THIS week’s High Flyer is Stephen Kilcoyne, head of business development for Northern Ireland at Vayu Energy
What was your first job?
When I left university I took up a position with an IT company selling software platforms. I travelled all over Europe to meet prospective clients. That experience of working in different countries taught me a lot.
What qualifications do you have?
I have an Arts degree from Maynooth University.
What do you attribute your success to?
Whatever I do, I strive to do it a little bit better each time. It allows me to improve as time goes on.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I think that I am quite easy going, honest and hard working. I like paying attention to detail, sometimes a bit too much.
Who do you look up to in business?
Steve Jobs changed society in a lot of good ways, some bad as well, but he took risks and wasn’t afraid to trust his gut instinct. He had a lot of ups and downs in his career, but he came back fighting.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I believe you need to trust your team. You need to empower them to try new ideas and reward them for their successes. We are lucky at Vayu Energy in that there is an excellent working culture with a lot of ambitious employees.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
I would like companies to be less risk averse here. I am very fortunate to work for Vayu Energy, a company which is working to change perceptions of the energy market in Northern Ireland. At the moment businesses here tend to choose fixed price tariffs rather than exploring other more flexible options such as purchasing directly from the wholesale market.
What website or app could you not do without?
WhatsApp – I think it has changed the way people communicate. It is great for keeping up to date with friends, family and work contacts.
What was the last book you read?
One Click by Jeff Bezos – For me the most interesting thing about the book was the clear vision and fearlessness with which he ran the company. He is a risk taker who stays well ahead of the competition.
What car do you drive?
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I have a young son who is keeping me motivated. I want to set a great example for him of what can be achieved when you place focus on your career.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I love travelling and sport. I have been in 20 countries around the world so far and plan to get around another 20 in the next few years. I also play for Louth GAA and Dundalk FC teams.