60 seconds with: Dave Barrett, Country Manager, GSK Consumer Healthcare Ireland

Business, Interviews | Tue 17 Oct | Author – Business & Finance dave barrett gsk consumer healthcare ireland
Dave Barrett, Country Manager, GSK Consumer Healthcare Ireland

Dave Barrett, Country Manager, GSK Consumer Healthcare Ireland, takes on the Business & Finance 60-second interview challenge.


Q. What was your first job?

Technically-speaking a kitchen porter which was a great grounding in learning the meaning of hard work and certainly spurred me on to get out of the kitchen and stay out! Having tried my hand at primary care sales (GP detailing), I went into GSK Consumer Healthcare where I have spent practically my entire professional career.

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

Staying with career, it has to be my current role leading GSK’s Consumer Healthcare business in Ireland. I get to lead a talented and tenacious team who I am very proud of plus we get to work with world-leading brands like Panadol and Sensodyne that make a real difference to Irish consumers.

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

Never giving up.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Definitely stay true to yourself: if you can do this, you won’t stray too far wrong. I fundamentally believe that, particularly in Ireland, people like doing business with people they like: so be your genuine self. People can always tell.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I’m a great believer in setting clear goals and objectives, and then getting out of your teams’ way, allowing them get on with their job, while letting them know I’m there if needed. I’m also very mindful to stop and celebrate our successes and enjoy our achievements. It’s important to me that we work hard but enjoy it along the way.

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

I would probably choose one of our customers: we’re constantly innovating and evolving our products and services to work with our customers and partners. Our success is their success so we’re always looking at how we can better-understand their business and needs, so living their life for a day would be very useful.

Q. How do you relax?

Having perhaps surprisingly found myself on the charity run/cycling circuit in recent years, I’d love to say running but if I’m honest, I still haven’t broken through to that stage. I really enjoy long walks with my dog to switch off and a relaxed meal with all the family around the table is my happy place.

Q. What’s your motto?

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right.

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

It’s been a stellar year for GSK Consumer Healthcare in Ireland: we’ve become the number-one company in oral care and are determined to be number one in the OTC pain business before the year is out. This is also the first year we have really leveraged the power of our Irish manufacturing base: our recently-launched new Panadol This is What We’re Made Of campaign features some of the GSK team in Dungarvan which not many people know is the global manufacturing home of Panadol – well until now at least! I really want to build on this. Working in a global healthcare business like GSK means that innovation is part of our DNA, so I’m sure we’ll have lots of new products and innovations to bring to market and grow to keep us busy.

I would probably choose one of our customers: we’re constantly innovating and evolving our products and services to work with our customers and partners. Our success is their success so we’re always looking at how we can better-understand their business and needs, so living their life for a day would be very useful.