interested companies, the majority of CRANN's work is at an early stage and requires further development. Companies generally approach the institute looking to exploit a particular CRANN technology, and must enter into a collaborative research agreement. 30 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
If successful, the industry partner will have rights to exploit the Intellectual Property (IP) developed during the project, but to do so they will also have to licence any CRANN background IP. “The secret to CRANN’s success is that it's built on world class excellence. Industry is attracted to work with us because of the quality of the ideas and the technologies we have developed,” Boland says. “Our researchers have won eight grants from the European Research Council (ERC). These are really prestigious grants, which have become the benchmark of excellence in Europe, and range from e1.5 - e2.5 million. This success is a testament to the world class level of research going on at CRANN.”
Education Outside of its research function, CRANN also takes part in a range of educational and outreach activities, aimed at increasing awareness of nanoscience, and the impact of nanotech on both the Irish economy and on Irish society. Working at all levels of Irish education, CRANN provides secondary schools with programmes and resources for teachers and students, highlighting the applications of nanotech and the careers open to those students interested in the broad field. CRANN has developed the Nano in my Life programme, organised Transition Year placements and participated in the BT Young Scientist and Technology
Exhibition with Intel for the past seven years. The institute will launch new lesson plans for senior cycle primary students in Science Week 2013. Some of the researchers at CRANN participate in Science Foundation Ireland's Speakers for Schools programme and the institute works closely with the Irish Science Teachers’ Association. CRANN has also been involved in TCD's undergraduate nanoscience course, N-PCAM, and its postgraduate counterpart. Points for N-PCAM increased this year from 515 to 585, making it – together with Dental Science in TCD – the toughest course to gain entry into the Irish university sector in 2013 (based on CAO points alone, and not including aptitude tests or interviews). On the national stage, CRANN takes part in Nanoweek, an initiative from NanoNet Ireland, comprising a week long run of activities aimed at promoting nanoscience in Ireland, bringing together government, industry and academia.
Looking Ahead As the field of nanoscience has grown, scientists and researchers have come to understand more and more the widescale implications of their current and potential discoveries, and have secured the support of politicians and leaders to promote research in the field across universities and labs, while allocation of funds has enabled scientists to pursue this research. Ireland is no different, and the Government has invested heavily in CRANN, awarding the institute over e200 million in funding. “We've had a significant investment in infrastructure and in people,” says Boland. “We've used this investment to deliver world class science. We've taken that same investment and worked with industry. We have industry partners all around the world, many of whom are multinationals. The critical thing is that the investment in people and infrastructure has yielded hugely for Ireland, not just in terms of the science, but in our ability to help deepen industry investment in Ireland, to secure existing jobs and to help grow new ones.” The potential of nanoscience and the technologies it will produce is staggering. From wind turbines to solar panels, computer components to clothing, the possibilities are endless. The future is here. We just can't see it yet.
Commercial property | feature
Building momentum With an unexpectedly busy start to the year for the Irish commercial property market, Sarah Kavanagh speaks to Marie Hunt of CBRE Ireland about what is behind the momentum in the market and whether the strong demand for prime Irish real estate is set to continue.
he first half of 2013 has been extremely active in many sectors of the Irish commercial property market, according to commercial property consultants CBRE. During the six-month period there were more transactions recorded in some sectors than in the entirety of 2012 and in some cases higher than the volume of transactional activity recorded during 2011 and 2012 combined. This momentum has continued over the summer with a very busy autumn season now in prospect. Marie Hunt, Executive Director of CBRE Ireland, believes that the market has become considerably more buoyant in the first eight months of 2013 due to the general consensus that Irish economic activity is improving. “There is a lot of appetite out there and a feeling that the Irish economy has turned a corner,” she says. “The commercial property market is looking like a good buy at the minute so there is certainly a lot of international appetite for commercial real estate. There's a sense that prices have bottomed out so if you're going to get in now you'll get in at a very attractive price relative to what pricing would have been at the peak.” The imminent end of the Capital Gains Tax waiver and the release of a multitude of properties to sale from banks, NAMA and receivers are also cited as an incentive for investors. “It's a combination of very strong demand and improving supply as well to feed that demand,” Hunt says.
Strong Sectors While the commercial property market appears to be performing well, the
recovery is not comprehensive and is increasingly frustrated so there is a instead being led by certain sectors, clear need to increase the volume of including the investment, hotel and investment properties being offered for development land markets. “The sale to cater for demand,” she says. “In market is not homogenous with varying addition to some large portfolios being trends being evidenced across different released for sale recently, there are some property sectors and locations,” says good assets coming to the market over Hunt. In the investment sector, there has the coming weeks and autumn looks been a doubling of investment activity in set to be very busy with some further the last 12 months. There has been very strengthening of yields anticipated as the strong demand for prime commercial year progresses.” real estate with some new investors adding to the weight of money already chasing assets in the Irish market.” As a result, the CBRE bimonthly research report found that prime yields have strengthened faster than most would have anticipated. Prime office yields in Dublin are now around 6.0 per cent while prime high street retail yields are in the order of 5.5 per cent and Hunt believes they will continue to strengthen as supply increases. “With more buyers than sellers for investment properties, underbidders Marie Hunt, Executive Director, CBRE Ireland. are becoming InBusiness | Q3 2013 31
commercial property | Feature Challenges & Recovery “Outside of Dublin, the market is much more With such a positive start to the year subdued and while we are not still seeing rapid for many sectors, Hunt is optimistic the market is experiencing the falls in value, the market is quite flat and I think that first stages of recovery. “We are at the the expectation is that we will have a two speed first rung of the ladder in terms of a recovery, albeit this time around we are market going on for some time yet.” unlikely to see the same sort of peaks The hotel sector in Ireland has also had a good year so far, particularly in the latter three months of the first half of the year. "There were 13 hotel sales concluded in Ireland during the first six months of 2013, ten of which occurred between April and June alone,” says Hunt. “The total value of hotel sales in Ireland in the first half of the year was €42.5 million although a number of high profile hotels such as Trinity Capital in Dublin and Fota in Cork have traded since then.” Again, there is quite a significant international appetite in this sector as the bargain prices for Irish property at present is recognised. “International buyers want to buy prime four and five star hotels and Dublin assets and domestic players are buying provincial hotels because the pricing looks very attractive,” says Hunt. The development land market has seen an extraordinary increase in activity in the first half of the year as more development land was sold than in the previous two years combined. Hunt believes that this is due to optimism that construction will be necessary in the near future. “There is now an expectation that the office market is looking like it's going to improve and there will be appetite to build new office buildings again before too long,” she says. “Equally, there is demand in the residential sector so people are buying land with a view to building offices and residential in due course.” The next wave of sites are expected to come on the market in the autumn and Hunt says demand is outstripping supply for land on key sites: “There is certainly a clear need for more sites to be offered for sale to cater for the current volume of demand for well situated opportunities.”
Office Vacancy & Construction The office market has had a good start to the year with take-up in the Dublin 32 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
market up by approximately 25 per cent, compared to the same period last year, and the future looks bright according to Hunt: “There is an encouraging volume of active requirements in the market from companies such as Deutsche Bank, Squarespace, Indeed.ie, Wonga, Groupon and Dropbox while the recently announced requirement from KPMG for a new headquarters building in Dublin city centre by 2017 has been well received.” While the proportion of properties being marketed to let in the capital's office market is quite high at 17 per cent overall, Hunt says that on further inspection of the location and building type most in demand, a shortage of suitable properties appears. “Within Dublin 2 and 4, the vacancy rate is just over 13 per cent so it's slightly better,” she says. “Once you look for Grade A buildings within Dublin 2 and 4 the vacancy rate is just over five per cent so you get a very different picture once you are looking for modern Grade A buildings within the CBD (Central Business District). When the IDA are talking about shortages of office accommodation for FDI announcements they are not necessarily talking about companies which are looking for office stock in provincial locations or in the suburbs. What they are specifically talking about is companies which want to be in these prime postcodes and want to be in a modern building and that's where the scarcity is starting to emerge.” However, before any construction of office buildings can become feasible, there will need to be a further improvement in office rental values. “We're a little bit away from approaching the point in the cycle where development actually makes sense,” Hunt says. “Rents are at about €30 per square foot at the minute and that's not at a level which would make development economical. For building to stack up, a developer would need to be achieving rent in excess of €35 per square foot and probably closer to €40 per square foot.”
and troughs that we've seen in the most recent cycle,” she says. “It is going to be much more subdued I would think. We've learned that we were too focussed on the availability of debt and the cost of that debt and never envisaged a time when debt would effectively be nonexistent. This time around, debt is much more difficult to source and much more expensive so I think people will proceed with a lot more caution which is not necessarily a bad thing. Also, the market is now more balanced and not as wholly reliant on local debt funded purchasers as it once was.” However, despite these signs of improvement, Hunt is quick to point out that much of this activity is centred in the capital and she believes that it will take time before all areas of the country begin to see the same indicators of recovery. “I think the challenge is probably for real estate outside of the Dublin market because most of the demand is focused on prime real estate within Dublin,” she says. “Outside of Dublin, the market is much more subdued and while we are not still seeing rapid falls in value, the market is quite flat and I think the expectation is that we will have a two speed market going on for some time yet.” Although perhaps a tentative sign of encouragement, it is encouragement nonetheless and, following the pessimistic outlook of recent years, it will come as a welcome boost to many. While construction may not be feasible in the short term, it is a positive sign that investors believe it is only a matter of time before it returns. For now, the focus is on the many transactions that are currently at a negotiation stage, the release of many new properties to sale over the coming weeks and the ending of the Capital Gains Tax waiver at the end of the year. All these factors combined will, it is hoped, boost transactional volumes in the latter half of the year and ultimately set the market on the road to full recovery.
Commercial property | feature
Road to Recovery InBusiness speaks to BNP Paribas Real Estate concerning the Investment, Office and Retail markets in our nation's capital.
or commercial real estate services company, BNP Paribas Real Estate, 2013 is an important milestone - marking 40 years since its parent BNP Paribas Group first became active in Ireland. The Group has now over 200 employees in Dublin.
Investing in Dublin According to Patrick Curran, Managing Director of BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland, the investment market is extremely active as we head towards year end with a mixture of portfolio sales and individual properties currently on the market. Demand for commercial investment property has built up over the past 18 months due to the belief in Ireland’s economic recovery and this has attracted international investors. “There is increasingly strong demand from both local and international investors for stand alone investments, and that could be anything from the €10 million to €35-40 million bracket in single assets,” says Curran. With regard to the banks and NAMA, BNP Paribas Real Estate has assisted on several projects with larger investors coming in from France, Germany, the UK and America either through due diligence services or actively leading the acquisition for these investors. NAMA, of course, are the biggest players in the Irish market, and have huge influence on the market. For investors looking towards Ireland, they may be frustrated by the pace of the release of investment product but from NAMA's point of view, Ireland is a small country with a small investment market, and NAMA’s strategy to date has been very structured and well timed in terms of the local recovering real estate market. “NAMA have adopted an orderly disposal strategy to assets and over the past 18 months they have seen yields moving in a positive direction, so
it's hard to say that they didn't get their yields and returns but more traditional strategy right, because now we're seeing long term players who are happy now prices moving and good demand in to include real estate assets in Ireland single assets and portfolios brought to in their international portfolio. This the market for sale,” Curran explains. is good for the investment market in From Q4 2012 up until now, certain Ireland as it will broaden the investment sectors have experienced significant base and give a more cosmopolitan feel yield compression, such as the office to investing in Ireland and this has to sector. By way of example, an office be welcomed,” Curran says. “This can building acquired by BNP Paribas Real only be good for Ireland and the Irish Estate Q4 2012 for an Irish fund has investment market going forward.” seen yield movement of 0.75 per cent in Offices leading the way year to date. Curran expects this trend Dublin Offices are the star performing to continue for core / core+ assets in the sector in the capital's rejuvenated real Central Business District and especially estate market according to Thomas as office rents continue to increase. Carthy, Executive Director, BNP Paribas “There really is movement in the office Real Estate. sector, so that is encouraging investors. The supply of quality space in the city Purchasers looking to buy office investments are now less concerned about short term overrenting and are seeing that the rental gap may be bridged over the next two years.” Looking forward, Curran sees the investment market evolving over the next two years as yield compression gathers pace but also as Investors yield criteria changes. “There will be other investors, which we are now seeing start to arrive – that take a more long term view on Dublin and are prepared to price up off stronger yields to buy core/ core+ investments in Dublin. They are not at the forefront of international Patrick Curran, Managing Director BNP Paribas Real investors seeking high Estate Ireland. InBusiness | Q3 2013 33
Commercial property | feature is becoming a major issue for tenants as vacancy rates decline and take up continues to gather momentum. With no new office developments constructed since 2009, occupiers are focused on the better quality, existing buildings in the city centre. Location is a critical factor for most occupiers, particularly those in the IT, pharmaceutical and agri sectors where a very competitive labour market exists, according to Thomas Carthy. Many occupiers, particularly those Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) companies establishing new operations in Ireland, are often competing to attract staff from the same labour pool and therefore the location and ease of accessibility for staff is a key factor when occupiers decide on their preferred option. Carthy and BNP Paribas Real Estate are involved in a number of significant office deals at present and these together with a number of other major occupier announcements due shortly will have a tangible effect on the Dublin office market. Prime City Centre rents are now at €377 per square metre (€35 per square foot) and Carthy expects these to rise to €430 per square metre (€40 per square foot) within the next 12 months as the lack of supply in the sought after locations declines further. BNP Paribas Real Estate acted for IBM earlier this year in their pre-let acquisition of their new Irish headquarters in Ballsbridge; the first such pre-let deal in the office market for over four years. Carthy expects similar pre-let deals to be agreed in the months ahead as tenants seek to secure space for their business needs and landlords look to agree deals that ensure development is viable and sustainable.
Cautious optimism in Retail In terms of transactions, it's been a busy year in Dublin's retail property sector. Though the previous five years have been quite challenging, activity in 2013 has increased substantially with particular focus on prime high street and shopping centre locations. Prime retail park activity has not been as strong with relatively few transactions, but at the same time vacancy levels remain surprisingly low. “The overall outlook for the retail sector is relatively positive,” 34 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
"There is increasingly strong demand from both local and international investors for stand alone investments, and that could be anything from the €10 million to €35-40 million bracket.”
Pictured L to R: Thomas Carthy, Executive Director Office Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Eoin Feeney, Executive Director Retail Agency, BNP Paribas Real Estate.
says Eoin Feeney, Executive Director - Retail Agency at BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland. “Low vacancy levels and increased occupier demand especially from overseas multiples has brought confidence to a market which has been absent for some time. It is too early to say if the curve will remain on an upward trajectory, as some headwinds remain, including a stubbornly high unemployment rate. The biggest vote of confidence in the retail market has been provided in the major investments made by a string of high profile global brands including Abrecrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Cos, Massimo Dutti and Superdry. Such retailers can open almost anywhere in the world and the decision for them to expand here indicates that they at least have confidence in the Irish retail sector”. Looking forward, Feeney notes that forecasting the future is difficult, though the situation with prime locations seems destined to improve, with a better tenant mix in the high streets. With the continued stabilisation of the economy, leading to vacancy take up, there are prospects for rental growth for premier locations, though secondary locations
remain challenging; retail developments built where there was never a demand. “That is still going to be problematic for the coming five years.” However, with rents at relatively modest levels, more and more international companies are being attracted to Ireland. “Prospects are much better than they were two to three years ago,” Feeney concludes. It's clear that there are positive signs across the investment, offices and retail sectors, and the recovery in the commercial real estate market is gathering pace. The past 18 months have been positive for real estate, centred largely around the Dublin market, and as long as we maintain our economic recovery the outlook for commercial real estate investment looks positive going forward. BNP Paribas Real Estate have recently published their Guide to Investing in Dublin which was launched at MIPIM 2013. The Guide gives an overview of the Investment market in Dublin and including articles on the Office & Retail sectors. Further details from Danielle Rocca Devine (danielle.roccadevine@ bnpparibas.com).
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aircraft leasing | feature
New Lease of Life
Amidst regular news bulletins describing the woes of Ireland's economy, one truly global sector stakes its claim to be one of the country's shining lights; the aircraft leasing sector. Colm Gorey looks at how Ireland has established itself as the hub of this multi-billion dollar industry.
fter the massive downturn in the commercial airline industry following the events of September 11th 2011, many predicted a worrying future as passenger numbers began to fall amid fears of a growing terrorism threat. However, 12 years on, commercial airlines have had a complete turnaround with many needing more and more aircraft to keep up with demand. Already struggling to make profit due to increased competition and regularly rising fuel prices, many modern airlines now look to aircraft leasing companies as a more financially viable alternative to the outright purchase of aircraft. With travel the nature of the business,
the sector is one of the most globally diverse around with companies leasing aircraft to airlines not just in their base of operations, but in nations across the world. For Ireland, our history of aircraft leasing goes back to 1975 when Tony Ryan - who Ryanair is named after started a small aircraft leasing company with big ambitions. From the purchase of their first aircraft, a second-hand Boeing 737-200 a few years later, Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) grew to become one of the biggest companies in the State and by the late 1980s was one of the biggest in Europe. However, after a poorly timed flotation of the company on the stock exchange, at the peak of the 1991 Gulf
War, GPA suffered massive losses and was forced to sell off most of its aircraft. While the company has now been sold off to other subsidiaries, they left the groundwork for the booming industry we have today.
Encouraging business According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, the aircraft leasing industry is involved in the purchase of over $100 billion worth of new aircraft annually with nine of the ten largest aircraft leasing companies in the world located in Ireland, with over 30 similar companies in operation in the country. These figures also show that the aviation sector is known to have created InBusiness | Q3 2013 37
aircraft leasing | feature “You have between 27 and 30 companies all competing ferociously with each other so you're more likely to see new business models come in to the market.” 54,000 jobs in Ireland with 26,000 being directly supported by the sector. One of the biggest additions of recent times was when SMBC, the world’s fourth largest aircraft leasing firm, moved its operations to Ireland in October 2012. Ireland can easily consider itself one of the largest hubs of aircraft leasing companies anywhere in the world. A mixture of foreign and Irish companies, aircraft leasing can be considered a vital source of income to the Irish Exchequer in the region of billions of euro. So what makes Ireland so attractive as a base of operations? Once again, Ireland's contentious (from a European perspective) corporate tax rate of 12.5 per cent is a major factor in encouraging these companies to establish here. Despite increasing competition from Asia, its established services and resources for aircraft lessors, along with this very competitive level of tax, makes it a fantastic place to establish a base in Europe. Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst Joe Gill believes Ireland's modern history with aircraft leasing has laid the groundwork for the success of these companies: "It goes back to Guinness Peat Aviation when it was originally developed until its eventual collapse. It created a whole bunch of very welltrained executives who have gone on to be the leaders of a whole host of leasing companies that are either independent or part of global institutions, and they've kept their practices based in Ireland for a number of reasons. "One is that we have some of the best aviation lawyers in the world, we've some of the best aviation auditors based here and then we've got a very supportive government regime from a tax and 38 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
regulatory point of view. From a legal perspective, we have one of the best aircraft ownership treaties of anywhere in the world – the Cape Town Treaty – which acts as a framework to which Ireland operates in, which ensures that leasing companies will get access to their aircraft in the event of defaults in jurisdictions around the world. When you wrap that together you have a very competitive package. Despite the fact there's increased competition from places like Singapore and Hong Kong, Amsterdam and London, Ireland is continuing to retain the talent pool in Dublin and is continuing to grow and develop it." The Cape Town Treaty that Gill mentions revolutionised how the sector could operate and the costs that come with it. Essentially, the treaty creates international standards for registration of contracts of sale, security interests, leases and conditional sales contracts, and various legal remedies for default in financing agreements, including repossession and the effect of particular states' bankruptcy laws. As has been the case with many industries in the past, notably the pharmaceutical sector during the late 1980s and 1990s, the Government introduced a number of incentives to bring foreign companies to Ireland. With so many high earners at an executive level, the special assignee relief programme implemented by the Irish Government in 2012 meant employees enjoyed tax relief from Irish income tax reducing their personal income tax once they reached a particular threshold after establishing themselves in Ireland.
The newcomers One of the most recent additions to the sector is the home-grown company of Avolon. Founded in 2010, it raised $5.8 billion of capital including an equity commitment of $1.4 billion from four of the world’s leading investors; Cinven, CVC Capital Partners, Oak Hill Capital Partners and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation in three separate fund raisings. The company currently has 176 aircraft which it has leased to airlines primarily across Europe and emerging Asian nations. According to Gill, all the major players in the aircraft business including Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce, all treat Ireland
as an important centre of activity. In addition to aircraft, there are a number of engine lessors which specialise in aircraft engines. The future remains bright for Ireland and the industry as a whole as passenger numbers soar globally in an increasingly competitive market which means more aircraft are needed. Gill believes it is one of the few sectors at the moment where real growth can be achieved given the current economy: "I think [the future] is fairly positive because the commercial aircraft market is growing and with that the leasing is expanding. If it's 40 per cent now and some people in the industry are forecasting it will 50 per cent in the next three or four years, you have a growing share of an expanding market which is a double whammy. You have between 27 and 30 companies all competing ferociously with each other so you're more likely to see new business models come in to the market. It's very specialist so a lot of people struggle to get their heads around it but it's a very profitable subset of the aviation and financial markets. It's a crossroads between managing aircraft and managing finances." The question remains how the next 20 to 30 years will progress in the sector as many of the planes that make up the fleets of the various aircraft lessors are approaching the widely regarded retirement age of 25 years of service. A recent release by Avolon had this to say about the current and projected rate of retirements: "By 2032, the world jet airliner fleet will have more than doubled, from today’s 22,000 to 43,000 aircraft, of which 2,800 will be freighters. P2F [passenger to freighter] conversions will satisfy two-thirds of the additional freighter requirement, which will total 2,700 aircraft over 20 years. More than 15,000 aircraft will be retired over the period, representing 70 per cent of today’s fleet. Consequently, around 45 per cent of all deliveries will support fleet replacement, with the remaining 55 per cent representing industry growth." These figures show clearly that despite the necessary changes that will be taking place over the next 20 to 30 years in terms of aircraft, the lessor sector, as one of the few financially successful sectors in recent years, is well prepared to ride out these changes and will likely remain one of Ireland's crown jewels in a somewhat bare cabinet.
esb | feature
Powering The Nation In the Irish and European electricity sector, the issue of change is a common theme – how companies evolve and react is often key to their survival. Conor Forrest speaks to ESB's Jim Dollard about his own journey within ESB, and the challenges facing the organisation today. Jim Dollard, Executive Director for Business Service Centre and Electric Ireland.
s technology continues to develop, competition intensifies and customer expectations rise, keeping an organisation ahead of the game – and ahead of its competitors – becomes an increasingly difficult challenge. Jim Dollard has been with ESB since 1992, and is currently Executive Director for both Electric Ireland and ESB's Business Service Centre which provides internal services to ESB Group. He is overseeing a period of significant change for the business. “I've been managing Electric Ireland since the beginning of 2013, so that's the start of the journey for me in that role,” says Dollard. “It's fantastic. I've worked in ESB for 21 years and I worked as part of the Business Service Centre before for a number of years, and I really
loved it. I know most of the people in those businesses. Both are changing very quickly now, so it's a very interesting time.”
Challenges A number of challenges currently face the electricity sector, chief among them are customer concerns – price and affordability, which Dollard is keenly aware of. “Being an island we're heavily dependent on fossil fuels, a key driver of electricity prices over which we have very little control. Over the last number of years fossil fuel prices have risen significantly, and that has a detrimental effect. As a result, while competition has forced significant changes in the industry including major reductions in our internal cost base, fuel price
increases have forced prices higher. Since competition in the electricity market was introduced about a decade ago, Electric Ireland has seen a significant reduction in its market share to just under 40 per cent of the supply market on an all island basis. “Affordability is a key issue for customers in all market segments and Electric Ireland competes very strongly on price and service,” says Dollard. “We are also very attuned to the difficulties customers may experience in paying for utility bills and where problems arise we believe we lead the market in working with customers to resolve them.” Dollard also notes the role technology plays, as it continues to develop at an exponential rate year by year. “The digital world is InBusiness | Q3 2013 39
esb | feature
upon us, and it's radically changing the world we live in. Technology is opening up new opportunities, and the way that Electric Ireland interacts with its customers is going to evolve significantly over the next three to five years. Staying ahead of the market is critical, but given the pace of technology change, that is a very difficult, but exciting, challenge.”
Sustainability Sustainability and the drive towards renewable energies have been on the agenda worldwide for some time now. In Ireland, we have both carbon reduction targets and energy efficiency targets which must be met under quite stringent EU directives, so sustainability has certainly come to the forefront of our thinking. “The attitude of the world to the environment is changing,” says Dollard. “At one level, sustainability is about using less fossil fuels, emitting less carbon. But it's also about being more effective in everything we do, in other words, using less inputs to get 40 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
better results. And that as a concept is very important for utilities like ESB. The electricity sector needs to meet carbon reduction targets in what are, in utility terms, very short timetables. That is going to be a massive challenge for the world and is going to require investment and innovation.” While new green technologies are emerging on the horizon, initially at least many may be expensive to deploy. Still, the fact that the issue of sustainability, whatever the reason, is on the table for Europe's energy providers, can only be a positive step. “Sustainability is at the heart of nearly every utility in Europe now and Ireland is very much at the forefront of this. We are recognised leaders in areas such as eCars, smart grids and renewable generation.” Dollard notes.
People Power In an industry facing the aforementioned demands and challenges, it's heartening to know that you have good people working alongside you, meeting any issues or obstacles head on, something
Dollard wholeheartedly believes in relation to the people at ESB. “Both Electric Ireland and the ESB’s Business Service Centre are people businesses, and their success depends entirely on the people that are in them and our various partners.” Dollard views the fantastic success story which is Electric Ireland as a prime example. “We're very proud of our brand,” he stresses. “Especially when you consider that we built it from scratch essentially. In Electric Ireland, we had lost a lot of market share prior to deregulation of tariffs in 2011. That forced our business to change rapidly. Working with the staff and unions in Electric Ireland, major changes were undertaken in a very short space of time to meet the new competitive reality. It was a huge achievement and a credit to our staff. However, competition won't get easier, it'll get tougher; we need to continue to work with the staff to continually evolve. It doesn't stop. And that's one of the biggest challenges facing us. People are our key resources, and we need to keep evolving with the challenges, and overcoming them.” The energy industry in Ireland is a very tough one in which to compete, but there's no doubt that Electric Ireland and ESB are optimistic about the future. “We know that the competition is going to get tougher, but if we continue to focus on our customers and harness the potential of our staff, I'd be confident the challenges can be met and indeed there are great opportunities. These are very exciting times for Electric Ireland, and our Business Service Centre,” Dollard concludes.
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Hampers & Co | sme feature
No Basket Case Business Emer Purcell is founder and managing director of Hampers & Co Ltd, a business which sources, customises and delivers hampers of treats that include gourmet foods, fine wines and baby gifts. Now running 20 years, she tells Seán Travers how it all began and why that feel-good factor that comes from a quality hamper still lives on.
mer Purcell had not always planned on selling hampers. She initially began her career in the 1980s as a racehorse trainer and was, at one point, the leading female racehorse trainer in Ireland. She brushes this off by stating it wasn't a “huge achievement because there were only three or four female trainers at the time”. When her mother told her she was beginning to “walk like a horse” and feeling that she needed a change of pace in life, she decided to review her future and settled on studying equine acupuncture in 1990. For three years, she studied the subject while spending a year abroad in the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai where she also learned how to speak some Mandarin Chinese. Returning to Ireland, she began to put her equine acupuncture into practice but was not content with just that one interest and she invested in a pub in the village of Schull, West Cork. It was while working at the pub in Schull where Purcell's hamper business began. Although she claims the summer months were fantastic for the pub, the winter months were that bit more challenging and in order to keep herself busy, she painted the pub dresser and gathered local salmon, cheese and wine baskets and began selling them from the pub. The hampers she sold in her pubs quickly became popular, especially among holiday makers and business people staying in the village. The business began to really take off when a UK-based businessman and holiday
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maker complimented her hampers, puts “the cart before the horse”, she says claiming they were “fabulous” and he that as the business grew, she began ordered 300 hampers to be delivered learning on the job. This includes to his workplace in London within one learning how to arrange shipping orders week. Purcell worked tirelessly, making for the baskets and packaging which jam and acquiring food and drink for the hamper, to ensure that the 300 hamper order was met within its deadline. She was successful in reaching her target and from that point on, the business continued to grow. People would continue to request hampers from her which she would work on while also running her equine acupuncture business. In 1993, she decided that she would have to choose between one business or the other and focused her energies on selling hampers. Purcell admits she did very little market research when starting out in the business. Describing herself Emer Purcell, Founder & Managing Director, Hampers & Co as a woman who
Hampers & Co | sme feature
The Supreme Hamper
she imported from Asia and making large scale deliveries, despite having no previous experience. One of her first big jobs was delivering hampers to Anglo Irish Bank which she delivered out of the back of a horsebox. Purcell credits hard work, the enthusiasm of youth and the plentiful energy she was blessed with for helping her expand the business. She also states that she probably never would have started the business if she sat down and had to think about everything that needed to be done. Additionally, good timing was a factor as she began the business in 1993, when the Celtic Tiger was in its infancy. The business continued to grow and Purcell began establishing connections with coporations but much like nearly every other business, she was impacted in 2008 when the recession struck. “We sold approximately 20,000 hampers in November and December of 2007. Things had changed drastically in October 2008 when I had a warehouse full of stock. Three months went by and in January 2009, I still had a warehouse full of stock,” she says. Back in the days of the Celtic Tiger, Purcell says it was highly unlikely to receive a single-order basket or to operate from the website. The vast majority of her business was with big business corporations. She says that has since changed in the last five years. In order to ensure her business's survival in 2009, she decided she would need to change her business practices. “I had to get moving really quickly and I had to find a way of getting rid of my stock,” she says. “So I loaded up my van
like 'Dell Boy' and I hit the road and went to all the shows and fairs. Every weekend, we were at a show somewhere. We were like the 'Travelling Hillbillies' family. But you know, it really worked in the end because I went from having five per cent of my business online to a big leap of 65 per cent of my business happening online. I now put a lot of effort into my online business because that's how it's going nowadays. I also produce a full hard copy brochure every year to showcase our new Christmas selection.” Purcell feels that the hamper business is often perceived as quite an easy one but says that couldn't be further from the truth. “You need the logistics, you need a lot of warehousing, these baskets take up a lot of space so there are a lot of hidden costs,” she says. “Many people take it on thinking it might be an easy business. I've seen a lot of hamper companies come and go, put it that way. It's not as easy as it looks.” As well as focusing more intently on her online presence, Purcell feels that businesses need to find a way of standing out from the crowd. Hampers & Co do this by specialising in really good food and wines as well as being diverse enough to move into other areas such as baby gifts. A major plus of Hampers and Co is their investment in packaging and presentation. In terms of food and wine, they provide exceptional quality artisan food from all over the world as well as unique and interesting wines which they source from boutique vineyards. Purcell says that, despite not always being entirely sure what direction she will go in
The Christmas Cracker
throughout her professional career, she always gives everything “two-hundred per cent” and always strives to be the best at what she does. With five years passed since the financial collapse, Purcell has begun to see signs of life in the corporate market again and has claimed that the company is now performing quite well. She continues to display ambition and hopes that the business will continue to flourish and grow in the coming years. Currently, Hampers & Co hire four full-time staff but take on approximately twenty workers during the October to December season. This time of year ensures that she normally has around twenty-five workers to meet the high demand from customers during the Christmas season. “About 75 per cent of our business is done at Christmas,” she says. Asked why she thinks hampers sell well, she says: “I'm noticing that the corporate market is picking up again with staff there and I think that's because, at the end of the day, I don't think anything works quite as well as a hamper and the perceived value and feel-good factor that comes from a quality hamper of well produced, well presented goods. That's really coming back in popularity with corporate staff.” With her twenty years of determination and innovation; a couple of busy holiday months ahead; and her newly appreciated, active online presence; the future is indeed looking bright for Purcell and Hampers & Co. For more information from Hampers & Co. visit www.hampersandco.com InBusiness | Q3 2013 43
KPMG | FEATURE
Making the difference
The CSR programme at KMPG isn't simply another facet of the organisation – it's a philosophy which permeates the entire firm. Karina Howley, Head of Corporate Responsibility, explains.
hen KPMG first brought Karina Howley onboard, it was a strategic decision by an organisation which wanted to ensure Corporate Responsibility wasn't just another buzzword, but an ideal which could manifest as something truly worthwhile. “KPMG want CSR to be a key pillar of how we do business as a firm,” Howley explains. “We don't want to take a scatter gun approach and just write cheques all day – we want to make a real and valued difference.” And that's exactly what the company has achieved in the intervening years. KPMG's CSR programme has become quite far reaching, resonating with an impact which cannot be dismissed.
programme. It's clear that Howley is busy all year round. “It's certainly ongoing,” she agrees with a smile.
Deep Impact Partnering with a number of outside organisations, KPMG has aimed their CSR sights on both education and on improving the community. This year's awards saw them nominated for three particular initiatives; Trees for Schools – which encourages kids to learn more about Ireland's native trees, the Enactus Ireland programme – encouraging university students to tackle social issues facing Ireland today, and their work with St Michael's House, developing multi sensory stories for children with profound intellectual disabilities. Impressive as this is, it barely scratches the surface of the firm's efforts. The company, for example, works with Business in the Community (BITC) and their Time to Read programme, which aims at instilling a love of reading in young primary school age children. KPMG also works with BITC on their Ready for Work support programme, which aids the homeless in getting back
into the workplace, providing training rooms and taking on work placements, while Howley herself personally engages in mock job interviews. Volunteers from KPMG commit to a two year mentoring programme for Leaving Certificate students from CBS Westland Row, while the organisation also throws its weight behind scholarships to Belvedere College and supporting the Trinity Access and Junior Achievement programmes. KPMG also do a lot of work with partner organisation St. Michael's House. Recent funding cuts mean funding for the charity is tight, and KPMG organises many one-off events, while acting as the main sponsor of the charity's corporate volunteer
The firm's CSR endeavours have not been without recognition from the outside world. This year's CSR Awards saw KPMG awarded, not only for Excellence in the Community in the guise of their work with St. Michael's House, but for overall Outstanding Achievement in the CSR arena. Unsurprisingly, this recognition is duly appreciated by the firm. “Having been involved in the CSR awards since its inception, I know the standard is exceptionally high. There's fierce competition and every year it seems to get better and better,” Howley acknowledges. “Knowing how competitive the process is, I have to say I'm absolutely thrilled that we've got this external validation and recognition of the amount of work we've all put in over the last number of years.”
Looking Forward The future, then, is bright, both for Howley in her role spearheading KPMG's CSR programme, and for the organisations with whom they partner to such success. With new organisations constantly getting in touch and seeking help, the work is indeed challenging. “It's an ongoing and hopefully very well thought out programme. We really do try and develop strategic relationships,” Howley says. “Our tagline is 'Cutting through Complexity', and we try and apply that in terms of our CSR agenda. We look at how we can cut through the complexity of our partner organisations’ challenges, developing solutions so that we can add value, and make a real difference.” InBusiness | Q3 2013 45
Chamber Catch-Up A round up of all the news and events from Chamber networks nationwide.
Time of opportunity for Shannon
hannon is now emerging from a period of challenge and change and rests on the cusp of opportunity. That's according to Shannon Chamber president, Kevin Thompstone, who was speaking at the Chamber’s autumn lunch in the INN at Dromoland, Co Clare last September. The event, which was sponsored by Ei Electronics, Morgan McKinley and Ulster Bank, was attended by almost two hundred business executives from the Shannon region and marked the launch of Shannon Chamber’s autumn/winter events’ series. The keynote address was delivered by Neil Pakey, CEO, Shannon Airport Authority. Pointing out that Shannon Airport is ultimately about making connections, between people, places and products, Mr Thompstone said: “Where there is connection there is opportunity; where there is opportunity, things happen, some planned, some unexpected; and where there is opportunity confidence grows, business develops and economies flourish. “The development of new services from Shannon and the positive atmosphere and volume of people moving in, out and around the airport clearly demonstrate a new confidence and indicate that Shannon is developing and delivering opportunities. Shannon is well positioned to make a significant contribution to the development of a national aviation policy,” he added.
Kevin Thompstone, president, Shannon Chamber with Rose Hynes, chairman and Neil Pakey, chief executive, Shannon Airport Authority at Shannon Chamber's autumn lunch in the INN at Dromoland.
Seminars to address SME access to finance
etting finance can be a big challenge for entrepreneurs and small businesses, as there are many misconceptions as to who has money to lend and how to go about accessing this money. A recent ECB survey showed that 24 per cent of Irish SMEs listed 'access to finance' as one of their top business concerns currently, compared to an EU average of 16 per cent, with the figure as low as 8 per cent in some countries. With this sentiment in mind, the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in Cork Chamber is hosting a series of seminars this autumn in order to help answer some of the complex questions around how to access SME finance from different sources, including regional, national or EU authorities. Katherine Fitzpatrick, Manager of the EEN in Cork Chamber, says: “It is an important part of our role in the EEN to make sure that SMEs in our region have access to clear and comprehensive information about how to develop and grow their businesses. Be they early-stage start-ups or companies looking for international partnerships and innovation advice, accessing finance is crucial for many businesses in order to allow them to grow. Through our enquiries we have realised that there is still a lot of confusion as to the different types of finance available to business and the role of the organisations involved. Identifying EU funding, for example, is a complex area, and so many companies may give up searching before they have fully understood the process or looked at all the options.” The series is already underway with the remainder including seminars on EU Funding (Wed 9 October), Venture Capital and Private Investments (Wed 6 November) and State Agency Funding (Wed 4 December). InBusiness | Q3 2013 47
Pictured from L to R: Dr Fergal Barry, President, Limerick Chamber with Karl Dowling, Jonathon Deane, John Savage & David Jeffreys, Managing Director, Action Point Technology Group.
imerick Chamber has announced Action Point Technology Group as the main sponsor of the 2013 Limerick Chamber President’s Dinner. The President’s Dinner, taking place on Friday 15 November in the Limerick Strand Hotel, is the region’s foremost business event with an attendance of 400 leading business people from throughout the region. This year Mr John Moran, Secretary General at the Department of Finance, will be the keynote speaker. Commenting on their sponsorship agreement David Jeffreys, Managing Director, Action Point Technology Group, said: “We are proud to be involved with this unique and important
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event in the business calendar. The President’s Dinner provides a great opportunity for business leaders to meet and acknowledge the achievements and success of so many businesses in the region.” Dr Fergal Barry, President, Limerick Chamber said, “We are delighted to have the support of Action Point Technology Group for the President’s Dinner, which is a hugely popular event with SMEs, multinationals and large indigenous companies all in attendance. The valuable sponsorship from Action Point Technology Group allows us to ensure this continues to be the leading business event in the region.”
Grid Link report Welcomed
hambers Ireland has welcomed the publication of the Grid Link Stage 1 Report which identifies a number of feasible one kilometre wide route corridors which can accommodate the new transmission line. Speaking in light of the publication, Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive, said “EirGrid’s Grid Link project to reinforce the grid in the south and east of the country will ensure that this area is well positioned to deal with increased energy demand from business and consumers in the future.” “A top quality energy delivery infrastructure is a vital prerequisite to attract new industries and jobs that may be attracted to locate in the region. Grid Link is a significant opportunity that will enhance competitiveness across the energy market by enabling the transfer of the electricity more easily across the Single Electricity Market. This is of vital interest to business in Ireland. Progress on a project of this scale is to be welcomed. We will be encouraging all of our affiliated Chambers and the wider communities in their region to support its timely delivery,” he concluded.
Limerick Chamber announces sponsorship deal
Shannon Chamber Contributes to Irish Aviation Policy Paper
hannon Chamber has presented a submission to Government in response to a call for input to the compilation of ‘An Integrated Irish Aviation Policy’. A survey was carried out among members and the submission reflected their views on aviation policy. Shannon Chamber’s submission centred on seven key areas (linked to questions raised in the consultation issues paper), in which the Chamber felt competently enabled to respond. These key areas were airports; air services, aircraft leasing and financing; aerospace; education, training and employment rights; general aviation; consultation with industry. As one of the largest single sectors at Shannon, the growth potential of the sector is intrinsically linked to the
availability of finance to provide the appropriate infrastructure and financial incentives for the aviation sector, which will hopefully be incorporated into the Integrated Irish Aviation Policy once compiled. While the recent Aviation Business Development Task Force Report was not the subject of the Issues Paper, Shannon Chamber pointed out that much of its contents must be taken into account when defining a policy framework for the development and optimisation of the aviation sector in economic terms. Shannon Chamber thanks its members for their feedback to inform this submission, and is confident that the consultative process will lead to the compilation of a comprehensive and robust Aviation Policy for Ireland.
Reform of Local Government Welcomed Chambers Ireland has welcomed the publication of the Local Government Bill. However, they have warned that there must be no resulting increase in costs to business. Speaking on the issue, Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We have consistently supported the reform of Local Government and recognise the considerable savings produced by this sector to date. The publication of this Bill is another step towards a more streamlined and sustainable model of Local Government.” He added: “However, we have concerns about areas where Town Councils are to be abolished and replaced by municipalities to be integrated into County Councils which have higher rates. Towns where this issue arises include Dungarvan, Ennis, Letterkenny, Mallow, Midleton and Westport. The Department of the Environment’s recent guidance document proposes that, in such areas, there should be a period of adjustment of between three and ten years. We believe this period should be as long as possible to allow businesses to adapt to the costs resulting from increased rates.”.
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CHAMBERS IRELAND | budget 2014
Budget 2014 was a pleasing budget and one which shows the importance of engaging with Government, according to Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland.
riting about the Budget this year seems different for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s great to be doing it in October. While the decision to bring the announcement forward was introduced at a European level, there is no doubt that it will ease the anxiety felt by retailers and consumers in the vital run up to the Christmas period brought on by the traditional December budget. And secondly, this year feels different because, from the perspective of Chambers throughout Ireland and the broader business community, it seems to be more positive. 50 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Throughout 2013 Chambers Ireland’s policy and lobbying efforts were focused on a few key points. These included supports for small business and job creation. Every year, we attempt to identify the issues that are having, or potentially will have, the greatest impact on the Irish business community. We also identify opportunities and make policy suggestions to Government about policies and initiatives that will best support that community. In the wake of Budget 2013, we produced an ‘Alternative 10 Point Plan for Micro, Small and Medium-
Sized Enterprises’. This was a critique of measures included in that Budget and a range of alternatives that we felt would do more to improve their trading conditions of this vital sector of the economy. Building on this, we called on the Government to focus the Budget on improving demand and encouraging consumer spending. This, we believe, is the most effective way to support those in business; from entrepreneurs and SMEs to large indigenous companies and MNCs. The budget is an opportunity for the Government to support the economy
CHAMBERS IRELAND | Budget 2014 by facilitating better conditions for business. We believe this will ultimately sustain and create jobs. After a ‘peak to trough’ decline in demand of 20 per cent, the highest in the Eurozone, an increase in demand will stimulate growth and employment and build consumer confidence. So, what did the Budget include that we feel will contribute to this? Firstly, throughout 2013, including in our ‘Alternative 10 Point Plan’ and pre-budget submission, we called on the Government to introduce a reduced VAT rate for home Repair, Maintenance and Improvement. A variation on this scheme was announced in the budget. Tax credits will be available for homeowners making improvements over a period of two years on projects of a certain value. The real benefit of this initiative is how it is based on a system of tax refunds rather than a reduced rate at source. This is an incentive for traders to remain in or return to the real economy and a deterrent to black market activity. Secondly, we called on the Government to see Budget 2014 as an opportunity to ease the burden of accessing working capital for business by raising the qualifying amount for cash accounting. This was raised from €1m to €1.25m in Budget 2013, an increase that was of negligible benefit to the vast majority of businesses. This year’s increase to €2.5m is much more significant and can be of real benefit for a greater number of SMEs. We also called for improvements to, and better promotion of, the Employment Investment and Incentive Scheme. This is an excellent scheme with considerable potential to support job creators; however, take up is disappointingly low. Both were announced in the Budget. The higher earners restriction was removed and Government is committed to rolling out a communications plan to promote the scheme. Compared to last year, there was a distinct lack of ‘kite flying’ prior to the Budget. However, one issue that received much media coverage was the potential scrapping of the nine per cent VAT rate for the hospitality sector. At the end of the year of the Gathering and given the significant increases in employment since the measure was introduced, we joined with other groups in calling for
the retention of this rate. It is a considerable fillip to the entire hospitality and tourism sector that this rate was retained. Finally, we have consistently called for an improved environment for entrepreneurs by introducing Capital Gains Tax Relief. The 50 per cent relief on Capital Gains Tax for re-investment in start-up companies, announced in the Budget, will help raise much-needed finance. So, all in all, this was a budget which shows Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland. the importance of engaging with Government and indicates the strength impact of the new levy on banks. of the Chamber Network when it works This will ultimately be negative as it together and calls for specific actions and will inevitably be passed on to initiatives. consumers and businesses through However, no one ever gets everything increases in interest costs and fees. their own way and we feel that some For the first time in a long time, a announcements in particular were budget was announced in a broadly disappointing. We feel these run counter positive economic environment. We feel to the Government’s stated aim of the economy has reached an important encouraging job creation. inflection point. Live register figures Firstly, the pension levy is being suggest people are slowly getting back increased to 0.75 per cent for the next into work, growth is modestly pleasing year. This amounts to little more than an and anecdotal evidence from Chambers attack on capital and savings. Secondly, throughout Ireland points towards there has been a de facto increase in the recovery. amount of sick pay paid by employers. This Budget was an opportunity to Where employers do pay sick pay, this build on this momentum; to stimulate has increased from three to six days. further growth and support the business We would also question the logic and community. Needless to say the devil will timing of the change in tax treatment be in the detail; however, as things stand, of Private Health Insurance. This will this seems like a fairly positive Budget inevitably increase policy costs and lead for business. The measures above, along to further dropout from the market with others such as the Start Your Own of younger, healthier people who Business Scheme and increasing the support the entire system. Also, why did threshold for the Credit Review Office, this change have to become effective all contribute to an environment and overnight? At a minimum, this should culture that encourages people to start have been implemented from January 1st business, supports those who have taken to allow for more orderly compliance. the first steps and gives more security to Finally, we are concerned about the established companies. InBusiness | Q3 2013 51
An action-packed week of nationwide business events proves to be a great success.
he third annual Chamber Week took place between Monday 16th and Friday 20th September with Chambers across the country running events showcasing the benefit of joining a network of businesses with over 650,000 employees - who receive over €23 billion in salaries annually. The events that took place included seminars, site visits and expos showing how new members can find new customers, access better training opportunities and work to improve their local business environment, while discovering how Chambers support business locally, regionally and nationally. Businesses, regardless of whether they are Chamber members or not, had the opportunity to attend these events,
seminars and information evenings, gaining a better understanding of how being part of the Chamber Network is ’Better for your Business’. Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “Chamber Week is the perfect way for businesses and their staff to see what their local Chamber can do for them. There are great events running all over Ireland allowing people to get a taste of the benefits of membership before joining. Member businesses are succeeding because they become more productive by learning from and selling to each other and create critical mass to effectively lobby to develop more successful, thriving local communities and business environments.” Below are some of the events which took place as part of Chamber Week.
Business After Hours
ork Chamber held the September Business After Hours event at the Port of Cork building on Custom House Quay on Tues 17 September as part of Chamber Week. The Port of Cork is the key seaport on the south of Ireland and acts as a major facilitator of both imports and export. The Port of Cork also attracts on average 100,000 cruise passengers and crew to the region every year, which in turn contributes significantly to the local
Port of Cork Event 52 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
economy. Since 2000, the Port of Cork has invested €72 million in improving port infrastructure and facilities, and currently has proposed plans for further development in Ringaskiddy as part of their Strategic Development Plan Review. This event provided a unique opportunity to see the historical Port of Cork building and an opportunity to attendees to network, meet potential clients and grow their business.
Sustainable Manufacturing Conference
national conference on sustainable manufacturing took place on Thursday September 19 at The Tower Hotel, Waterford as part of Chamber Week. The conference was hosted by Waterford Chamber and focused on the manufacturing industry, sustainability and driving cost improvements into the future. Among those on the conference programme was Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD. Ten key experts in the manufacturing field each spoke and focused on a various aspects of the industry. The keynote speakers included Christy Kenneally, a management training consultant, Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra and Eoghan O’Donoghue from SEAM Research Centre, Mike Fennessy from Renishaw Ireland and Gerry Higgins from University of Limerick. Speaking at the conference, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said, “I want to say how pleased I am to address this conference and congratulate the Chamber on this initiative because I believe that manufacturing has been undervalued in Irish public policy in recent years. Back in the '90s we were employing over 300,000 people in the industry compared with just above 200,000 now. That has been a huge loss. But as we address our problems it is becoming increasingly clear that we must recognise that manufacturing has a critical role to play in the development of Ireland as a strong open economy.”
Winning Business at Home and Abroad L
imerick Chamber held a conference on 'Winning Business at Home and Abroad' at the Radisson Hotel in Limerick on Thursday 19 as part of Chamber Week. This conference was aimed at any company who wants to increase sales or has started to target new markets – at home and abroad – to strengthen their business. There has been a lot of talk about the importance of exploring new markets, but this conference and expo offered the practicalities that companies need. The conference speakers addressed some of the key questions and challenges companies face in this area and offered an insight into how others have identified opportunities, overcome challenges and been successful. The speaker line-up included Dr Briga Hynes, University of Limerick, Ray Clarke, Shaping Business, Liam Ryan, BMS Ireland, Colm O’Brien, Carambola Kidz, Ed Field, Digino Marketing, David Byrne, Enterprise Ireland and Tom Fuller, Bank of Ireland.
Limerick Chamber launches 'Winning Business at Home and Abroad' conference.
Competitive Advantage in a Digital World
s part of Chamber Week, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber held a network evening at the Microsoft offices in Sandyford with presentations by Richard Moore, Director of Marketing and Operations for Microsoft Ireland on the subject of 'Creating Competitive Advantage In Today’s Digital World'. The evening began with Peter Fry, Chamber CEO, welcoming Josephine Browne, the President of the Chamber and all present. He thanked in particular Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland and Yvonne Mc
Garry, SME Marketing Manager of Microsoft Ireland, for taking the time to attend the event. He went on to say that the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber are very proud of the fact that Microsoft are one of their members and grateful for their active participation in the Chamber. Fry said that Microsoft’s presence in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown is a global stamp of approval, not only for Ireland, but for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. He paid tribute to the company for what they have achieved and continue to achieve and also to their founder Bill Gates and his
wonderful acts of charity. Sean Murphy, Deputy CEO of Chambers Ireland, then took to the podium and outlined details of the events taking place throughout Ireland during Chamber Week and the impact Chambers were having in our country. Murphy went on to inform attendees about the strong message Chambers Ireland gave to Government in their pre-budget submission which was not to increase costs to business. President Josephine Browne concluded the evening by thanking Microsoft and all attendees for making the night such an enjoyable one. InBusiness | Q3 2013 53
KPMG, CSR Award Winners for Outstanding Achievement, 2013
Ten Years of Celebrating CSR A decade on and the CSR Awards are continuing to attract high standard applications from businesses both big and small.
en years ago no one in either Chambers Ireland or our partners Business in the Community foresaw how the CSR Awards would grow and develop. They were organised by the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland, as Chambers Ireland was then known. They were sponsored by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, but that responsibility has now moved to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. While much has changed, the heart of the event remains the same. Back in 2004, the reason we began the awards was “to recognise the work being carried out by Irish and multinational 56 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
companies to improve the lives of their employees and to enhance the civic environment in which they operate”. This is still a core mission of the CSR Awards. Companies still work tirelessly to become sustainable and develop their local community and workplace. They also focus on their supply chain and work on international projects as part
of an ever broader community outreach that so many firms embrace. While the awards themselves may look different, what they celebrate remains as important as ever. According to John Cunningham, who has been Chair of the judging panel for a number of years, “These awards continue to give us the chance to recognise the work that the
“The reason we began the awards was “to recognise the work being carried out by Irish and multinational companies to improve the lives of their employees and to enhance the civic environment in which they operate”
© Hemera /Thinkstock
CSR Awards 2013
CSR Awards 2013 business community does in relation to the local community, their employees, their stakeholders and their overall sustainability. CSR is often seen as ‘going the extra mile’ and there’s no doubt that Irish businesses have embraced that motto.” This year marked a record number of applications and of particular importance, the largest number of new entrants since the awards began. “It shows that 10 years on, CSR is continuously growing and more and more companies are realising its importance,” says Cunningham. “Having been a judge for a number of years now, it is obvious that it is not just the number but the standard of applications that is on the increase. The quality of CSR initiatives in place across the country is remarkable.”
CSR has often been cited as something that only larger companies with bigger budgets can afford to engage in. Has this changed over the last ten years? According to Cunningham, SMEs are now beginning to realise the benefits of CSR. “CSR doesn’t have to mean big and bold, often it is the simplest ideas that are the most effective. In fact, Chambers Ireland has recently launched a guide to CSR and sustainability for SMEs and I’d encourage any SME to read it and find
out how to get involved.” “Regardless of the size of the company involved, it is important to celebrate the work done in these areas and recognise the value business can bring to their local communities and environments. These awards have consistently highlighted the best projects. Furthermore, they act as a catalyst; inspiring other companies to take up the CSR challenge and motivating others to get involved.”
“It is obvious that it is not just the number but the standard of applications that is on the increase. The quality of CSR initiatives in place across the country is remarkable.” The Pillars of CSR
Community Community-based CSR projects, by their nature, are generally the most visible aspects of a company’s CSR activities. The projects depend on direct interaction between the company and the community, generating economic and social vibrancy in the locality. A company builds on this goodwill by using their grassroots knowledge of the issues facing those living in the surrounding area to deliver an effective community-focused CSR strategy. There are many different options open to a company that wants to engage in community-based CSR activities. Community is an ever expanding area of CSR, evident in the fact that for this year’s awards we had to divide the community category into three strands – charity, volunteering and community programmes. Community CSR can range from sponsoring a local sports team, fundraising for charity or sharing the skills of your employees with the community.
Environment Environmental and sustainability concerns have been at the forefront of public thinking in recent years. There is a growing awareness of the need to implement policies which enable sustainable development.
Environment-based CSR projects go beyond the legislative obligations and promote greener economic growth. These projects may not garner the same amount of publicity as those with a community focus, however many SMEs find they provide substantial financial benefits as well as improving the firm’s image as an environmentally-aware company.
Marketplace Marketplace CSR involves both a company’s customers and its suppliers. These types of projects are usually away from the public eye but show the willingness of companies to go above and beyond the call of duty when dealing with their stakeholders. Companies have an interest in ensuring that their suppliers provide adequate pay and working conditions, conduct their business in a transparent manner and implement sustainable working practices. For customers, it is important for companies to implement responsible sales and marketing policies and to train their staff on how these policies can be achieved. Marketplace CSR helps businesses to nurture a corporate culture that values the needs, expectations and diversity of its customers.
Workplace Employees provide the know-how, productivity, customer service and creativity necessary for businesses to thrive. Employers should seek to put in place policies that promote the retention and development of their staff and nurture workplace environments that will attract recruits of the highest calibre. Workplace CSR programmes can affect many different areas of a company’s HR policy such as health and safety, work-life balance of employees, staff diversity and cultural awareness. A healthy balance between the work and non-work aspects of employees’ lives is essential in order to burn out and create a positive and productive working environment.
Communication In recent times, communication of CSR initiatives has become more important. While many companies around the country have cross-pillar CSR policies in place, most of their activities are not known to their wider stakeholders. Communicating their CSR initiatives gives companies the chance to get across their way of thinking and highlight the excellent work they are doing in various areas of CSR. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 57
CSR AWARDS 2013 shortlist
3 1 0 2 Shortlist * Winners in gold
LIC: Large Indigenous Company | MNC: Multinational Company
Partnership with Charity – LIC 4Cornmarket Group Financial
Services Ltd – Global Schoolroom 4Eircom – An Unprecedented CSR
Partnership with Special Olympics 4Eversheds – The Eversheds/Barretstown
School Sports Day Big Picnic 4Sun Life Information Services Ireland
Limited – BRIDGE Community Relations Committee partnership with SOLAS 4Transdev Dublin – Dublin’s Transport Links, Racism Divides
Partnership with Charity – MNC 4BNY Mellon – Shine Sensory Garden 4Covidien – 1 Day for Rehab 4Dell – Irish Cancer Society
Partnership for Daffodil Day 4IBM – Socialcomputing.ie 4KPMG – KPMG sets up Enactus Ireland 4Nestlé Ireland – Jack & Jill Children’s
Foundation ‘Bringing Home’ Campaign 4TK Maxx Ireland – Enable Ireland’s
Give Up Clothes For Good’
CSR Awards 2013 MC, Anne Cassin.
Community Programme – LIC
Community Programme – MNC
4A&L Goodbody – Supporting Suas’
4Accenture – Skills to Succeed 4Coca–Cola HBC Ireland
Literacy Support Programme 4Croke Park Stadium – Community Programme 4IPB Insurance – IPB Gathering Ireland Fund 4Sun Life Information Services Ireland Ltd – BRIDGE Community Relations Committee 4Ulster Bank – Rugby Force & GAA Force 58 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
– Thank You Fund 4Dell – Young People and Education:
A Multi–faceted Approach 4Intel Ireland – Mini Scientist Programme 4Janssen Supply Chain Ireland
– Message in a Bottle 4Microsoft – YouthSpark 4Oracle – Volunteer Programme
Volunteering – LIC 4ARAMARK – Building Community Day 4Arthur Cox – Special Olympics
Ireland Volunteering 4KBC Bank – Volunteering at KBC 4UPC Ireland – Safer Internet Day 2013
Volunteering – MNC 4Abbott Ireland – Croí an Óir 4Accenture – Time to Volunteer 4BT Ireland – Better Future Volunteers 4Dell – Employees go ‘Dafft’ for
CSR AWARDS 2013 shortlist 4Heineken Ireland – V-Day 4KPMG – St. Michael’s House
Multi–Sensory Stories 4Oracle – Sales Masterclass 4Trend Micro – Internet Safety for Kids and Families
4Kerry Group – RAIN and 1000 Days 4PM Group – Pro Bono services to Gorta
Workplace 4Abbott Ireland –
Marketplace 4A&L Goodbody – Pro Bono Practice 4Irish Life – Pink Power 4Marks & Spencer Ireland – Plan A 4Ulster Bank – BusinessWomenCan
4Citi – Diversity Employee Networks 4Intel Ireland – Health for Life 4Microsoft – One Microsoft 4Oracle – Language Exchange
– CSR Programme 4Maritime Hotel –
Towards a Greener Hotel 4Pavilions Shopping Centre
– Road to Rio 4The River Lee Hotel – Greening the
River Lee Hotel 4Three Q Recruitment – Making what
we do WORK for others
Communication 4Dublin Airport Authority
– CSR Communication Strategy 4Fuzion Communications – Safebook 4O2 – Think Big Marketing Campaign 4Ulster Bank – Sustainability Initiative
Environment– LIC 4Cork Airport – Carbon Footprint
Judging Panel The independent judging panel is made up of respected individuals working in various fields. The panel act independently at all times. Judges do not participate in votes for categories affecting companies with which they are linked. Preliminary Panel 4Shane Colgan, ERC Coordinator, Environmental Protection Agency 4Gerry Davis, Chief Executive, Public Relations Institute of Ireland 4Yvonne McKenna, CEO, Volunteer Ireland 4Seán McLoughlin, Assistant Principal Officer, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government 4Angela Smith, Corporate Social Responsibility Executive, Diageo
Main Panel 4Cormac Clancy, Principal Officer,
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government 4John Cunningham, Chair, Immigrant Council of Ireland 4Cathal Divilly, Managing Director, Great Place to Work 4Martin Tobin, CEO, European Recycling Platform 4John Trethowan, Director, Business in the Community Ireland 4Hans Zomer, Director, Dóchas
4Croke Park Stadium – Greener. On
and off the pitch 4Dawn Meats – Sustainability
Programme 2012 4Dublin Airport Authority – Travelling
Towards Sustainability 4Servier (Ireland) Industries Ltd.
– Nil to Landfill 4University College Cork
– Green Campus Programme
Environment– MNC 4Intel Ireland – The Remarkable Rye Water 4KPMG – Trees for Schools 4McDonald’s Restaurants Ireland – Planet
Champions Employee Engagement Programme
International CSR 4Arthur Cox – Mwandi Project 4Country Crest – Christine Model
Farm Programme 4ESB/EirGrid – Providing a renewable
energy solution for families in Central Eritrea through fuel–efficient stoves
KPMG, CSR Award Winner for Outstanding Achievement, 2013.
The Corporate Social Responsibility Awards 2013 12th September, DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin – Burlington Road. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 59
KPMG | CSR AWARDS 2013
EX Y BY CEL NIT Y A M LENCE IN COMMU PAN M ULT I-NATIONAL CO
KPMG’s longstanding commitment to CSR has been rewarded by winning this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award.
t KPMG we believe corporate social responsibility (CSR) is at the heart of all great organisations, and are committed to making a real difference to the communities in which we operate. We want our employees to be part of this effort and actively get involved in CSR activities that will ultimately make a real positive impact on society.
Enactus Ireland As part of our CSR platform, KPMG has established a new charity called Enactus Ireland, which encourages university students to tackle social issues to improve the quality of life and standard of living of people in their communities, through the application of business and economic concepts, and an entrepreneurial approach. Mentored by faculty advisers and local Business Advisory Boards, Enactus teams spend the academic year conducting educational outreach projects that make lasting differences in their communities. Students develop confidence, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, communication and business skills while their efforts have a profound effect on at risk youth, students, small and large businesses and needy and disadvantaged groups. In the first year, Enactus Ireland and KPMG engaged four Irish universities – Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin and NUI Galway – where 82 students undertook a total of eleven diverse community projects. These students were equipped with the necessary skills to undertake such projects through training hosted by KPMG. Ultimately students undertook a total of 3,360 60 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Eric Wallace, Partner, KPMG; Karina Howley, Head of CSR at KPMG and Colm Gorman, Partner, KPMG.
hours of volunteer work on a variety of projects. Building on that success, all seven Irish universities are now participating with 128 students and 21 university staff working on 21 community projects. A key element of the success of Enactus was the engagement of other corporate partners who were committed to the cause: KBC Bank, AIG, Arthur Cox, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Unilever, The Musgrave Group and The Ireland Funds. Gibney Communications and The Irish Times also support Enactus Ireland as Communications Partners. In its first year of operation KPMG dedicated a substantial amount of resources to Enactus Ireland to ensure its survival, including benefit-in-kind support of over a100,000, the hosting of training events, launch expenses and a pledge of a25,000 annual sponsorship. The results are already beginning to show; Trinity College Dublin students have developed a system for diverting
food from landfill to those who are in need, while the DCU team mobilised the student population to develop a programme to break down the barriers to education which children in the Ballymun area are faced with. Passionate and resourceful, these Enactus students are developing new solutions to our societal problems and are true entrepreneurs and real innovators, something a firm like KPMG is passionate about supporting.
St Michael’s House St. Michael’s House helps children with profound intellectual disabilities and supports them and their parents with comprehensive programmes covering areas such as clinical therapies, special national schools, inclusive education, vocational training and employment support. Over the years, KPMG has built a strong relationship with St. Michael’s House and recently the organisation’s home teachers and outreach librarians
KPMG | CSR AWARDS 2013
approached KPMG about working together to develop a prototype for multi-sensory stories for children with intellectual disability. The Multi-Sensory Stories pack was officially launched by Cecilia Ahern in March 2013. Each pack contains specially written stories and a range of props that bring the story to life by touch, smell, sight and sound. John Leonard, Chairman of the Board of Directors of St. Michael’s House said at the formal launch of the initiative in March: “The Sensory Stories pack is a very important initiative and will greatly enhance our developmental work with young children. We are delighted with KPMG’s invaluable involvement of this project, which allows parents to support their child’s development through interactive storytelling.” An undertaking which won the CSR 2013 Award for Excellence in Community by a multinational company, this was a very creative and interactive project which we believed could make a lasting impact on children and their families. KPMG staff undertook a training session with St. Michael’s House staff so they could understand the learning difficulties of the children, and were briefed on how a multi-sensory story works. Over 30 staff were involved in the process of storywriting and sourcing sensory items followed by a day-long packaging session where all volunteers assembled their stories. Volunteers from the marketing department worked on the logo and sourced a high quality multi functional box to hold the various sensory items and the laminated story. Follow up meetings have confirmed the success of this project and the response from families has been universally positive. We are very proud to
be associated with this high impact project that really engaged our people mentally, emotionally and creatively and where they felt they really made a huge difference to the quality of life of profoundly disabled children. We look forward to continuing our relationship with St. Michael’s House and building on the success of this venture.
Trees for Schools In March 2013, KPMG also supported The Native Woodland Trust’s Trees for Schools Week, which saw one in three primary schools in the Republic of Ireland applying to participate, and 29,280 native Irish trees planted across the country. Trees for Schools Week is the only initiative of its kind in Ireland and provides an exciting opportunity for primary schools to make a positive impact on their local environment alongside The Native Woodland Trust charity, whose main aim is the preservation of Ireland’s native woodlands and the planting/ creation of new native woodlands. “Through our partnership with KPMG we are now able to provide free trees and educational materials to tens of thousands of school children across the country. This allows pupils to learn about our natural world but more specifically to learn about the trees native to Ireland and of course to actually have the chance to plant their own tree and create a mini native woodland on their school grounds,” said Linda Lawlor, manager of the Native Woodland Trust. KPMG believes that this initiative will have a significant positive impact on society, by actively engaging students to be more environmentally aware and through giving them the resources to have hands-on learning about indigenous native Irish trees.
This project also aligns with our desire to engage our staff as it allowed KPMG volunteers to work with national school students on the planting process. CSR is at the heart of all great organisations. At KPMG, we truly believe in our social responsibility and are committed to making a real difference to the communities in which we operate. We want our employees to be a part of this effort and actively get involved in CSR activities that will ultimately make a real positive impact on society.
Q3 2013 | InBusiness 61
Ulster Bank | CSR AWARDS 2013
EX CE CE L LE LA NCE IN MARKETP
Ulster Bank’s BusinessWomenCan initiative has been recognised through the awarding of this year’s Excellence in Marketplace Award.
lster Bank, as a large all-island bank, has a strong and positive impact on the Irish economy providing banking services to over 1.9 million customers and business clients, as well as funding for new business startups. Since opening our first branch in Ireland in 1836, we have a long history of community investment, employee volunteering and fundraising. Today, our sustainability strategy still focuses on these core values, and on the wider issues that matter most to our stakeholders: • Putting customers at the heart of our business, making it easier and simpler to bank with us • Providing funding for business growth, and supporting an entrepreneurial economy • Supporting financial education and financial inclusion Here we look at some of the many initiatives we’re investing in over the long term to help us meet these goals. We’re proud that these areas were shortlisted in Chambers Ireland CSR Awards 2013.
Business Women Can With less than 18 per cent of businesses in Ireland led by women, BusinessWomenCan taps into the potential for growth of female entrepreneurship. It’s a dynamic collaboration between our existing women business clients and professional women in Ulster Bank, working with external ambassadors to unlock the enterprise potential of women. Ulster Bank drew on a large body of research to understand the scale of the gender divide in business ownership in Ireland 62 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan TD, Fiona Kingston, Programme Director ‘Business Women Can’, Ulster Bank and Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland.
and the barriers which stand between women and entrepreneurship. Winner of the 2013 CSR Excellence in Marketplace Award, BusinessWomenCan is a creative solution to address this gap, using an ambassador support model to meet the specific needs of women in business. With 17 professional Ulster Bank ambassadors and 14 external ambassador-entrepreneurs, the aim is to support women on the road to business success. The programme includes business learning workshops, networking events, online insights and professional contacts. One of the most successful events to date was a media training and networking day held at RTE on International Women’s Day, aimed at helping women to profile their business successfully. Supporting women in business is a natural progression for Ulster Bank. Our
Women in Touch (WIT) internal network, established in 2010 by Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, helps inspire women managers at the bank to build their careers to executive level. Similarly, our long-standing Business Achievers Awards recently introduced a ‘Women in Business Award’ category, which attracted 30 per cent of all entries this year. The winners, Clevamama, are working mums and sisters Martina Craine and Suzanne Browne, whose pioneering and practical baby products are already taking to the international stage. Fiona Kingston, Programme Director of BusinessWomenCan for Ulster Bank, is strongly focused on the commercial potential of the initiative. “If we can help to meet the needs of this audience and add value to their businesses, we are well positioned to be the bank of choice for women entrepreneurs in Ireland”.
Ulster Bank | CSR AWARDS 2013 GAA and Rugby Force Ulster Bank is also committed to supporting local communities all over Ireland, demonstrated through our national and local sponsorships of sport, business and the arts. Begun in 2011, RugbyForce and GAAForce are grassroots club initiatives aimed at supporting local GAA and rugby clubs to refurbish and upgrade their clubhouse facilities and grounds. To date over 1,000 clubs have registered for both initiatives, which reflects the financial and volunteering challenges facing clubs today. Combined, 373 clubs have received support packages to the value of a212,500. The 2012/13 season has been the most successful to date, with 517 GAA and 135 Rugby clubs registering for support. Apart from funding and support, the initiatives put clubs and their volunteers at the heart of all activity, helping to build relationships between Ulster Bank’s local branches and business centres and their local communities. Investing in local community sport is a very tangible way to support the communities where we live and work, and also generates very positive local PR for both the clubs themselves and for our local business. As avid sports fans themselves, Ulster Bank employees are keen supporters and active volunteers with their local clubs, building relationships and goodwill in our communities. Everyone involved in GAA Force and Rugby Force is supported through ‘Give a Day’ – which offers all Ulster Bank employees one day’s leave each year to volunteer with a local voluntary organisation, community group or charity. “We’d like to thank Ulster Bank for their prize of £5000 through their RugbyForce initiative. The club has benefited tremendously with this cash injection which has allowed us to progress with much needed work and saw volunteers from all sections of our club come together,” said a representative from Ballymoney RFC.
Communication In the wake of the economic downturn, banks face a bigger challenge than most sectors in promoting the good work they do to support business and local communities. Communicating with our
internal audience is a particularly high priority for us at Ulster Bank, and we use a wide range of channels to reach over 5000 people, across multiple locations island-wide. Our dedicated community portal features information about our strategy, the programmes we invest in, our Charitable Giving Schemes, volunteering opportunities and how our people can get support for their favourite causes. Our Helpful Banking microsite puts a lively spotlight each week on how we’re helping our customers and communities; Leaders’ blogs highlight new initiatives, and celebrate community involvement alongside mainstream business news. Employees can opt in to monthly community e-mails and weekly alerts to get the latest news. Staff opinion is regularly consulted on new and existing initiatives to help us improve performance. Our communication strategy is all about building awareness, engagement and enthusiasm. We do this by celebrating our people as the driving force behind the success of our sustainability initiatives – whether you’re one of the hundreds of volunteers
delivering MoneySense in schools, a volunteer coach for the local sports team or going the extra mile to raise money for a cause you are passionate about. The focus on fresh, frequent and effective communication is clearly helping to achieve our aims: • Average of 35 per cent staff participation in community volunteering. • 8 per cent increase in last three years engagement scores on the questioncluster ‘Contribution to Community and Society’. • 84 per cent of staff polled believe the bank’s sustainability programme ‘has a positive impact on customers’. • 72 per cent believe Ulster Bank does ‘more than any other bank to support its communities’. We’re proud of the legacy we are continuing to build through these and many other initiatives. Looking ahead, we are committed to supporting the issues that are important for our business and which create long-term benefits for our customers and communities. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 63
INTEL | CSR AWARDS 2013
A River Runs Through It
EX CE NT ME FO LLEN ON NY R A CE IN NVIR MPA E T E H MU LTI-NATIONAL CO
Intel Ireland received the prestigious Excellence in the Environment for a Multi-National Company accolade for its production of the Remarkable Rye Water publication.
ntel Ireland considers corporate responsibility an inseparable part of its business. While many companies in the electronics industry now outsource most of their manufacturing, Intel continues to design and manufacture the majority of its products in its own factories. As a result, it places a strong emphasis on driving environmental sustainability across its global operations. Intel Ireland continually strives to improve its operations and minimise its impact on the environment and viligantly pursues new ways to reduce emissions and improve energy management through conservation, renewable energy, efficient building design and other efforts. Intel first made the decision to locate a manufacturing facility in Leixlip, County Kildare in 1989 and today the campus comprises 360 acres, of which 150 acres are in industrial use, with the balance of more than 200 acres being comprised of a mixture of amenity, residential and agricultural areas. Since first establishing these operations in Leixlip, Intel has been aware of the rich biodiversity contained within parts of the site and also the significance of the Rye Water and its valley. Intel constantly considers its ecological footprint at the campus and the preservation and improvement of the river waters and its valley have been an important part of its voluntary environment initiatives for many years. Speaking previously about Intel’s commitment to CSR, Intel President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul 64 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan TD; Lisa Harlow, External Affairs Manager, Intel; Sarah Sexton, External Relations Specialist, Intel; Mark Rutherford, Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Intel and Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland.
Ottelini said: “As a global technology and business leader, we are committed to doing the right things, the right way. For Intel, corporate responsibility is simply good business.”
Recognition Intel Ireland received the prestigious Excellence in the Environment for a Multi-National Company accolade at this year’s Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards. Intel picked up the environmental award for the production of the Remarkable Rye Water publication which was launched in October 2012 and contains two decades of investigations which have documented the aquatic life and water quality of the River Rye. Intel’s commitment to the River Rye has amounted to more than a500,000 over the last 20 years and includes not only the detailed annual reporting but also a number of major projects to
rehabilitate and enhance the Rye Water, working to preserve and enhance its natural habitat. This detailed monitoring of the River Rye, one of the longest running continuous freshwater assessments of salmonid populations, last year reached an important milestone as it marked the 20th year of reporting. To mark this occasion, and to share the wealth of unique information obtained through many years of monitoring, Intel commissioned the special publication which is an important reflection of the invaluable data that has been provided by the river water and valley. The publication was compiled by Aquens at UCD, who have been a long term partner in recording the Rye Waters. Intel is delighted to share part of the Rye Water’s story and is committed to the future preservation and enhancement of this beautiful and unique natural amenity.
Eversheds | CSR AWARDS 2013
Cultivating a Culture of CSR Eversheds employees have been volunteering their time to champion worthy causes.
he Eversheds approach to CSR goes beyond supporting charity by simply donating funds. As an organisation the employees believe it’s about more than that in order to achieve long term impact. That is why we’ve adopted the Fulfilling Lives approach. One of the pillars of Eversheds’ CSR programme is enabling its employees to support the community in which they operate. Employees are encouraged to participate in pro bono initiatives where by members of the team provide free legal advice to those that need it most in the community. The organisation works in partnership with The Bar Council of Ireland’s Voluntary Assistance Scheme and PILA (Public Interest Law Alliance). This is an ongoing programme, which is assessed each year by Eversheds to see how it can be developed and grown further, so that they can continue to make an impactful and practical difference to those around them. 2013 has been a highly successful year for Eversheds’ CSR programme, with a diverse range of activities being carried out on behalf of our partner charity organisations. The objective of these partnerships is to leverage the skills and enthusiasm of our employees with the goal of unlocking their potential as a team in order to maximise the impact of our CSR campaigns. To maintain momentum around our CSR programme throughout the year employees are also encouraged to get involved in other charitable endeavours such as the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Collection, the Barretstown Ball, the Rape Crisis Centre and Barretstown table quizzes. This year Eversheds officially marked International Women’s
Day by hosting a breakfast roundtable discussion at which Louise Phelan, VP of Paypal addressed a gathering of over 50 of Ireland’s most senior level business women. In order to Fulfil Lives Eversheds believes in fostering emerging talent and that is why throughout the year the organisation welcomes students to experience a real world professional environment, whereby students get the opportunity to access education and training from the team to support their future career goals.
Give and Gain
School Sports Day for Barretstown
Each year Give and Gain Day is one of the firm’s flagship corporate responsibility events. This year’s event entitled ‘Charity Matters’ was the fourth annual Give and Gain Day. The aim is to enable employees to meet charities and offer free legal advice specific to their needs. In order to ensure this is effective each year there is extensive research conducted around what advice charities seek from the legal sector. This year Eversheds hosted the ‘Charitable Matters’ Seminar to a gathering of representatives from approximately 20 leading Irish charities. Attendees heard from Justin McGettigan, Head of Tax in Eversheds and Senior Solicitors, John O’Donoghue and Orla Toal about taxation, property and employment law. Shane Byrne, former Irish rugby international, spoke to guests about the rise of charity ambassadors, and how such celebrities play a role in increasing charity profiles. He championed the method of developing a strong, long lasting relationship between celebrity and charity in order to achieve sustainable results for charities.
Eversheds will join forces with Barretstown this September to host the third annual Eversheds School Sports Day for Barretstown. The firm’s long standing partnership with Barretstown has grown over the past seven years and employees seek to offer their skills where they see the most benefit to Barretstown, with significant senior level employee involvement. The Eversheds School Sports Day is the largest fundraising event for Barretstown, and has grown in profile amongst the business community over the past three years. Through the support of a number of high profile Irish international rugby players it has now become a highlight for many on the business calendar. Taking place in Herbert Park from 4-7pm on Thursday 12th September, there will be a fantastic line up of fun activities such as space hopper challenges, egg and spoon races and obstacle courses for all the team to get involved in. Eversheds strive to encourage a strong programme of corporate giving amongst its employees which they seek to develop and enhance each year. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 65
Accenture | CSR AWARDS 2013
in the Community Accenture’s CSR policies are high on the agenda, ensuring that people around the world are equipped with the skills they need to succeed.
orporate citizenship is a fundamental aspect of Accenture and the way in which the company is run. Anchored in the core values and in the Code of Business Ethics, Accenture’s people demonstrate energy, enthusiasm and a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. Organisation-wide, Accenture’s CSR policies permeate the organisation under four pillars: • Corporate Governance – strong corporate governance is critical to longterm value creation, and Accenture strives to ensure that every aspect of their business adheres to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. • Environment – efforts at ensuring sustainable growth span the entire operation at Accenture, from how the firm runs their business to the services provided to the clients and their dealings with employees and suppliers. • People – having a diverse workforce is paramount to Accenture’s ability to bring both the best of people and ideas to their clients. The firm remains committed to creating and providing an open and equitable environment for individuals of all backgrounds, lifestyles, needs and expectations.
• Supply Chain – as a global company, Accenture has a responsibility to encourage sustainable business practices, inclusion and diversity to their thousands of suppliers around the world. 66 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Accenture and the Accenture Foundations will have contributed more than US$100 million by the end of 2013 in global and local giving, as well as pro bono contributions of time and Accenture employee skills to support the company’s corporate citizenship efforts.
Skills to Succeed Through its Skills to Succeed initiative, Accenture has committed to equipping 500,000 people around the world with the skills required to secure a job or build a business by 2015. Youth and long term unemployment is a social and economic challenge that no business can afford to ignore. Today, unemployment in Ireland is at 14 per cent, a challenge
which effects everyone – businesses, their clients and the community at large. Without access to training, education and ultimately employment opportunities, the problem will only worsen. Helping people develop skills so they can secure employment, build businesses and improve their communities is therefore of critical importance, and a great opportunity for Accenture to use their broad experience in developing and nurturing talent.
Global Goals Accenture launched a global goal in 2010 to equip 250,000 people around the world with the necessary skills for employment. Last February the firm
Accenture | CSR AWARDS 2013 announced that the goal had already been succeeded, and the target was immediately doubled. The new goal is clear: by 2015, 500,000 people around the world will have benefited from Skills to Succeed. Accenture’s community investment approach covers cash grants, pro bono projects, volunteering and fundraising with organisations that share the company’s vision. The firm focuses particularly on upskilling displaced and long term unemployed people, especially in disadvantaged communities, providing them with innovative job-seeking approaches. Programmes supported by Accenture include the JobNet programme, which offers job seekers an opportunity to enhance their marketable skills, the Emerge programme – providing the long term unemployed with access to ICT courses – and Dress for Success Dublin, which established a new employment support services department with funding and support from Accenture. In Ireland over the last three years, thousands of people have been equipped with the skills they need to get back into the workplace, including 6,400 farmers equipped with conservation agriculture skills in partnership with Concern Worldwide.
Wider Objectives Through Accenture’s wider business objectives, the Skills to Succeed partnerships also provide an opportunity for Accenture to raise awareness of social issues and highlight the great work of non-profits working in this space to a wider audience. From Accenture’s viewpoint, Skills to Succeed has a wide impact in terms of enhancing their brand and reputation, showcasing Accenture’s capabilities, increasing employee engagement and pride, and positioning Accenture as an employer of choice.
Time to Volunteer Accenture also has a long-standing commitment to paid volunteering, which has been in place for ten years. Accenture believes that volunteering is a key driver of skills development, enabling the firm to have a positive presence in the community while building a sense of engagement and pride with Accenture employees. Paid volunteering is a key offering of the
Corporate Citizenship programme, and forms a pivotal part of the wider Skills to Succeed agenda. All employees are allowed two days paid leave per fiscal year for community or voluntary activity. The Corporate Citizenship team advertises and promotes volunteering activities which help to drive the impact of Skills to Succeed, in ways which complement employees’ skills whether it be delivering a workshop, mentoring or assisting community partners in developing training programmes. The Time to Volunteer programme provides a unique opportunity for Accenture employees to positively impact their local community, using their core skills and enthusiasm to address the issue of unemployment. Many employees have legacy relationships of their own with organisations close to their hearts, and Accenture also supports the continuation of these. The programme also offers opportunities to champion Accenture’s sustainable growth agenda through eco-volunteering; the planting of trees, conservation work or educating young people about environmental issues and particpation in charity fundraising events such as charity cycles or the ever-popular ‘Movember’.
Purpose The purpose of the Time to Volunteer campaign was to educate, engage and inspire new and existing volunteers, and increase the rate of volunteering by 20 per cent compared with last year. The campaign’s message encouraged employees to access the programme and make a real difference by enhancing and learning new skills, and aiding the impact of Skills to Succeed. This year, Accenture has already seen a 34 per cent increase in volunteering rates in Q2, when compared with Q2 of last year, coinciding with the launch of the Time to Volunteer campaign.
Looking forward, there are plans to further expand the programme with a focus on eco-volunteering, recognising each volunteer with a ‘flare’ (a mark of recognition of their volunteering efforts) and encouraging them not only to volunteer again next year, but to inspire one other colleague to volunteer also.
Feedback Accenture works with local community partners to monitor the impact of volunteering on an annual basis, ensuring the programme is making a positive difference. The firm also works closely with these organisations to ensure end beneficiaries receive the relevant training, support and insight to meet their needs. As an example, Accenture monitors the impact of their flagship volunteering programme, ‘Abc’, – the Accenture business class which gives community-based organisations access to professional volunteers and their skills and expertise – by capturing participant feedback through online surveys. Employee response has also been consistently positive. Accenture’s FY12 annual volunteer survey revealed that 70 per cent of employees believed volunteering helped them to develop their work-related skills, while over 90 per cent believed it helped them develop a greater understanding of community issues and increased their job satisfaction. Corporate citizenship is fundamental to Accenture’s character and the way the firm operates as a high-performance business. It is anchored in Accenture’s core values and, ultimately, reflected by employees who live and work in communities around the world. From Skills to Succeed to the environment, Accenture and their people work to make a sustainable, measurable difference to the communities in which Accenture and their employees work and live. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 67
AbbotT Ireland | CSR AWARDS 2013
Making an Impact:
Corporate Responsibility at Abbott The belief that innovative, responsible and sustainable business plays an important role in building a healthy, thriving society is the cornerstone of Abbott’s global citizenship strategy. AbBott & Corporate Responsibility Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott employs approximately 3,000 people across eleven sites in Ireland. Abbott has six manufacturing facilities located in Clonmel, Cootehill, Donegal, Longford and Sligo and a third party manufacturing management operation in Sligo. It has commercial operations in Dublin and shared and support services in Dublin and Westport. A belief that innovative, responsible and sustainable business plays an important role in building a healthy, thriving society – in Ireland and around the world – is the cornerstone of Abbott’s global citizenship strategy.
Here in Ireland, Abbott’s corporate responsibility strategy has four priorities: innovating for the future; advancing science and engineering; supporting patients and enhancing access; safeguarding the environment and being a great place to work.
Croí an Óir Since its formal launch in 2008, Abbott’s national Croí an Óir programme has supported and inspired employees’ giving and volunteering efforts aligned with employees’ core competencies and community needs. In 2012, employees across Abbott’s sites in Ireland volunteered almost 12,000 hours in local communities. Croí an Óir-led projects support Abbott’s four CSR priorities. Innovating for the Future: Each year to coincide with National Science Week, Abbott employees volunteer their time to deliver Abbott’s signature science programmes, Abbott Family Science and
Local school students in Longford partake in Abbott’s Operation Discovery programme with an employee volunteer. 68 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Operation Discovery, for primary and secondary school students respectively, to inspire the next generation of scientists. To date, these programmes have seen more than 300 employee volunteers share their expertise with almost 3,000 students, parents and teachers. In addition, through its engagement with partner organisations such as Engineers Ireland and Junior Achievement Ireland, Abbott employee volunteers deliver engineering, business and science education and awareness programmes to primary and secondary school students. Supporting Patients and Enhancing Access: Abbott works with a wide range of patient organisations to improve the lives of patients. Abbott sponsored Cystic Fibrosis Ireland’s campaign ‘1 in 1,000’ and employees supported it by completing the women’s mini-marathon for the organisation. Earlier this year, Abbott employees, through volunteering
Employees volunteer at Blackrock Hospice in Dublin.
AbbotT Ireland | CSR AWARDS 2013 and fundraising, supported hospices in their local communities to coincide with National Volunteering Week. Abbott Ireland has also helped develop healthcare abroad. Through the Tanzania Laboratory Mentorship programme, three technical employees from Abbott’s diagnostic division in Ireland volunteered in Tanzania for eight weeks. They trained local staff in new laboratories built with the support of the Abbott Fund, Abbott’s philanthropic foundation. Safeguarding the Environment: Several sites participate in Tidy Town initiatives while others organise projects specific to environmental needs in the community. For example, Abbott’s diagnostic manufacturing facility in Sligo adopted a stretch of coastline through the Clean Coasts Programme. Last year, a group of employees of the site planted marram grass to prevent beach erosion, while also conducting a litter clean-up. Being a Great Place to Work: One of Abbott Ireland’s CSR priorities is ‘Being a Great Place to Work’ and Croí an Óir supports this by facilitating employee engagement and team building opportunities and instilling pride in the company.
LiveLifeWell Employee wellness is also an important part of the ‘Being a Great Place to Work’ priority of Abbott Ireland’s CSR strategy. To complement Abbott’s business and Abbott’s value of Caring, LiveLifeWell, a healthy living programme, was established to address the wellness needs of Abbott Ireland employees. The programme
takes a proactive approach to employee wellness with a calendar of four structured employee wellness programmes rolled out across all Abbott sites in Ireland each year. Examples of wellness programmes to date include weight management, cancer awareness and mental health. As part of these programmes, employees have the opportunity to take part in educational events, seminars and to participate in other activities. A review is completed each year of the wellness needs with programmes being continually developed to address changing needs. Healthy Lifestyles: Two programmes which are made available under the lifestyle and weight management banner are Abbott Transformation and Exercise Across Abbott. Abbott Transformation is an eight-week programme to promote a healthier lifestyle among Abbott employees. Initiatives rolled out at individual Abbott Ireland sites include fitness classes, walking classes and onsite health screenings. Exercise Across Abbott is a four-week, team-based fitness programme that rewards participants for increasing their physical activity each week. Teams track their weekly minutes of exercise and at the end of the competition the teams with the most increase in minutes are awarded prizes. Earlier this year, Exercise Across Abbott saw 43 teams of employees in Ireland take
part. Employees who have had success through LiveLifeWell are encouraged to share their stories with their colleagues through the website. Mental Health: The area of mental health was identified as a topic that was important to employees so a mental health campaign was launched in October 2011. The campaign has a number of facets and includes practical supports such as Money Skills for Life Training to assist employees effectively manage their finances and thus minimise the risk of stress relating to financial concerns. A novel aspect of the campaign was the training of forty employees as Mental Health First Aid Trainers in conjunction with Rehabcare. Abbott was the first corporate to engage with Rehabcare on the wide scale training of Mental Health First Aiders for the workplace. Abbott’s main asset is its people. By encouraging employees to understand their health, the importance of early detection and the need to make healthier choices, employees will be enabled to maximise their potential to have long, healthy and productive working lives. LiveLifeWell supports this by equipping employees to look after their own health and the health of their families. For more information on Abbott and its corporate responsibility activities please visit www.abbott.ie
“Abbott was the first corporate to engage with Rehabcare on the wide scale training of Mental Health First Aiders for the workplace.”
Health checks are offered to employees as part of the LiveLifeWell Programme.
Employees participate in the Great Pink Run as part of the LiveLifeWell Programme. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 69
Pavilions Shopping Centre | CSR AWARDS 2013
From Shopping to Soccer Swords Pavilions kicks off sport participation as part of its CSR programme.
words Pavilions Shopping Centre opened in May 2001 and is one of Ireland’s best known and most visited retail developments. Swords Pavilions is anchored by Dunnes Stores, Superquinn, TK Maxx, Argos, Movies @ Swords and Zara. With the opening of high profile and popular stores such as River Island, Next, Schuh, Jane Norman, extended Boots and Lifestyle Sports and the newly opening Kilkenny Shop, Swords Pavilions is north Dublin’s premier shopping centre with over 100 great shops, restaurants and cafes as well as the 11 screen Movies@Swords cinema all under one roof. “Swords Pavilions achieve a record numbers of visitors to the centre and the centre’s standing amongst its peers puts it in the spotlight that both international and indigenous retail brands are expressing an interest in becoming part of the Pavilions success story,” says Ian Hunter, Centre Director.
Zero to landfill 2013 project. We have also opened up our centre to charity organisations to create awareness of their causes through which they have raised over a100,000 in 2012 for their respective causes.
CSR at Pavilions
The Pavilions Shopping Centre CSR programme begins with and is driven by the management team. This senior level commitment is invaluable for helping make CSR a focal point for our business. Our CSR programme is comprised of our five pillar areas: corporate governance, the environment, people, health and safety, and community/ charitable activities. We have worked diligently to make responsible business practices more central to our operations and to incorporate feedback from our stakeholders more fully into our CSR targets and future plans. This is exemplified in a number of areas such as energy conservation through investment and enhanced environmental management systems, health and safety training programmes and our
Community is a key area for us as not only is it where we do business but also where some of our 1,700 staff of the centre live. The ‘Road to Rio’ program which was set up in conjunction with the Football Association of Ireland and Fingal County Council aims to provide a fun, safe and enjoyable environment for boys and girls aged between 7- 12 years. The program links the World Cup of 2014 to be held in Brazil with grassroots soccer. The program is specifically aimed at those that want to play soccer but may not necessarily want to join a football club. Its format of street soccer - 3v3 or 4v4 - gives a lot of ownership back to the kids where teams are formed randomly and extra points for good sportsmanship are awarded. On the final week, details of the local club are issued for those seeking
70 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
“We have worked diligently to make responsible business practices more central to our operations and to incorporate feedback from our stakeholders more fully into our CSR targets and future plans.” this information. The second part of the program is linked to local schools. The ‘Road to Rio’ after school program offers the opportunity to boys and girls to stay back after school to increase their active lifestyle and health and well-being. The girls-only after schools programmes have been very well received and have been instrumental in forming girls only teams and training groups with local clubs. In summary our main objectives were: • Encouraging sport participation of both girls and boys • Non-competitive element • Development of social skills • Soccer skill base covered all levels • Maximising players’ time with a ball • Fun element brought into the schools programme “Most important, however, is that they have respect for themselves and others. This will see approx. 10,000 kids get involved in sport within Fingal in two years which we are very proud to have been involved in,” Hunter concludes.
eircom | CSR AWARDS 2013
eircom & Special Olympics Ireland: A 28 Year Partnership eircom’s relationship with Special Olympics Ireland is stronger than ever as it approaches three decades in existence.
ircom and Special Olympics Ireland (SOI) have been working together for 28 years. As the longest continuous charitable sponsorship in Ireland, eircom is immensely proud of this partnership which has lasted more than a quarter of a century. Since 1985, the relationship has focused on three themes – community, participation and engagement - values shared by both organisations.
Growth Throughout the relationship, eircom has shared in Special Olympics Ireland’s organisational growth, facilitating its ability to serve those in the community with intellectual disability. It has grown from a single office operation in Dublin to an organisation with 11,000 athletes in 409 affiliated groups across the island and calls upon 25,000 volunteers to support athletes participating in a range of sporting activities. Down through the years, Special Olympics Ireland has been a great inspiration to our staff, who have been galvanised to fundraise and volunteer at many different levels, from the smallest of bake sales to large scale events such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the National Games and the World Summer and Winter Games. The longevity of the partnership has placed SOI close to the hearts of eircom staff throughout the country highlighting everything that Special Olympics represents – sportsmanship, skill, determination, bravery and most importantly – fun!
the country. This includes placing Every year an average of 100 eircom collection buckets in the 60 retail stores staff volunteer with Special Olympics. operating under the Meteor and eMobile While many are recurring volunteers, brands. eircom also provides all the it is a staggering 2,800 sets of hands, telecommunication and IT requirements hearts and heads who have ensured for the organisation. that so many athletes have been able Special Olympics Ireland has been to participate in Special Olympics. at the heart of eircom’s CSR agenda, This level of commitment underlines particularly during recent years. the strong natural fit between the Despite the commercial challenges organisations and is a reminder both to reduce levels of charitable activity for the public and our customers of that organisations constantly face, the connections and communities eircom’s relationship with SOI has that eircom supports right across the remained steadfast. The longevity of country. Over the past number of years, the relationship and the shared focus the relationship has evolved as SOI’s on the community and engagement has requirements have evolved. eircom ensured that this unique relationship now provides an entire distribution between two Irish organisations network and logistical support for SOI remains strong and mutually beneficial. for the National Collection Day. This One that is quickly approaching an involves the distribution and collection unprecedented 30 years. of materials to over 200 locations nationwide that significantly reduces the cost overheads for SOI and ensures that fundraising flows through to the bottom line and directly to dedicated activities for participants. With dedicated staff and vehicles, eircom distributes and collects all SOI Leah Ivers, eircom Group employee with Special Olympics Ireland athletes collecting for National Collection Day 2013 collection buckets in Heuston Station. throughout Q3 2013 | InBusiness 71
World-class conference facilities If youâ€™re in the business of winning, consider Croke Park for your next conference or event. One of the first sports stadiums in the world to achieve ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management certification this unique, historic, and accessible venue is simply unbeatable. Day delegate rates from E40pp. Book now call +353 1 8192300, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winner of Dublin Chamber Sustainable Business Challenge for 2012
Winner of Excellence in Environment Award (LIC), Chambers Ireland CSR Awards 2012
Croke Park | CSR AWARDS 2013
WHERE SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS Croke Park has embraced CSR through its environmental sustainability efforts and community initiatives including the Croke Park Community Fund.
t’s five years since a number of sustainability and social responsibility initiatives were developed at Croke Park and these have become firmly embedded in how the stadium operates. The first of these was the Cúl Green environmental and sustainability initiative with the ESB which involved putting in place a state of the art environmental improvement programme covering electricity, water and waste management systems. This has been developed into Greener. On and off the Pitch, an initiative which underlines Croke Park’s commitment to providing a safer, cleaner and more resource-efficient venue in cooperation with customers, suppliers, the local community, and the extended GAA network. The venue has become a leader in sustainable development since 2008 by driving a focused sustainability management programme and has been recognised with numerous certifications and awards, most notably becoming the first sports stadium in the world to be certified to BS8901 standard and later achieving the ISO20121 sustainable event management certification. Their results speak for themselves. The venue has achieved huge savings including: • 30 per cent reduction in electricity usage (all electricity is Electric Ireland certified ‘green’) • 23 per cent reduction in gas usage • 30 per cent reduction in water usage (saving equates to 108 Olympic sized swimming pools a year!) • 73 per cent of the Stadium’s waste is recycled or composted • 33 per cent cut in its Co2 emissions.
Ger Dorgan (Croke Park) presents Chris Maher from the Musical Youth Foundation with a plaque on behalf of the Croke Park Community Fund.
The Croke Park Community Fund is another social project run on an annual basis supporting projects within a 1.5km radius of the stadium. The fund has supported over 125 projects (€420,000) since 2008 and is part of a wider community liaison programme. The fund aims to assist suitable community projects within the local area around the stadium. “The wide variety of projects supported is testament to the many local groups working for their community” says Croke Park Community Liaison Officer Ger Dorgan. The fund benefits school and educational initiatives, local facilities and services as well as a large number of events for residents’ groups.
The role of the community officer in Croke Park involves liaising with the local community, keeping them informed on all matters related to stadium activities and promoting the fund. This is achieved through regular newsletters, ezines and a proactive local call campaign which involves door-to-door calls to connect with the local community. Additional outreach programmes have been developed such as local GAA sports camps, recruitment campaigns and recycling initiatives. To find out more about these initiatives, visit www.crokepark.ie. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 73
Citi | CSR AWARDS 2013
Diversity at Citi Diversity plays a major role in day to day activities at Citi, and permeates the entire organisation.
iversity is recognised at Citi as a key competitive advantage in the global marketplace. It is imperative for a successful organisation to provide a wide range of ideas and solutions to its clients. A diverse workforce understands clients better and is more creative and innovative on their behalf. “Diversity is truly important to Citi. We are a global bank and our workforce reflects this. To thrive in a global marketplace, companies must provide a wide range of ideas and innovative approaches for their clients. One of the ways in which we do this is through having a diverse workforce that reflects the unique attributes of our client base, helping us understand and develop innovation solutions to serve their needs,” says Bernice O’Driscoll, Senior HR Partner at Citi. The need for the creation of Citi Ireland Diversity Networks was identified to develop and retain talented employees, to foster a workplace culture where all individuals are respected. The company provides funding for each of the employees networks to run development programmes, organise events and raise awareness.
Citi Parents The Citi Parents network was established to provide information and to act as a support network for working parents. “We provide a variety of information on parenting topics with the aim of sharing experiences and offering support to one another,” explains network cochair, Rachel Howick. The network is quite active at Citi, organising a series of events for employees throughout the year, including bring your child to work day, workshops on maternity matters, expectant father’s programmes, first aid for children and family days out. “From a personal perspective, I was becoming a dad for the first time,” says Citi Parents co74 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
chair, Des Horstmann. “Speaking to the people that have gone through that phase of their lives is so important. I knew Citi Parents was there so when the opportunity arose, I was glad to join. I’ve taken quite a lot from it. What we try and do is use real life examples and to show that there is real support here at Citi. We’re not experts but we’re there and can talk to you or point you in the right direction.”
Citi Women Citi has a long-standing commitment to diversity in the workplace. As testament to this commitment, Citi Women Ireland was launched in 2003 with the purpose of unlocking the combined potential of women and Citi by inspiring progress, leading change, and driving success. “The committee was set up as a forum for
women to network and in addition for professional development,” says co-chair Fiona Feely. “It’s a great way for women to come together to network, and the committee itself is open to males and females across the organisation.” Citi Women organises a range of beneficial programmes including partnerships with charity, networking and skills training as well as panel discussions. Perhaps the most successful initiative has been the annual Citi Women mentoring programme.“The mentoring programme is hugely successful and its goal is to unlock male and female talent at Citi Ireland,” affirms co-chair Louise Casserly. The Citi Women mentoring programme has been established for eight years. It is a three tier programme available to male and female employees across the site and takes
Citi | CSR AWARDS 2013
place over a nine month period reaching out across all levels at the organisation, providing an opportunity for employees to have a more senior colleague act as a mentor. “It’s a formal programme where people can be matched and paired. They can give you an insight into how to get to the next level in the organisation,” adds Tara O’Reilly, Public Affairs Officer at Citi.
Citi Identity The Citi Identity Network celebrates different cultures by focusing on individual values in the workplace. “It’s there to promote an inclusive and supportive environment for employees at Citi,” explains member Ciaran O’Floinn. “Citi has representatives from well over 40 nationalities which facilitates an interest in the various different cultures. The network tries to find ways of getting people from different cultures together to learn about the various different cultures that are here.” Each year the network undertakes a significant series of events including language classes, national day celebrations and information events, such as a stand manned by Polish employees early in 2012 packed with useful information for the ardent Irish football fans heading to the European Championship last summer. A focus on the promotion of Ireland and Irish identity has come on stream in the last three or four years through the suborganisation Cumann na nGael, which runs Irish language classes, guest speakers and the promotion of Irish culture to
name but a few. “We realised about three or four years ago that Citi Identity was doing a fantastic job with the various cultures which are here, but we weren’t reciprocating. So we decided that we would organise a group that would try and promote and educate people about Irish culture,” says O’Floinn.
Citi Pride One of the newest Citi diversity networks and the winner of the 2013 GALA (Gay and Lesbian Awards) Employer of Choice category, Citi Pride is hard at work to ensure promotion of employee abilities regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and ensuring all employees feel comfortable being themselves in the workplace. Launched at the end of 2011, the network continues to grow and thrive, interacting with a lot of external bodies including other financial services organisations, multinationals and technology companies. The network is in particular working a great deal with GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, while talks from organisations and individuals such as Marriage Equality and David Norris are a regular feature on the agenda. Networks at Citi often partner where issues crossover, and Citi Pride and Citi Parents are due to co-host an event with Belong To, supporting young LGBT people and equipping parents with the necessary tools when their children come out. “It’s about raising awareness on equality and becoming the employer of choice,” says Stephen
Kinch, HR liaison for Citi Pride. “Citi is an equal opportunities employer and we want people to be promoted on their merits and their skills. Sexual orientation shouldn’t come into the equation.”
Citi disability Citi disAbility aims to support people with disabilities and their care givers focusing around three themes – education, raising awareness and cultivating partnerships with disability interest groups. Citi disAbility partners with AHEAD (Association for Higher Education and Disability) whose Willing Able Mentoring programme is designed to find paid internships for disabled graduates while speakers such as Declan Buckley and former Munster rugby player Alan Quinlan have spoken on a range of topics. “My wife’s family has people who are deaf, so when this came up, it was natural for me,” explains James Quinn, co-chair of the Citi disAbility committee. “Citi disAbility really has two focuses; one is to support disabled people, the other is to raise awareness within Citi Ireland and to provide support for employees who may not be disabled but have disabled relatives.” The Citi Ireland Diversity Employee Networks foster a culture where the best people want to work, where people are promoted on their merits, where the organisation values and demands respect for others and where opportunities to develop are widely available to all regardless of differences. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 75
Committed to our community
Lawyers who work for fulfilling lives Eversheds supports the local Dublin community. Our corporate responsibility programme is called ‘Fulfilling Lives’. Using the strengths of Ireland’s only international law firm, we aim to maximise the potential of people – those who work with us and those in wider society – by providing opportunities to grow, offering pro bono advice and volunteering our time. Our people invest a great deal of time in good causes, supporting a wide variety of charities through a wide range of fundraising activities.
To learn more about our approach to corporate responsibility, please contact: Joanne Hyde +353 1 6644252 email@example.com
Kerry Group | CSR AWARDS 2013
Building a sustainable future Kerry Group uses its influence at home and abroad to promote sustainability across the globe.
he sustainability programme at Kerry represents a journey of continuous improvement – an ongoing process and strategy to secure sustainable growth. Sustainability is at the heart of our business strategy and enshrined in our corporate mission statement. As a world leader in ingredients and flavours and as a major consumer foods organisation in Europe, Kerry aims to conduct its business in a responsible and sustainable manner. This demands an integrated approach to Group activities involving close liaison with our customers, suppliers, regulatory authorities, employees and other relevant stakeholders. In 2012, we launched our 1 Kerry Sustainability Programme 2012-2015, which provides a Kerry Group framework through which to ensure the long-term development of the organisation by building competitiveness, while at the same time enhancing the quality of life and protecting our natural resources. The programme represents a holistic Group-wide framework and governance approach to sustainable development. It sets out challenging short and long term targets built around four key pillars: Environment, Workplace, Marketplace and Community.
ENVIRONMENT The Group acknowledges the universal impact of climate change and the need to stimulate economic and business development in a sustainable manner. We are actively addressing the challenges posed by climate change and have programmes in place to measure, manage and reduce climate change impacts. Our environmental responsibility policy objectives are set out in ‘Kerry’s Eye for the Environment’. The Group has
ongoing improvement programmes in place with respect to energy utilisation, water intake, effluent and waste; and our sustainability programme sets out our targets across these KPIs. Accredited environmental management systems are progressively being established across all Group sites. To-date all Kerry Foods manufacturing sites have attained ISO 14001 accreditation.
WORKPLACE Central to Kerry’s success is the commitment, skill and creativity of our people. Through our Kerry Code of Conduct, we focus critical attention on ethical business practices and provision of a safe and healthy work place. Business conduct that demonstrates respect for co-workers, suppliers, customers and partners is an absolute expectation.
MARKETPLACE Everyday millions of people throughout the world consume food or beverage products produced by Kerry or by our customers using our ingredients and flavours. Through our leading innovation and product development expertise, we work closely with our customers to develop and deliver great-tasting, nutritious foods and beverages. In addition, Kerry Foods ‘Better for You’ Programme aims to improve existing products and develop new ones that contribute to a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.
COMMUNITY Kerry has a proud record of supporting community initiatives and charitable causes. The Group has committed significant financial resources and considerable management/employee time in assisting development of facilities,
amenities and charitable projects in the communities where it operates. The philosophy continues to be a core value of the Kerry organisation and on an annual basis the Group sponsors a wide range of education, healthcare, sporting, leisure, arts, amenity, community development and charitable causes. Kerry continues to play a vital role in supporting local communities and in participating in community development programmes throughout the world.
KERRY GROUP AND CONCERN WORLDWIDE In December 2011, Concern Worldwide and Kerry Group announced a pioneering initiative aimed at improving undernutrition and mortality rates in children under two years of age in the developing world. The project has already impacted on thousands of lives through ensuring that crops are grown and livestock are raised, together with vital nutrition and health education, addressing the specific nutritional needs of mothers and children. Kerry is contributing a1.25m of the overall a3.7m budget to the five year pilot project called RAIN (Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition) in the Mumbwa District, Central Zambia. For further information, visit www.kerrygroup.com. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 77
Heineken Ireland | CSR AWARDS 2013
Supporting the Community Heineken Ireland has partnered with the Simon Community to great effect. In 2010, HEINEKEN introduced a new holistic approach to sustainability called Brewing a Better Future, which is built around our core values of passion for quality, responsible enjoyment of our brands and respect for people, the environment and the communities in which we do business. Amongst the aims of the initiative is a focus on ensuring that local community support is focused on needs most relevant to the area. With this goal in mind, HEINEKEN Ireland embarked on a partnership programme with the Simon Community in 2011. The initiative was to go beyond simply funding. What followed was a holistic employee volunteering effort, with employees utilising their passion, talent and depth of expertise to help an organisation and cause they believed in. On V-Day, the company shut down operations at 1pm and began volunteering. HEINEKEN Ireland completed its third V-Day In June of this year with employees having logged in excess of 6,000 hours on local Simon Community project work in their respective communities throughout Ireland since the programme began.
As a result of V-Day Volunteerism is now an integral part of our company culture. In excess of 2,000 employee hours per annum directly benefit the Simon Communities nationwide. Cork Simon has now initiated a pilot Alcohol Addiction Aftercare programme for service users. 78 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
“V-Day is testament to our commitment to supporting local communities.” Significant monies have also been raised and donated to the Simon Community to help people who are homeless and those most affected by alcohol abuse in Irish society.
V Day On each V-Day, throughout the country, our employees embark on a range of activities including painting and decorating and putting their garden skills to use to upgrade garden areas at both volunteer and Simon service user homes. They spend quality time with Simon service users through football matches, BBQ’s and other social events. Some choose to fundraise for the organisation via sponsored walks and
cycles, while in Cork volunteers run a farmers’ market within the Brewery grounds selling produce baked and donated by their colleagues to raise additional funds. The work atmosphere in the build up to V-Day has always been extremely positive with employees energised by the prospect of what lies ahead on the day. Employees have a real sense of ownership of the V-Day programme and view it as an extremely good thing to do. The whole experience has had a profound effect on both HEINEKEN Ireland employees and the Simon Community, who are overwhelmed by the generosity and energy of our employees. Our people, in turn, find
Heineken Ireland | CSR AWARDS 2013 the experience rewarding, enriching, humbling, a real revelation, and a wonderful team experience.
Company Culture “Employee volunteerism is now an integral part of our company culture. Activities such as V-Day are testament to our commitment to supporting local communities whilst at the same time providing our employees with an opportunity to put their passion, talent, and expertise to work helping organisations and causes they believe in and making things somewhat brighter for people who are homeless in our society,” said Declan Farmer, Corporate Relations Manager, HEINEKEN Ireland. Dermot Kavanagh, CEO Cork Simon, commenting on Heineken’s V-Day activity in aid of Cork Simon said: “V-Day epitomises what Cork Simon has been about for over forty years – people from all walks of life coming together, believing in people; sharing their time, talents and experiences to help make sure that people who have nothing have a chance to hope again, to rebuild their lives and feel part
of the wider community. It’s an incredible contribution to make in helping to tackle homelessness.” This coming together has resulted in employees and local community organisations all benefiting from the partnerships developed, new skills learned, and services provided. V-Day activities have provided an opportunity
for Simon service users to interact with the wider community in a positive way. In addition, our V-Day support for Simon has resulted in the Cork Simon Community establishing an Alcohol Addiction Aftercare Pilot programme for its service users. V-Day was conceived as a way to promote volunteerism, to recognise individual and group volunteer efforts and to support community goals and social well being. A qualified success, it has resulted in building employee morale and promoting teamwork, enhancing relationships with existing strategic partnerships and NGOs and making a lasting positive difference in the communities in which HEINEKEN Ireland operates.
“V-Day truly makes an impact. When I tell friends about the initiative they are genuinely impressed that a company of HEINEKEN’s size organises that type of thing, and more importantly, that all the staff get behind it.” Employee, HEINEKEN Ireland 2013 Employee Survey. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 79
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Excellence means securing your success with arthur cox you can expect sound judgment and advice. You can expect in-depth sectoral expertise that will find new solutions to secure your success. You can expect a total commitment to your business – a genuine partnership that gives you the confidence to move forward and embrace new opportunities. With Arthur Cox you can always expect excellence.
To find out how Arthur Cox can help you, To find out more, contact call us on: +000 (0)0 000 0000 Brian O’Gorman, Managing Partner, on: +353 1 618 0000 www.arthurcox.com
CSR at Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox | CSR AWARDS 2013
NT EXC Y EE ELL NIT OM RIN ENCE IN COMMU US C O G-L ARGE INDIGEN
The relationship between Arthur Cox and Special Olympics Ireland has been mutually beneficial.
rthur Cox has a long tradition of philanthropy and charitable activity. Our CSR activity is one of the key components of the way we do business. Our Special Olympics volunteer initiative is a cornerstone of this CSR activity as it provides a structured and focused volunteering opportunity for staff to contribute to the community in a meaningful way.
Fun and Friendship Although Special Olympics is primarily a sporting organisation, it also allows the athletes to have fun, create friendships and engage in new and exciting social activities, whilst at the same time improving the athletes’ quality of life. Arthur Cox volunteers are given the opportunity to be part of this process, not only assisting with training events, but also assisting in ensuring that the athletes are part of something that really does change lives.
Volunteers Our volunteers benefit immensely from the initiative. It allows them to engage with people with intellectual difficulties and to understand the challenges that the athletes, their families and support networks must face every day. It allows for an appreciation of the determination, commitment and motivation of Special Olympics athletes and our staff can feel that they are part of something that is much bigger than individual efforts.
Arthur Cox Volunteer Staff
Leading Roles Arthur Cox staff are encouraged to take leading roles specifically in Special Olympics training events. Roles such as event manager, staging co-ordinators and competition manager are regularly assigned to them allowing them the chance to enhance their management, organisation and leadership skills. In 2012 and 2013, we took this leadership role a step further by providing a large complement of volunteers along with the full management team of volunteer coordinators for one of the Special Olympics Leinster Regional Aquatics Events.
Support The firm fully supports this volunteering initiative by providing as much assistance
as possible to our staff volunteers. We provide facilities, catering and equipment for event planning meetings and training, whilst also providing first aid training to volunteers. We organise transport for staff travelling to events outside Dublin and provide support for the fundraising initiatives that are run both internally and externally. We also support volunteers by allowing them to volunteer, on certain occasions, during the working week and this is not taken out of the volunteer’s holidays. We are very proud to be associated with the Special Olympics and the contribution our staff have made, not only to this great organisation but for all the work they do on behalf of the many organisations they support in the community.
“All too often, we take for granted the positive efforts of the few, who by their actions benefit many.” - Special Olympics Ireland, recognising the contribution of Arthur Cox volunteers. Q3 2013 | InBusiness 81
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DHL Express | CSR AWARDS 2013
Cycle for Cancer DHL Express amateur cyclists took part in one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world, in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.
HL Express, the world’s leading international express services provider, once again pledged its support to The Irish Cancer Society, as a team of eight amateur cyclists called ‘DHL Speed of Yellow’, with the assistance of a support road crew, set off from Trim Co Meath on Sunday 15th September to take part in the ‘Race Around Ireland’. It was a gruelling challenge as the team had to cycle nonstop, travelling 2,100km around Ireland. Race Around Ireland is part of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) World Cup series and has now become one of the most prestigious events on the Ultra Cycling World Cup Calendar. Race Around Ireland is like no other race event, as the clock starts once the team crossed the start line and doesn’t stop until each cyclist reaches the finish line at the end of the 2,100km circuit. To make the race even more challenging, the route is not roped off, there are no marshals controlling traffic and there are no planned rest stops. As a relay team event, the team had to cycle day and night, while checking in at time stations. Over the course of the 2,100km gruelling circuit, the team passed spectacular landmarks such as The Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The team also faced the Ring of Kerry and Mizen Head. From there, the team cycled on to Wicklow National Park and then back to the finish line in Navan, Co Meath. Speaking before the event, Paul Marson, Health and Safety Manager, DHL Express
Ireland and a DHL Speed of Yellow team member said: “Gearing up for this gruelling challenge has not been easy. We are a combined team of eight amateur cyclists along with a fantastic support road crew and we DHL Speed of Yellow Team. will be competing against professional cyclists as well as other amateur teams. As determination and teamwork, ensured they a group we wanted to take on a challenge crossed the line in 90 hours 16 minutes. that would push our bodies to the max while enabling us to go the extra mile for About DHL Express The Irish Cancer Society.” DHL Express is the world leader in Marson added: “All those hours of time definite international delivery. preparation will be worth it as so far we With a global network spanning more have raised p9,500 for the Irish Cancer than 220 countries and territories and Society. It’s impossible to embark on over 500 airports globally, we provide such a challenge without the support express delivery services to business and of our sponsors and we would like to private customers. DHL has a strong acknowledge and thank our sponsors corporate social responsibility tradition including: Beumergroup, BDA, Ice both locally and globally and over the Training Solutions, Leaseplan, Laya years has supported many organisations Heathcare, MJC Transport Limited, via DHL’s three Living Responsibility programmes – GoGreen, GoHelp and National Truck Rental, NiFast, Q.E.D, GoTeach. DHL Express Ireland has a very SD Transport, Skoda, Topaz, Universal prominent culture of social responsibility Graphics, VAYU and Volkswagen and a long tradition of volunteering. In Commercial Vehicle. Not forgetting everybody who sponsored us thus far via the past we have worked with many Irish charities including Irish Autism Action, the online charity page.” The challenge was a race against Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, time as the DHL Speed of Yellow team Temple Street Hospital and the Jack and competed head-to-head against the Jill foundation. In October 2012, DHL other teams, cycling professionals and Express announced its partnership with veterans of endurance cycling. However, the Irish Cancer Society as its new headline charity in Ireland for 2012 / 2013. their preparation, speed, precision, Q3 2013 | InBusiness 83
BAM Contractors | IB SURVEY
Strong CSR Supports
Sustainability Companies which focus on CSR will inevitably be stronger and more sustainable, says Theo Cullinane.
ompanies that take corporate social responsibility seriously are more likely to have sustainable businesses, according to Theo Cullinane, chief executive at BAM Contractors, which has sponsored the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards for a second consecutive year. “We were delighted to sponsor the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards again, particularly as it’s the 10th anniversary year of the awards,” said Cullinane. “As CSR is rooted in the way we conduct business at BAM, I can appreciate the level of commitment which all the shortlisted organisations have shown in delivering their various projects,” he said. “I believe that if a company has a good CSR policy, it will lead to a sustainable business. Striking a balance between nature and man is what sustainability is all about. Sustainability protects the environment for future generations, improves efficiency and output and promotes prosperity and employment.”
Support BAM, formerly known as Ascon, has operated in Ireland since 1958 designing and building some of Ireland’s crucial infrastructure and iconic buildings. Cullinane said BAM had chosen to support the CSR Awards through sponsorship after watching the competition grow and develop over several years. “I felt that supporting the awards would allow them to develop further in order to showcase CSR activities as being an integral part of a sustainable business,” he said. According to Cullinane, CSR is not a new concept. “Back when I started out, it wasn’t called CSR. It was called conducting your 84 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
business in the right way, behaving in a responsible manner, minding people, minding the planet and growing our business in a sustainable and balanced way by always adding value.” Some years ago BAM started to address the concept of CSR in a focused and business-like manner. “Since 2007 as part of our strategic planning process, we decided to operate to the Global Reporting Initiative standard (GRI) and also to report annually on Sustainability and CSR,” he said.
Top of the Class GRI is now embedded in BAM’s management system and the company has achieved an A+ rating. “In 2009 we joined the Carbon Disclosure Project and have achieved a Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index of 93 out of 100. That’s top of our class in the construction sector,” Cullinane said. “While we are proud of our achievement, our objective is to maintain and improve on this standard.” When BAM started to address the measurement of CSR, the company identified three main pillars on which to develop its strategy, namely people, planet and profit. “Under people, we deal with health and safety, human resource management, including training, management development and succession planning. Under planet, we deal with waste management, energy management, CO2 emissions and innovation. Under profit we deal with wealth creation and the distribution of this wealth between the different stakeholders we deal with, including employees, shareholders, community, government and our supply chain,” Cullinane said.
Theo Cullinane, chief executive at BAM Contractors.
BAM uses globally recognised KPIs to measure its safe working environment, CO2 emissions, energy consumption and waste. “Targets have been set for 2015 to give our strategy added focus,” he said. “Our Health and Safety incident rate has decreased annually and is 50 per cent down on 2010 levels. Total construction and office waste has reduced by 60 percent from 2009. This exceeds our ambition of 15 per cent reduction by 2015.” In addition, BAM’s carbon footprint has already fallen by ten per cent compared to 2009. “As you can see, our belief at BAM is that CSR should never be a box ticking exercise - a paragraph on an annual report, a speech at an AGM or a note to our shareholders. It should be embedded in the way we all build our businesses; the way we interact with others, the way we treat and develop our people, the way we choose materials and suppliers; the way we build our companies into sustainable businesses,” Cullinane concluded.
Q3 2013 | InBusiness 85
Working with world class companies directly investing in Ireland Building in Ireland for 55 years and continuing to build for our childrenâ€™s future Recent Activity includes: 93 FDI Hi Tech Projects 40 FDI Clients 51 Educational Facilities 29 Retail Developments 39 Healthcare Facilities 5 PPP Investments
BAM, proud to be a member of
Shannon Heritage | SHANNON
Shannon’s Heritage John Ruddle explains how Shannon Airport is experiencing something of a turnaround, and the role which Shannon Heritage has to play.
perating from Co Clare, Shannon Heritage oversees management of a range of tourist attractions, not just in the Shannon region, but also further afield. John Ruddle, CEO at Shannon Heritage has been noticing something of a turnaround in 2013. “There’s a lift internationally due to a slight turnaround in the global economic position, particularly in the USA. The increase into Ireland, into our attractions, is generally from the USA.” Part of this drive from the States has come from an improvement in the economic circumstance of some in North America, including the successive improvement of
unemployment figures month on month. The number of airline seats available and sold on US airlines has increased this year, and Shannon has benefited from this. “Shannon Airport would be on the increase this year, in terms of Americans coming in,” says Ruddle. “The other factor would be that the Gathering is definitely having a positive impact. The fact that so many people around the country are organising individual small to medium sized activities, that’s rising the tide for everybody.” Though the organisation is expanding its horizons, with the acquisition of Malahide Castle in recent times, it has particular synergy with the Shannon
area and Shannon Airport in particular, with whom it is working hand in hand to increase the number of visitors to the region. Up until now, it was part of the Shannon Development Group, much of which has been absorbed by Enterprise Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The decision was then taken to merge the remaining Shannon Heritage with the airport. “I think it’s a very good link up,” says Ruddle. “We need to promote things close to the airport, that are worth doing and worth staying overnight for. A very good starting point is to have a number of key attractions in the portfolio. What we can begin to do is to work with our customers, making Shannon the preferred access point.”
Grant Thornton | SHANNON
Monitoring the Midwest Mood Damian Gleeson, Audit and Assurance Partner with the Limerick office of Grant Thornton, considers the current business atmosphere in the Midwest region and how it is contributing to the wider economy.
he Midwest region consists of counties Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary and is renowned for its range of cultural activities and beautiful scenery. Attractions include seaside resorts, water sports, festivals, world renowned golf courses, medieval castles and historical monuments. The region is well served in terms of access and knowledge infrastructures, particularly with its international airport at Shannon, deep sea port in Foynes and its inter-urban road and rail networks. In today’s challenging business environment, international access is a basic necessity for firms operating in global markets, both in terms of physical access and the ability to transfer electronic data and information. The region has a developed international business support infrastructure, including a modern broadband telecom network, a sophisticated sub-supply base, professional service providers and a carefully planned physical environment to meet the needs of international business.
Access to Markets Shannon International Airport has created an ease of access to global
markets providing the region with a transatlantic gateway between Europe and America, and it is not surprising that the Midwest region has grown and developed a vast infrastructure of enormous importance. This includes an attractive and growing tourism enterprise as well as considerable foreign direct investment (FDI) companies and indigenous business across a number of key sectors including aerospace, software, engineering, healthcare, pharmaceutical and electronics. It also incorporates business activities such as customer support and contact centres, supply chain management, shared services, financial services, research and development, production and international headquarters.
Reputation in Education The Midwest Region has an excellent reputation for the quality of its third level institutions. Among those is the internationally renowned University of Limerick which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The university is one of the leading sources of graduates for industry such as engineering, IT, business and science. It continues
“In today’s challenging business environment, international access is a basic necessity for firms operating in global markets, both in terms of physical access and the ability to transfer electronic data and information.” 88 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
About Grant Thornton Ireland Grant Thornton Ireland can trace its history back to 1899. Today, the firm comprises over 500 people operating from offices in Dublin, Limerick, Kildare, Galway and Cork. In addition to audit and tax, it provides tax planning, corporate finance, corporate recovery and insolvency, forensic and investigation services, business risk services, computer assurance, IT consultancy, corporate secretarial services, family business consulting and personal tax and financial planning consulting. Its clients include privately held and dynamic businesses, large corporates and financial services.
to attract an ever greater number of overseas students. The Institutes of Technology in Limerick and Tipperary also host world class programmes. The readily available supply of a young, highly educated workforce gives the Midwest region a substantial advantage in attracting FDI companies. There is no doubt that businesses in the Midwest and across Ireland are enduring tough times, it is widely recognised that the current and challenging trends seen especially within the retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors, are set to continue into the future. However, to overcome these challenges, business owners and managers have become more dynamic in their approach, with
Grant Thornton | SHANNON branding and promotional exercises being used to increase footfall in their hotels, shops and visitor centres, while also offering a high level of value and choice to the consumer. Business owners are now more than ever utilising key performance indicators and other financial metrics as a way of identifying and improving revenue streams and profitability across their businesses.
Supporting Indigenous Business Grant Thornton is currently involved in a number of projects to assist indigenous business in the Midwest region. One such project which was set up in an effort to support entrepreneurship and stimulate job creation in the region is the ‘Enterprise Ladder Fund’ (ELF). Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) Thought Leadership and Advisory Group created a unique, privately generated fund to support the early and developmental stage for start-up businesses in the Midwest region. The a1 million ELF is the first seed-fund specifically for start-up companies at an Irish Institute of Technology. Qualifying companies can expect to receive funding from a10,000 to a25,000. Since its establishment in April 2012, the ELF has provided much needed early stage financial equity for start-up companies in LIT’s existing enterprise centres and start ups across the greater Limerick region.
City of Culture Another key development for the region is Limerick winning its bid to be the first ever Irish City of Culture in 2014. National City of Culture 2014 is an ambitious plan to establish Limerick as an internationally recognised location for culture in 2014 and beyond. Limerick will celebrate this prestigious designation with a high quality programme of events and initiatives taking place before and during the City of Culture year of 2014. This will help to further encourage regional, national and international visitors to come and stay in Limerick and the surrounding region helping to further boost the local economy and act as a stimulus. As part of City of Culture, Limerick will play host to a major international business summit of executives, entrepreneurs and investors in January. The Limerick
Institute of Technology and the University of Limerick have partnered with the Irish Technology Leadership Group to bring the latter’s annual summit to the city, where millions of euro in investments are set to be made. The ITLG is a support network of Irish, or Irish-American business leaders based in the Silicon Valley.
Connecting Councils The merger of Limerick City and County Councils by 2014 is another positive step. The hope is that the amalgamation of the two authorities will Damian Gleeson, Audit and Assurance Partner, Grant help drive economic Thornton. development in region as a whole is working hard Limerick and the to promote and support its local Midwest region. The new body will economy. The increased collaborative be mandated to promote economic actions of the region's Academia, development and a key pillar of this will Enterprise Agencies, Local Authorities, be a non-statutory high level economic group, involving business leaders and other Shannon Airport Authority, Board Fáilte, Chambers of Commerce and key personnel with the aim of delivering the community of multinational and investment and jobs to the region. indigenous firms gives us cautious While the business outlook in Ireland is still somewhat muted, entrepreneurial optimism for the future growth and prosperity of the Midwest region. spirit is still alive and well. The Midwest
Damian Gleeson Profile Damian Gleeson is Audit and Assurance Partner with the Limerick office of Grant Thornton. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA). Damian’s primary focus is in audit and he has extensive experience working with listed companies, multinationals and many significant indigenous entrepreneurial companies across a broad spectrum of industries. Damian has developed a substantial knowledge of the retail and food sector, working with large retail and franchise groups and a number of independent retail businesses. He has provided benchmarking exercises and has presented on key performance indicators, profitability and trend analysis to various retail and consumer groups. Damian is a past president of Shannon Chamber of Commerce and currently sits on their board. InBusiness | Q3 2013 89
Top Oil | SHANNON
Fueling the Nation Top Oil’s Group CEO Gerard Boylan explains how the company has been fueling Ireland for over 200 years and is well placed for future growth.
op Oil is one of the largest importers and distributors of fuel in the country, with a trading history dating back over 200 years. The family-owned and professionally managed company employs over 300 people, across the island of Ireland. As well as distributing home heating oil, retail, agricultural and marine fuel, the company is a large wholesaler of coal and other energy related products. Gerard Boylan, Group CEO for Top Oil explains. “As the oil industry in Ireland migrates from a multinational model to a more indigenous Irish-owned and Irish-managed model, we believe we are well placed to capitalise on the opportunities created. “In 2012, we revamped and launched our new brand identity. Over the next three years we will be making a significant investment in rebranding our existing network of forecourts, depots and the company’s fleet of vehicles. We are committed to developing the Top Oil brand and
Top Oil Service Station, Tullow. 90 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
becoming a market leader in the fuel sector for customer care and innovation. “The experience we have gained and expertise learned over generations, across the island of Ireland, has led to our continued success. We are committed to this industry and to the communities we serve. “The bedrock of our success is our committed team. You could say it is all about the people; the people who work with us, our customers and the communities we serve. We pride ourselves on being personable and on building long term relationships with our customers. “We are one of the only fuel companies to provide a true end-to-end solution, from port to pump, ensuring the best quality products for Irish businesses, motorists and consumers. From our 55,000 tonne import terminal, we supply 30 company owned depots and almost 150 dealer-owned retail sites, which all benefit from a national brand and the marketing, technical and operational support of a customer focused company.”
Gerard Boylan, Group CEO, Top Oil
Complementing the Top Oil retail offering is the company’s fuel card business which provides a safe, reliable and competitive fuel management service for HGV and commercial vehicles. The company already has a well established network of 150 dealer-owned service stations, six motorway service areas and numerous dedicated HGV locations. The company is also a service provider at Shannon Airport. “We have been involved as a refuelling provider at Shannon Airport since its inception. We have a long and rewarding relationship with the management there and look forward to continuing that as the airport embarks on a new chapter,” concludes Boylan. With a nationwide network of dealerowned service stations, fuel card locations and depots, Top Oil is well placed to grow in a competitive market.
Aero Inspection | SHANNON
Market Leaders in Aviation Support Shannon-based Aero Inspection International are taking the next logical step into Asia.
ero Inspection International Ltd (Aii) is a Shannon based European and American (EASA/ FAA) approved aircraft maintenance organisation. Primarily serving the aircraft leasing sector, Aii has been in business for almost ten years. Aii serves the leasing community and airlines by providing borescope inspections, boreblend repairs, component overhaul, pre purchase due diligence inspections (physical and desktop), engine storage and aircraft weighing. The business has gone from strength to strength since its establishment in Shannon in 2004. Aii opened additional offices in Limerick in 2007, as well as
in Dublin this year. It established a base in London in 2008 and Lisbon in 2010. Plans are already in motion for Aii to open its Singapore office in 2014. “We understand that Ireland is widely recognised as one of the world leaders in the Aviation Finance and Leasing industry. With many of our Shannon/Dublin based customers having offices based in Singapore as well, it was the next logical step for Aii to open a Singapore office to serve the Asia market,” commented Operations Manager, Peter Bagnell. Aii has approvals and expertise on most large commercial aircraft and engines, and through a programme
Thrust Worthy Support •B orescope Inspections (Engines and APU) • Boreblend • Component Overhaul • Pre/Post Lease inspection • Aircraft Weighing • Record Auditing • FAA IA & DAR • Aircraft Physical Inspection • Line Maintenance Support • Aircraft Appraisals
Ae r o I n s p e c t i o n In t e r n a t i o n a l L t d .
T: +353 61 353 747 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.aii.ie AOG: +353 86 330 747 4 | E: email@example.com 4200 Atlantic Avenue, Westpark Business Campus, Shannon Airport
of continual investment in the most advanced technology, they are able to hold their position as market leaders. Being based in Shannon is of great benefit to Aii as they are located within the aviation cluster which has developed in Shannon over the past number of years. The company operates on a global basis and has teams ready to travel at a moment’s notice. Aii has a wide range of services and a company ethos built on customer service and flexibility. This combination has helped Aii build strong relationships with aviation companies both in Shannon and around the world.
DHL Express | SHANNON
A Proud 33-Year History in Shannon Mike Farrell, Operations Director for DHL Express in Ireland, a 26-year veteran of the company, tells InBusiness about DHL’s long association with Shannon.
HL Express has a long and proud history of operations in Shannon which dates all the way back to 1980. In those early days import and export material to and from the region routed via Dublin on commercial flights. However, as the region developed and demand for services grew, a dedicated freighter aircraft was introduced in 1985. The first DHL aircraft to operate into Shannon was an Argosy, and as volumes grew this was upgraded to a Vickers Merchantman. These were great old aircraft and aviation enthusiasts will know them well! Today DHL operates a Boeing 737400 jet which provides uplift of more than 20 tonnes. The dedicated freighter operates in and out of Shannon via DHL’s Hub at East Midlands Airport in the UK. I am proud of the fact that we are the first integrated carrier to arrive into Shannon at 6.15am each morning and the last one out again at 8.40pm each night. This is important for
92 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
businesses in the region as it means they receive their import deliveries early in the morning and have later pick-ups for all their important exports. At DHL we see our role as facilitating international trade. We aim to make the world a smaller place by connecting the exporters of the Shannon region to their customers all around the world. Given Ireland’s location on the western periphery of Europe this is most important as it enables the exporting community to compete head-on with competitor companies all across Europe and beyond. By using DHL’s comprehensive network, companies from Kerry right up to Mayo can promise delivery of their product to their customers in the same timeframe as competitor companies based in Europe. For example we have a customer in Galway taking orders up to 4:30pm and shipping them out via DHL that same evening and achieving delivery all across Europe the following morning – with many delivered before 9am.
Mike Farrell, Operations Director, DHL Express Ireland.
So despite what some people might argue, physical location in the west of Ireland is not a disadvantage when it comes to servicing customers across Europe and beyond. The services provided by companies like DHL are critical to the competitiveness of the Shannon region. Furthermore, the availability of such services is most important when it comes to attracting new companies to the region who need to know that they can get their goods to their international customers seamlessly and in double-quick time. Today DHL employs 53 people, directly or indirectly, in Shannon and 122 in total across the territory serviced from DHL’s Shannon gateway. Our Shannon facility is central to DHL’s operations in Ireland. As mentioned at the outset, DHL has a long and proud history in Shannon and we remain absolutely committed to maintaining and growing this operation into the future.
Ei Electronics | SHANNON
Shannon Success Story Ei Electronics has been to the forefront of product and manufacturing innovation in Shannon for fifty years.
i Electronics, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of residential fire and gas detection products, is proudly celebrating 50 years of innovation and manufacturing excellence in Shannon, in 2013. Originally established by General Electric (USA) in January 1963, Ei Electronics is Irish owned for the past 25 years, following a management buyout in March 1988. Today, Ei Electronics is the largest employer in Shannon with 450 of its 500 strong workforce based at its headquarters. The other 50 staff members are in the overseas sales operations in UK, Germany and France. Uniquely, all business functions are based in Shannon; Research and Development, Marketing, Treasury and Manufacturing. And equally significantly, all products are 100 per cent manufactured in the company’s 12,000 square metre factory in
the Shannon Free Zone West. Product Development is the lifeblood of the company and Ei Electronics has consistently been to the forefront of technological innovation in microprocessor-based fire and gas detection, battery technology and wireless (RF) connectivity. Innovation has also been applied to manufacturing. Ei Electronics was one of the pioneers of ‘lean manufacturing’ in Ireland, when in 1996 it adopted ‘Kaizen’, based on the Toyota Production System. In the words of Michael Guinee, Managing Director: “Without Kaizen we would not be the business we are today; it has been essential to maintaining cost competitive manufacturing and worldclass quality and service from Shannon.” Ei Electronics truly is an indigenous success story and in maintaining 100 per cent of its manufacturing in Shannon it has disproved the commonly held view
that it is not possible to manufacture competitively and serve world markets from Ireland. Guinee passionately believes that Ei Electronics is a ‘template’ that Ireland needs to follow if this country is to reduce its overdependence on Foreign Direct Investment and deliver the jobs needed. “Ei Electronics has achieved a world leadership position in residential fire and gas detection. We export to 22 countries, give good sustainable employment to a broad skills-based workforce and contribute a30 million annually to the Irish economy,” says Guinee. He concludes: “The lasting success of the company over 50 years is down to the loyalty of our customers to the Ei Electronics brand and to the skills, attitude and flexibility of our workforce. We are proud of our achievements to date and are confident that this success can be maintained into the future.”
InBusiness | Q3 2013 93
Roundwood House | Hospitality
Round Our Way Roundwood House is a gorgeous Hidden Ireland property in County Laois providing a unique stay with a traditional welcome.
idden Ireland is a fascinating family of historic private houses around the country, and an invitation to stay and dine in unique and individual homes, each as diverse and interesting as their owners. A perfect venue to celebrate important family occasions, stylish private parties, boutique weddings and distinctive corporate events, Roundwood House is one of this special collection of houses, run by Hannah and Paddy Flynn, who took it over when Hannah’s parents retired, after they themselves had spent almost 30 years welcoming guests into their home. It is always the families who run these Hidden Ireland jewels that set them apart from any other kind of getaway. Each has their own charm, but all emphasise comfort and proper food in surroundings full of character and personality. Hidden Ireland houses are united by their owners’ authentic ‘oldschool’ Irish hospitality. Roundwood House is a fine early Georgian country house, just outside Mountrath, with ten B&B bedrooms, six in the Main House and four in the Yellow House, along with one each on a self-catering basis in The Writer’s Cottage and The Forge on the grounds. A rambling avenue leads you up to Roundwood House, through a welcoming committee of animals (there are ducks and dogs, geese, hens and cats, all getting along famously) into a bright, dramatic, spacious hall. In the 94 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
main house the combination of log fires and antique furniture, coupled with an absence of televisions, may actually make you believe you’ve been transported back to the 18th century, where you are greeted by tea and homemade biscuits, and introduced to the lovely spaces where you will be spending your time. There’s an impressive library, a wet day nursery stocked with books, children’s furniture and boxes of toys, a cosy drawing room, study, a fantastic function room converted from a historic barn, an outdoor play area for the kids, several
lawns, great gardens and acres of mature trees and woodland, so there’s plenty to do inside and out to keep everyone occupied. The six Main House bedrooms are all ensuite, spacious and unique, rich with original architectural features, and gracious views of the lawns and courtyards. The four rooms in The Yellow House, the original house built in the 17th century by Anthony Sharp whose grandson subsequently built the Main House, are also ensuite, quaint and comfortable, each having views of a beautiful walled garden.
Roundwood House | Hospitality The two self-catering options are The Writer’s Cottage, a tiny, secluded cottage hidden away in a corner of the walled garden of Roundwood, ideal for inspiring country holidays or romantic getaways, and The Forge, an original 17th century stone building also set in the glorious grounds of Roundwood House, recently restored and comfortably converted and an unusual and interesting use of a wonderful architectural space. Filled with books and paintings, it too has fabulous views. One of the most special things about any Hidden Ireland home is the ability to dine at night during your stay; coming down the stairs (often very grand stairs indeed!) from your bedroom to the fire crackling merrily in the reception room, and to the dining room where fine traditional food – often using home-grown ingredients – is the star of the show, and the murmur of conversation around the dining table, perhaps set with old silver and cut glass and flowers from the garden, is watched over by family portraits. Breakfast is pretty great too! Turn up barefoot or in a ball gown – the relaxed and informal approach rules in Hidden Ireland.
The House And so to Roundwood House, where dinner is prepared by Hannah and/or Paddy, always based on excellent, satisfying home cooking, with an exceptionally good and interesting selection of wine. Dining at Roundwood House is a little like going to a dinner party with friends you haven’t met yet – unless of course you are coming with your friends, in which case you can think of it as a dinner party where you don’t have to do the washing up! Dinner is served at 8 o’clock, at a communal table,
Roundwood House - The Study.
Roundwood House - The Main Hall.
and is based on the best local and seasonal ingredients, particularly showcasing locally reared beef and lamb. If you’re at Roundwood House with a bunch of friends, you can also have a dinner table set up for you in the study, for groups of 12 or less, a fun and relaxed way to catch up with friends and family. Breakfast is another pleasure at Roundwood, served until 11 am each morning, and focusing on their own homemade breads, yogurt, muesli and fruit compote which you can enjoy while your full Irish is prepared.
Wedding Parties Licensed for civil ceremonies, there’s a variety of options available at Roundwood House for wedding parties of various sizes. From a sit down dinner for 30 in the Dining Room of the Main House to a buffet for 80 or a combination of the various spaces available, weddings of considerable style, totally unique to each couple, can be created. Wedding receptions at Roundwood House are as varied and unique as the couples who get married there. From horse-drawn carriages to bridal tractors, five course sit-down meals to informal buffets,
there are gardens, woods, a rockery and rustic stone buildings; all favorites for outside photos. Meanwhile, the entrance hall, staircase and greeting rooms make for some lovely indoor options. The Long Room at Roundwood House is a stunning stone building just off the stable yard, an old barn that has been painstakingly restored and is now the backdrop to stylish parties and boutique weddings. Holding up to 38 at one long table or 60 at separate tables, The Long Room can be combined with the Main House and a marquee in the substantial and impressive gardens. From the enchanting grand hall, with its central staircase leading to two overhanging galleries enclosed by a handsome fretwork screen, to the rambling gardens and relaxed charm throughout, a visit to Roundwood House is a sideways step from the everyday into an old-world sense of genuine hospitality and traditional welcome. Quirky and endearing, personal and historic, rich with stories (but also with WiFi!) and just over an hour from Dublin, this 300-year old house full of character is an authentic, lovely escape back in time to a real, unspoilt version of Ireland at its best. For further details contact Hannah & Paddy Flynn, Roundwood House, Mountrath, Co. Laois Tel: +353 57 8732120 firstname.lastname@example.org www.roundwoodhouse.com www.hiddenireland.com InBusiness | Q3 2013 95
FRIENDS FIRST | IB SURVEY
Putting Your Pension First 71 per cent of Irish employees have a pension – an increase of eight per cent from 2011.
hile Irish householders continue to report significant financial pressures, Irish employees are now reinvesting in their future incomes, according to the Friends First annual pension research published recently. The research indicates that 71 per cent of employees in Ireland are now investing in a pension – up from 67 per cent in 2012 and 63 per cent in 2011. Among those who do not have a pension, 63 per cent say they cannot afford to have one, 25 per cent have not got around to it, while 13 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed say they do not understand pensions.
Auto Enrolment According to Friends First, the argument for auto enrolment continues to strengthen. Commenting on the research, Simon Hoffman, Pensions & Investment Director, Friends First, said: “Despite all of the doom and gloom out there our research indicates that there is a growing appetite among employees for a suitable pension solution – with 45 per cent of participants indicating that they would be encouraged to start a pension if they were automatically enrolled in one. This demonstrates that if we can make the pensions landscape simpler and more accessible, then there is a real opportunity to increase pension coverage among private sector employees in Ireland.” 20 per cent of the people surveyed by Friends First indicate that they have reduced their pension contributions in the past year, which is on par with 2012
and a six per cent decrease on 2011. However, almost half of these (49 per cent) have in fact stopped contributing altogether. 55 per cent of participants plan to rely on the state pension, upon retirement; 24 per cent have not thought about investing in a pension; 63 per cent of participants without a pension do not have one as they cannot afford it; 80 per cent of those without a pension are not confident that their income will be sufficient to provide for retirement. Commenting on the survey, Simon Hoffman, Pensions & Investment Director with Friends First, said: “It is not surprising that the continuing squeeze on household finances is negatively impacting on the ability of consumers to save for retirement, however, if we continue to put our heads in the sand on this issue, we will produce a new crisis - the pensioned poor. Clearly, there is now a real an opportunity to consider auto-enrolment, which was one of the strategies to increase pension coverage recommended by the recent OECD Review of the Irish Pensions System.” 45 per cent of participants without a pension would be encouraged to start one if they were automatically enrolled into a voluntary pension scheme; 41 per cent would also like access to some of their pension fund if they fell on hard times; 31 per cent of participants would be encouraged if they had a better understanding of how pensions worked.
Simon Hoffman, Pensions & Investment Director.
Mr Hoffman continued, “We have been conducting this research for a number of years now and consumers are consistently telling us that although money is tight, simplifying the system and improving accessibility are the most effective ways to encourage greater private pension participation. The introduction of a flexible autoenrolment scheme, similar to other jurisdictions could certainly provide an answer. It is now time to make decisions and to introduce a complete solution rather than the piecemeal approach we have adopted in the past.” InBusiness | Q3 2013 97
The Pensions Board | IB SURVEY
Paying attention to your pension The Pensions Board is encouraging people to pay closer attention to their pension.
he Pensions Board is encouraging everyone to give more attention to their pension situation, including those with and without pensions as well as trustees; look up www.pensionsboard. ie to find the information you need. The ‘Understanding Your Pension’ section of the site allows you to submit your basic information and in return provides pension information relating to your circumstances. You can also access the calculator, checklists and videos on this section of the site. The Board is also encouraging pension members and contributors, trustees and those looking to start a pension to ask about the cost of charges to your pension. To help you when discussing this with your provider, broker or trustees, read
the Board’s Investment, Fees and Charges checklist on the website for the types of questions you should ask. The Board last month commenced its consultation on the future of defined contribution pensions, with the publication of a paper on the topic. The paper will provide the basis for discussion at two public consultations ahead of the deadline for responses to the paper on 30 October 2013. These consultations will take place in Dublin on 30 September
and in Cork on 3 October 2013. These public meetings will be an ideal opportunity for trustees, scheme members, providers, managers, advisers and other interested stakeholders to express their views and hear the alternatives as to how future defined contribution schemes could and should look in the future. For further information check out www.pensionsboard.ie.
“The Board is also encouraging pension members and contributors, trustees and those looking to start a pension to ask about the cost of charges to your pension.”
“I’ve got my pension.” www.pensionsboard.ie
An Bord Pinsean
The Pensions Board
Airport Club | IB SURVEY
Putting the pleasure in parking Airport Club is delighted to announce the launch of the Parking Plus card.
n line with the ongoing development of our services to our Airport Club members, we are actively working to enhance and expand the range of services in a relevant and meaningful way. Our current members regularly communicate with us to advise and recommend services that they feel would be of benefit to them. One such recommendation was for a parking product that would eliminate the need to pre-book car parking, prepay an annual amount and reconcile one parking expense per annum. And so, Parking Plus was born. Airport Club, in conjunction with our car parking team, have responded to our
members' request with the launch of the Parking Plus card. Parking Plus offers members all the benefits of the current Airport Club membership plus a great car park offer. The benefit of purchasing a Parking Plus membership is that you never have to pre-book your parking again, annual unlimited parking, payment upfront and only one parking expense per annum. Entrance to the car parks is automated by registration recognition for speedy entry. In consideration of the varying needs of business travellers and frequent car park users we have developed three Parking Plus offers: Green Parking Plus offers you annual
parking in the Red Express long term car park plus speed through the fast track security channel and more. Silver parking plus offers you annual parking in the short term car parks in both terminals plus all the benefits of the standard card. Gold Parking Plus offers you annual VIP parking in the Collins Town executive car parks in both terminals plus all the benefits of the standard Gold membership. Contact us: Ph: +353 1 8144898 Email: email@example.com Web: www.airportclub.ie
DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin - Burlington Road Dublin has a whole lot to celebrate. DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin - Burlington Road is undergoing a full refurbishment and will be freshly updated by early 2014. We want you to be one of the ﬁrst to enjoy everything we have to offer from our recently refurbished Sussex Restaurant to our B-Bar. There’s Sweet Dreams™ bedding, our caring service, and a cookie here with your name on it.
DoubleTree by Hilton. Where the little things mean everything.™
Tel: 00353 (0)1 618 5600 Fax: 00353 (0)1 618 5693 Dublin.DoubleTree.com Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4 Hilton HHonors membership, earning of Points & Miles and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions. ©2013 Hilton Worldwide
TMG Corporate | IB SURVEY
Corporate Intelligence Effective debt management is a highly useful tool. TMG Corporate Services offers a valuable insight into the debt recovery sector in Ireland.
he debt collection services sector in Ireland is fragmented, with services being offered by many different types of provider. At the entry level, and arguably with the least attention to professional standards, are those former or current members of the organised crime fraternity who use their personal negative publicity and ‘shame’ tactics to encourage debtors to clear their liability. Due to negative publicity regarding the tactics of these service providers, legislation is being considered to regulate the industry. This regulation is welcomed by the vast majority of providers of debt collection services.
Debt collection Collection services are also offered by a number of dedicated debt collection service providers who employ a conveyor belt process of escalating demand letters to stimulate payment by debtors. These firms employ some telephone contact but are mainly focussed on non disputed, micro debt collection services in the lower debt range. Trade creditor insurance providers also provide a collection service to insured clients who have made a claim regarding a delinquent debt. They employ telephone contact as the main collection mechanism as they look to reduce their liability further to the insurance claim and encourage debtors to make reduced full and final settlements or agree to payment plans. Many law firms offer a debt collection service as they have traditionally done but some specialise specifically in the area. Volume debt collection is growing 100 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
due to the willingness of organisations to outsource their credit control functions. These volume collection firms follow a process of tracing absconding debtors, escalating collection letters and the issuance of final demands which in the absence of an agreement to a satisfactory payment plan will lead to an application for judgement. Upon receipt of judgements, these firms will pursue the debtor in the courts and apply for examination of means, instalment orders and committals in some cases.
Online investigation Increasingly, corporations are hiring investigators to trawl social media sites for intelligence about competitors and to watch for insider leaks, product complaints and evidence of employee misconduct. Investigators still use the old-fashioned ways but today’s corporate investigators spend more time mining the mass of information people put online about themselves. Private equity firms and hedge funds regularly hire externals as part of the process of due diligence. More than 82 per cent of companies use social media to find out information about their competitors. According to Forrester research, corporate investigators use social media to look for illegal activity, undisclosed business interests and CV puffing.
Intelligence By blending information from Google, Facebook, Twitter and geo location sites FourSquare and Gowalla, corporate investigators have identified which clients a competitor’s salespeople
spoke with and what potential deals were occurring. It would have been quite possible to phone the clients and confirm the hunches – and possibly disrupt ongoing negotiations if contracts weren’t signed. That’s why many consider such tactics unethical. Most corporates use this data as an experiment and the data is meant to be used as a cautionary lesson to their employees about posting sensitive information online. As the effect of social media becomes more intense, companies have begun monitoring their internet footprint. Reputation.com is designing software that understands human language enough to sift for positive and negative sentiment. The computer analytics are daunting. But when it comes to human investigators sniffing the internet for specific companies or employees, the hunt for fertile tidbits is in full swing.
Asset management Jurisdictions vary wildly with respect to the protection afforded to creditors when they seek to enforce their rights regarding missing, misappropriated or over held plant and machinery assets. Normally, if the original lease or loan agreement was executed in the jurisdiction in which the repossession is sought or the asset resides then the challenges faced are usually less acute. The difficulties arise in particular when the asset has been moved out of the original jurisdiction of purchase. In cases where this has been done without the permission or knowledge of the asset owner, the repossession firm can in some
TMG Corporate | IB SURVEY cases enlist the support of local police authorities or law enforcement, but only if the original owner has reported the matter as a theft or has been granted a local court order that compels action by the local authorities.
Legislation A common misconception is that the law enforcement community are obliged to assist in such a scenario but this is not necessarily the case. It is normally their concern to ensure that trespass by the repossession agent on private property does not occur during the attempt to repossess assets, that no damage is done to private property when trying to gain access to machinery that has been positively identified or to assess claims by debtors that methods have been used which are unfair or even threatening. The last accusation by debtors when repossession is imminent is frequently used to avoid this inevitability and can result in an instruction by law enforcement that the matter is civil in nature and, until the local courts make an assessment on the claims of the debtor, that repossession cannot occur. If the local police authorities determine that there is any value to the claims of the debtor then all expenditure on asset tracing, surveillance and the cost of labour and equipment can be lost. Surprise is the main advantage when repossessing vehicles, plant or machinery - and any pause which arises as a result of decisions by the local police may then allow the debtor time to once again conceal or move the asset and previous investment in locating the asset is as good as valueless. Unless the asset is a high ticket item the cost justification for initiating local legal proceedings and again attempting to locate the asset if these are successful; is prohibitive. There are also a variety of complicating factors when dealing with the unauthorised movement of high value vehicles and machinery: the asset may have been sold to a third party who now disputes ownership, the asset may have been moved to another jurisdiction and then sold, with local laws finding in favour of the new owner, for example.
Tracing data There are several services that sit well with the general objectives of
augmenting trace data which fall into various categories such as: augmenting credit score information; determining the veracity of information supplied on a credit agreement request; VAT number validation; pan-European electoral register information and general intelligence on directors. Aggregating this data can be challenging as many sources are unstructured. Sources such as Bureau van Dijk and Who Talking offer what we call ‘structured’ access in that the information is clear and concise; based on a discrete input and a defined output. Developing a feed to an internal system to analyse the data would be less onerous than say offering unstructured searches on the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter – although there are possibilities there too. However, due to the unstructured nature of the search results from these sources it would be a more taxing task to implement and there could be problems relating to ‘false positives’ and the data protection issues are problematic.
The Mediator Group TMG Corporate Services/The Mediator Group are a well established and highly regarded multi-disciplinary professional services provider. Since 1994, they have been providing well planned and professionally executed solutions for clients. Operating globally and at ease serving clients whether they are based in Europe, the USA, Asia-Pacific or Africa, they have achieved results in tens of thousands of diverse assignments. TMG Corporate Services offer scale, reach and maturity and a proven strategy and approach. The firm provides investigative services; specialist surveillance services; asset recovery and repossession; alternative investments; due diligence; analytics and business intelligence; insolvency support services; tracing, profiling and lifestyle reporting; summons and document services; debt recovery and insolvency and outsourced credit control. For more information on TMG Corporate Services log on to www.themediatorgroup.org InBusiness | Q3 2013 101
SEPA | IB SURVEY
Preparing for SEPA With the SEPA deadline fast approaching, businesses should ensure they have migrated to the single domestic payments market for the euro. SAGE, AIB and KPMG explain the process.
rom 1st February 2014, existing national payment schemes will come to an end, to be replaced by a standardised system which will stretch across Europe. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is an EU regulation which is aimed at the simplification of business transactions across the continent, making the transfer of funds much easier. SEPA will be applicable across 33 European countries, including Ireland.
SAGE: What is SEPA? As businesses look at exporting and importing across Europe, the introduction of SEPA will make the payments involved in doing business across the continent even more efficient. It will improve back office efficiencies as the only detail you will need will be the creditors IBAN and BIC, as long as they are in the 33-country SEPA zone. While SEPA should not be feared, the reality is that it is something that is going to happen, regardless of whether or not businesses are ready. While the full extent of the potential consequences are yet to emerge, our conversations with industry bodies such as IPSO indicate that there may be fines alongside the inability to make and receive payments. According to market research conducted by Sage, one third of businesses plan on diversifying into new markets this year and see exporting internationally as a key part of their 102 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
business future.* This shows that exporting into the eurozone and beyond is a very important issue for businesses and anything that simplifies this and makes it more cost efficient, as SEPA plans to do, is only of benefit. *Sage Business Index survey FY13 (sample size 450 businesses).
Impact SEPA should be as seamless and smooth as possible once the change to the new system is completed. Businesses must ensure that from next February, all of their national direct debits and credit transfers are SEPA compliant. This includes such things as staff payroll, payment of creditors and receipt of
â€œAccording to market research conducted by Sage, one third of businesses plan on diversifying into new markets this year and see exporting internationally as a key part of their business future.â€?
SEPA | IB SURVEY an electronic Euro payment from a customer within the SEPA area. Businesses will therefore need to evaluate the systems they use to record bank details. One of the impacts of SEPA is that it will help improve the payment relationships between businesses. Prior to SEPA, if you wanted to make a payment on a particular day you needed to ensure the money was in your bank account on that day, with that money being received a few days later. However, you could not guarantee what day it would land in the recipient’s bank account, especially as different banks across the eurozone would have different rules about this. Now with SEPA you know that you need to deposit your money in your bank account the day before you want to make the payment, then the money will be received on the exact day that you specify to your bank. This is especially important for businesses for which cash flow is an issue, as they can now control exactly when money leaves their account and they can guarantee when it will arrive in the recipient’s account. For a number of businesses that operate across Europe, they may have employees that are based in several countries across the eurozone. With the introduction of SEPA they can simplify the payroll process, as they only need the BIC and the IBAN numbers, but could also use one bank and one bank account to make payments to a variety of employee bank accounts across Europe, which, prior to the introduction of SEPA, would not have been possible.
Transfers No matter what country you are based in, all banks in the eurozone will treat your credit transfers in the same way. It is important to know that you do not need to become familiar with the financial systems in those countries to have good commercial relationships. For the consumer the benefits are multiple. Prior to SEPA it has been possible to transfer money within the euro area, however it can take a long time and there can be additional costs. With the new SEPA system you can guarantee when the money will be received and banks will not be allowed to make any deductions from the
amount transferred. You will also receive simple and clear information on any applicable charges or fees. A good example of this would be if you have a house in Spain and you need to pay your electricity bill or your taxes there, you will be able to make a direct debit from your Irish bank account, without having to open a bank account in Spain. For consumers, they need to get familiar with BIC and IBAN information in order to make their payments and direct debits. Previously they would have been familiar with bank account and sort codes. More competitiveness between banks all over the SEPA zone will drive down the bank fees which will have a positive impact on both businesses and consumers.
“As long as businesses are taking the necessary steps to ensure their business will be ready in advance of the 1st February 2014 deadline there will be no negative consequences for their business.”
3. Review •R eview your payment instructions. Check with your bank as to the availability of the new XML formats and who is available for questions on SEPA issues. • Review your direct debit mandates.
As long as businesses are taking the necessary steps to ensure their business will be ready in advance of the 1st February 2014 deadline there will be no negative consequences for their business. Sage recommends a four stage preparation process:
4. Update • Update your legacy systems. Businesses may need to update their accounts or payroll software in advance of the deadline to ensure they are ready for SEPA.
1.Plan • Create a project plan in order to meet the SEPA deadline. Put in place resources available in project, technical and operational spheres. Bear in mind payment volumes and geographies as these could influence timelines. 2. Assess • Assess the countries in which you operate to gauge the impact of SEPA on your business. • Assess your business systems to determine those systems and processes that will be affected by SEPA. • Assess your operations around centralising payments and consolidation of Euro accounts to identify any benefits from rationalising these. • Update your legacy systems. Businesses may need to update their accounts or payroll software in advance of the deadline to ensure they are ready for SEPA. • Assess what data needs to be converted to the new formats and decide on your technical approach. Can this be of any benefit to your clients as a value added service?
Businesses should set their own SEPA timeline and should not wait until the New Year to address SEPA - they need to do it now while there is still time to ensure a smooth transition. For more information on SEPA see www.sage.ie/SEPA or call us today on 1890 88 20 40.
AIB: Every Business Should Prepare for SEPA Peter Vance, Head of Payments, AIB writes: "From 1st Feb 2014, banks will standardise euro electronic payments across the European Union. From that date, all eligible electronic payments will have to be SEPA-compliant. This includes staff payroll, payments to creditors and collecting payments from customers by Direct Debit." What is changing? The most significant changes relate to the use of Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) as the primary account identifiers, rather than National Sort Code (NSC) and Account Number, and the InBusiness | Q3 2013 103
SEPA | IB SURVEY You should then perform a detailed impact analysis and identify the activities that need to be undertaken – technical, operational, internal business payment processing, financial and administrative. Even for a company that only needs to obtain IBANs and BICs, the work still needs to be done. In fact, we estimate a typical migration for a business will have an eight to 12 week timeframe at a minimum, as there will be a range of business process changes required.
Peter Vance, Head of Payments, AIB.
introduction of a new file format (XML, moving from today’s Standard 18 format). What is a Bank Identifier Code? Also known as the SWIFT Address, BIC is a unique identification code for a specific financial institution. BIC codes consist of either eight or 11 alphanumeric characters and can be verified at www.swift.com/biconline. What is an International Bank Account Number? IBAN is the standardised European bank account number. Where can I get my IBAN and BIC? Details of your IBAN and BIC are printed on your account statement. They can also be found on most online banking services. Where will I get my customers’ BIC and IBAN? Either go directly to your customers or use the BIC and IBAN conversion service provided by the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) for both individual consumers and businesses. See www.ipso.ie. For all new customers to your business, you should now capture BIC and IBAN when gathering company data on initial setup. What does my company need to do to be ready for SEPA? As a first step, AIB recommends you contact your payment software provider (if applicable) and then our SEPA Helpline. 104 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
What support has AIB to help business customers be ready for SEPA? AIB has already migrated in excess of 50% of our euro electronic payments customers to SEPA. We have produced a series of information videos for our customers, focusing on Credit Transfer and Direct Debit payments. These are the two key areas where the changes will have the most significant impact. AIB has set up a dedicated SEPA migration team, as well as a SEPA telephone and e-mail helplines AIB has been working with payment / software providers, but your first migration step should be to contact your provider to discuss their SEPA readiness. AIB has upgraded its Internet Business Banking Portal to offer comprehensive SEPA functionality. Among the enhancements available via the new file management system is the ability to get real time updates on the status of all payments within a payment file. “AIB’s goal is to make customers' migration to SEPA as efficient and disruption free as possible,” said Peter Vance, Head of Payments for AIB. “AIB is ready for SEPA. Are you?” For further information, see AIB’s SEPA videos on www.aib.ie/sepa or contact the dedicated SEPA migration team email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0818 72 0000 or (01) 641 4889.
KPMG: Impact of SEPA SEPA Regulation 260/2012 (Single Euro Payments Area) is a European regulation being introduced to harmonise the European payments market and funds transfers (cashless payments). It comes into force on 1 February 2014. Here, Liam McKenna, Director with KPMG, explains. SEPA affects euro to euro payments, both domestic and cross border, in the SEPA area. The Irish credit transfer and direct debit products will be replaced by SEPA products, the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD). Banks have prepared their funds transfer products and services for SEPA. The users of these products and services (consumers and the business sector) must take equivalent steps. The SEPA products are based on common standards, but vary in their complexity, thus causing a difference in the impact on consumers and businesses. SEPA will impact organisations in different ways. The advantages, and thus the impact of SEPA strongly depends on issues such as your client groups (consumers and/or business), your current use of payment products (both for payments and receipts), the level of international funds transfer in your business, your internal organisation and processes and your systems environment.
Liam McKenna, Director with KPMG.
“The advantages, and thus the impact of SEPA strongly depends on issues such as your client groups , the level of international funds transfer in your business, your internal organisation and processes and your systems environment.”
STEP EX | IB SURVEY CHAMBERS IRELAND | chamber week
Investing in Data As Ireland’s reputation as a centre for data continues to rise, DataCentres Ireland seeks to spread the word.
etween the 5th and 6th November 2013, the RDS in Dublin will play host to DataCentres Ireland, a free event which is a combination of a dedicated exhibition and a conference, aimed at informing on how data centres can be run more effectively, and how you can look at improving the data centre infrastructure. “Anything from the building, cooling, power, management systems, cabling, security, etc.,” says Director Hugh Robinson. “Everything which is used in creating and managing a data centre, Comms or server room itself.”
Rise Last year was the inaugural DataCentres Ireland, which was well attended. And Robinson anticipates an even greater participation this year, both in terms of visitors and exhibitors as a result of a rise in interest in Ireland as a data centre base. “There’s a few things driving this rise. One is Ireland’s position in Europe, particularly in relation to US-based multinationals who have a good affinity with the country, a good stable workforce and the right temperature and climate to make data centres run more efficiently. This is born out of a recent report by Andrew Jay and his team at CBRE – who specialise in data centres – which predicted that the amount of data centres in Ireland would grow by about 35 per cent in the next two years. Overall, it’s a very attractive offering. Ireland has unique opportunities.”
Visitor Profile For many organisations, their data centre doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge power house, such as those employed by Microsoft and Google. For some, their data centre can simply be their server room. “DataCentres Ireland could be of interest to all businesses – it’s not linked to the size of your company, but to how much you use computers,” Robinson explains. “This event should be of interest to people engaged in all aspects of business, whether in banking, retail or industrial communities. It’s about making your data storage run more effectively, by giving people access to the information and solutions that have been employed by the big sheds and the big data centres. At DataCentres Ireland there will be people at the exhibition and conference who will give you ideas and hopefully assist you in that. This is an Irish event for the Irish market and free for all to attend. However, this year’s DataCentres Ireland has been promoted overseas to ensure that those companies considering Ireland as a location for their data centre can meet others in the market and assess the opportunity here.
Looking Ahead This year’s event will see over 50 speakers at the conference while around 80 exhibitors will be on hand to provide information and advice. Only in its second year of existence, this growth is something which excites Robinson about the future of DataCentres Ireland. “We’re already expecting the event to
DataCentres Ireland, RDS.
double in size, so for attendees there will be more choice, and more opportunities to get information that will benefit their company whether through their own data centre or through a third party. The support we had last year was tremendous and that continues to grow. I’d like to thank our sponsors, particularly HP and Corning – it is only through the investment of exhibitors that we’re able to create and market DataCentres Ireland and deliver this information to an Irish audience. Over 30 per cent of companies are new exhibitors, who are adding to those who came last year. I’m looking forward to DataCentres Ireland being in the event calendar for many years to come.” “There is no cost involved to visiting DataCentres Ireland apart from time... And if you invest the time – you will get a return from that investment,” Robinson concludes. For more information or to register for the event, log on to DataCentres-Ireland.com. InBusiness | Q3 2013 105
| IB SURVEY CHAMBERSUCD IRELAND | chamber week
Events at UCD UCD offers a full range of modern facilities in a beautiful setting that will enhance the running of your conference and the experience of your delegates.
he University College Dublin Conference & Events office manages the O’Reilly Hall, a major venue for events on campus and also co-ordinates all non-academic and academic affiliated room hire activities. Responsible for the organisation of all internal logistical aspects of on-campus conferences, the office also acts as an advisory service for UCD staff and academics organising conferences and events.
With a modern and state-of-the-art campus, UCD boasts a substantial range of venues designed at meeting varied needs. Facilities at the university include the new Science District which accommodates six large theatres for
up to 380 delegates, 30 purpose built breakout rooms along with a vast, bright concourse area ideal for exhibitions and poster sessions. The O’Reilly Hall, an impressive 2,632 square metre modern and vibrant venue, with seating for over 1,000 people; the state-of-the-art UCD Health Sciences building, filled with purpose-built classrooms and theatres; Ardmore House, a 19th century country villa recently introduced to the 21st century with three boardroom-style rooms; and Newman House, based in St Stephen’s Green, lavishly decorated and one of the city’s most prestigious venues with an in-house corporate hospitality company to organise and manage events. Besides, UCD also has a full complement of classrooms to take
advantage of for meetings, training or ongoing courses, capable of hosting from 20 to 500 people.
Eat and Sleep
The Conference and Events service also incorporates catering facilities; the O’Reilly Hall catering panel and UCD on-campus licensees all have experience built on many years of providing catering facilities to a variety of events. Quality accommodation is also on hand for visiting conference delegates seeking low-cost accommodation on the UCD campus – visitors can avail of 3,000 rooms, available every year between June and August. For more information, visit www.ucd.ie/ conferences.
UCD Conference & Events Office
We are proud to announce the opening of our new Science Centre, located in the heart of our Belfield Campus in close proximity to the O’Reilly Hall. This contemporary building is an impressive and inspiring addition to the University Campus. With 6 major lecture theatres, seating 230 to 385 attendees and state of the art audio visual and technology facilities, in addition to an extensive array of modern purpose built breakout and meeting rooms, the new Science Centre can cater for a broad range of needs. The building houses a stunning glass atrium, and exhibition area, making it an extremely flexible yet impactful space. The O’Reilly Hall in conjunction with new Science Building make UCD a natural setting for Conferences & Events, not least because of its natural green setting, but its excellent modern facilities and spaces will suit any type of event. The UCD Conference & Events Office can be contacted at 01 716 2827 or by email: email@example.com
Time’s running out to get ready for SEPA. On February 1st 2014 SEPA comes into full effect and all Irish businesses making electronic payments in euro must be ready for this change. If you haven’t migrated to SEPA, it’s essential that you start now. We have dedicated SEPA migration support available as a free service to our customers, and all details are contained on our website www.aib.ie/sepa including our SEPA instructional videos. www.aib.ie/sepa • Call 0818 72 00 00
Terms and conditions apply. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
THE PANEL | IB SURVEY
Top Tips for the Job-hunting Executives The Panel’s Managing Partner Paul McArdle shares his advice for executives on the job trail.
n a tight employment market, the employer can be more choosy on who they hire. If you are hoping to find a new executive role, it is important that you plan and prepare accordingly.
Identify Identify the type of role you are looking for, the types of companies you want to work for and the appropriate contacts who can help you achieve this.
Know your routes to the market You can use executive search firms, recruitment consultancies, responding to press and online adverts, LinkedIn profiles, personal and professional contacts etc.
MARKET YOURSELF! Your CV is not just a document of record, it has to be much more than that. Your CV is your sales brochure.
Know your audience A HR professional is assessing your fit for the role, so know their company culture. The business owners’ agenda is all about protecting and enhancing their shareholder value. A recruiters’ role is not to get you a job, it is to get their client the best person. You need to make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to sell your relevant attributes to their client. You should prepare your CV and interview answers accordingly.
Tailoring the CV Look at the job specification; what are the key attributes the client is looking
for? The days of the ‘one size fits all’ CV are gone. Write the CV so that it best matches the job specification. If you are going through a headhunter/recruiter, ask for advice and tailor the CV for the specific role.
Interview preparation Lots of executives are good at interviewing but are poor interviewees. Common mistakes include not listening properly, failing to get to the point when answering a question, going off on a tangent and forgetting the original question. If you need interview preparation, get interview training.
Research In preparing for an interview, we can all look at company websites and repeat what we have read. Take note of when the company has been in the news, look at the executive team on LinkedIn (especially those who are interviewing you), look at the industry from a macro level (trends, competitors, new markets etc.).
Appearance Dress appropriately. If the role is with a public limited company for example, you will dress formally. If it is a ‘Googlelike’ business, smart casual is more appropriate.
Personal You never get a second chance to make a first impression! Introduce yourself clearly with a firm handshake, good eye contact and use the interviewers’ first
Paul McArdle, Managing Partner
names as appropriate when answering questions.
Learn as you go along What CV format got you the interview? What were you happiest about in the last interview? What questions did you trip up on? Apply what you have learnt and you will get closer to the executive role you want! For more information please visit our website: thepanel.com/candidates/ advice-centre. Paul McArdle is the Managing Partner of The Panel. The Panel specialises in executive recruitment in finance, financial services, IT, legal and HR. InBusiness | Q3 2013 109
ESET Ireland | IB SURVEY
Keep your business safe from Cybercrime Ensuring your organisation’s IT security can be an intimidating task, but one which is completely manageable, according to ESET Ireland.
riminal hacking is making headlines with depressing frequency these days, so the task of securing your business against cyber criminals can seem daunting, particularly if your business is of modest size, the kind of place that does not have a crack team of cyber security experts on staff. Bear in mind that defending your organisation against cyber criminals is not a project; it is a process, one that should be ongoing. Too often we see organisations suffer a data breach these days because the security measures they put in place a few years ago have not been updated, leaving newer aspects of their digital activities undefended. You can make the task of getting a handle on cyber security more manageable if you break it down into a series of steps. The following six-step programme can help you get started, or revive previous security efforts.
Assess your assets, risks, resources The first step in this process is to take stock. What kinds of data does your organisation handle? How valuable are they? What threats exist? What resources do you have to counter those threats? If you don’t know what you’ve got, you can’t protect it. List out the data that makes your organisation tick and the systems that process it. Be sure to include the systems receiving data and outputting data as well as those that process and store it.
Build your policy The only sustainable approach to cyber security begins with, and depends on, good policy. Your organisation needs a high-level commitment to protecting the privacy and security of all data handled by the organisation. For many companies, 110 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
information security policy is not optional, no matter how small the firm.
Choose the controls to enforce your policies Information system security professionals use the term ‘controls’ for those mechanisms by which policies are enforced. Limit access to specific data to specified individuals by requiring employees to identify and authenticate themselves to the system. Require identification and authentication of all employees via unique credentials (e.g. username and password).
Deploy and test controls Putting controls in place is the deployment phase but this also includes part of the next phase; education. You will also need to test as you deploy, to make sure that the controls are working. When testing a control, you need to make sure that it works technically, but also that it ‘works’ with your work, that is, does not impose too great a burden on employees or processes.
Educate employees, execs, vendors and partners Security education is too often the neglected step in cyber security. Your goal should be a ‘security aware
workforce’ that is self-policing. In other words, employees are empowered to say “No” to practices that are risky and report them to management.
Further assess, audit, test… Step F on the road map is by no means the end of the line; in fact, it is a reminder that this process is continual. Once polices and controls are in place and education is under way, it is time to re-assess security, by testing and auditing. You can do some of this inhouse but you may also want to engage an outside entity to get an objective perspective on your efforts so far. More info at www.eset.ie
“Too often we see organisations suffer a data breach these days because the security measures they put in place a few years ago have not been updated, leaving newer aspects of their digital activities undefended.”
Safetica | IB SURVEY
Are company contact lists safe in the hands of employees? One in four Irish employees would take their company’s contact lists on departure, one in eight knows someone who did, and one in twelve admitted to having taken such lists themselves. Should companies and organisations therefore be worried?
afetica, a provider of employee monitoring and data leakage protection software, has commissioned a survey which would help understand how Irish employees treat (confidential) contact lists of customers or business partners, belonging to their company. We asked a thousand of them a multiple-answer question about their attitude towards taking contact lists when leaving the company. These are the replies we got:
group were the most disapproving of such practices (44 per cent), while among our youngest 15-24 only 16 per cent disapproved. How does that bode for our future? The geographical breakdown shows that employees in Dublin would be most likely to take company data, with 10 per cent admitting to having done so and 29 per cent saying they would in a similar situation. In Munster only 6 per cent would do, but at the same time lead with 14 per cent when it comes to knowing someone who did. It is also interesting to compare the statistics to a similar study we did in the UK. There 30 per cent heard of it, but do not approve, 31 per cent have heard of it and would do the same, 26 per cent have never heard of it, 16 per cent know people who have done it, but only 4 per cent admit to having done it themselves. Does that make them more honest employees, or better liars about their practices?
Gathering self-incriminating data is always difficult, as most don’t want to admit they did something bad, so we expect the numbers of those that actually took data are probably higher than were admitted, but the demographics breakdown shows additional results. The age group 25-34 has admitted to taking contact lists the most (12 per cent) while 45-54 year-olds have done this the least (5 per cent). On the other hand, the 55+
Numbers games aside, every company would have to evaluate for themselves what their contact lists of customers or partners mean to them. Whether it can be damaging to them if they end up in unauthorised hands and if it is even
fair for an ex-employee to benefit from the resources of their former employer, each organisation is responsible for their data, as there are many scenarios in which this data could end up being misused. In many cases customer lists already fall under the legislation of existing data protection and privacy laws and regulations, so their loss could put a company in legal difficulties, but the evolving EU data breach legislation also requires companies to monitor and report data loss incidents. Safetica therefore recommends that all companies which handle contact lists and other similar data put a policy of data handling in place. An even better option is to ensure their contact lists are properly protected from unauthorised copying, emailing, editing, etc., with adequate software measures. Safetica Technologies is a pioneer in the market with internal IT security – protection from employee negligence and malicious actions. Safetica is the world’s first software providing a complete protection from threats resulting from inattentive behaviour and harmful intent of employees. More info at www.safetica.ie
“Whether it can be damaging to them if they end up in unauthorised hands and if it is even fair for an ex-employee to benefit from the resources of their former employer, each organisation is responsible for their data.” InBusiness | Q3 2013 111
HSS Hire | IB SURVEY
In Business with the Best Ireland’s top construction companies are in business on both sides of the Irish Sea – and some of the best are building on their business relationship with Ireland’s most successful and only nationwide plant and tool hire firm, the HSS Hire/Laois Hire Group.
uilding success in good times or in bad is what it’s all about for Michael Killeen, Managing Director of HSS Hire Ireland & Scotland and the Laois Hire Group. Killeen, a focused, ambitious and hardworking individual, has taken the HSS Hire/Laois Hire Group to new heights in terms of its business turnover, market share and international standing. Killeen previously built his own business in County Laois with his wife, Maureen. In 1992 they founded Laois Hire, and together over the next 15 years they built the business up to be the household name that it is today. Laois Hire Services merged into the HSS family in 2005 and has successfully navigated through the recession to see year on year double digit growth over the last five years despite a challenging trading environment. Taking four flights a week on average travelling between Ireland, the UK and Scotland, Michael is all too aware of the huge number of Irish contractors and their employees commuting on the same routes. So the natural next step was to offer the HSS Hire, Laois Hire Service Group experience of success, reliability and high quality plant to Irish clients doing business abroad. Doing business away from home doesn’t have to entail the tedious trial and error of making new connections abroad. Clients used to excellence in customer service, a professional workforce, well-maintained, quality equipment and a commitment to health and safety can rely on this from HSS 112 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Declan Dennehy, HSS Hire Regional Sales Director; Robert Tobin, HSS Area Sales Manager; Craig Ince, HSS Southern Ireland General Manager; Andy Somerville, HSS Key Account Manager; Michael Killeen, Managing Director, HSS Ireland/Scotland & Laois Hire Group; Tom Parlon, Director General of Construction Industry Federation; Kevin Hynes, HSS Area Sales Manager; Mike Killeen, General Manager, Laois Hire Group.
Hire/Laois Hire Service Group in Ireland while working abroad. Overseeing a network of 24 branches across Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and 24 branches in Scotland, Killeen continually builds on the success of the business that has increased its workforce over 21 years in business and is looking at a 20 per cent growth path for 2013, in spite of the recession. The success of the HSS/Laois Hire Group comes down to the excellent service provided to customers through their dedicated staff. “To navigate
through the recession we kept our best people, the best systems and we took on the market,” says Killeen. “We have many long-term customers that have been with us for years. The majority of our staff in The HSS Hire/ Laois Hire Group have been with us from the very beginning over 21 years ago. This great team of 200 staff and their unparalleled commitment has created Ireland’s only nationwide plant and tool hire company.” It is a common sight on Irish road networks to see numerous Laois Hire and HSS Trucks on the road both day
HSS Hire | IB SURVEY
Laois Hire Traffic Management Solutions - one of Ireland’s largest nationwide traffic management suppliers.
and night. Killeen adds: “We have an integrated logistics division that moves stock around the country effectively and efficiently 24 hours a day - most impressively as we previously did with Laois Hire where we moved an entire plant range across to Beckton in East London for the Olympic Games where we supplied large plant equipment to the large customer demand.” It’s this proactive, progressive attitude that explains why their plant is seen on the most high profile Irish construction sites. From the M50 to the Tralee by-pass and the Limerick Tunnel, as well as Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 and many multinational blue chip manufacturing facilities, the HSS, Laois Hire brand is a strong, reliable presence. With their nationwide network Killeen adds that not withstanding the current difficult trading conditions, the HSS and Laois Hire Group has “bucked the trend of the construction industry and continually strives towards growth and expansion of operations through investment and innovation.”
Plant The HSS Hire and Laois Hire Group’s purchase of new Kubota mini-excavators in early 2013 brings their fleet to over
one hundred, the largest in Ireland. Killeen says: “We have the largest stocks of equipment in Ireland at our disposal ranging from a massive fleet of electric scissor hoists to alloy towers, welders, cooler, heaters, specialist lifting equipment as well as large plant, diggers, dumpers, rollers, teleporters, and large diesel access through our Laois Hire Network.”
Power Solutions The Group continually strives towards providing a specialist service to their customers. “Following our recent rollout of ABird Generator Hire in Ireland, we now offer a complete power solution service,” says Killeen. “We provide a wide range of generators and power generation related items, which help our customers to power their events and work sites effectively, efficiently and easily. “The HSS Hire/Laois Hire Group’s new capabilities in larger capacity and specialist generators means they can now provide power for all application up to a massive 1250kva. Killeen adds: “We offer an efficient, 24-hour, 365 days specialist back up and repair service with guaranteed expert technical back up available anywhere across our countrywide network.”
Specialisation The HSS Hire/Laois Hire Group has most recently acquired the Irish division of Mobile Traffic Solutions (MTS) – a specialist provider of traffic management equipment from Dublin based Rennicks Group. MTS’ Irish business rents and sells traffic and crowd management solutions to major road contractors, local authorities and event companies. The business is one of the largest traffic management suppliers in Ireland. Killeen says: “We believe there is enormous potential to grow the Irish based MTS business and Laois Hire together – significantly increasing our combined market share, skilled capabilities and overall customer offering at what is a dynamic time for our group business.” Killeen adds: “This new purchase gives the opportunity to focus on the business of traffic signage, maintenance solutions, electronic road signage, and other intelligent traffic solutions to ensure continuity of service for the customer.” There are challenging times at present and in the short term future in the industry. Hire success, Killeen concludes, is all about “keeping businesses working, by working closely with customers, providing them a first class service with competitive prices and innovative hire solutions.” InBusiness | Q3 2013 113
HSS Specialised Product Range We provide a wide range of Specialised products including: • Powered Access • Safety Ventilation • Extraction Equipment
• Lifting & Handing • Welding • Cleaning Equipment
HSS Training Over 200 Courses available in our dedicated training centers • e-Learning • Workplace Safety • Safety Consultancy • Health and Safety • Working at Height
HSS Complete Power Solutions ABird
HSS Specialised Product Range
We provide complete Power Solutions up to a massive 1250 kVA with a complete back up service network throughout Ireland.
Specialisied Services •O utsource- Exciting new way of supplying, maintaining and managing all of your cleaning equipment needs- we take care of everything you need • L iveHire- Our new efficient online ordering service •O nSite We can provide on site shops around Ireland for contractors- the most efficient and cost-effective way to source tools & equipment today
Our Network • Nationwide Company - Over 20 Branches in Northern Ireland & South Ireland •W e can look after Irish customers working in the UK, with our dedicated team based in the UK to look after Irish customers
Expect Safety Safety Underpins everything we do, every day. We believe that no hire is a good hire unless it’s a safe one. So everyone at HSS takes the responsibility for ensuring the safety of ourselves, our customers and the products we hire very seriously.
HSS HIRE PROVIDES SITE CALLS TO CUSTOMERS TO ADVISE ON EQUIPMENT THEY SHOULD USE HOW HOW TO USE IT SAFELY.
ROI: 1800 22 33 66 or hss.ie NI: 08475 28 28 28 or hss.com
KPMG | IB SURVEY
Choosing Leaders Choosing a CEO or similar senior position in a business is fraught with risk. John McCullough of KPMG considers some of the issues in getting it right.
n looking for a new CEO it’s useful to consider two fairly basic principles as a worthwhile starting point. In most organisations there is a need for the leader to have some fairly well defined skills in both opportunity identification and opportunity execution. Keeping these points in mind can be useful in simplifying the search for a CEO by helping set some initial broad criteria.
What Makes a Good Leader? It is possible to identify a number of key requisites which are common to all leadership roles. Some of these are personal or personality focused and the others are technical or skills driven. It is obvious that a CEO must have a sharp intellect to analyse and conceptualise, to debate and formulate. This is essential in opportunity identification. Experience shows that many of the best CEOs have both the financial understanding to assess the value of projects but also the creative and idea generation skills to deliver worthwhile commercial opportunities. A CEO must also have good levels of self confidence to make decisions and they must be able to instil this in others. A good leader will be able to sell the vision to the team and be a strong communicator who can generate support and energy. Critically they must have the ability to allow others to manage the detail of opportunity execution.
Knowledge It is often asked if the CEO must have relevant technical or sectoral knowledge. In some industries it can be desirable, however I generally advise clients to try and keep an open mind. Obviously if you are not limited to a particular sector then the pool of relevant candidates becomes bigger. Try to focus on the key skills required of the CEO and on the key issues facing the organisation over the next three years and search for a match to these. The vital technical or sectoral knowledge and experience should be available within the existing management team and the incoming CEO should have the skills to access it. If this resource is not already available then you are in serious trouble and it is hard to imagine how your business either is or will remain viable! There is no point in focussing on particular skills if you already have them within the organisation. Very often an organisation has strong technical skills for example, but is missing direction. Some businesses are very sales-focussed but have regular delivery failure and as a result suffer losses. You can make good use of your recruitment consultant as they will bring an objective and independent view in helping build a valuable job description.
Profile Building a leadership profile is essential to help match the job description.
John McCullough, KPMG Executive Search and Selection.
Many of the desired characteristics are straightforward e.g. a proven track record in finance. What about some of the so called softer skills? Leadership skills and cultural fit are all harder to define – again reinforcing the value of external objectivity. Leading and building strong teams is about complementary strengths and weaknesses. The fit or chemistry at senior levels is vital as individuals must have the ability to debate and influence while also being able to accept opposition and resistance. You do not have to love each other but you do have to work together. Very often at senior level the ‘fit’ is the key component of the search as the harder skills are more readily verifiable through profiling and background checks. InBusiness | Q3 2013 115
Salmon Software | IB SURVEY
The Cutting EDGe Treasury Management is a facet of business which shouldn’t be ignored, and one which can bring real benefits. We profile treasury systems provider Salmon Software and speak to managing director John Byrne to discover more.
s businesses seek to recover from the global economic meltdown, one facet of business which is becoming increasingly important is good treasury management. Treasury management has long been an important factor for many organisations around the world, ensuring effective tracking of daily sales and payments, while also ensuring firms have ample liquidity in the event of the unforeseen. The role and function of the treasurer and treasury management has changed in recent years, a change instigated by developments in business and, in particular, technology. “It’s the most important function in a business – or one of them – because it essentially revolves around knowing where your money is, what format it’s in, what jurisdiction it’s in, how risky it is and so on,” explains Salmon Software’s John Byrne. “That information has to be available every single day. It’s not like accounting, looking back on what has happened. Treasury is about ‘where is my money right now and what do I need to do to maximise its use so that by the end of the day I have it in a position where it is earning interest'"
The background Byrne founded Salmon Software in 1985 to specialise in the development of
Treasury Management systems, a novel concept at the time. Byrne’s background is quite broad and eclectic. A qualified teacher and accountant, he also holds programming experience acquired while working in the ESB. Following extensive research, Byrne designed and developed a programme known as INTUITION, aimed at training money dealers and brokers, a programme which is still in existence today. However, this research also brought Byrne to the realisation that there was a new role emerging in the financial world – the corporate treasurer. Against a background which included the financial market’s first tentative steps towards going global, Ireland’s modest participation in the emerging corporate treasury sector and the emergence of the PC as the medium of choice for businesses, Byrne began to develop specialised financial software applications, all under the umbrella name of An Breadán Feasa, or the Salmon of Knowledge. Though initially developed as individual applications performing specific functions for particular clients, as new application requests emerged and company requests began to form a more similar pattern, these applications began to converge into what would become the first version of Salmon Treasurer.
“Treasury is about ‘where is my money right now and what do I need to do to maximise its use so that by the end of the day I have it in a position where it is earning interest.'” 116 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Knowledge Solutions Salmon Software has continued to develop the Salmon Treasurer offering since 1987, a span of time which has seen the software develop into the most sophisticated Treasury Management system offering, catering for many financial instruments and coupled with a broad range of functionality, meeting all the needs of a modern Treasury operation both local and global. Salmon Software is completely modular, so Treasurers have the handy option to choose the particular financial instruments and functionality they need from a wide range which spans cash management, foreign exchange, trade finance, intercompany position keeping and electronic payments to name but a few. Deployed either on-site or as a cloud-based solution, in recent times more and more corporate clients are looking to Salmon Software to provide what Byrne terms ‘out of the box solutions’ particularly in areas such as cash management and forecasting, management of counterparty exposure and risk, foreign exchange exposure, complemented by automated processes, sophisticated reporting capabilities, informative dashboards and automated emailing of significant events. As a whole, Byrne describes it as a jigsaw for the corporate treasurer. “Corporate Treasury is a very simple business – it’s about buying and selling money. You can do this in many different ways [such as straight forward borrowing or lending money for short or long periods of time, buying foreign currency, selling foreign currency, putting money on deposit etc.
Salmon Software | IB SURVEY
John Byrne, Salmon Software.
Other more elaborate transactions include guarantees, performance bonds, floating rate notes etc. and then the exotics such as Interest rate swaps, currency swaps, caps, collars floors etc.] Treasurers choose these financial instruments to best fit their financial requirements. So we have modules to cover all of the various ways by which you can buy and sell money. Each one of those is like a jigsaw piece, and the jigsaw fits together regardless of the pieces you have.”
Global Reach Treasury management, generally speaking, is a homogeneous activity. There are a lot of common requirements across all businesses – finance, food, telecommunications, software, construction etc. As a result, Salmon’s client list spans all of these businesses. Included amongst its strong and impressive client base are Greencore (one of the first users of the initial application almost three decades ago), Glanbia, Ryanair, Airbus, Bord Gáis, Debenhams, Securitas and Mylan Pharmaceuticals. Most recently Salmon Software has opened a service office in
the Czech Republic, as the company aims at broadening its reach into the Eastern European market. Salmon aims to offer solutions in the emerging markets of not just the Czech Republic but Slovakia, Poland and Hungary amongst others. These countries are beginning to catch up to the levels of financial sophistication of western economies, an opportunity Salmon has quickly identified.
Future Looking forward, Byrne is optimistic for Salmon Software’s future in the treasury systems market. As the sole provider of such systems in Ireland, Salmon is in a prime position to take advantage of the growing Irish market, which has seen massive consolidation in recent years, with competition reduced from about 20 providers to just a handful today, leading to significant resistance as corporate treasurers question why a single vendor with multiple solutions would offer one solution over another. “The most positive thing for us is the consolidation of the market,” says Byrne. “The choice for systems for corporate treasurers is now seriously diminished. Our competitors
have bought six or seven systems each, all of which used to compete with one another and with us. It’s easier now to make our case.” With such takeovers, these organisations grow larger still, but cannot continue to develop each system. Byrne notes the usefulness of operating as a smaller and more efficient developer, and Salmon continues to invest quite heavily in research and development, enabling the company to continually provide cutting edge software. In addition, continuing dependency on managing Treasury using spreadsheets is a positive note for providers such as Salmon. The demands facing modern Treasury departments, such as a more rigorous regulatory environment and demands for better controls from auditors, means that more and more small to medium sized organisations require and seek dedicated systems, such as Salmon Treasurer. “We’re a small company competing and winning against the might and power of very large corporations. We punch way above our weight because the discerning Treasurers take the time to see what we offer over the competition,” Byrne concludes. InBusiness | Q3 2013 117
sásta | IB SURVEY
sásta: Health and Fitness sásta is an innovative fat-burning vacuum pod, designed and manufactured in Ireland, ensuring clients get fit, lose weight and tone up in a time saving way.
ike many people, Fiona Egan struggled with her weight from an early age and it remained a constant battle for most of her life. Fiona tried every fad and format for weight loss on the market but it seemed that nothing worked, leaving her disappointed and demotivated. Being a mother and business owner with her spare time at a premium, Fiona did not find that ‘perfect’ elusive key to weight loss, toning and fitness that proved successful or fitted in with her busy life. “My weight has been a lifelong challenge for me, as I was ten stone at ten years of age and I really felt different from my siblings and peers who did not seem to have this problem. I really felt that there had to be another way, so I sold my accountancy practice and started doing research,” says Fiona.
Unique What’s so special about sásta? What is unique about the sásta fitness pod is that 30 minutes exercise achieves results equivalent to 120 minutes regular exercise. sásta understands the importance of combining exercise with good nutrition so in addition to the fat burning pod workout, sásta offers their Clients a tailored nutrition plan and toning programme. sásta is like your own personal trainer with one to one coaching where the sásta team are committed to motivating clients to achieve their goals without feeling deprived and in a fun way. The sásta format is so successful, it comes with a consumer money back guarantee The 118 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
sásta fitness pod sessions last only 30 minutes and clients can drop a clothes size in four weeks (using sásta three times per week). 30 minutes on the sásta fitness pod achieves results equivalent to 2 hours regular exercise and is suitable for men and women from 100lbs to 430lbs After using our sásta fitness franchise many clients confirm the following benefits: • Improved blood pressure • Improved cardiovascular fitness in 7-8 x 30 minute sessions • Reduction in cholesterol levels – testimonial from Dr. Declan Loftus • Improvements in sleep patterns & general mood • 7-9 inches lost after 13 sessions • Cellulite reduction after 5-6 sessions Initially it was planned that the sásta fitness pod would be solely a weightloss product but our validation trials with
Professor Niall Moyna and his team in Dublin City University has played a big part in our expansion into the high performance fitness and health market. We have enquiries from Premiership football clubs to supply our fitness pods to include as part of their fitness regime to enhance their player’s performance. Fiona says: “We are above all trying to make it easy for the client and to motivate them to succeed. We know how hard it is to make that phone call or to come into us and we care as much as they do about getting results. This product has really come from feedback from the client. It is so exciting to see people getting results. We have seen clients coming off blood pressure medication and anti-depressants just by changing their lifestyle with sásta. People just feel happier in themselves because they are achieving what they thought they never would.” www.sastafitness.ie
FRENCH EMBASSY | IB SURVEY
FRENCH CONNECTION By sourcing innovative and best products and services from France, Ubifrance enhances partnerships between France and Ireland.
rench people have always had a strong connection with Ireland. 400,000 French visitors enjoy the wonderful Irish landscapes every year, 30,000 French citizens live in Ireland, and commercial links between the two countries are indeed very strong: France is Ireland’s 5th largest client and Ireland’s 6th largest supplier. More than 50 Irish companies have offices in France and around 150 French companies have offices in Ireland. Everyday Irish people benefit from French technologies and “savoir-faire”. To name but a few, the Luas is operated by Veolia and built by Alstom; the first European free barrier toll located on the M50 was designed and is operated by Sanef. And French food products just like French beauty and fashion products are as popular today as they ever were.
UBIFRANCE Ireland UBIFRANCE Ireland, the French Trade Commission in Ireland, is at the epicentre of these relationships and aims to enhance business partnerships between France and Ireland. It does so by helping companies in Ireland source the most innovative and the best value products and services from France. UBIFRANCE’s mission is to ease business development of companies, in both France and Ireland. In 2012, UBIFRANCE brought 126 French companies to Ireland and organised more than 500 BtoB meetings with 200 Irish companies. It achieved, according to a survey done by IPSOS, a 44 per cent success rate as 32 per cent of these companies went on to sign contracts together and 12 per cent are currently in the negotiation process. Consultations are coordinated through either collective trade meetings
or individual missions (meetings organised on behalf of French exporters looking to find business partners in Ireland). Approximately 12 collective trade meetings take place annually, in specific sectors, where UBIFRANCE’s market advisers have identified business opportunities. The French Trade Commission also organises “Meet the buyers” trade events. UBIFRANCE, according to the needs and wishes of Irish partners, finds matching French firms and arranges B to B meetings with the selected companies. By availing of these services, Irish companies can easily find French suppliers.
Mission to Trade In the last quarter of 2013, several collective trade missions will take place in Ireland, in various business sectors including livestock and farming, maritime, energy and medical devices to name but a few. There will be much more to come in early 2014, with events in the fields of wine, fruits and vegetables, sports and leisure, smart grids, cloud computing and the environment. If trade meetings are UBIFRANCE’s core business, it also provides French subsidiaries with flexible HR solutions aimed at easing the recruitment of junior staff in Ireland. This programme is called
V.I.E. and enables French companies to recruit young Europeans, between 18 and 28 years of age, on a working assignment in Ireland. The VIE is taken on by the company for a flexible period of six to 24 months, renewable once within a two-year period. This program is opened to French candidates, of all educational backgrounds, as well as to people from the European Economic Area who meet the same criteria, as long as they work outside their country of residence. It appeals to strongly motivated young people: recent graduates, often with some work experience or wishing to take a year out of college. UBIFRANCE Ireland’s bicultural team is made up of seven committed experts, each specialised in different business areas. Located in Harcourt Street, the office is open to any business looking to build partnerships with French companies. UBIFRANCE Ireland Europa House, Harcourt Street, Tel: 014112980 – Fax : 014112977 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org InBusiness | Q3 2013 119
Holohan Solicitors | IB SURVEY
A Reputation in Mediation Solicitor Bill Holohan has earned a prestigious accolade for his tireless work in mediation.
olohan Solicitors is a four partner medium-sized law firm which provides legal advice and representation to its clients. The prestigious accolades received by the firm recently are testament to the high quality service they provide. One year after Senior Partner and Founder Bill Holohan was awarded Irish Mediator of the Year by Acquisition International Magazine, Holohan was named Mediation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2013. Speaking about the award, Holohan said: â€œI am delighted to receive this honour and recognition. I am a great believer that mediation can provide cost-effective solutions for clients at an early stage, particularly in commercial situations, so this award is not only great recognition for the firm but also for
mediation as an alternative service.â€? Accredited as a mediator by both CEDR (Centre for Effect of Dispute Resolution) and CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators), Holohan is currently Chairman of the Chartered Institute Special Interest Group on Mediation. Having adopted and embraced mediation over the past number of years, he has built up a strong reputation for providing partner-driven, accessible and decisive guidance, building in-depth relationships with his clients. Holohan Solicitors' philiosophy is to learn about their client's business and to provide them with the support, guidance and strategic solutions they require to achieve their aims. With offices in Dublin and Cork, the firm combines its legal knowledge with its commercial
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experience, aiming to deliver practical solutions to complex legal issues. With plans afoot for further expansion, the future is bright for Holohan Solicitors, both in the mediation business and across their other areas of legal expertise.
Eileen Carroll, CEDR Ireland, presenting the award to Bill Holohan.
The InBusiness Boss-Word! Please send all completed entries to InBusiness Magazine, Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 to arrive no later than November 30th 2013. The first correct entry drawn will win a fabulous hamper courtesy of Hampers & Co.
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Terms and conditions apply.
Across 2. 'R and D' stand for _______ and Development (8) 3. All the workers in a company (5) 5. Person who represents another in dealing with a third party (5) 6. One who puts money into financial schemes, shares, etc (8) 7. Goods sold to other countries (7) 8. Total sales of a company over a stated period (8) 10.Economic and social system where people can maximise profits (10) 12. Restructuring a company to make it smaller (10) 13. Quantity, or sum, of money (6) 17. Person who is skilled at keeping business records (10) 18. Amount of money remaining in an account (7) 19. Purchases of foreign goods and services (7) 20. Money that is owed (4) 22. Taxes that don't come straight out of a person's pay (8) 23. Japanese currency (3)
down 1. 2. 4. 9.
Levels of management within a business organisation (9) _______ tax, where the rate decreases as income increases (10) A prediction of the value of a variable in a statistical study (8) Route a product follows as it moves from producer to consumer (12) 11. Person a debtor owes money to (8) 14. Agreement enabling a third party to sell products owned by a manufacturer or supplier (9) 15. Person who buys and uses goods and services (8) 16. Persistent rise in the price level of goods in an economy (9) 21. VAT stands for Value _____ Tax (5)
Tel: 061 20211 6 | www.ul.ie/business | www.facebook.com/BusinessAtUL
InBusiness | Q3 2013 121
Motoring | Lifestyle
New Kid on the (Compact) Block
Audi's first compact saloon should be a genuine competitor in the compact car market, writes Conor Forrest.
t's been a year of firsts. We witnessed the first Pope to resign in living memory, the first laboratory-grown ear manufactured by (presumably) mad scientists using a 3D printer, and the first solid confirmation that there's more than dust in Arsene Wenger's wallet. While it might not be as life-changing as the ability to print out transplantable ears, Bavarian car maker Audi are experiencing their own first this year â€“ the first saloon version of the popular A3 hatchback model. Actually, when it's put like that, it doesn't sound very life-changing at all. Nevertheless, many people who are very knowledgeable about these kinds of things are very excited about this A3 with a proper boot. From the outside you'd be forgiven for thinking someone had shrunk an A4, while previous A3 owners will feel right at home inside the familiar well-built cabin - Audi have long mastered the art of the cabin and everything feels solid and sturdy, like it can withstand the rigours of everyday driving. All the gadgets you'd expect from an Audi are within arm's reach â€“ Driver Information System, Bluetooth interface, Audi drive
select adaptive dynamics system and a host of technological extras that will have you (probably not) reaching for the manual for a spot of deciphering. The A3 hatchback on which it's somewhat based isn't the most exciting of cars but this version is actually quite eyecatching, understated yet quite elegant, a little like Paul Scholes. It's more practical than its hatchback cousin - there's plenty of space, though less in the form of legroom when compared with the A3's older brother, the A4, being 25cm shorter. Still, the 425L boot comes in quite handy. And while it may draw comparisons with previous incarnations of the A3, don't be fooled into thinking Audi have simply slapped a boot onto the hatch design and called it a day. Virtually every panel on the car is new, apart from a couple of exterior items such as the front grille, the headlights, door handles and wing mirrors. On the road, you'll barely feel the tarmac underneath the wheels. It isn't a car with the sportiest of handling, at least below the Sport/S Line variants and that's not a complaint â€“ the ride can be firm at times but for the most part
it'll simply glide along, providing you avoid the sort of potholes that would swallow bigger cars than the A3. Of course the Sport and S Line versions will let you feel the road below a little more, sitting on 17 and 18 inch alloy wheels coupled with sports suspension, though a standard suspension set up is available at no extra cost. The launch sees two TFSI petrol engines (1.4L and 1.8L) and just the one diesel version (2.0L TDI) at first, with more coming on-stream between this year and next. The most efficient choice has to be the 2.0L TDI, with a claimed 67.3mpg despite its 138bhp reservoir, and a simply brilliant driving experience. Prices for the regular version range begin at a29,950 for the 1.4L petrol, and a30,530 for the 1.6L diesel variant, rising to a32,310 (2.0L diesel), even more for the SE or S Line versions, placing it in direct contention with the Mercedes CLA 220CDI. Though perhaps a little pricey, the new A3 saloon is quite smart and business-like, with good looks and decent engine options, and overall an excellent first entry in the compact car market for Audi. InBusiness | Q3 2013 123
Motoring | Lifestyle
The King is Dead.
Long live the King? BMW's coupés are getting a rename and revamp. Will the first out of the blocks be a success? Possibly.
remendously important news from the world of BMW – the coupé line from the German automotive giants is getting something of a rename. From now on, all coupés and convertibles will now be evennumbered, beginning with...the new 4-series coupé. According to BMW, the name change is “a sign of greater exclusivity and presence”, though the car maker has yet to explain to the rest of the world what this actually means. Saloon and touring car models will get to keep their odd-numbered naming schemes. It's all very exciting. But will the car live up to its hype? It actually looks like it will. From an internal perspective, at any rate. Beauty isn't everything, they say, which is presumably also what other BMW owners say to justify their purchase of the frankly still-hideous X6. It's definitely 124 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
going too far to say that the new 4-Series is an ugly car. But it's not BMW's greatest attempt. Sure, the lines are sleek along the sides and the rear end, the interior is modern and stylish, but there's just something not right about that bulging front end, particularly beneath the numberplate. It certainly isn't beautiful in the traditional sense, like Audrey Hepburn or the DB9. It's a little stubby. Thankfully, however, everything hidden beneath the metal more than makes up for any visual reservations prospective drivers might have. Take the first three engines lucky consumers can get their hands on at the launch. If diesel's your thing, the 420d (€47,130) comes with a 2.0L engine and a extremely decent mpg figure of 60.1. For petrol heads, the first two petrol variants should keep you busy for a while; the 428i features a turbocharged 2.0L
245bhp engine (€51,100) while the 435i should get you around the road in no time at all – its turbocharged 3.0L produces a whopping 306bhp with a 0-62 time of just 5.4 seconds, though it'll cost you €69,308 for the privilege. It's quite sporty, too; wider and 10mm lower suspension than the preceding 3-Series, it has the lowest centre of gravity of any of BMW's current stable, stiffened for sharper response, with plenty of grip and agility going in and out of the corners. And, as usual, the more discerning driver can opt for any number of M Performance upgrades. And it's practical, too, for a coupé. There's space for two adults in the back, plenty of room around the front two seats with a 445L boot to round things off in the rear. There's even an automatic boot release – a wave of your foot under the rear bumper will open the boot (so long as the key is in your pocket, otherwise you may look a little odd). The BMW Efficient Dynamics Strategy has also ensured the coupé isn't terribly hard on your wallet, at least following the initial purchase – lightweight construction, aerodynamics and ECO PRO mode (which allows the car to cut fuel use by up to 20 per cent) all combine to save on fuel and cut down on emissions. Rival Audi's A5 coupé offering might be a better looking car, if not more expensive on several counts, there's no doubt. But it is really what is on the inside that truly counts. And BMW haven't come to this fight unarmed.
Motoring | Lifestyle
Hybrid Range Rovers? A green Range Rover isn't as unlikely as you'd think.
he Range Rover isn't exactly what one might call a 'green' car, simply by the fact that it is a Range Rover, which makes the new Hybrid tag seem like an oxymoron. But whatever it is, it's well engineered and well executed by the sounds of things. The new models will combine the existing 3.0L V6 diesel engine with a 47bhp electric motor, with a combined consumption for both models of 44.1mpg, an improvement of 6.4mpg (not exactly world-shattering) alongside 335 diesel horsepower.
Here's the catch – apparently you can only drive one mile solely on electricity, and only under 30 mph, before the diesel engine kicks in. (Possibly) eager customers will first get their hands on the new models in January 2014, which will cost a cool £98,000 (€113,567). To prove their Range Rover credentials, three Hybrids embarked on a momentous
BMW i3 BMW looks set to join the electric market.
f there are two things buzzing about at the moment (literally and figuratively), it's electric cars and smartphone apps. Want a combination of the two? Then check out the newest snazzy entrant into the electrically-powered vehicular market – the BMW i3. Combining a lithium-ion high voltage battery with an electric motor and intelligent energy management, the i3 actually doesn't sound half bad on paper, despite its whole electric aura. The BMW I Remote App lets you check range and charge status of the battery and I Navigation keeps you in the know regarding charging stations (full charge takes ten hours via a 240V socket). Due in Ireland in November, prices start at €33,160 after the various grants and rebates. It doesn't look too bad at all. But, for another €3,000 or so you'd get one of the new 3-Series with 62.8mpg, and a range on a full tank of diesel roughly double that of the i3 while driving around the city. For some, that's not going to be an exceedingly difficult choice.
voyage – a 9,942-mile trip between India and Land Rover's factory in Solihull in the West Midlands of England, retracing an ancient Silk Road route. Nobody knows if we'll ever see them again. (We have).
R you ready? The new Golf R should prove to be a blast.
vidently Volkswagen aren't intent on getting rid of their massively popular Golf line any time soon. So far this year we've seen the launches of the new Golf GTI, the GTD, Estate and TDI BlueMotion versions. The most exciting news, however, is the launch of the Golf R. The latest in Golf 's top of the line range, it's a striking car – though perhaps not as much as its predecessors – with smooth lines, 18” alloys, chrome tipped exhausts and a suitably sporty interior. Not to mention 296hp (the 2013 GTI has 217) with a 0-62 time of 4.9 seconds. Usually when the horsepower goes up, the fuel efficiency figures plummet, as does the weight of your wallet. However, and impressively, the Golf R is actually 18 per cent more fuel efficient, achieving 33mpg (presumably in your lightest pair of slippers). Market launch in Europe is aimed towards Q4 2013, with prices circulating around €38,000. We can't wait.
InBusiness | Q3 2013 125
Book review | Lifestyle
Books on Biz InBusiness looks at the latest business books offering great insights for executives, budding entrepreneurs, and other professionals seeking to acquire business skills and knowledge. The Binmanâ€™s Guide to Selling By Oisin Browne Working in a fast-growing award winning company, Oisin Browne offers a fresh look at selling to the world of business. Browne has distilled his varied experience into a series of clearly defined recommendations and selling techniques that combine general observations with illustrative examples in an accessible and engaging format. The Binman's Guide to Selling will be of value to any business professional looking to focus on their sales techniques. Browne presents a genuine and distinct tool to empower and position business people to methods that have the potential to transform their career through improved sales communication and applicable relationship-building practices. Browne shares selling secrets that can be applied to any business; an in-depth look at advanced selling suggestions and word psychology techniques, creating a winning mindset, providing excellent customer experiences, delivering effective sales pitches, running successful sales meetings, developing extraordinary selling skills and interviews with the top sales teams, business owners and consultants from many successful companies. 126 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Great Days at Work: How positive psychology can transform your working life By Suzanne Hazelton A new book has been published to help individuals achieve balance in their life, enabling them to become more enthusiastic at work, feel more positive and make a bigger contribution to their organisation. Presenting evidence-based facts around the science of positive psychology, Great Days at Work remains accessible and easy to understand, so readers can make informed choices about what they can do for themselves to make great days at work a more regular occurrence. Positive psychology can be often seen as too "fluffy" for business professionals. However, unlike many self-help books, Great Days at Work is not just simplistic positive thinking; it explains the science behind the psychology, to get to the heart of what helps human beings be at their best, and contribute most in the long term. Written in a way that will engage a business audience, it focuses on developing individual well-being and success, but is equally useful to
team builders and managers aiming to develop successful and more robust teams. Covering topics such as working with others, setting goals, negotiating and emotions at work, Great Days at Work provides practical advice on how to apply the latest research from the practice of popular psychology. The easily applicable tips reveal how to develop an effective perspective on time,
â€œIt explains the science behind the psychology, to get to the heart of what helps human beings be at their best, and contribute most in the long term.â€?
Book review | Lifestyle embed productive habits, and feel more in control of your own work and career.
Innovation - how innovators think, act and change our world By Kim Chandler McDonald
The level of global competition faced in the digital age means that businesses of every size must look to innovate if they are going to be successful in today's - and tomorrow's - global economy. Innovation drives change and touches all our lives as individuals, companies and society, and the ability to be innovative is a mindset that enables individuals to lead the pack and break the mould. With this in mind a new book has been published which reveals the mindset of the global pioneers who are changing the world we live in. Innovation - how innovators think, act and change our world draws on
“Every new idea or strategy will inevitably come into contact with people, and human dynamics can cause the obstacles on the journey to success.”
more than 100 exclusive interviews with entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world, experts in an extensive range of fields from business and technology to government and social policy, the arts and advertising to media, medicine and more. It presents the inside track on who's done what, how they did it, what drives them, and reveals the common denominators that they all share. Innovators deserve applause for driving social, economic and cultural change, and in the book, author Kim Chandler McDonald pays tribute to their attitudes and diverse range of achievements. The co-founder of KimmiC, she is a thought leader in the field of innovation, a sought after speaker and board member, and an advocate of disruptive approaches and transformational trends.
The Execution Shortcut – Why Some Strategies Take the Hidden Path to Success and Others Never Reach the Finish Line By Jeroen De Flander Most leaders recognise the importance of formulating a strategy for their business, but developing a strategy is much easier than successfully executing one. The strategy execution journey can be long and complex, and most business strategies get lost along the road to success. New book, The Execution Shortcut, offers a roadmap to help managers make the journey dramatically shorter. Author Jeroen De Flander, is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy execution, having helped more than 21,000 managers across
30 different countries. His first book, Strategy Execution Heroes, was an Amazon bestseller in five countries and was shortlisted for Management Book of the Year 2012. Every new idea or strategy will inevitably come into contact with people, and human dynamics can cause the obstacles on the journey to success. In The Execution Shortcut, Jeroen De Flander provides practical advice on how leaders can not only execute a strategy effectively, but also ensure it has a longlasting impact. The book not only gives a practical roadmap to show how to manage the human dynamics that get in the way of strategy, but also explains the science that causes the behaviour. The elements of the roadmap come from hundreds of scientific studies, conducted over 30 years by institutions like Harvard and Stanford, and an ambitious 12-year execution research project that tapped into the minds of over 23,000 leaders from 29 industries and 36 countries. It also uses entertaining real-life case studies and examples to help really illustrate the points. InBusiness | Q3 2013 127
gadgets | Lifestyle
Gadget Nation InBusiness takes a look at some of the most useful and eye catching gadgets on the market. Prestigio MultiPhone 5430 with Intel Inside Leading European manufacturer, Prestigio, has launched the new MultiPhone 5430 with Intel Inside®. This smartphone comes with an advanced Intel® processor which enables fast web browsing, super responsive apps and is ideal for those who love to multitask. The phone comes with a 4.3 inch touchscreen display for sharp text and graphics with Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi included. An 8 megapixel camera is also included, supporting LED flash and auto-focus. With 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory, the MultiPhone 5430 provides impressive multimedia capabilities and Android applications experience. The battery is rated at 2,000 milliamps per hour (mAh) which translates to approximately 12 hours of talk time and 400 hours on standby time. With fast web page downloading, automated power management, a decent camera and the ability to watch HD quality videos with little problems, the MultiPhone 5430 is an affordable choice for consumers at a price of €210 from the Prestigio website. The MultiPhone 5430 is an affordable choice for consumers at a price of €210 from the Prestigio website.
Panasonic LUMIX GX7 For photography enthusiasts out there, the Panasonic LUMIX GX7 is high-end in terms of both style and quality. With its retro design, the camera offers premium image quality, stunning precision, complete shooting flexibility and immense speed sure to satisfy all the creative buds of advanced photographers. The major features of the LUMIX GX7 include the tilt-angle electronic viewfinder and rare touch-panel LCD screen. The electronic viewfinder can be titled at 45 and 90 degree angles. With the 3 inch rear LCD, its 1,040k-dot resolution is extremely high and contains responsive touchscreen features. With a stunning array of features and tactile user controls, the Panasonic LUMIX GX7 is available from €979.99 from the Camera Centre website.
128 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
gadgets | Lifestyle
Sony XAV-602BT AV Centre
Monster DNA Headphones
The Sony XAV-602BT AV Centre makes it easier, safer and more satisfying to experience a vast array of media – including music, navigation and smartphone apps – while travelling. Keeping the customer in touch with the digital world while driving, this multimedia centre integrates seamlessly with an increasing range of MirrorLink compatible mobile-devices, putting the consumer in touch with a world of content and apps. When the latest version of App Remote (for Android and iOS) is downloaded, it can integrate the head unit with the driver's smart phone, allowing for phone content and apps on a large 15.5cm (6.1 inch) colour touchscreen. Included is an integrated visormounted microphone that allows you to use voice commands to play music, control GPS and hear incoming text messages, tweets and calendar reminders through message readout. The AV Centre also comes with high-quality image and video playback and is compatible with iPhones and iPods. The device will be available in Europe in January 2014. The device will be available in Europe in January 2014.
T UE Boom Player The UE Boom Player is a 360º speaker that drops bold, immersive sound in every direction of the room for all party and music lovers out there. The UE Boom Player has a versatile, 'go anywhere' shape that is built for spontaneity. It has a colourful acoustic skin that makes it water and stain resistant and can stand up, lay down or even be clipped to an item of clothing or accessory. With a rechargeable battery boasting a 15-hour battery life display, the UE Boom Player has Bluetooth pairing with mobile phones and tablets, and can even double up with other UE Boom Players to ensure the best sound quality. With maximum volume of 88dBA, a charge time of 3.4 hours and the ability to pair it up with 8 Bluetooth enabled devices, it is available at a recommended retail price of €199. It is available at a recommended retail price of €199.
he world’s leading manufacturer of headphones, Monster, and entertainment company, Viacom, have joined forces to bring consumers the new audio brand Monster DNA headphones. Sleek and durable in design with comfortable and advanced noise isolating cushions, these headphones offer a fresh outer look that will appeal to fashion-conscious music lovers. Brought to customers by the sound engineers that worked on Beats by Dr. Dre, the Monster DNA headphones provide excellent sound quality that tailor themselves to different styles of music on MP3 players and iPhones. The headphones use a tangle free set of cables, which have in-line mic that can be used on an iPhone to make clear calls. And each has a music link plug that lets you connect another set of headphones so you can have a shared music experience! The headphones also fold into a very portable size that fits within an accompanying pouch.
The Monster DNA Headphones are available in a range of stores across Ireland including Harvey Norman, Gamestop and Smyths Superstores for a recommended retail price of €199.95.
InBusiness | Q3 2013 129
TRAVEL | Lifestyle
The Butterfly Effect Joseph Oâ€™Connor travelled to Tanzania to discover how one butterfly farming project is educating locals on the importance of protecting the environment while giving women a stronger voice in their communities.
Butterfly catchers sit outside a farmer's dwelling. 130 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
© Photographs by Joseph O'Connor
TRAVEL | Lifestyle
A male Euxanthe Wakefildi butterfly is held by a farmer.
estled away in the heart of the East Usambara Mountains in northeast Tanzania, the Amani Nature Reserve is a serene and lushly vegetated area of forest covering 20,000 acres. It is here in a neighbouring village called Fanusi where Waziri uses a stick to carve the Swahili word kipepeo in the gravel for me. He encourages me to say the word until my pronunciation matches his which sends him and his colleague Omari into convulsions of laughter. Kipepeo means 'butterfly' and it is the kipepeo that has brought me to Tanzania. Now in its tenth year of operation, the Amani Butterfly Project is a non-profit organisation which has been generating income for local butterfly farmers from six villages by helping them to farm and market native butterflies, some of which are exclusive to the region. The initial mission of the project was to reduce
poverty and create an incentive for forest conservation, but it has proved to have other positive knock-on effects. The project benefits from the support of the Tanzanian Forest Conservation Group, an NGO that has assisted the enterprise both financially and administratively with the help of funding from various donors, including a $5,000 donation from Irish Aid, which helped build the project's office in 2003. The concept for the Butterfly Project was dreamt up by a young American biology student by the name of Theron Morgan-Brown. Loosely based on a similar project in Kenya, Morgan-Brown produced a body of research as part of his undergraduate degree; a feasibility study on how butterfly farming could be introduced to the East Usambara Mountains, an area renowned for its ecological importance. With this project, locals were given the opportunity to
“Before the butterfly farming, I was lumbering; cutting trees and making timber in the forest. I didn't even know I was destroying the environment but I came to realise the damage I was doing once I became a butterfly farmer.”
generate an alternative source of income through an activity which encourages conservation. Furthermore, it would take place in an area which was suffering from the detrimental effects of logging by those seeking to produce charcoal or who were clearing forest to create farmland. Meeting Morgan-Brown in a cafe amid the hustle and bustle of Dar es Salaam, the city where he now resides, he describes to me how it was not initially his intention to get the project off the ground: “In my initial Fulbright proposal, which was the fellowship I received to do this research, I was very specific in saying I had no plans to actually start the project,” he says. “I was just purely going to be doing research.” But as time went on and he became more familiar with Amani, the people and its environment, it seemed like a 'no-brainer' to bring the project to fruition. “As I continued the research and I got experience living up in Amani, I saw the situation there and how people were having a hard time with the amount of forest which had been put aside, where previously they had jobs involved in logging or other kinds of things. People needed some alternative sources of income through conservation InBusiness | Q3 2013 131
TRAVEL | Lifestyle
Rosie Marishali, Butterfly Farmer.
with the way things were going, and it just seemed that it was so plausible I couldn’t not do it!” The Amani Butterfly Project has been generating income through the sale of pupae to live butterfly exhibits in the United States and Europe for between $1 and $2.50 each. Of that sum, 65 per cent goes directly to the farmers, 28 per cent goes back into the project, while the remaining seven per cent goes to a community development fund that contributes to projects in participating villages; all in a country where an estimated 58 per cent of the population live on less than a dollar a day.
The Farming Process The butterfly farming process begins with farmers catching a small population of female butterflies from the wild and transferring them to an enclosure where they lay eggs on host plants. The farmers collect these eggs and when they hatch, the caterpillars that emerge are placed on fresh plants, which must be regularly 132 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
replaced to satisfy their appetites. The caterpillars continue to feed until they become pupae. It is at this point they are ready to be transported. The average life cycle of these butterflies is two to three weeks, so foreign buyers usually order new pupae every fortnight. The project began by training 250 locals, from four villages outside the nature reserve, to become butterfly farmers. The Government at the time had expressed concern about any ecological impact it might have in the protected area. But as Amiri Saidi, who has been project manager of the Amani Butterfly Project since its inception, explains, the skepticism was overcome once the results came to light. “At the beginning, the Government was very worried about the impact on butterfly populations from butterfly farming. So we just started with four villages which are outside the nature reserve and after two years the Government saw that there was no impact on the population of butterflies because what we are doing is not proper
farming, just producing lots of butterflies by farming and keeping some pupae for the next generation. So after two years the government allowed us to increase the number of participating villages, two of them inside the nature reserve.”
Empowering Women Back in Fanusi village, I speak to a number of butterfly farmers, who, through a translator, outline the positive impact the introduction of the project has had on their lives. I was eager to hear from the female farmers about the changes it has brought about. Involving women in the project was an important focus for the Tanzanian Conservation Group from the outset, and for much of the project’s ten-year existence, women have accounted for up to 50 per cent of the farmers. Rosie Marishali, a softspoken young woman from the village, has been a butterfly farmer for seven years. She describes the impact it has had: “Since becoming a butterfly farmer, there have been many changes to my life.
TRAVEL | Lifestyle I have managed to have a house, a bicycle and my conditions have improved a lot. When we began the butterfly farming people were laughing at us. They said we were wasting our time because we didn't know what would happen later but then when they saw the changes happening they decided themselves to write a special request so they too could become members of the butterfly farm.” She also explains how she has managed to gain the respect of others in the village because of her new profession. “I have inspired a lot of my friends and I have made more people trust me. If I need something from a shop I can just go and ask and I'll be given it because they know I will have the money at the end of the month.” More important than gaining respect from the local shopkeeper, being involved in the project has enabled women to have a voice at the local village meetings where they decide how community funds, generated through butterfly farming as well as through other means, should be spent. It was at a Fanusi Village meeting that the women pushed for the development of a new pipe water system so they would no longer have to travel many miles by foot each day in order to access a crucial daily amenity. Morgan-Brown believes butterfly farming is an ideal activity for local women for numerous reasons. “In the Tanzanian context it doesn’t really conflict with some of the other responsibilities that society puts on women,” he says. “So it’s something you can do in your backyard. It doesn’t involve a lot of demanding physical labour and it was sort of a perfect income generating activity for anybody to participate in.”
An Education in Conservation In an environmental context, apart from the obvious benefit of generating income for locals who once may have been dependent on illegal activities such as timber extraction and chameleon poaching, the project has acted as an educational tool for many who were previously unaware of the importance of forest conservation. Research has shown very encouraging evidence to suggest that butterfly farmers were more actively involved in conservation activities and that they drew a direct connection between their ability to farm butterflies and forest conservation in their area. One farmer, Omari, recalls his change in attitude once joining the project: “Before the butterfly farming, I was lumbering; cutting trees and making timber in the forest. I didn't even know I was destroying the environment but I came to realise the damage I was doing once I became a butterfly farmer. I am no longer in that lumbering business and I am asking others to help conserve the environment for the future generation.” His friend Waziri has had a similar experience: “By working with the butterfly project I have been able to conserve the environment because I have come to understand that if I destroy it there will be no butterflies. So I have started to respect the environment to ensure there will be enough butterflies available. The butterflies depend on some of the plants in the area.” The project also conducts environmental education activities with local schools and villages. Through these activities, participants learn about butterfly biology and about the interrelatedness of sustainable livelihoods and forest health.
A Time to Look Local
A female Papilio Dardanus butterfly.
Despite its successes to date, the Amani Butterfly Project has faced significant challenges since 2010. The first
project sales took place in 2004 and by the end of that year $20,000 was made from the sale of pupae. Sales the following year more than doubled totaling $45,000. By 2009 the enterprise managed to sell $90,000 worth of pupae for the year. However, this rapid growth came to an end in 2010 when new EU regulations were introduced on the exportation of live animals, which included the shipment of pupae. These regulations increased costs significantly, making it an unprofitable business for big courier companies, with the one used by the project choosing to cease shipping the pupae to Europe as well as the US (which was not impacted by the new regulations). Until these new regulations came into place, the project was selling a total of 50,000 pupae per year to 13 buyers, but now the project has lost all but one buyer in the UK and by the end of 2010 sales had dropped 30 per cent. Now the farmers are producing many more butterflies than are needed and this is something they have expressed concern about. Saidi reflects on how the project has had to overcome this challenge: “As an alternative, we are forced to use the air cargos which are very expensive, especially when you are shipping the pupae in small quantities. So it’s hard for the small exhibitors. It’s hard for the small buyers. Now we are just relying on one wholesaler, which is in Stratford in the UK. It is good, we are still surviving because they are taking lots of pupae; up to 1,500 per week so that’s the only way we are still surviving.” “It has definitely hurt the project,” says Morgan-Brown. “What was nice about having many customers before was that it meant that during the low season, which is when most exhibits are closed, you always had a few exhibits that were open and you could continue to sell butterflies during the Northern winter periods and you would have low sales and it would continue on, whereas now the project pretty much shuts down during this period because sales are so low.” Although seen as a significant blow to the project, it has highlighted its dependency on foreign buyers and exportation procedures. The project is now eager to source buyers in local regions such as Kenya, Uganda and other parts of Tanzania, and perhaps establish butterfly exhibits in areas where there are lots of tourist activity. InBusiness | Q3 2013 133
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Release the Butterflies Morgan-Brown is no longer as heavily involved with the project as he once was but he still describes it as his “baby” and acts as an adviser whenever Saidi and his team require a second opinion. Being the brains behind the project, he has hopes that it can obtain alternative sources of revenue through spin-off markets to ensure its survival. He shares one innovative idea with me: “In the US right now, and I think in a few other places as well, there’s actually quite a large market for butterfly releases at weddings. In Tanzania weddings are a very big deal. People contribute a lot of money. So generally even people who are not very well off have very fancy weddings and there are certain traditions that once they get established everybody has to have it at their wedding and it would be fantastic if we could make that happen for butterfly releases. There are certain species of butterflies which are ubiquitous to Tanzania which if you could farm relatively easy and you could release anywhere in the country without creating any kind of ecological danger, that would be fantastic to see happen.” 134 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
Having spent numerous days with Amiri Saidi, trekking for hours from village to village in the dense forest, I was interested to know what his thoughts were on the impact of a project he has been at the heart of since its inception ten years ago and how he feels when he sees its tangible benefits in each village. “Some of the wider positive impact is hard to see because it is more individual,” says Saidi. “So the farmers are getting money and investing themselves. But some of the things you see are really positive like the pipe water project. This is one of the biggest achievements of that village. Every time you can see the people, they are happy. Because before they were travelling very far in order to get the water. They were using the river water or sometimes the well water which was very far from their home but now you can see everybody will remember the project and its achievement.” He pauses for a few seconds and smiles. “Yes I’m proud of that.” With no shortage of innovative ideas among those involved with the project, from butterfly releases to establishing
local butterfly exhibits near tourist attractions, it is hoped that the Amani Butterfly Project will remain resilient, despite market challenges, for the next decade and beyond, and continue to generate income for local farmers, empower women and encourage conservation. This is all the product of an idea born out of a college paper but one which has spearheaded a new and profitable Tanzanian export industry owned by the producers and solely reliant on local resources - the kipepeo. Joseph O'Connor travelled to Tanzania with support from the Simon Cumbers Media Fund. The fund was set up in memory of Irish journalist Simon Cumbers. In June 2004, at the age of 36, Cumbers was shot dead in Saudi Arabia while working with the BBC. For more details visit www.simoncumbersmediafund.ie.
the last word
Crossing the divide Sodexo Ireland's managing director, Margot Slattery, talks to Sarah Kiely about her love of food, buying Irish and why inclusion in business is key.
oming from a dairy farming background in Limerick, Margot Slattery has climbed every rung of the business ladder to become the managing director of services provider Sodexo Ireland, which manages staff restaurants and a range of support services for clients in business and industry, healthcare and education. Her love of food led Slattery to train as a chef in GMIT and she quickly progressed to jobs with various hotels including Adare Manor in county Limerick before moving to London to work with InterContinental Hotels. Returning to Dublin for work and to be close to her family, she became a manager with catering company Gardner Merchant which was subsequently bought by Sodexo. Now, 22 years later, Slattery finds herself the first female managing director of Sodexo Ireland, a firm now employing around 1,800 people in 180 locations on the island of Ireland.
Finding balance Nowadays, the one time chef is still delighted to cook, although more informally, for herself and her partner, Sarah. The self-described 'foodie' loves trying new recipes in the kitchen and is "currently getting through Yotam Ottolenghiâ€™s new book Jersusalem." She also enjoys dining out and discovering new taste experiences. Home life is clearly important to Slattery and she strikes a balance between this and her work by understanding the individual needs of her team. She accepts that there are time limits involved in everyone's lives especially with young families and tries to confine work to the working day and take a little time for
Margot Slattery, MD Sodexo Ireland
herself. "I try to get some exercise every day and to breathe the air," she says. "It is important to bring balance back into the workplace for all of my team." Finding the right balance is clearly working for Slattery. This year her work was recognised when she received the
Woman of the Year Award at the Women 1st Shine Awards in London. She was "thrilled" to receive the award and was also excited about the recognition, not just for herself but for the hard work carried out by her team to advance Sodexo in the world market. Slattery was InBusiness | Q3 2013 135
the last word also inspired by the work of her fellow nominees. "I felt honoured to have been chosen among the fantastic group of women who were nominated," she says.
An Irish company Although Sodexo is a global multinational, Slattery is keen to emphasise that it is an Irish company headquartered in Ireland, with offices in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. Having an Irish managing director for the first time in many years has numerous benefits for Sodexo, especially when dealing with Irish suppliers. "It is about understanding the culture of our clients and customers," says Slattery. "The cultural references are quite similar and there are inevitable connections to be made with places and friends in common. I know where the heart of our country is and what makes us unique and I hope I bring that to our clients and customers each and every day," she adds. Slattery was instrumental in adapting Sodexo policy to encourage buying Irish produce where at all possible, regardless of the expense. Her farming background led her to advocate stocking Irish produce for its quality and availability. "My parents were farmers and the land is very close to me," she says. The Irish produce bought by Sodexo is of the highest standard and is awarded the Bord Bia quality mark. She estimates that Sodexo spends â‚Ź18 million annually on local Irish produce which is indispensable to the Irish economy and describes buying Irish as vital. "A number of years ago I initiated Sodexo joining the Bord Bia Quality mark programme. It's really a key focus and we believe in it totally. We purchase food from all over Ireland and I am a passionate supporter of small local artisan suppliers."
Women in business Slattery's success with Sodexo is all the more impressive when you consider the challenges facing women trying to advance in such a male-dominated industry. "The challenges are primarily in facilities management," she explains. "It is an industry with more women getting involved but the references are often given as being gender specific to males; it's about being credible and being taken seriously and having your voice heard." However, she is also keen to acknowledge 136 Q3 2013 | InBusiness
the benefits that being a woman has in business. In particular, Slattery feels strongly that women's ability to empathise is of the utmost importance in promoting understanding and cooperation in all business relationships. Communication and empathy are tools that Slattery utilises in order to ensure that her team are functioning at the highest level, meeting personal needs to achieve collective goals for the company. "It's important to understand the people who work with you," she adds, "whether that means allowing for flexible working hours or setting boundaries about calling out of office hours." While Slattery agrees that it is imperative to have a greater number of women represented at senior level in business, she is hesitant about the idea of introducing gender quotas but acknowledges that it may take something as drastic as this to ensure the representation of women in business. "I feel they are probably necessary to accelerate us from the low numbers we have currently, especially in Ireland. However, once the quotas are reached, I think we should look to a more organic approach. Women should, in my opinion, progress on merit and ability."
Promoting diversity Another principle of Slattery's business acumen is diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She believes strongly that diversity is not only desirable but crucial to success in business. "It's important to be in tandem with our customers and our world. The world is changing and people who make decisions about buying etc. are coming from more diverse backgrounds. Being aware is vital and being inclusive is life-giving." Slattery hopes to work with the greatest possible spectrum of people so that there are constantly new ideas to explore and new perspectives to consider. She has no interest in being surrounded by 'yes-men' that only have one viewpoint. "I love the idea of inclusion, bringing in colour and light and new energy," she explains. "It would be so boring if we were all the same." Inclusion is another side to the principle of diversity and perhaps an even more important one. Slattery seeks to support her personnel so that they work at the optimum level. She believes that often the greatest barrier
"I know where the heart of our country is and what makes us unique and I hope I bring that to our clients and customers each and every day." to inclusion in the workplace is the person themselves who is daunted by the idea of self-advancement and fears the possibility of exclusion. Slattery advises other companies to look to promote diversity in every range and at every level of their enterprise. She appeals to companies to "believe in diversity, especially in the process of inclusion; invest resources in diversity and inclusion and don't be afraid." Being afraid is certainly not something which holds Slattery back and she appears focused on the future for her company. Sodexo Ireland is gaining ground in the marketplace and looking to expand even further in the years ahead, especially in terms of its hard facilities management services like buildings and equipment maintenance and with Margot Slattery at the helm they seem certain to succeed. When asked about the future for Sodexo, she affirms: "It is great and very promising. We want to grow our market share and be part of the innovation culture in delivering services."
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