Ben there, Dunne that and now it's time to conquer Europe
BEN Dunne is the business -- well that's his opinion anyway. The colourful entrepreneur -- who has weathered numerous personal storms, from cocaine binges to being kidnapped by the IRA and being given his marching orders from the family firm -- was in his usual jovial form yesterday as he offered the secrets of his success.
"If you're going to succeed, you don't go out and win the Premiership without losing matches. You don't go through life without being knocked down -- just don't get knocked down too often," he said.
The tycoon, who is planning on taking his low-cost gym empire Europe-wide, was interviewed by Newstalk's Conor Brophy as part of the 'Legends in Your Lunchtime' series at the National College of Ireland in Dublin, which is sponsored by 'Metro Herald'.
And while he still claims credit for the current success of Dunnes Stores, despite parting ways with the company nearly two decades ago -- "It shows I left it in a really good condition!" -- he admitted his Midas Touch had failed him when it came to his new website.
"The internet is one of my failures, I can't work it out. I can't get people to advertise on bendunne.com for nothing and I can't get them to pay €3," he said. He rubbished any suggestion that he might want to return to retail, predicting that big supermarkets would be a "thing of the past" in 10 years' time and we would all be shopping online and getting our veg from the convenience store.
Instead, he sees the Michael O'Learys of this world as the future of business. "That is the type of guy that's going to be involved in running businesses over the next 20 years. . . Businesses are going to become far more cut and thrust."