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Power NI joins sponsors at Institute of Directors conference

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Ian Halliday, Contact Centre Manager from Power NI joins associate sponsors, Barclays and Maserati, and main sponsor, Grant Thornton, at the IoD Young Directors Conference.

Kieran Harte set out Uber’s growth plans in Northern Ireland while addressing first ever IoD Young Directors Conference on Friday 3rd June at Riddel Hall. Taxi app firm Uber wants to keep expanding, solidify its business in Belfast and hopes one day to operate in every town and city across Northern Ireland, according to the company’s General Manager in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Kieran Harte laid out the firm’s plans at the first ever Institute of Directors NI (IoD NI) Young Directors’ Conference sponsored by Grant Thornton, for which the theme was ‘Achieving Success in the Digital Age’.

The Conference was also supported by Power NI, Barclays and Maserati. Highlighting Uber’s rapid development from start-up company to a multi-billion-dollar transport business, Mr Harte urged more than 100 young professionals in attendance to embrace new technology to achieve business growth. He said: "That’s where most of the consumers are now and will be in the future. I would tell young directors to not be afraid of failing; that’s something that has served us well at Uber. We are happy to try things and if they didn’t work you still learn from it. "Uber wants to keep expanding and we do see opportunity to operate within towns and cities across Northern Ireland. However, there is a long way to go until anybody no matter where they are in Ireland can get an Uber at the touch of a button, and effectively utilising digital channels and tools will be crucial to achieving that. "Digital opens up new opportunities for businesses and I strongly encourage young directors to embrace that new technology integrating it into their professional lives daily."

Delegates also heard from the highly-acclaimed ‘Tweeting Goddess’ and founder of Social Media Summit Ireland Samantha Kelly whilst attending practical masterclasses from Dean Langasco, Digital Training Manager at The Web Bureau, John McKee, Chief Executive of Linkubator and Liam Senior, Digital Business Eagle with Barclays.

Neal Lucas, Chair of the IoD (NI) Young Directors’ Forum and Managing Director at Neal Lucas Recruitment, commented: "These forums are essential to develop the business leaders of the future. Young directors are the future of business in Northern Ireland but they are also the present. The IoD has a particularly significant role to play in creating a stronger economy, by educating and accrediting directors in good corporate governance."

According to Mr Lucas, more must be done to encourage young directors to remain in Northern Ireland. "There’s no doubt people have left because of the climate. But ultimately, people just want opportunities to grow and develop, and if they feel that that is an option more of them here in Northern Ireland, they will stay."

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