Feargal Quinn gives talk to next generation of entrepreneurs

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All pictures courtesy of Sabina Cenusa of DIT Photo Soc

10 December 2013: Senator Feargal Quinn, founder of Superquinn, gave a talk to students at DIT Aungier Street recently.

The talk was a draw for many students with standing room only at the back. It was organised by DIT Enterprise and Retail Society, which is in its first year of existence and is already building a strong membership.

Senator Quinn spoke about his background of growing up in a holiday camp as his parents owned Red Island holiday camp in Skerries, Co Dublin. He shared how he first got the idea to set up a self-service shop when he spotted one while on holiday in France.

In what was a very interactive session, Senator Quinn asked the audience what was the symbol for wanting a customer to come back. And then proceeded to pull out a boomerang and place it on the table!

He gave students tips on what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how to create a sustainable business. These included creating a long term customer and setting the tone for employees.

“If there’s something that needs to be done, I’m a great believer in getting on and doing it,” he said. “I find myself unable to walk past a piece of paper on the ground without picking it up.

“I remember once years ago I was walking past the Shelbourne Hotel and the guy ahead of me spotted a piece of paper and bent down to pick it up. I was kind of annoyed he had got to it before me!

“I saw that it was Tony who worked in our Knocklyon branch and I like to think that it was the example that was set in the store to do something if it needs doing that influenced him.”

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Senator Quinn also said that management was all about getting results through other people and supporting staff to reach their potential. He said that a quote that has always steered him is, “Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.”

He said he thought that was a huge message for students and for Ireland too.

“Make sure that you believe you can do something – say yes you can do it.”

Students got a chance to put questions to the retail expert, including a question about the impact of German supermarket chains on the Irish grocery sector. One student asked Senator Quinn how he felt about the name change from Superquinn to Super Valu.

“I was delighted that Superquinn was sold to Musgraves, a family business. Given a choice, I would have liked to have seen Superquinn remain as a name but it will stay on in certain areas such as sausages and the bakery.”

To keep in touch with the DIT Enterprise and Retail Society events, like them on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/DIT-Enterprise-and-Retail-Soc/433785940056054?fref=ts

 

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