“Always do a little bit more” – CEO Q&A with Michael Horgan of Green Rebel Group

By Business & Finance
12 May 2021
Pictured: Michael Horgan, CEO, Green Rebel Group

Michael Horgan is CEO of Green Rebel Group, which was established last year to service the future needs of offshore wind farms. The company has already acquired Crosshaven Boatyard in County Cork and the first in a fleet of survey vessels. It was founded by businessman Pearse Flynn.

What are the challenges facing the industry going forward?

Streamlining licensing and supporting an Irish supply chain are some of the big issues.  It is crucially important that the licensing application process is streamlined as quickly as possible.  We cannot afford to be passive observers as the rest of Europe and the world move towards renewable energy. We have a very real opportunity to create thousands of jobs in this sector and it is incumbent upon all of us to support Irish business to make sure that this massive economic opportunity is not lost.

What new trends are emerging in your industry?

New technology is coming out every day. The advances which have been made in recent years with respect to floating wind are staggering. There is also an increased focus on hydrogen that could enable important advances in energy storage and transmission. Also, our aerial and marine survey equipment is state of the art and enables us to collect the highest quality data more efficiently than ever before.

The advances which have been made in recent years with respect to floating wind are staggering

Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?

I would like to emphasise the importance of promoting an Irish supply chain with respect to future business. It would be great for the capabilities of Irish companies to be showcased during the application process. There are great Irish suppliers who can compete with the best in the world. We look forward to offering our services to all developers entering the market, with a promise of quality delivery.

As an employer are you finding any skill gaps in the market?

Since our inception in October 2020 we are already up to 46 employees. Luckily, we have been able to attract the best brains in the survey business without too much difficulty. I guess the fact that Green Rebel is arguably one of the most exciting start-ups in recent Irish history with a clear vision and huge ambition has made us attractive for potential candidates. We pride ourselves in having a young and dynamic workforce and have also recently employed our first IT/Marketing intern from UCC with plenty more to follow.

How has Brexit affected you?

We have had many computers held up at customs and there is a general shortage in hardware which is essential for our business. We have had to become more creative with how we source our specialized equipment.

How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your business/sector?

COVID has made things hugely challenging for us as a start-up. It has been hard to generate the real excitement which would otherwise naturally exist due to so many of the workforce working from home. It has also posed other challenges such as not being able to jump into the car and have face to face meetings with potential clients.

COVID has made things hugely challenging for us as a start-up.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

Success is when things go according to plan. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. You must always have a clear set of objectives, and for me, these need to be studied every Sunday night so that Monday morning is crystal clear and so is the plan for the week.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or give, in business?

Always do a little bit more. This has been the mantra which I have lived by my whole life and it has never failed me. If you are in sales and instead of making ten calls per day, you make eleven, then over the course of a year that is a lot of extra calls. There is no question that doing that one extra call will reap dividends for the business. At Green Rebel we always do a little bit more. By having this mindset in everything you do, you will most certainly exceed customers expectations which is essential for what we at Green Rebel.

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

I am proud to say that I have managed to remain relevant while switching carers from oil and gas to renewable energy. At Green Rebel, I have pioneered an innovative multi-client data collection strategy that is poised to accelerate the industry while simultaneously saving developers time and money.  This planning will also help minimise potential environmental impacts from survey efforts.

What’s next for your company?

Green rebel plans to keep innovating in how we acquire and use data to help advance the Irish renewable energy market. We plan on bringing manufacturing to Crosshaven in the form of our met-ocean data buoys which are the most advanced in the world.

Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?

Whenever anyone mentions offshore energy, I want the name Green Rebel to come to mind. We want to be a company most admired for our people, partnerships and performance and a name synonymous with excellence in offshore site investigation.