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60 Seconds Interview with the new A/NZ Country Manager Lydia Rogers

We are thrilled to welcome  Lydia Rogers, former Country Manager and SVP of Enterprise Ireland Canada, who is taking on the role of Australia & New Zealand Regional Manager.

Lydia joined Enterprise Ireland in 2018 following 12 years of private sector experience in globally focussed start-ups and large, established companies. In her previous role in Canada, she led the launch of a new office in Montreal and has seen the growth of exports to Canada increase by 25% in the past two years.

With her strong commercial and marketing background, Lydia is exceptionally well placed to support our team, and clients scaling and growing in Australia/ New Zealand.

What excites you most about making the move to Australia?  

I’m really excited to get the opportunity to work with our clients in a different and very diverse region. We are a small country, but with a big impact and seeing the global reach of world-class Irish enterprises is very satisfying.

We have a very strong one team value within Enterprise Ireland, with colleagues from different locations collaborating and working together. I’m really looking forward to working together as part of the Asia Pacific region and the diversity that brings.

I won’t lie, the weather and lifestyle is a definite bonus! I really enjoyed my time in Canada, but you can’t beat swapping the snow for the sun with plus 25, rather than minus 25 degree winter days!

 Have you had much engagement with this side of the world before?   

I’ve been to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth a couple of times for personal trips, and my goddaughter and best friend and her family live in Melbourne.

There’s such a strong Irish connection and diaspora network here which makes it a really interesting and unique region to be able to seize opportunities, and support Irish enterprises scale and grow.

We have a fantastic Team Ireland presence in this region, with a very active and supportive community which is a real enabler in the role we do.

While Australia and New Zealand are far geographically, do you see similarities in the challenges for Enterprise Ireland and its clients compared to other markets?  

Actually, the sector and client portfolio isn’t too dissimilar to Canada. There are strong growth opportunities in Digital Technologies, Fintech/ Financial Services, Industrial Technologies, Engineering and Sustainability / Climate Action. Diverse clients such as Fenergo, Aryza, Combilift, Horseware, XOCEAN and Superfy for example, are very active in Canada and similarly, are very strong in the ANZ market.

I think from a challenge perspective – and while it’s true for any export market – readiness and commitment are absolutely critical, but even moreso for markets that are such a significant distance from home. It’s vital to have a strong strategic intent, and well-resourced plan to win in new markets.

 What do you love about the Enterprise Ireland mission?

I feel really privileged to get to do the job we do with Enterprise Ireland. Being able to work with so many exciting, innovative and ambitious Irish businesses and entrepreneurs at all stages of their growth, from early stage high potential start-ups to more established clients is so rewarding. Being part of their journey and seeing companies conquer global markets provides such a sense of pride – creating jobs and economic prosperity for towns and villages across Ireland. Working for Enterprise Ireland overseas in particular, is very special – keeping such a strong connection with Ireland, wearing the green jersey and flying the Irish flag abroad.

How do you maintain your work life balance when working for a global company?

I think the nature of working in a global organisation spanning several time zones requires flexibility. In Canada there were quite a lot of early morning calls, and now being based in the furthest office from Ireland, it’s important we’re available for colleague and client calls which are invariably after evening hours.

However, I think Covid in particular, has shown us that it’s possible to work in different ways, leverage digital tools and maximise productivity and output in an efficient and flexible manner.

As an organisation, Enterprise Ireland is focussed on excellent client service, and being the world’s most successful enterprise development agency, which is ultimately driven by our people. We have recently launched a new THRIVE people strategy, with an emphasis on health and wellness, and I’m delighted to sit on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group to support an inclusive culture globally.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

When I worked in Enterprise Ireland HQ in Dublin, I was fortunate to help develop a new Leadership Development Programme for Women with Dublin City University and I had the opportunity to participate on the first pilot programme. One of the pieces of advice from that programme that really resonated and stuck with me is ‘Be the CEO of your career’ – be  strategic and plan where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. I also love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote of “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Do the thing you think you cannot do.” Essentially, push yourself out of your comfort zone regularly!

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Sep 1, 2023

60 Seconds Interview with the new A/NZ Country Manager Lydia Rogers

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