Pictured: Paul Kearns, Managing Director, Kefron
Paul Kearns is the Managing Director of Kefron, an Irish-owned family business with the second generation now leading the company’s transformation and recent expansion into the UK. It has 120 employees located across Ireland and the UK who provide over 900 businesses of all sizes with smart office solutions. Over the past year, its solutions have helped companies to move their office environments online and ensure that employees located at home can access information and documents.
What was your first job?
Working in the deep dark cellar of our local pub as a bottle boy when I was 16. It was one of Ireland’s first super pubs and was a busy, buzzing environment to work in. I quickly moved on to become a bar man and honestly feel I learned a lot about interpersonal skills and of course how to pour the perfect pint.
What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
Leading an incredible team of experts at Kefron, Ireland’s top document management firm, for more than a decade, and through my role as MD, helping businesses of all sizes across Ireland and the UK to achieve their business goals. I’m particularly proud and excited by how we’ve been able to respond and support our customers through the challenges that the pandemic has posed over the past year. As we look ahead we’re focused on helping businesses navigate their journey to a smarter office which is adaptable to the work realities facing everyone today and into the future.
In three words or less, how do you define success?
Building lasting relationships. What matters to me most in business is forming long-term partnerships that are based on transparency and trust and from Kefron’s perspective providing customers with service above and beyond what is expected. As a family business, these values shape how we operate. I try to instill this thinking into the wider team at Kefron as we respond to demands and need of our customers.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Think long-term. Whether the goal is to implement a new technology, enhance productivity, or form a new relationship, I believe it’s wise to look beyond the next quarter and imagine what shape your business will be in years or even decades down the line. At Kefron, we’re helping organisations in the private and public sectors to embrace the future by providing the digital solutions to support remote working and the future return to office.
How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
By reminding ourselves every day that the work we do matters immensely to businesses and the people working for them across Ireland and the UK. By putting technology to work, we are empowering organisations to streamline operations and thrive in a post-pandemic world.
How do you relax?
Family time is my way of switching off from work – we love to travel and explore new places and if restrictions allow, we’re looking forward to visiting some new places in Ireland this Summer.
What’s your motto?
I like Jeff Bezos’s mantra at Amazon: “it’s always day one.” For me, this means that flexibility and innovation should always be a top priority. The pandemic was a lesson for us all in this regard – no matter what plans were in place the pandemic forced us all to pause and hit the reset button. I think this is the essence of the “day one” mindset and we all lived that reality over the past year.
What are your aspirations for the future of the business?
With more than 30 years of leadership in the data solutions space, Kefron has a fantastic track record of helping clients to meet their storage and security needs. In the next phase of the business, we want to help our clients navigate an increasingly digitised future as they look to rebuild and recover and journey towards a smart office that enables smart working, resulting in smart business in a smart and protected structure.