Belfast Telegraph

This time it's personal...

Q What's the best piece of business advice you've ever been given ?

A Always understand your market and keep talking to your customers, because it will help you develop your products and services and will keep you ahead of the game.

Q What piece of advice would you pass on to someone starting out in business ?

A Be sure you've worked out where the company's money is going to come in from, and be sure to get paid on time for whatever you do. It's often a lack of cash flow which damages companies who have great products and a growing customer base, but can't pay their staff or their bills at the end of the month.

Q What was your best business decision ?

A A number of times, in various companies, deciding not to change the existing management team, but to work with them and blend my experience with theirs, to develop more robust business plans.

Q If you weren't doing this job, what would be your other career?

A I was good at maths and art at school, and although my degree was more technical in civil engineering, my earlier career was more creative in marketing and advertising. Maybe I really wanted to be an architect.

Q What are your hobbies/interests ?

A The usual bloke's mix of family, sport, eating out and travel.

Q What is your favourite sport and team ?

A It's football and it's Liverpool - one year we will win the Premier League - I'm just hoping to still be alive.

Q And have you ever played any sports ?

A Yes - at one time I was playing or training six days per week (rugby, squash and football), but now it's armchair participation and some involvement in motorsport as manager of my son's rally team.

Q Where was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A It was a P&O cruise in the Med last autumn - and it will probably be another P&O cruise next year. But no discounts I'm afraid, because we have been separate companies for the last 10 years.

Q If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?

A I'm not a book fan - I just like good TV dramas, BBC4 and Netflix - you can't beat a good Coen brothers film, or a Skandi drama like Trapped, and there's always Kevin Spacey in House of Cards.

QHow would assess your time at P&O Ferries on the Irish Sea ?

A We're working hard to deliver continuous improvement for our customers. We're investing in our ferries, we've invested in a new website to make booking easier, we have the fantastic new A8 road making our connections with Belfast and elsewhere so much quicker and having developed more plans for the future, we are set to go from strength to strength.

Belfast Telegraph