INTERVIEW - CEO
Interview with CEO, Ronan Quinlan
What inspired you to start your company?
I have spent the last 20 years building a very successful global business with Taoglas. However, as I looked back and reflected on my own contribution to sustainability, I realised that I needed to do more. The CEOs and leaders of businesses and large organisations, right down to individuals from every walk of life, all play a part in building a more sustainable society. We can see the impact of climate change taking its toll on the world around us and on our local communities. We can also see now more than ever how our energy supply and our food prices are directly correlated with the global situation.
I’ve been in the technology industry for the last twenty five years and I’m proud of my contribution to society in terms of delivering convenience. Now is the time to focus on utilising that experience to help organisations provide more sustainable solutions to the world.
What is your core product/service offering and what gap in the market are you trying to address?
At Superfy, we are delivering solutions for the circular economy. More specifically, we are solving the issue of low recycling rates by scaling materials collection and recycling programmes nationwide in a cost-effective manner. Our software platform and sensors track and monitor waste and recycling materials from bin to truck, to depot and to recycling centres — enabling operational improvements and efficiencies throughout the collection and processing value chain.
According to Future Market Insights “the global smart waste management market is estimated to surpass sales of $2 billion USD in 2022, expanding at a 20% CAGR over the assessment period of 2022–2032. Investing in the smart waste management market can potentially reduce the overall collection and transportation costs significantly by 50%.”
“Given the finite resources in the world, it is imperative that we move more towards a circular economy by becoming more conscious of how we produce, reuse, recycle, and even reduce our products and services.”
Is there a particular sustainability related issue that your business is trying to solve?
Our range of solutions address a number of sustainability issues. One key benefit we provide organisations with is the ability to operate their material collection and tracking more efficiently, therefore increasing recycling rates and reducing carbon emissions and the destruction of the earth. Given the finite resources in the world, it is imperative that we move more towards a circular economy by becoming more conscious of how we produce, reuse, recycle, and even reduce our products and services. To this end, we are developing solutions that can enable organisations to monitor and track their material usage themselves, or through 3rd party suppliers.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced since starting your company?
My biggest challenge has been the successful separation of Superfy from Taoglas, as well as my own departure. It was quite emotional to leave behind a company I co-founded and built from scratch to become the global success it is today. However, I know it was the right thing to do for me. I’m very energised and excited about the potential of Superfy and I look forward to taking on this new challenge — by addressing a key requirement for a more sustainable world, I am confident that this is something that will be of benefit to future generations.
“If you have not started already, begin with what you can measure.”
What advice do you have for other companies looking to improve their sustainability efforts?
If you have not started already, begin with what you can measure.
For companies further down the track, consider the source of the materials for your products and how you could introduce a more sustainable product life-cycle, using recycled or greener materials.
How would you describe yourself as a business leader?
I consider myself to be detail oriented and like to build high quality products and solutions. I am very competitive and like to aim high in terms of global goals. I like to have one long weekly management meeting to get everyone aligned and informed on priorities for the business in a fast-changing environment. Once our collective priorities are clear, other leaders from across the business can work away with progressing their respective agendas. I think turning up to work and being available every day is key to being a successful leader. I try to be fair and considerate in my dealings with my colleagues and partners, and to learn from my mistakes.