Brendan Dowling is the founder and CEO of Digital Trading, a company offering cloud-based Customer Relationship Engagement (CRE) technology to governments, large and SME enterprises, through communications service providers (CSPs). He is a serial entrepreneur in the telecoms and technology sector, having built a number of successful internationally-traded companies. He also acts as a business coach with Enterprise Ireland to a number CEOs of scaling companies in the technology sector in Ireland. He is well-known for his thought leadership and innovation in the technology sector and is a regular speaker at conferences, executive education programs and government-sponsored enterprise events in Ireland, the UK and USA. Brendan qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG, has an MBA from University College Dublin, a BComm from University College Cork (UCC) and a Diploma in Executive Coaching from IMI & UCC.
September 2011 – now: Executive Mentor & Coaching: Having conducted guest lectures on Entrepreneurship and Accelerating Company Growth at the IMI, Brendan was asked to help design a new Accelerated Growth Program for Enterprise Ireland, in partnership with Cambridge University (Judge Business School), which is aimed at helping CEOs to accelerate the growth of their companies through thought leadership learning and one-to-one executive coaching. Brendan is an executive coach to a number of CEOs of Irish companies who are on this program. Brendan regularly gives guest lectures on business, MBA and MBS programs and at international conferences around the ICT industry. Brendan recently completed a Higher Level Diploma in Executive Coaching with the IMI / UCC.
January 2009 – now: Digital Trading Technologies Ltd, Founder and CEO: Digital Trading has designed and built a Customer Relationship Engagement (CRE) service for communications service providers (CSPs) to sell to their enterprise customers. CRE allows enterprises to engage their customers in two-way, targeted and personalized communications via permission-based SMS, e-mail, letters, voice, loyalty and payments applications.
January 2008 – now: The Global Charity Platform Ltd T/A mygoodpoints.org, Founder and Chairman: mygoodpoints was developed to revolutionize the charity sector by collecting money from donors through loyalty points, payroll giving, credit cards, advertising, etc., which is then added to the donor’s online wallet, where they can distribute it to charities (international and local) of their choice and receive full accountability and traceability through video feedback from the charity worker.
May 2005: iO Global Ltd, Founder and CEO: iO was a global company created by Brendan on behalf of BT after BT purchased his company, Digital Versatile Media Ltd (DVM). iO offered digital services to telecoms and media companies to allow them to sell targeted digital content and advertising over fixed and mobile networks. Customers include MTN in Nigeria, serving over 20 million subscribers, and BT in the UK; suppliers included Sony, EMI, Disney and Discovery.
January 2003: Digital Versatile Media Ltd, Founder & CEO: Brendan set up DVM to sell a full range of digital content such as video, music, newspapers, radio and games, through telcos (fixed and mobile), replicating the physical market for FMCG sales and distribution. Using hosted technology, DVM acted as a distributor for the content-owner and provided the entire technology, including end-user portals, to the telco, allowing them to brand a white label service to their own consumers. Before working with BT, DVM developed an innovative 3G portal for O2 in Ireland, which was used to show Ireland as a Digital Hub for Europe during Ireland’s presidency of the EU.
August 2001: Meteor Mobile Communications Ltd, Chief Commercial Officer: Brendan worked in this role for Meteor on consultancy basis. Meteor was the third mobile network in Ireland, owned by Western Wireless International (WWI). Brendan joined when the company was eight months post-launch and significantly behind plan in its entry to the market against Vodafone and O2. He was responsible for all customer-facing activity and developed aggressive and ground-breaking strategies to turn the company around – growing the customer base from 14,000 to 1.2 million with higher than average revenues per user, before selling Meteor to eircom for a significant return on WWI’s investment.
June 1996: Meridian Communications Ltd T/A imagine mobile, Founder and CEO: imagine was one of the first MVNOs in Europe. Using a combination of simple customer-focused branding and propositions, supported by excellent customer care, telesales and direct response marketing, imagine became a success in the Irish market and was rolling out across Europe with other MNOs when it was acquired by Vodafone.
January 1994: Hire Store Limited, Owner: Brendan owned and operated a hire business in Carlow that offered DIYers and builders all types of power tools and small plant. Hire Store traded for a little more than a year and then closed.
January 1993: Dowling & Co. Chartered Accountants, Principal: Brendan owned and operated an accountancy practice that employed over 15 staff and specialized in insolvency, corporate finance and business strategy, as well as operating a traditional accountancy practice, with offices in Dublin and Carlow. He sold the practice at the height of the market and went full-time into a new telecoms venture, purchasing Meridian Communications from a former client just as the Irish market started to deregulate.
September 1991: Coopers & Lybrand, Insolvency Senior Accountant: Brendan went to London after he qualified as a chartered accountant to work in Coopers & Lybrand’s corporate recovery division (Cork Gully). During his time there, Brendan managed many insolvency appointments from running the business to closing and realizing the assets for its creditors.
June 1984: Nautique Ltd, Owner: Brendan owned and operated a premium aftershave company that competed with top brands like Polo, Boss, YSL, etc. The company achieved significant growth but had to close due to litigation after it started to export to the US.
September 1987: KPMG, Trainee Chartered Accountant: Brendan trained and qualified as a chartered accountant through the Insolvency department of KPMG in Dublin. Due to his computer skills and Excel model-building expertise, Brendan also worked with the Corporate Finance department helping to develop business plans for companies looking to list on the public market and ran computer training programs for partners and senior managers within KPMG.
Other Consulting / Advisory Roles: Brendan has consulted and advised businesses in many different sectors – including technology, advertising, media, music, food, services, telecommunications, electricity, charity – to drive their innovation and to develop new strategies to help them accelerate the growth of their business or to diversify their business into new markets.