Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to Gerard McAdorey

Gerard McAdoreyGERARD McAdorey is Managing Director of GM Marketing Ireland Ltd based in Crumlin one of the fastest growing retail distribution and supply organisations here. The company is sponsoring the Business Development Category at the 'Pharmacy in Focus' Awards which take place in January.

He is responsible for performing a real life Dragon's Den adventure all year round as he strives to 'hand-pick' winning products for the future. But for the unassuming 38-yearold it's all in a day's work and his real passion is getting home at night to spend time with his wife Maria and the kids Matti, Jack and Clara.

In 1999, while working as an all-Ireland Sales Manager, Gerard identified a gap in the NI marketplace to launch an organisation which could supply products into the independent pharmacy, grocery and fresh foods sector here.

I am at my best first thing in the morning and find myself wide awake just before 6am and often plan my day around early morning meetings - usually from 7am onwards. I love to have family breakfast's with Maria and the kids at least a couple of mornings a week and also love doing the school run - when I get the chance. Although GM Marketing now employs a team of 12. including five full-time reps on the road, much of my own time is still spent being very hands on - dealing with key clients such as Dunnes Stores, Hendersons, Costcutter. Gordons Chemists and Medicare. When I arrive at Lissue Industrial Estate East I sit down and prepare a to-do list - though realistically in this business I'm doing very well to get through half of it.

I usually have a morning telephone conference with my team on the road who can update me on sales, pricing, the previous day's successes and of course upcoming new opportunities. This means that early each day we have a clear route map and plan for the next 24 hours. My team are fantastic and GM Marketing really is a team effort in every shape and form.

During the day I personally call my key customer base to discuss various marketing initiatives and ongoing developing opportunities and logistical issues. We are currently developing quite extensively into the Republic of Ireland marketplace, something we hope to build upon in 2008. Traditionally I used to try to get to the gym each lunchtime although more recently and as the business has grown this has become a struggle to fit in - although thankfully the waistline hasn't suffered too badly My New Year's resolution is 'I must find time for the gym'.

Afternoons are usually kept clear for appointments - many of which take place at clients' offices. As a team GM Marketing is always striving to identify future retail trends and new products which will add a real point of difference to independent retail here. Interestingly, as the multiples have grown in NI, our business has too. We like to view ourselves as giving the independent retailer a competitive edge in a very busy and competitive marketplace and believe fully in promoting 'choice' to consumers. There are tremendous products on sale today through the small retailer on your doorstep, which the bigger multiples will never stock. I spend much time on the road and across the globe identifying new seasonal winners and products that are often very different. In addition. many afternoons can be spent with suppliers who speak to us in Lisburn about taking their product ranges to the next level.

The early part of each evening is spent dealing with my own retail business G&M Fresh foods in Crumlin. which I co-own with Martin McClinton, which earlier this year won 'UK Grocer of the Year' a tremendous achievement and a real testament to how a small supermarket can be developed to provide literally everything the customer wants, on his or her doorstep.

I like to get home around 6:30pm and join the family for a great meal. The rest of the night is spent playing with my three kids aged 8. 6 and 1. I find family life to be my great leveller. they say it as it is and their sense of humour brings me back to the things that really matter with a bang.

I'm in bed at around 10:30pm. usually very tired and get some vital rest for the next busy day ahead.

Ulster Star