Ireland's Electrical Magazine Issue80



on markets when government supports disappear and we begin to understand the actual economic impact of the pandemic. What was your first proper job? I always worked in the family business growing up; picking orders, unloading containers during school holidays and so on. In college, I worked as a delivery driver for the local Chinese takeaway and even had a stint selling flowers one summer in the local area and at car boot sales around Dublin. When I finished my degree, I expected to start working for Robus, but my father didn’t want me involved in the family business without first getting experience elsewhere. I got a job with Enterprise- Rent-A-Car on their graduate program and within two years became the youngest branch manager in the history of the company. Shortly after, I moved to Australia to take up a role as an external sales representative for Robus. What inspires you to go to work every day? Our vision is to become our customers most trusted LED lighting supplier, and when we can deliver this we will ultimately become one of the most significant lighting brands in the world. This inspires me, and I almost view work as a sport or type of competition, intending to become number one in each of our key markets. Even as a sales representative, I had this goal for my own area in Australia. The key objective now is for Robus to take the next step up as a business in terms of growth. How do you like to fill your spare time? I raced karts between the ages of 10-22, and when I moved back from Australia in 2016, I started competing again in the Irish and World Championships with the latter held in Le Mans each year. Unfortunately, there has been limited racing this year, and very little travel with work. However, this has given me the chance to pause and spend much more time in Dublin which has been one big positive I have taken from the pandemic. At the weekends, I am either cycling

to Howth with my wife, Emer, for a dip at Balscadden beach; having a BBQ in our back garden; down in Brittas Bay in Wicklow spending time with my extended family at Staunton’s Caravan park; cycling the hills of Howth with a group of pals from school or watching some form of motorsport. As a business leader, describe your best qualities. I am very ambitious, driven, but also realistic about what we can achieve. I believe this inspires our staff as individuals, inspires our teams, and ultimately allows the organisation to progress as a single entity. I understand that without excellent staff we won’t achieve our goals, therefore, the business has a strong emphasis on our ADR program which involves (A)ttracting the best people, (D)eveloping the best people and therefore (R)etaining the best people. I have a strong commercial understanding and natural intuition of how the business works, which helps me make sound decisions with the senior management team around the different divisions within our global organisation. …and your worst? I have been called a perfectionist which can be a good and bad trait. I have had to understand that this can be bad when people always worry about making mistakes, letting others down or not measuring up to impossibly high standards. What has been the most satisfying moment in your career? Becoming CEO is an obvious one. However, on my 33rd birthday, I had to tell our staff over a Microsoft Teams virtual meeting that they were staying on a pay cut due to the pandemic. It’s a birthday I will always remember, but for the wrong reasons. A month later, I was able to tell everyone that they were moving back to 100%. This was hugely satisfying as it had a direct effect on every individual, and I know how much of a financial burden and mental challenge 2020 has been.

If you could work in a completely different sector/industry, what would it be? I have always been interested in the stock market and wanted to become a trader but was always put off due to the amount of reading and research required to understand the markets and various commodities properly. I have been actively trading small amounts of money since college and get enjoyment from the interest it creates by simply having some money invested in a company. I then end up following companies with greater enthusiasm and also have the benefit of seeing why they have or have not been successful. I have had some shockers over the years from oil research companies drilling off the coast of Africa to more recent success with Tesla. “The most crucial aspect needed is open, honest communication” FOLLOW US ON:


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