12 Sep Meet the Judges of our Innovation Awards: Interview with Aidan Brady
The Greenman Group’s Innovation Awards programme, Growing Further, is committed to highlighting businesses that are positively reshaping the grocery retail supply chain. We are delighted to have put together a distinguished panel of judges for our Innovation Awards. Each of these esteemed individuals brings a wealth of expertise from the realms of venture capital, finance, entrepreneurship, and academia, adding depth and insight to our multi-stage selection process.
We had the chance to chat with Aidan Brady, former Chief Executive of Citibank Europe, delving into his 36-year-long journey in finance and understanding his vision for the future of innovation in retail.
Aidan, can you share a brief overview of your journey in the finance world to becoming the Chief Executive of Citibank Europe?
“I have dedicated 36 years to the financial sector, with 31 years of those at Citi, leading 21 branches across the EU from our Dublin headquarters, overseeing over 4,000 employees. Throughout my career I endeavored to build and strategically lead large businesses from the ground up in a multinational setup. This journey, full of learning and experiences, equipped me with a broad perspective that I’m keen to bring to the awards panel.”
With such a career in finance, what unique perspective do you bring to our awards panel?
“Throughout my journey in Financial Services, I developed a deep-rooted passion for innovation. Given the high regulation in our industry, professionals often opt for the safer routes. Years ago, our bi-monthly ‘Innovation’ meetings encouraged staff to present innovative ideas which evolved into a Research & Development lab, leading to over 500 tech roles in Dublin. This personal and professional commitment to innovation aligns seamlessly with the ethos of Growing Further, reinforcing the mission to cultivate innovative mindsets in burgeoning businesses.”
What piece of advice would you give to startups, especially from a financial and investment standpoint?
“Go big in terms of quality and vision. And don’t shy away from seeking the best financial advice, even if it initially seems out of your budget. If your business idea holds merit, it will eventually pave its way to cover such investments.”
From an investment perspective, where do you see the most significant growth potential in the grocery retail supply chain over the next five years?
“When viewed through an investor’s lens, the possibilities are immense, especially with the ever-growing emphasis on sustainability. I see vast potential in sectors like packaging, delivery, and solutions catering to the work-from-home shift, especially in remote areas. Another area to watch is the alteration in eating habits towards more sustainable choices.”
Given the current economic climate, how do you see the investment landscape changing for startups focused on sustainable and innovative solutions?
“The prevailing economic conditions mandate a blend of doing good and ensuring robust financial backing. Simply adopting sustainable practices won’t suffice. Investors will prioritise businesses that combine sustainable practices and well-founded ideas that promise a substantial return on investment.”
We are delighted that Aidan dedicates his valuable time in evaluating and selecting the winners. His expertise will ensure the recognition of truly innovative concepts that have the potential to create material real-world impact in the grocery retail sector.