Business

HIGH FLYERS: The day Aaron engineered a 161mph spin round the NW200 course...

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Aaron McGreevy, managing director of McGreevy Engineering. To take part in the High Flyers Q&A, get in touch via business@irishnews.com

What was your first job?

My first paid job was stacking shelves in one of Northern Ireland’s first supermarkets, Supermac, for £2 an hour. However, my father had me brushing the floor of McGreevy Engineering for some time prior to that - without pay I may add.

What qualifications do you have?

I was one of those children that really didn’t enjoy studying. I left school with what I needed in maths and English and went very quickly on to an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering at Feldan Training Centre in Newtownabbey. I very proudly completed a City & Guilds NVQ and BTEC in mechanical engineering there. I’m currently completing a certificate in company direction with the Institute of Directors.

To what do you attribute to your success?

I would have to say it is never giving up and having a father that gives you an occasional good talking to, when needed.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

A quiet, unassuming and cheeky chap.

Who do you look up to in business?

Locally, I look up to Bill Wolsey and admire what he has managed to achieve given his portfolio of pubs, restaurants and hotels in Northern Ireland. Looking beyond Northern Ireland, I also look up to Elon Musk; not just for his engineering prowess but his entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

By being totally honest, telling them how it is and when required, listen.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

Without a doubt the red tape. It is great that there is help on hand in many different guises but the length of time it takes for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn versus the length of time whereby industry moves is somewhat different. Suffice to say, it is a lot quicker.

What website or app could you not do without?

I’m an avid supporter of LinkedIn. It’s great for research and connecting to like-minded people including many of our customers and suppliers.

What was the last book you read?

It was Sam McBride’s book 'Burned'. It was a great insight to the internal machinations of Northern Ireland’s civil service and government.

What car do you drive?

I drive a BMW X5.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

Some 20 years ago I won a Cool FM competition to be a pillion passenger on Michael Rutter’s road racing bike at the North West 200. His nickname is ‘The Blade’. Thankfully the circuit was closed and Michael was even more pleased to see that I didn’t weigh 20 stone. Nonetheless, we clocked 161mph and I, thankfully, never bought a motorbike as a result!

What’s your greatest passion outside of work and family?

Rugby – I am an ardent fan of Ulster and a season ticket holder. I also have a passion for good food and wine.

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