O'Connor banks on success with Revive Active roll-out in Northern Ireland
AS a businessman with an unwavering commitment to succeed, when Dáithi O'Connor believes in a product, you must go with his hunch.
It helps, of course, when an athlete of the calibre of Paul Radcliffe, a world champion and record holder, and a multiple winner of marathons in many countries, hitches herself to your product with a ringing endorsement.
And now the former financier-turned healthcare entrepreneur sees Northern Ireland as ripe territory for the continued expansion of his Revive Active vitamin supplements business.
Galway man O'Connor, who didn't have background in health or nutrition, started the business at the tail end of 2010 when enlisted the help of a consultant from the Galway Clinic and researchers in molecular medicine and sports nutrition.
They developed a powder-based vitamin supplement which is soluble in water and contains natural ingredients, and O'Connor brought the concept to a nutrition firm in Clare to be manufactured.
“I collected the first samples on Christmas Eve 2010, tried them out on my family and nobody died, so we were good to go,” he told the Irish News.
“The original idea for the business came when a friend gave me a vitamin supplement he got in the US.
"He told me: ‘Take this and it'll change your life.' And it actually did. There and then, I knew that if I could develop something similar, it would sell in Ireland, and that's been the case."
The team behind Revive Active now includes doctors, scientists, production specialists and expert nutritionists, all dedicated to making innovative health food supplements really work.
Revive Active is a daily supplement containing 26 ingredients including vitamins, co-enzyme Q10, magnesium, selenium and a number of amino acids.
And from humble beginnings the business has spiralled, with Revive Active being sold in more than 1,500 pharmacies and health food stores across Ireland and at scores of stores in London and Australia, as well as online.
"We've made a promising start in Northern Ireland too, with a presence in nearly 200 outlets," O'Connor says.
"Just like our business got its lucky break in the Republic by securing a nationwide contract with Lloyds Pharmacy, giving us a foothold in Dublin and attracting the attention of all the big pharmacy chains there, we're now on the shelves at Gordons in the north, and the business is growing.
"We're still rolling out the business here, but it's potentially fertile ground for us, simply because we know the product is so good and, when people try it, they'll see the benefits."
But don't just take his word for it.
Paula Radcliffe, who won the London Marathon in 2002, 2003 and 2005 (she still holds the world record in the race), says: "I only represent brands I believe in and which produce top quality products, and that's why I'm involved with Revive Active.
"I've seen great benefits since I started taking Revive Active supplements every day. It provides everything I need in one sachet - all the nutrients I need to support my lifestyle, which enables me to run around with the kids all over the place, take flights when I need to and not get sick. I know my body is getting the correct nutrients every day.”
Revive Active (www.reviveactive.com) posted sales of €4 million last year, up from €2.8 million in 2016, and O'Connor's target is to take turnover to €5.3 million this year.
As well as Northern Ireland, the company is also looking at China as a potential growth market and is also at an advanced stage of launching in the US.