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Ger turns redundancy into opportunity

ECONOMIC conditions may be as bad as has been seen in more than a generation but there are always a few people willing to try their luck with a new business.
Ger Finan is in this bracket having just started his own business, Process Improvement Ireland, which he is operating between Shannon and Limerick.
He was motivated to start the company after losing his job in Dell, where he had worked for several years.
“I had worked for Dell and, after I was made redundant in April, I realised I had skills that were valuable and I said I’d try to use them to help companies to improve their efficiency and reduce costs. It’s about bringing the skills of big multinationals to smaller companies,” he said.
The supports made available to those who lost their jobs in Dell made things easier for him.
“I was very lucky in that I got some of the EGF funding that was going after the job losses in Dell. I was able to set up in a way that took a lot of the risk out of it. I was also able to form the partnership with a company in Shannon and what both of us are doing is complementary to the other. They market my services and I do some work for them.”
Figures released this week show that more than 30 companies a week were declared insolvent during 2010. Clearly it is not the easiest moment to be getting into business but at the age of 28, and without major financial obligations, he felt that on a personal level the timing was ideal for getting into business.
“I hadn’t been thinking of starting my own business but when I was made redundant I had to evaluate my options and I considered working for myself. I was at a stage when I could take a chance and I knew that in five years time I mightn’t be in the same position,” he said.
He acknowledges that the climate is harsh for business but said that what he is offering is fairly well suited for the times.
“I would agree to a certain extent, but in saying that it would be much more difficult if I was trying to sell something like gold-plated BMWs. What I’m doing is helping other companies to save money. All companies are trying to survive and make profits.”
Ger feels that the training he received in Dell gave him a good insight into improving efficiency.
“Dell is one of the most efficient companies in the world and Limerick was one of its most efficient plants and I felt I’d be able to bring that to other companies,” he concluded.

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