Bob Casey chaired the popular evening’s Q&As with special guests Joe Schmidt and Paul Willis
Sport and trade were the main focus of the first London Irish Business Alliance event last week, as Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and Volkswagen boss Paul Willis attended as guest speakers.
Prominent figures in Irish business here in the UK attended the sold-out event to hear the two people speak, with representatives from Laing O’Rourke, Foxhills, Powerday, IIBN amongst others gathering the networking event at the Bloomsbury Hotel.
The business alliance is a new initiative from the rugby club to get Irish companies together and to create an avenue for them to increase links and activity with each other.
Joe Schmidt spoke of his side’s disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign, highlighting the strain of facing France in a physical bout before being knocked out by Argentina.
The Kiwi also spoke of his hopes for his side’s upcoming Rugby World Cup campaign and spoke of his enjoyment at working in Ireland, both at Leinster and for the national side over the past six years.
Paul Willis, the Managing Director of Volkswagen Group UK, compared his management skills to the way that Schmidt conducts his position in sport.
After a tricky few months which has seen the company face criticism over the diesel emissions scandal, he shed light on how he has negotiated with his head office to support his workers, and how his workers have pulled together in a crisis.
He also revealed how dealing with politicians and the media has affected him, and his determination to improve the company’s reputation over the coming months.
London Irish chief executive Bob Casey chaired the Q&A session before speaking of the club’s determination to improve business links in the community.
He thanked those present for his support and that the next event would again have one sporting and one business guest speaker in order to replicate the success of the alliance’s first outing.+20
For more information on how to join the London Irish Business Alliance, visit the club’s website.