Salesforce set to double number of employees

Salesforce set to double number of employees

Tech company Salesforces is set to double its Irish workforce over the next five years. Speaking this week company leaders highlighted confidence in the Irish market by announcing the jobs in conjunction with progress on their building in the Dublin Docklands.

The 4 building campus is set to be completed in 2021 and will house a large majority of the new workforce. The building will be 430,000 square foot and located in the aptly named Silicon Docks. The area will include riverside paths and open space for charities to use at weekends.

Salesforce has been based here for more than 19 years, the companies announcement is one of their biggest in recent years.

During the announcement at Dublin’s convention centre spokespeople for the company also mentioned the sustainability of the new building and a grant of €1 million to educate together reported RTE.

What is Salesforce?

Having arrived here with a small team to provide bilingual technical support in 2000 the company has slowly increased its workforce to include sales teams and other positions as the market grew both in Europe and Ireland.

Salesforce develops and provides Customer relationship management platforms for businesses across a wide array of industries. They aim to make customer relationships easier for both business and the customers.

Salesforce mission as per their website states ‘Understand their needs, solve their problems, and identify opportunities to help by managing their information and interactions with your company on a single platform that’s always accessible from anywhere’.

Working with over 150,000 companies and employing upwards of 30,000 people any increase in employment here is only set to continue an upward trajectory.

Their platforms help companies with sales, customer retention, marketing and engagement among a host of other services.

With companies such as Schneider electrical and American express under their belts its easy to see that the companies are on a positive advancement.

The event in the convention centre was attended by around 1000 staff embers and the Taoiseach Leo Varadker.

Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland, said: “This is one of the largest single jobs announcements in the 70-year history of IDA Ireland. As discussed during our visit to the company’s headquarters in San Francisco last week, Salesforce is very familiar with what Ireland has to offer and this announcement is a strong indicator of the strength of the Irish proposition to investors across the world.

Criticism

Following the announcement a number of issues were raised by reported and those inside the industry such as housing shortages and the small labour market in Ireland. These were laid to rest though as IDA spokespeople and employees of Salesforce note the 5-year plan and a strong belief in the Irish economy.

Some critics questioned why the Salesforce tower and new employment opportunities were not announced for areas outside of Dublin. Adrian Weckler noted ‘The highly paid jobs are expected to put new pressure on rents around Dublin’s centre’.

These areas of worry seem to be continuing through almost every business announcement and labour announcement in recent times and it most definitely an area that the Irish govern need to address. But with positive announcements like that from Salesforce, it stands to reason that tech companies trust in the government’s ability and the economy to withstand any short term housing and labour issues.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, said: “This is a hugely significant announcement and a strong vote of confidence in Ireland and what we have to offer. Ireland is now well-established as a vibrant technology hub, and the opening of the Salesforce Tower campus in Dublin city is a very welcome addition to that landscape.”

Public discussion:

Many commentators from the public also welcomed the news, however, some questioned the Dublin only positions of the company with many commentating on the feasibility of tech ceremonies to work in rural Ireland

Geralyn Early said in the Journal ‘There are too many jobs going to Dublin, let’s face it! I moved back to the West and would like to see companies doing their homework and taking the risk to include the West of Ireland in their development plans! It would be so progressive!!!’

Seanán Ó Coistín also said  ‘I have a suspicion that these jobs will be customer support for Europe and elsewhere and will require people with language skills, something which is in short supply in Ireland. I wonder how many Irish people will be recruited for these jobs’.

As with every positive announcement, there are always some issues to consider

Failte Ireland announced Brexit plans

Failte Ireland announced Brexit plans

Failte Ireland unveiled plans to spend up to €5 million ahead of Brexit, with the majority of funding going towards the border counties. It is believed this plan has been in the works since the Brexit vote but efforts have been stepped up recently in large part due to the political uncertainty in the United Kingdom.

The border counties comprise of Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. Due to their proximity to the north and the volume of trade between the counties, it is believed that these will be some of the hardest affected should Brexit negotiations not prove fruitful in the near future.

Tourism is one of the key areas that both businesses and the Irish government are looking at closely due to the large volume of visitors who may be affected post-Brexit. Highland radio noted that a hard Brexit may cost up to €380 million in the tourism sector.

Failte Ireland has stated that the money will be used to help business diversify into other markets and manage the impact a devaluation in the sterling and a decrease in visitors may have.

An even closer look shows some of the areas that Failte Ireland is specifically targeting, such as new markets and the type of tourism which they aim to bring in.

€1.75 million is to be allocated to commercial development allowing Irish business to target the US market with products and services that typically would have been geared towards the UK market.

Without forgetting the UK Failte Ireland are also using resources to highlight the benefits of Ireland to the UK post-Brexit. This is namely in within business tourism and the golfing sector, two areas which have always maintained positive experienced for UK customers.

Reasons for the concern:

Planning has been in motion since the Brexit vote, however, the recent tumultuous events in the UK have made the likelihood of a hard Brexit more likely, business have become more concerned.

A recent survey of 500 business has shown the up to 70% see Brexit as the biggest challenge for them in the future. This rises to 80% for accommodation and a staggering 90% for restaurants in the border counties. Almost 3.4 million British visitors visit Ireland every year spending an estimated €1.6 billion.

The uncertainty of Brexit, Visa needs and the power of the sterling may have a huge impact on many of these businesses and how they operate.

Failte Irelands chief executive Paul Kelly said: “As we await the final outcome of Brexit, and with the situation changing on a daily basis, it is still difficult to quantify the range and scope of impacts that Brexit will have.

Showing that even the heads of some of these institutions aren’t certain of all the effects the Brexit may have.

In the same statement, he called for businesses to ready  Brexit plans and diversify. Looking at other markets or even locally may help business throughout the upcoming months as they will also be approaching the summer.

The increased VAT rate introduced by the Irish government has also been a determining factor in Failte Ireland’s approach to recent events in the UK.

As the sterling fluctuates businesses are going to have to be extra cautious and aware of events within the UK.

RTE reported that another €1 million is set to be allocated to the training of staff in the tourism sector effectively making them ready for new customers and a new type of tourism depending on their location and the businesses that they are in.

It is believed the northern counties will have the toughest time due to the largely rural landscape of the region. Although this is one of the key factors for visitors, many may choose to stay in the North rather than cross the border.

On the ground:

It seems most of the news lately regards Brexit but not many people have a true understanding of what may or may not occur due to the situation in London.

Full details of Teresa Mays proposal weren’t even released before it was rejected and with only 70 days to go, it seems more unlikely that a successful resolution is going to be found.

Many industries across Ireland are gearing towards a hard Brexit which will have a huge impact on the economy of the island and with UK relations due to our shared history and closely linked economies.

Many businesses will be looking at diversification and markets in the US and EU. Those without a plan should really be looking at ways to work around Brexit if they have not already begun.

Carlos Ghosn faces fresh charges

Carlos Ghosn faces fresh charges

On Friday it was reported by BBC News that Carlos Ghosn would be facing two new charges in addition to the existing charge that has kept him under prosecution for months.

In fact, to show the extent of the widespread of this news, it has hit the deepest part of Africa as one of the leading sources of information in Nigeria reports this same news. The claims of this could be fully understood by citizens of this country used to poor leadership as is been faced by Nissan noted Leadership.

In fact, the auto tycoon is looking at a lot of time in jail as opposed to claims saying he would be out of jail soon as he was charged with additional financial misconducts by his prosecutors.

Prosecutors in Japan where he is being held in custody have indicted former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn with two new charges relating financial crimes.

Mr Carlos Ghosn, who has been detained in Japan since November, when he was first charged has now been charged with heightened breach of trust and playing down his income. However, he had already been accused of a separate charge which also has to deal with playing down his pay over five years. Mr Carlos Ghosn has however denied all wrongdoing even though his detention has drawn some criticism from the general populace. In the pursuit of his freedom, his lawyers said they would request for the bail of the auto-tycoon, but experts say this request is very unlikely to be granted. Unfortunately, having not dealt with the initial charge, according to his lawyers the newly pressed charges will most likely keep the 64-year-old auto-tycoon in prison until his first trial reported Leadership.

Carlos Ghosn’s fame has however grown having earned the name “The relentless cost killer.” Mr Carlos Ghosn initially charged with playing down his pay package for the five years to 2015 has however been accused again on Friday with a new charge claiming that he underreported his compensation for another three years.

Furthermore, he was also accused of a fresh and more serious charge of breaching trust. All of these revelations come as a shock as Mr Carlos Ghosn is known to be the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance. However, this union seems to be more beneficial for him as he has been accused of moving private investment losses worth 1.85billion yen (£13.4million; $17million) racked up on overseas exchange dealings to Nissan.

Likewise, Mr Carlos Ghosn has also been accused of making a payment of $14.7m to Al-Juffali Khaled, a Saudi businessman. This payment was however made using the Nissan funds in exchange for organizing a letter of credit to help the businessman with his investment losses.

Mr Carlos Ghosn has first detained on Monday, 19th November and has since been rearrested twice in December. With further charges, if Carlos Ghosn is found guilty of the financial misconduct charges, Mr Carlos Ghosn could be looking at up to 10 years in prison. In addition to the years of imprisonment, he will be asked to pay a fine of up to 700m yen as well. The news of these possible punishments was made by Japanese regulators. However, Renault having performed a thorough audit finds ‘no fraud’ related to the auto tycoon. Following the arrest of Mr Carlos Ghosn, Nissan and Mitsubishi removed Mr Carlos Ghosn as chairman. On the contrary, Renault has kept him on a chair, saying Mr Carlos Ghosn has done no wrong as it has not yet found any evidence of illegal behaviour.

On Thursday, the board of the Renault said a careful study and investigation into the executives’ pay had not shown any signs of fraud.

“The review process has scrutinized the compensation paid to Executive Committee members of the Groupe Renault for the financial years 2017 and 2018. The results of this investigation have however caused the firm to conclude that it is both in agreement with applicable laws and free from any fraud” Renault said in a statement.

However, there will be no stop to the review process as it will continue taking into consideration the previous financial years.

The auto-tycoon seems to be suffering a lot of defaming to his name even though his hero status was such that his life was serialized in one of Japan’s well-known cartoon comic books. Also, the Brazilian-born auto tycoon of Lebanese descent and also a French citizen once said his background gave him a feeling of being different. This he claims has helped him to adapt to new cultures he has found himself in. In France, he popularly referred to as “Le Cost Killer”, a comment which stems from the deep cuts he made to revive Renault. In fact, he was once tipped to be a potential president of Lebanon. Although he eventually dismissed such claims saying he had “too many jobs” already. Back in 2011 in a poll conducted on potential rulers of Lebanese, he came seven in front of Barack Obama.

JLR confirms 4500 job cuts

JLR confirms 4500 job cuts

Midway through Thursday,  Steve Fowler took to “Auto Express” to make claims that Jaguar Land Rover has successfully cut off 4500 jobs.  Claims of this news remained in circulation as “The Washington Post” released pictures of hundreds of workers gathered at the gates of the Jaguar Land Rover site in Hale wood close to Liverpool, England. These pictures, however, drew much more attention to the claims.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed this claims that it is cutting 4,500 jobs. However, most of this will come from its 40,000 strong UK workforce. Unfortunately, most of these cuts will be in office roles as the company is looking to simplify the structure of its management. The cuts stand as addition to the 1,500 job losses recorded the previous year.

It appears to the general public that Jaguar Land Rover is facing a number of challenges, including a decline in demand for diesel cars and a slowdown in China sales. Most importantly, the firm has complained about indecision caused by Brexit.

JLR which is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata recorded a £90m pre-tax loss three months before the end of September. This loss was a major reversal from the huge £385m profit made in the previous year

Ralf Speth, the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said “The automotive company was taking a critical action to help deliver long-term development, even in the occurrence of a series of geopolitical and regulatory disruptions. In fact, the automotive industry firm is also facing technology challenges as well.

Having confirmed the reports made about the cuts, the JLR workers are in a ‘tense’ situation

The United Kingdom’s biggest vehicle maker, JLR, said it will be investing heavily in electrification, most importantly with electric drive units to be produced at Wolver Hampton. Alongside this, JLR will be making huge investments on the new battery assembly centre to be established at Hams Hall, Birmingham. This was made known as JLR made known various yearly and December 2018 sales figures: The Overall JLR retail sales in 2018 was 592,708 vehicles, relatively low by 4.6% as compared with 2017’s.

The BBC noted Retail Sales recorded for December as 52,160, was down by 6.4%, this was largely due to a slowdown in China. The Jaguar E-Pace and I-Pace introduced led to Jaguar’s best ever yearly sales results in 2018. The sales of these two models were up by 1.2% to 180,833. Furthermore, December wasn’t an all bad month as it recorded strong sales of 16,165, up by 7.2%. However, sales of the Land Rover models dropped by 6.9% to 411,875 due to shut down in sales in China and Europe. Land Rover Sales in December dropped by 11.4% to 35,995.

Jaguar Land Rover is planning a charitable dismissal scheme, to help manage the recent set of job cut

JLR has kept complaining for over a year, how that Brexit’s indecision would finally take its toll on the perception of the United Kingdom as an established and competitive base for worldwide production

In July 2018, the company said it would need a lot of assurance as regards the Brexit in order to keep investing in UK operations. However, the firm made it known that a “no-deal” Brexit would cost the company over £1.2bn in profit annually.

Although China stands as the biggest market for sales it has been showing signs of a collapse in its sales.

Also being one of the most heavily exposed car makers to ongoing consumer mix-up about the wisdom of purchasing a diesel car in the result of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

However, a larger percentage of JLR’s vehicles are diesel-powered, even though it has been investing in the new set electric and hybrid vehicles.

However, the major factors responsible for the proposed job cuts include a slowdown in Chinese sales, a fall in diesel sales and eye-brows raising about UK effectiveness post-Brexit. For years, China has been the company’s leading and most profitable market. But sales in this market have taken a negative turn as nearly 50% of Chinese consumers have been holding back on making big-ticket purchases. The connection between JLR and its Chinese sales network have also felt the strain on the relationship as dealers have called for improved terms and promotional incentives. The issues at Jaguar Land Rover have arisen as the similar automotive industry, Ford is also on the lookout to cut back on its workforce figures in Europe also noted Auto Express.

Recently Jaguar Land Rover made it known that it would be moving all production of the Land Rover Discovery to a new plant in Slovakia. This change in production site also comes with plans to hire up to 3,000 workers. JLR is believed to have given much back to China as it has hired 4,000 workers here since 2014.

Pound strengthened by Brexit delay reports

Pound strengthened by Brexit delay reports

On Friday, 11th of January 2019, a few hours after the growing speculation that Brexit will be delayed beyond the originally set exit date of March 29, the Sterling was on the rise. Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor of The Independent took to their website to make the news known when he said, “Pound became boosted by Brexit delay reports.”

The news of this increase continued to spread after it was reported by Belfast Telegraph carrying the same headline like the one on The Independent.

The British currency hits its highest since November 2018 at the London Market close, as currency traders pressed the British currency up by 0.6% to 1.282 US dollars. When compared with the euro, the pounds sterling also increased at the same rate of 0.6%, trading at 1.117.

Market analyst at CMC Markets, David Madden, said: “Great Britain Pounds Sterling/ United States Dollar experienced a volatile session after news that Brexit will be postponed beyond March 29 was all over the place, and shortly after, a representative for the Prime Minister made claims that the reports were false.

“Sterling has found a way to still hang on to a larger percentage of its gains. The pound has however traded higher than the highs it experienced in Late-December 2018, and reports say that if it can remain above that level, it might hit the 1.3000 area.”

The widely criticized Brexit deal by Theresa May will be put to a Parliamentary vote. At the parliamentary vote, it is expected to be rejected. Unfortunately, the rejection is believed to inflict further disgrace on her faltering government.

Despite the signs observed that Britain’s economy was on the descent, the increase was seen in the rate at which the pound was traded.

Three months to November 2018, it was recorded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), that the GDP rose by 0.3% when compared with the previous quarter. On the contrary, a higher growth rate of 0.4% was recorded in the three months prior to October 2018. The Office for National Statistics said the chief downhill drag was a result of the fall in motor vehicle production of 4.3% which came amid factory closures. Furthermore, weaker by demand consumer for cars and the decline in diesel sales are additional reasons for the downhill observed. Meanwhile, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange Index 100 shed 24.69 points, or 0.36%, to close at 6,918.18 reported the Independent.

Connor Campbell, SpreadEx said, “What had been shaping up to stand as a decent little meeting unravelled as Friday went on, an undesirable start from the Dow Jones made sure the European indices couldn’t get back their early growth.” He continued to further say that “the current government shutdown seen in the United States, as well as Starbucks-refreshed worries relating to the Chinese economy, contributed.”

Talking about the lower tiers, shares in Flybe plummeted recently after Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic swooped on the regional airline in a deal worth £2.2 million.

The companies, in unification with Cyrus Capital Partners, have however decided on an offer of just 1p per share for Flybe, which recently put itself up for sale late into 2018 in November. The firm’s stock fell by 77.1%, or 12.63p, to 3.75p at the close of the year. Following the elimination of the retailer’s chairman and Chief Executive by Mike Ashley a day earlier, shares in Debenhams were also found to be in freefall otherwise referred to as increasingly decline. Mike Ashley, the retail tycoon, who owns less than 30% of the department store chain through Sports Direct, liaised with fellow shareholder Landmark to discharge Sergio Bucher and Sir Ian Cheshire from the board.

Following the annual meeting observed by Debenhams Thursday, Mr Cheshire immediately stepped down as chairman. However, Mr Bucher will stay on to keep serving as the chief executive, but not as a director.

Shares dropped by 18.9%, or 0.91p, to 3.9p. In Europe, Germany’s DAX, blue-chip stock market index was down by 0.3% while France’s CAC (Cotation Assistée en Continu) 40 fell by 0.68%. In fact, a barrel of Brent Crude was selling at 60.8 US dollars, at a rate down by 0.7%. Although a lot of organizations seemed to suffer as analysis of several falls in shares have been above.

The largest risers on the Financial Times-Stock Exchange, FTSE 100 were Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Barratt Developments and IAG. Taylor Wimpey was up 7.15p at 156.05p, Persimmon up 92p at 2,203p, Barrat up 14.2p at 503.4p, and IAG was up 15.2p at 610p. The biggest fallers on the Financial Times-Stock Exchange, FTSE 100 were NMC Health, Smurfit Kappa, AstraZeneca and Melrose down. NMC Health was down 148p at 2,782p, Smurfit Kappa was down 102p at 2,142p, AstraZeneca was down 211p at 5,712p and Melrose was down 5.9p at 170.8p.

Ryanair maintains 6th consecutive year at the bottom

Ryanair maintains 6th consecutive year at the bottom

Ryanair has been voted the worst short-haul airline by consumer group Which? for the sixth year in a row. The airline was rated among others in regards to boarding times, experience, food and drink etc. A number of larger factors also shaped the public opinion of the airline this year including changing baggage policies and a refusal to refund money to passengers affected by industrial action.

Not averse to bad publicity an airline spokesperson said that the survey was ‘unrepresentative and worthless’.

Europes largest passenger carrier was among 19 other airlines and came out last. Guernsey-based Aurigny Air Service was the highest ranked in the survey.

70% of respondents said that they would not fly with the airline again. It is doubtful this will impact the projected forecast of over 140 million customers expected the fly with Ryanair in 2019. The airline which has faced criticism for an array of issues is still great value for many passengers, especially those seeking a cheap getaway during the year.

A refusal to provide refunds and an ever-changing baggage policy has definitely impacted public opinion this year.

2018 Baggage policy changes and costs

The original baggage policy in early 2017 meant that customers were allowed to bring one small carry-on bag and a second larger wheelie bag could be brought to the gate. However, unless you bought a priority pass the larger bag would then be tagged and placed in the undercarriage hold. The result was delayed takeoff as the extra bags were loaded onto planes. Thus this idea had to be scrapped.

On the 1st of November, the new policy of only allowing 2 bags when priority is purchased came into effect. This meant that those with a wheelie bag would have to check the bag at the Ryanair check-in desk.

These changes which incur additional costs were also a headache throughout the year due to uncertainty amongst passengers.

Almost 30% of Ryanair’s profits for 2018 stemmed from additional charges to passengers ranging from seat selection to oversized baggage. The added stress of trying to avoid these charges is something that passengers voiced their opinion on.

Costs incurred by some customers include  £40 charges for assigned seating and paying almost double for bags of 20kgs and over, reported Refinery 29. Many of these charges arise at the airport when passengers have no choice but to pay for convenience purposes.

Punctuality

Punctuality was also down from 76% to 68% with many respondents to the survey highlighting delayed flights and boarding times noted the Which? survey. Yet another once popular marketing ploy showing the airline difficulties.

Refunds

Strike action by pilots and crew in 2018 results in thousands of passengers seeking compensation, something the airline has refused to do at the moment. A move that is potentially illegal.

Affect on Customers

Rory Boland, the Which? travel editor said: “Airfares might seem to be getting cheaper, but only if you don’t fancy sitting with your family and children or taking even a small cabin bag on board. Increasingly you need a calculator to work out what the final bill will be, especially with Ryanair reported the Guardian.

Other Airlines

The top three airlines for those considering the competition are Aurigny Air Service,  Swiss and Jet2 customer satisfaction rating reported The Guardian. Even with this Ryanair beats the competition by almost $10 when it comes to certain flights as seen in The Guardian.

British Airways and EasyJet as the two UK based airlines also struggle finishing in at 15th and 11th place respectively.

Wizz air and Thomas cook airlines also have the distinction of being in the bottom three airlines looked at in the survey.

Affect on Ryanair

Will this survey affect Ryanair, very unlikely. The Airline is known to cause controversy, especially among its chief Michael O’Leary. Publicity is something which the airline seems to be able to manage should it be good or bad, however recent action by the CAA may force it to change its way in the upcoming year.

Ryanair seemed unfazed by the survey and as it is the 6th year in a row it is probably something they expect, especially with the year that they have had.

Cheap fairs, continuing growth in destinations and the opportunity to provide fast and somewhat efficient service will outweigh any negative press generated towards the company.

As one spokesperson said the opinion of eight thousand out of a customer base of over 140 million will not deter customers.

In the long term, a negative survey will not affect Ryanair’s customer base and they most likely will ignore any recommendations form the customer survey as they have tended to do things there own way.