Journalists

Sunday 23 July 2017

PaycheckPlus founder Anne Reilly with Sean Gallagher at the firm’s Drogheda HQ. Photo: David Conachy

Paydays pay off for wages firm as it goes international 

Most companies insist that their staff are their most important asset. However, for employers, paying staff has become more complex than ever before due to a lengthening increasing list of employer obligations and ever-changing entitlements for employees. In such circumstances, remaining compliant is a constant challenge for many businesses. This week, I talk to Anne Reilly of PaycheckPlus, one of Ireland’s most successful payroll outsourcing companies.

Louise Grubb and Sean Gallagher. Photo: Dylan Vaughan.

Storing up pharma success 

Between indigenous Irish firms in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech sectors and those international companies that have chosen to locate here, Ireland has now become recognised as a global centre of excellence for life sciences. For a small country like ours, it is hard to believe that 18 of the world's top 20 pharmaceutical companies now have substantial operations here and that six of the world's top 10 best-selling pharmaceutical products are exclusively produced here. With 50,000 people employed directly in the sector and exports of over €45bn each year, Ireland has now...

Sean Gallagher with Aidan Conway of Masterair Services with Chris Crowley and Shay McConnell in the background. Photo: David Conachy

Engineers to entrepreneurs 

Modern commercial and industrial buildings have become more intelligent than ever with computer-based systems now controlling everything from heating and cooling to hot water and ventilation. Not only do these complex systems require expertise in their design and installation, they also require highly skilled staff to maintain and service them. Such advances have given rise to a range of engineering firms that specialise in this area. Among them is Dublin-based Masterair. With its office in Whitestown Business Park, in Tallaght, the company employs 40 staff and has an annual turnover...

Sean Gallagher with Presidion co-founder and director Cathy McGennis and CEO Pierre Baviera. Photo: David Conachy

Big Data is now the new oil 

The buzzword in business these days is undoubtedly Big Data. From our PCs and laptops to mobile phones, social media messages and digital pictures, each of us is generating huge amounts of data on a daily basis. So much so it is estimated that 90pc of all the data in the world today has been created in the past two years alone. The challenge facing most businesses is how to capture the data that is being generated by their customers and analyse it in such a way as to help predict market trends, spot emerging opportunities and find new and better ways of doing business.

Sean Gallagher with Dr. Sarah Flannery and Dr Edmond O Flaherty in the Seapoint Clinic Blackrock. Photo: David Conachy

Restoring smiles to faces 

A smile is a type of universal language we all understand no matter where in the world we come from. By simply smiling, we can light up our entire demeanour and quickly convey a sense of confidence to those around us. However, for some people who have lost teeth or have ill-fitting dentures, smiling can be difficult. Self-conscious, they try hard not to smile or cover their mouths with hands when they do. That is until now. Advances in dentistry and particularly the development of implants has now made it possible for almost anyone, irrespective of how long their teeth are...

Des O'Dowd with Sean Gallagher on the beach at Inchydoney. Photo: Michael MacSweeney

The natural beauty business 

To most of us who live here - and to the millions of tourists who visit us each year - Ireland is most definitely a country of great natural beauty. From our towns and villages, to our rolling green hills and beautiful sandy beaches, there's something natural and unspoilt about this land we live in. Add to this the quality of our food, the uniqueness of our culture, and the warmth and friendliness of our people and it's easy to see why tourism plays such an important role in Ireland's economic future.

James Costello, managing director of Label Tech, is pictured with Sean Gallagher at the company’s base in Santry Photo: INM

Labelling firm sticks to quality 

The issue of how products are labelled has become increasingly important and more sophisticated in recent years. Not just because good labelling helps with branding and encouraging consumers to buy one product over another, but because a whole raft of legislation now requires that manufacturers provide information to potential customers on everything from ingredients and the 'best before' dates, to how to use a product properly. Professional labelling, therefore, is no longer a luxury but an essential part of any production or marketing process.

Kevin O'Connor of Colourtrend with Sean Gallagher. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A brush with the colour king 

It's almost impossible nowadays to turn on your TV without coming across a programme about building or remodelling your home. We can now watch as great design ideas come to life before our eyes. Each stage of the process layers upon the last - culminating in the creation of the most attractive of living environments. Central to each, is a blend of carefully selected colours. Neither too bland nor too stark, these come together to create just the right mood to match each space.

Sean Gallagher (centre) with iCabbi CEO and co-founder Gavan Walsh (right) and Brian Drysdale. Pic:Mark Condren

iCabbi: a partner to global taxi industry 

While every business industry has experienced change in recent years, much of it as a result of advances in technology, one in particular has been affected more than most - the taxi industry. It is not very long ago when most of us will remember that getting a taxi involved standing on the street corner, often in the rain, in the hope of hailing a passing cab. Today, however, with the emergence of names such as Hailo and Uber, we, as users, can now access a taxi from anywhere using an app on our mobile phones. Drivers who are registered show up on our app along with...

Sean Gallagher and landscaper Thomas J Crummy, Sligo

Cultivating success from the ground up 

It's scientifically proven that being outdoors is good for our health. Studies show that spending just 20 minutes in vegetation-rich nature improves our vitality, strengthens our immune system, and increases our enthusiasm for life. In recent years, having an attractively landscaped garden and a neatly manicured lawn has become somewhat of a standard for many home-owners. And while some people love to spend time gardening, planting, pruning or cutting their grass, others are happy to outsource the work to a professional contractor with specialist knowledge - and equipment.

Sean Gallagher at Jam Media's Dublin office with CEO John Rice. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Content is king in a world of imagination 

In recent years, Ireland has developed quite a reputation as a hot spot for developing animation and children's entertainment. And as many parents of young children will testify, such entertainment - whether it be TV shows, books, toys or games - can be a valuable tool in occupying children in the early morning as they try to get them to eat their breakfast or to help them wind down in the evenings before bed. Parents often find that such entertainment helps children learn new concepts, stimulates their imagination and supports the expansion of their vocabulary.

Raising of the bar: Sean Gallagher with Ann Rudden, MD of Aine Hand Made Chocolate, in Stradone, Co Cavan

Sweet success for master chocolatier 

Ann Rudden's dream of having her own business started earlier than most other entrepreneurs. In fact, she was just nine years old when she decided that she wanted to be in business for herself. Today, she runs one of Ireland's leading artisan chocolate companies, Aine Hand Made Chocolate. And this year, after 15 years in business, she will see her turnover cross the €1m mark for the first time. Hers is a story about hard work, innovation and quality. But above all, her story is about passion and about the total and all-consuming love she has for what she does.

Delmec CEO Kealan Delaney, Sean Gallagher and managing director Ivan Daly Photo: Dylan Vaughan

The sky's the limit for Delmec's vision 

Managing change is a reality we all live with on a daily basis. For individuals, such change constantly challenges us to face new situations, learn new skills and stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone. But for businesses too, change is also a constant reality. And it is often this very change that forces companies to adapt their organisations and value offerings in order to stay relevant to the needs of the market and to avoid the risk of otherwise becoming obsolete.

Tim Houstoun and Sean Gallagher at the Clonakilty HQ of Global Shares

Putting share options on a global stage 

In recent years, we have all heard stories of how employees became millionaires overnight when the company in which they worked and had been given shares, was sold or floated on the stock exchange. The most famous of these being Facebook. While not all cases are as dramatic or life-changing as this example, the practice of offering share options to employees has, for many companies, increasingly become part of the package required to attract, retain and motivate key staff.

WOW FACTOR: Husband-and-wife team Dan and Linda Kiely, above with Sean Gallagher, have built up Voxpro into a global success story

Embracing the extraordinary has made Voxpro a global success story 

This week's business, Voxpro, is one of the most impressive and up-and-coming companies in Ireland. Its founders, husband-and-wife team Dan and Linda Kiely, also have to be among the most inspiring entrepreneurs I have ever met. Their story is an exciting one. Set up in 2000, the pair already employ 900 staff and have an annual turnover of more than €34m. With three separate offices in Cork, one in Dublin and another in San Francisco, they are fast becoming a truly global company. And as I listen to their ambitious plans for the future, I realise that theirs is a journey that is...