Pictured: Paul Martin, co-founder and COO of Verde Energy Group
Paul Martin is Co-founder and COO of Verde Energy Group which recently announced details of a €20 million “Green Fund” they have put in place to support the installation of “green” solutions, including EV Chargers, Solar PV, and energy efficient LED lighting, as well as their ENWARE Sustainability SaaS platform, nationwide. Having recently rebranded from Verde LED, through this incentive, Verde Energy Group will fund client installations which include a combination of the three technologies over a three to five year period, seeing clients pay a monthly fee rather than paying upfront.
What was your first job?
Following a Degree and a Masters in Rural Development in UCD in 2000, my first job was as a Rural Resource Officer with a leader company who had a remit to develop education and resources for underprivileged groups while fostering and developing enterprise.
What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?
I was always interested in entrepreneurship and property from an early age, and in 2010 I cut ties with a government job to establish Verde as an energy savings company which initially focused on LED lighting. There was a big opportunity at the time with finances starting to flow again nearing the end of a recession and very few companies like it in the market. It’s great to be able to give commercial clients a fast return on their money while also helping to save the planet. The planet isn’t ours, we are just minding it for the next generation.
What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
We currently save our clients $20m in energy savings annually. We also won the largest LED project in the country in 2020, and have just won the largest in 2021, both in the healthcare sector.
Career wise, would you do anything differently?
When the company was getting off the ground we were tight cash flow wise. We probably should have been more aggressive and invested in more staff to drive the growth quicker. But we got there and have very ambitious and aggressive growth plans for the future.
In one sentence, how would you define success?
Being able to have a comfortable healthy lifestyle, while also sustaining jobs and lifestyles for others.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Mind your customers or someone else will.
Sometimes the most difficult thing is to
find a customer, win their trust and deliver on your offering. If customers are lost or fade away, and some other provider gets in, it can be hard to win the business back. Verde takes the headaches from the customer and the customer is always put first. Remember the 1-10 rule. Do a good job and a client will tell one person, do it poorly and they will tell 10!
How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
We are lucky to have excellent committed staff. We all strive to get things right and we have group sessions on how we can make ourselves more efficient. A few years ago we set up a sports and social fund where we all partake in an activity and grab a bite to eat to reward ourselves.
How do you handle adversity?
Try to focus on the end goal or the dream. There will be blips along the way, but once we are all pulling in the same direction, the momentum will pull us through. Problems and issues arise in every business, it’s about getting the right solutions and executing them as quickly as you can!
How do you relax?
The occasional round of golf starts off relaxing, but by hole 3 it could be a different story, somewhere in a ditch! Alternatively, a walk to clear the head in the evenings when the kids are gone to bed!
What are your aspirations for the future of the business?
Over the past decade we have all worked together to build a reputable successful company. Verde Energy Group has now expanded our range to include Solar PV and Electric Vehicle Chargers. We also now have a fund in place to finance full turnkey solutions for clients, where the savings are effectively paying for the investment. We take away the headaches and stresses for our clients on their energy saving journey. We do the audits, delivery, and the admin to help people make real positive change with little upfront capital required.