Archive for the ‘ Business ’ Category

Blame Laying- David Drumm And The Spanish Siesta


Reading the other day of how an Irish Times article caught David Drumm, (ex-chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank) on the hop in the summer of 2008, this correspondent was reminded of a holiday to the Basque city of San Sebastian some years back, where he too was also caught unaware- by the commercial culture of siesta-time.

Early on, on the holiday, your correspondent was shocked to discover that all shops hung a sign inside their doors in the afternoon reading- ‘Cerrado por 13h-16h meaning ‘Closed from 1pm-4pm’. Continue reading

The Foreign Exchange Business


The Forex market is a global and open market that is used to trade foreign exchange currencies.  Currency exchange operations in the Forex market take place on a 24 hour basis with the exception of the weekends.

In international business, currency conversion is required on a daily basis.   Global Financial Centres such as London, New York, Hong Kong act as hubs for buyers and sellers to trade in financial instruments.  Typically, the income for such FX trades comes from the largest players in the financial market like  BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Citi.    Traders deal Dollars, Euros, Yen etc. on behalf of investors (the investor profile typically being large institutions). Continue reading

Saudi – Women In The Kingdom


‘This is a man’s world’. Nowhere are James Brown’s words truer than in Saudi Arabia. While most women in Europe and America have the option to choose their careers and have equal rights, female Saudis in this Islamic monarchy that leads using strict ‘sharia’ law are still officially considered second class citizens. Their primary role is to support the man of the family and to bring up the children.

Saudi Arabia is a high income economy, its main products being oil, gas and other natural reserves. Its people have grown hugely wealthy due to the world’s reliance on oil. In a country filled with such riches, life should be wonderful for all 26 million of its citizens. However, the lack of equality for women in the Kingdom is shocking by today’s developed world’s standards. A quick browse of random websites on the internet throws up numerous examples of the injustices heaped upon women born into the constraints of life in the Kingdom. But women are standing up against this inequality, beginning to clamour for change. Continue reading

Let The Games Begin – Sony and Microsoft Battle For Gaming Supremacy

While Nintendo’s Wii U ‘officially’ kicked off the next generation of games consoles late last year, for many of the world’s hardcore gamers and games publishers the real console war doesn’t begin until Sony and Microsoft say it does, when each show their hands and release their next generation of consoles. Speculation as to what features are to be included on each console has been reigning for years with Sony being the first to unveil their gaming behemoth, the PlayStation 4 (although not actually showing the console) at a press conference only a few short weeks ago.

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Another Bookshop Closure: Time For A Proper Debate?

HHNews of the closure of Hughes and Hughes Dundrum has been reported in The Irish Times and the trade presses, following an announcement on the company website. The Dundrum booksellers were informed of the decision last Monday afternoon, and were given notice that the branch was to close after trading on Sunday 10th March. Staff have not been offered alternative employment. The day chosen for a public announcement was World Book Day, an irony that didn’t go unnoticed by people posting on the bookshop’s Facebook page.   Continue reading

Get Crafty With Your Shopping This Christmas

If you are looking for ideas for Christmas presents this year and also have an eye on quality and value for money, you could do a lot worse than go on a ‘craft fair crawl’ with your hard-earned money. I have already started trawling for quality craft gifts, having visited a Christmas Craft Fair recently at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire. I found a wide variety of good quality craft products on sale and managed to tick a couple of presents off my list.

The Royal Marine Hotel will be hosting a further craft sale, The Affordable Gift Fair on Sunday 9th December from 10am-5pm, so there is obviously a thriving market for local craft products. The fair will contain over sixty stands, with crafts including jewellery, knitwear, cakes, glassware and of course, Christmas decorations. With all of that choice, you should be able to fill your Christmas stockings quite easily. The aim behind the fair is that the reasonable stall rents for the traders will enable savings to be passed to customers looking for good value. The Gift Fair website states that ‘The Affordable Gift fair is built on the basis that each product sold comes to you at its best price, not compromising quality and standards’.

The range of gifts available also includes something unusual for a craft fair, the opportunity to buy gift vouchers from a local holistic practitioner, Deirdre Casey Massage. You could buy your loved one a voucher for Indian Head Massage, Swedish Massage or Reflexology for example. Much better than leaving it all to the last-minute and grabbing a few flowers from the nearest petrol station in desperation. It is surely a positive sign that the fair organisers are confident enough to branch out from the usual range of stalls and offer something different to customers. It is also nice to see local businesses given the chance to reach out to prospective new clients in a novel environment. Now, I must just drop a few hints about massage vouchers in the right ears…are you listening over there Santa?

The fair will be hosting competitions and a raffle in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital so you might even go home with a gift yourself. There will be the opportunity to suggest a Christmas gift for Santa and the contestant who comes up with the best idea will win a prize (a massage after all the chimney climbing perhaps). I just hope Santa likes his present whatever it may be!

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How To Be A Huge Success by 40

The Irish Independent recently published an article entitled “Forty Under 40: the young turks and tycoons of tomorrow”. The article gave a run down of 40 successful Irish business people all under 40 who have, for want of a better word, made it.

The 40 overachievers draw quite the inspirational spectacle and anybody looking for a kick to go out and conquer the world should read with keen interest.

I decided to run the numbers on the cohort to see what are the essential ingredients for success by 40.

Well firstly there is no immediate rush. While the youngest, Shane Curran of Libramatic is just 12, the average age of our go-getters is 34.2. In fact just 15% of the list are 30 or below and 40% of the entire list is 37, 38 or 39. So the notion of being a millionaire by 25, or indeed 30, or even 35 doesn’t seem to bear out – looks like we’ll all just have to keep slogging away!

The other thing to avoid, if you want to be a tycoon of tomorrow, is being female. Just 17.5% of the list are ladies and it seems that if you are a female entrepreneur you can forget it. 57% of the ladies on the list rose through the ranks of large companies. It also seems that ladies have to wait that little bit longer for success. None make it onto the list of 30 or below and 3 of the 7 ladies on the list are 37, 38 or 39. So the message is ladies hang back for a while, if you bother at all!

Getting a good education is seen as laying the foundations of a successful career. However it seems that it is what you do with that education that counts. On the list just 12.5% (or 5 of the 40) included details of any sort regarding college education. That’s not to say that the rest didn’t go to college. Most with the exception of Shane Curran, you would suspect did. However it seems that education is not a means in itself; it is just a means to an end.

For anybody looking for the inspiration to set up themselves take note now. If you want to be successful in business by 40 you’ve gotta go it alone. 67.5% of people on the list are self employed. If you want to make it to the top by 40 you have a better chance of getting there if you go it along. In fact of those who are self-employed 85% did not have a significant history in a large company prior to striking it out on their own. It seems that the notion of going to learn your trade first does not have to apply to those who make it big.

Having a family business to slot into used to be seen as a guaranteed road to success. Indeed if this list were complied 5 years ago many sons and daughters of former property tycoons would most likely feature prominently. Not so anymore, only 10% of people have family pedigree behind them. Also of note only one name on the list, Jamie Rohan, is from (his dad’s) property background.

Finally what industry is most likely to pave a way to success? It’s pretty cut and dry really: 45% of people on the list operate in the tech and internet space. By a long shot our best and brightest rising stars are looking to the tech world to generate riches and success. There isn’t really a runner up industry: advertising gets a nod with 7.5% of participants, retail takes another 7.5%, recruitment gets 5% as does industry. After that it’s a smorgasbord of industries from gaming to gambling, animation to alcohol, biotech to bread. The old staple of property gets just one entry and banking, the most lucrative of lucrative endeavours in the past is conspicuous by its absence.

So in a nutshell how do you become a roaring success by 40? Well you need to be male, a techie, in your late 30’s, not from a family dynasty, self employed and not overly hung on your college education.