60 seconds with: Philip McMichael, Managing Director, AMI

Business, Interviews | Tue 3 Oct | Author – Business & Finance philip mcmichael ami
Philip McMichael, Managing Director, AMI

Philip McMichael, Managing Director, AMI, takes on the Business & Finance 60-second interview challenge.


Q. What was your first job?

My first job was working for my dad in the family business – a menswear shop in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim. I worked there on the weekends and over the summers and it had a lasting impact on me; making me want to work for myself.

After college, my first ‘real’ job was managing a small computer retailer and repair business in Belfast, this is the company which eventually became AMI.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

There have been a number of highlights throughout AMI’s history but I would have to say that my greatest business achievement is taking full ownership of the company four years ago and developing it into what it is today.

From humble beginnings, AMI now ranks as Ireland’s leading secure IT retirement company and one of the top six companies in the world accredited to the global ADISA (Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance) standard.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Peace of mind.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

It’s important to stay as connected to the business as possible. To this end, I take a hands-on approach with many aspects of the business, rather than simply delegating everything. Educating our customers about the security risks posed by end-of-life IT and the necessary steps that they need to take to protect their interests still reminds me of why I got into this business in the first place.

It’s essential to treat staff fairly, to reward them for work done and to give them the responsibility that they deserve, allowing them to grow and develop in their roles.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Elon Musk. He is almost single-handedly revolutionising several industries at once: automotive, transportation, space technology and many others. To have that scope of vision and access to the immense resources that he has, and as a result have a real chance to change the world, would be extraordinary.

Q. How do you relax?

I don’t! In the limited downtime that I have, I try to spend time with my family, with my wife Ciara and my kids Paddy and Isobel.

Q. What’s your motto?

This is something that my dad taught me when I was working for him in our shop. He said: “Always treat your suppliers and your customers as you would like to be treated.” In short, pay your bills on time and be gracious to your customers. People tend to be happy to work with you when they know you will treat them fairly.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

I’m incredibly proud of all that AMI has achieved over the past 15 years and I’m aiming to continue building on the success that we have experienced to date. My goal now is to secure the prospective futures of both the business and the brilliant team that I have around me. To do this, we need to continue to develop our service provision to the point at which we are the clear number one in Ireland.

Educating our customers about the security risks posed by end-of-life IT and the necessary steps that they need to take to protect their interests still reminds me of why I got into this business in the first place.