E42 That Great Business Show, Kevin O'Connor, chair Colourtrend, Michelle Johnson, CEO, ASA Brands, Conor MacCabe, Managing Director, Henry J. Lyons Architects and Interiors

3.30" Kevin O'Connor, chairman of Colourtrend paint maker, the General Paint Company, talks about the origins of the third generation, Kildare based, family business. He says their business 'borrows' ideas from abroad to make sure their service is best in the business. He talks about their competitors, multi-national billion dollar companies that own brands like Dulux etc, and how they positioned themselves to successfully compete with them. His dad started the business, coming home from the US instead of moving to Mexico. The business has grown from ten employees in 1983 to employing 140 people today. Why they opted for Cambridge Family Enterprise Group in Boston to plan the succession in their business (Kevin's eldest daughter has just become CEO as Kevin 'retired' to chair the company). He says he restructured his board to beef up areas where the company could see it's own weaknesses. He discusses their plans to grow in the UK, the US and beyond. Kevin's 'hire in a heartbeat' - rugby legend, Brian O'Driscoll.

24.30" - Michelle Johnson, CEO of ASA Brands, a marketing company with a fleet management software (as you do!). Michelle discusses how their software grew from marketing/customer engagement with big car brands back in the 1980's. Branding marketing collateral is still a huge business and Michelle's business belongs to a global network, covering EMEA for brand work for major international brands. Post-Covid she says that branded goods will be shipped to individual addresses as we continue to work from home. She says that LinkedIn advertising for the software business, has already pay for itself. The UK is their new focus where they have opened a London office. The next stop afterwards that may be Poland. And who would Michelle 'hire in a heartbeat', - super networker, Joanne Hession, from the Entrepreneurs' Academy.

43.00" Conor MacCabe, managing director, Henry J. Lyons Architects and Interiors, says that the death of the office is greatly exaggerated. He says that there has been little of no slow down in construction of office space in Ireland - primarily due to the continuing growth of technology companies. He says that typically offices work at about 50% capacity as people take leave, travel or may be ill...so that businesses are already working in a fashion that is anticipated will be the post-Covid format. He says that desks, having become smaller, are about to grow in size again! He anticipates more meeting rooms, fewer desks and more spaces for informal meetings. Building sizes are not going to get smaller, despite fewer people being in the buildings but he sees the need for people to come together to create a business culture so there will be occasions when all staff will need to meet together. And who would Conor MacCabe 'hire in a heartbeat'? Andrew Emmett of Uncoded in London. The best advocate for technology in buildings in the world.

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