Belfast Telegraph

'The Great Gatsby is my idea of a perfect novel'

The Ireland rugby team in action against New Zealand during World Cup
The Ireland rugby team in action against New Zealand during World Cup

Q&A: Derek Hardy

Q: What's the best piece of business (or life) advice you've ever been given?

A: "The truth, is the truth, is the truth." Works perfectly for life and business.

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

A: "No plan survives first contact", Prussian military commander, Helmuth von Moltke or the more modern version: "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" from boxer Mike Tyson.

Q: What was your best business decision?

A: Joining Dr Terry Cross OBE to help start the Hinch Distillery, super challenging but fun too.

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

A: Don't laugh, an archaeologist.

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

A: Spain this year with three of my kids, probably the same next year.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests?

A: Reading, history, archaeology, politics, whiskey/gin and sport.

Q: What is your favourite sport and team?

A: Rugby and Ireland with Ulster a very close second.

Q: And have you ever played any sports?

A: I played up to 1st XV level rugby at school and then helped form and played for one of the first American football teams in Ireland, the Belfast Blitzers, back in the 1980s.

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

A: I am an avid reader. One of the greatest novels ever written, The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald, is a short novel but practically perfect in every respect.

Q: How would you describe your early life?

A: Very happy, no computers, social media or mobiles - impossible for kids today to imagine.

Q: Have you any economic predictions?

A: The wheels of commerce will keep turning, they always do.

Q: How would you assess your time in business with your company Hinch?

A: Lots of hard work, with plenty more to come. Great team within the company who genuinely all work well together.

Q: How do you sum up working in the drinks sector?

A: It has always been a very dynamic sector and one that most sales/marketing people would love a career in. The homework of having to sample all those products is my kind of homework - someone's got to do it.

Belfast Telegraph