Fabien Peyaud pitched the idea of Herdwatch to his employer, farm employment co-op FRS, a decade ago. Investing in a cloud-based farm management app was a gamble at the time, but the product is now a market leader across the UK and Ireland and preparing to launch on the continent. With ever-growing compliance obligations and major environmental challenges for agriculture, the French-born chief executive expects the Co Tipperary firm to hit 50 employees this year.
As managing partner of KPMG, Seamus Hand is at the coalface of Irish business, working with both multinationals and domestic companies. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, he explains why Ireland is taking the right approach to corporate tax reform and gives his outlook on the future of the office in a post-pandemic world. The accountant also talks about the future of aviation and retail, and reveals why he is concerned that the recovery could be hampered by businesses being unable to access the right pool of talent.
Jenni Timony started her first catering company at the age of 18 and grew it to turn over €3.5 million with 35 staff – only to face liquidation during the 2008 crash. By contrast, the more recent Covid-19 crisis has been positive for her new business, FitPink. Timony’s brand of comfortable activewear has been surfing the wave of online shopping and lockdown fashion. She tells Thomas Hubert about the lessons she learned from her first venture, her plans for expansion and why she never considered locating her business anywhere but in Donegal.
Irishman James Fitzgerald is managing the World Anti Doping Agency's (WADA) communications. With the Olympics taking place behind closed doors, it will be a trying time for competitors. Many are also critical of WADA and want more to be done to cut out doping. Fitzgerald talks about the challenges of fighting a war which will never be won and defends WADA from its critics.
Ed Brophy has served as chief of staff to a tánaiste and chief advisor to a finance minister. Having just stepped away from politics, he talts to Stephen Kinsella on the intersection of power and policy, and the crises that defined the decade: the bailout, Brexit and Covid.
Ross Frenett was always fascinated by political extremism. It led him to join the army, to work as a war correspondent, and eventually to co-found Moonshot. Moonshot monitors, analyses and influences extremist behaviour online. It uses digital ad campaigns to present political extremists with an alternative point of view. Frenett talks about life in the internet's sewer, why Ireland's extremists are idiosyncratic, Ireland's responsibility as a hub of the global internet, and how to reach those who have been sucked into conspiracy theories.
The search for weapons of mass destruction was the story that dominated the build up to the war in Iraq 18 years ago. One of its architects was Donald Rumsfeld, who died this week. In this podcast, his biographer Andrew Cockburn talks to Dion Fanning about the failure to think through that invasion and why Rumsfeld contributed so much to that disastrous war.
Scurri, the delivery management software company founded by Wexford entrepreneur Rory O’Connor, was growing impressively before the crisis. The pandemic, however, accelerated that growth exponentially with an increasing number of retailers looking to improve their online footprint. And to capitalise on “being in the right place at the right time”, Scurri has just raised €9 million in funding to expand its offer and triple its workforce. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, O’Connor talks about the genesis of the business, and how a decision to pivot from B2C to a B2B model transformed the company. He also talks about dealing with Brexit, the future of the high street, and raising funds during a pandemic. O'Connor also reflects on his own career journey – from his time as an executive with Waterford Crystal to working as a consultant with Intel and Heineken. And he explains the advantages of running a business from Wexford.
As a National Hunt jockey, Richard Dunwoody's life was defined by his obsession: obsession to win and, more importantly, an obsession not to lose. Since retiring more than 20 years ago, he has set himself different challenges, travelling to the North and South Pole among other places. But he has had a smaller world since the pandemic hit and that has caused him to reflect as well.
One year on from her first interview with The Currency, the founder of Tour America and Cruise Holidays looks back on a pandemic she then expected to be an “emergency” and later turned into a protracted crisis. Mary McKenna says what has saved her travel agency was the retained profits she had left in the business – along with a mighty team effort to “do the right thing” for customers forced to cancel their holidays. With fresh bookings now flowing in, the only infectious thing in McKenna’s interview with Thomas Hubert is her optimism.
The economist Colm McCarthy has a wide range of views across a wide range of subjects – and he is not afraid to share them. In this podcast with Alison Cowzer, McCarthy assesses the state’s wartime response to Covid-19, explains why tax increases are unavoidable, and interrogates the structural malfunction linking Irish banks to the housing crisis. McCarthy, who has authored two major government reports on cost-cutting in the public sector, also talks about the attitude of policymakers to fiscal responsibility, the contradiction of Ireland’s emissions policy, and what he would like to see included in the forthcoming National Development Plan. A lifelong football fan, he also talks about the economics of the ill-fated European Super League, why the European Commission allows anti-competitive rules in football, and argues for more state involvement in the FAI.