Laois man nominated for Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year award

Pat Somers

Reporter:

Pat Somers

Email:

pat@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois man nominated for Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year award

Barry and Kevin O'Loughlin

A Laois man has been nominated for the Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Kevin O’Loughlin, a native of Rosenallis has been selected as a finalist in the highly contested and prestigious, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme. Kevin, who is the CEO of Nostra ICT has been selected in the ‘International Sector’ and joins an elite set of dynamic business people who have made their mark on the business world in Ireland.

For the past 20 years, some of Ireland's leading entrepreneurs have come through the Irish EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) programme. To date, over 470 fantastic Irish entrepreneurs have been through the programme, building a unique community of likeminded and influential entrepreneurs, the EOY Alumni Community.

For the past 20 years, some of Irelands leading entrepreneurs have come through the Irish EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) programme. To date, over 470 fantastic Irish entrepreneurs have been through the programme, building a unique community of likeminded and influential entrepreneurs, the EOY Alumni Community. The winners will be selected at a glitzy gala awards night on the 30th of October at Citywest Hotel when all of Laois will be rooting for Kevin to bring home an EOY award.

The Information and Communications Technology sector is currently one of Ireland’s most thriving industries, and Kevin O’Loughlin has been making waves within the industry in a relatively short time.  Kevin founded the business along with Gary Byrne and Senan Finucane in 2006 and was joined in the business later by his brother, Barry O’Loughlin. 

The company, which has its headquarters in Lucan Co. Dublin has grown substantially.   In its start-up days Nostra had a team of just five people and has now grown to a business with 90 employees with turnover expected to exceed €10 million by the end of this year.

The company anticipates rapid growth and intends to expand further over the next three years, a recruitment drive is currently underway as they look to boost their staff numbers to 147 by 2020 while the company has also recently raised over €3 million through company investments to fund an acquisition drive. 

The O’Loughlin family are a well-known Laois family and Kevin and Barry’s father, Tom O’Loughlin owned O’Loughlin’s Bar and Grocery in Rosenallis for many years. Tom O’Loughlin was also an Executive Officer on the Laois GAA County Board and was a key driver, as Chairman of the Football board, in the appointment of Mick O’Dwyer.

Kevin’s success in business did not come in the conventional manner as he left college before finishing his Computer Science Degree in DCU as he was keen to get on with developing his own projects and to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Considering his success at the youthful age of 37, it appears to have been a wise move.

The performance of Nostra in delivering full IT support and maintenance to a broad spectrum of organisations across a variety of industries and sectors has led to Kevin’s nomination for the highly prestigious Ernst & Young International Entrepreneur of the Year award. Nostra combines the latest technologies with an emphasis on efficient customer service to provide clients with the most cost-effective IT solutions for their business.

The company has recently signed contracts to manage the IT requirements of Oasis Document Storage, as well as major Irish food company, Dawn Farm Foods. “We’re really pleased with how the company has grown over the last number of years, and our growth has been very encouraging”, said Kevin. “We have managed to build a company that is both sustainable for the long term and we are really excited for the immediate future as we continue to expand.”

“We have a great team here at our base in Lucan, while it is obvious that we look for employees who have a love for information technology and a skillset to suit this environment, having a good personality and working well with our team and our clients is just as important to us.”

“I always knew starting out that we could make this business into a successful one, and while there were many long nights and early mornings spent ensuring it got off the ground, I am happy now that it has all paid off. To be nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award is absolutely fantastic because it is such a prestigious title and I feel very honoured and proud to represent my company and my family”

About Nostra

Nostra is an independent, Irish owned and managed ICT company based in Lucan, Co. Dublin. It was established by Kevin O’Loughlin, Gary Byrne, Senan Finucane and Barry O’Loughlin in 2006 and has grown rapidly in the last number of years.

With the skills of a dedicated technical, sales, support, and administrative staff, it helps organisations of every size and industry to integrate technology with their business. This merging of technology and business is what Nostra is all about.

The company provides a complete suite of integrated solutions across the entire ICT spectrum and delivers them as part of one end-to-end managed service. It starts with an analysis of a client’s business needs both now and into the future, and works with them to design a comprehensive ICT strategy. Nostra develops the solution, identifies the best technology, implements it, supports it, and maintains it with a range of trusted and proven skills in data infrastructure, managed services, cloud, networking and security, and contract resourcing.

To correspond with the changing needs of business today, Nostra can deliver these solutions either on premise or through a public or private cloud. Nostra takes care of every aspect of its client’s ICT systems throughout their entire lifecycle, from analysing current business needs together with those a changing corporate environment might demand, through to planning and roll-out, to support and management.

Working with the world’s most advanced, innovative, and reliable technologies, it makes a client’s business stronger, more efficient, and more flexible. By aligning with the most trusted vendors in the industry, it connects business teams to the information they need no matter where they are, what devices they are using, or when they need it. Nostra then protects that information, supports the systems running it and maintains the solutions that it implements.

Nostra brings all of the industry leaders together through one point of contact. It has the highest accreditations with leading innovators and represents the most successful names in each technology. Because it is an independent company its advice is always impartial, and Nostra will only ever recommend the solutions that are right for its clients. Nostra see themselves as being a trusted IT project delivery partner as opposed to just another supplier of services.

The Growth in the Business Nostra has grown dramatically due to new client wins and growth in existing client contracts.  As many of the existing customers experience growth within their own business the demand for ICT support and dedicated IT management has grown.

The business has grown from just four staff in 2006 to 90 people today. Due to ongoing expansion 50 new positions will be filled over the next three years and a recruitment drive to that effect is already underway.

Nostra is currently in the second year of a 5-year plan to achieve a turnover of €25 million with 147 jobs by 2020.

The company has raised over €3 million through Venture Capital funds in order to facilitate and support the expansion plans of the business which will see Nostra expanding its work force.

New Account Wins: Nostra has just won a contract with Oasis Document Storage valued at €500,000. In the last few weeks the company signed a three-year deal with Dawn Farm Foods to manage all of its ICT.  There are now 2 full time Nostra engineers on site covering, 9 Dawn Farm Foods businesses in order to look after the ICT needs of the 750 Dawn employees on the site.  Nostra manages the full infrastructure of the businesses and all servers through to the end users.

Expansion Plans: Expansion plans to the US are currently underway and support technicians and sales representatives have been appointed in New York to service new American contracts.

Key Contracts Now: Expansion plans to the US are currently underway and support technicians and sales representatives have been appointed in New York to service new American contracts.

Employee numbers: The business has grown from just four staff in 2006 to 90 people today.  Due to ongoing expansion 50 new positions will be filled over the next three years and a recruitment drive to that effect is already underway.

Turnover: In 2016 Nostra turned over €7 million with the company expected to turnover in excess of €10 million by the end of 2017.  The growth of €3 million in just 12 months is in line with Nostra’s own projections and is due in part to growth within the company’s own existing client base – as the clients are growing the demand for ICT services has increased and also due to new client wins