Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

My Inspiration: Aubrey Sayers

Aubrey Sayers

The managing director of Annagh Ltd takes inspiration from those who have experienced serious failure and yet always managed to overcome such morale-sapping setbacks

Recently I read A Pocketful of Holes and Dreams, a genuinely inspirational autobiography by Liverpudlian businessman Jeff Pearce.

I drew tremendous inspiration from people, especially those in business, who have surmounted challenges to achieve success. I enjoy reading biographies in whatever spare time I can manage in today's challenging business conditions.

Pearce overcame dyslexia, taught himself to read and write and then scripted his life story as a businessman who amassed a fortune, starting as a five-year old market trader and then moving into fashion retailing and the installation of television ariels. But the recession hit and he lost everything.

He didn't give up and returned to his market stall before once again building up another successful business empire. I have also drawn inspiration from Duncan Bannatyne's Anyone Can Do It, a really remarkable autobiography in which the Dragon's Den star chronicles his own rags to riches story.

My own career in business has seen success and setbacks. I've seen two entrepreneurial businesses in sectors such as telecommunications and pharamaceuticals succeed and then struggle because of sudden downturns in their respective markets.

As a result, I've had to pick myself up and start again. In a different sphere, politics, I've been inspired by the outstanding achievements of Winston Churchill.

He was ridiculed before becoming Britain's inspirational wartime Prime Minister.

The ending of hostilities saw him discarded by the electorate.

Another interest outside business is the cinema.

I enjoyed Will Smith's Persuit of Happiness, a highly inspirational chronicle based on a true story of one man's struggle to build a meaningful life for himself and his five-year-old son in San Francisco. This focus on overcoming challenges and making life better for people is also an influence in the establishment of Annagh Ltd, a recently launched company that is developing highly innovative technology to help Type 1 diabetics survive 'hypo' events resulting from sudden dips in their blood sugar level.

What we are doing with our university partners is to develop a remote sensor, which will alert diabetics, their family and friends of an impending hypo, which could lead to a coma, possibly even death.

The potential of the technology is immense because some 7% of deaths among type 1 diabetics under 40 result from hypos.

Our solution is to bring peace of mind to all parties.

Overall, i find that working with technology that will offer tangible benefits to people is really inspirational.

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