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MBA Student Interview; Alan Hogan

Alan Hogan, Managing Director of the Heat Merchants Group, graduated from DBS with a First Class Honours MBA following a long and successful career in sales and management. Having worked his way up through self-learning and on-the-job training, Alan wanted a formal qualification to reflect and solidify his achievements in business. In our latest student interview, he tells us all about his career to date and why an MBA at DBS was the right choice for him.


Alan Hogan

“I graduated with an engineering degree in 1993, and my first position was internal sales for a business called Hevac.  In 1996, I joined Precision Heating, starting as a sales representative and during my 12 years tenure I progressed to Sales Director and General Manager with full P&L responsibility. During my time with the organisation the turnover of the company grew by 1,200% to €10.8m.

In 2008, I joined Kingspan Group Plc as a Sales Director (Ireland) for the Environmental, Renewable Energy Division. After two years I was promoted to Director (International Sales Development) and I was responsible for Renewable Energy Product sales for Ireland, ME, China, SE Asia, Australia & NZ, managing a team of six engineers and eight sales people.

In 2012, I was offered the opportunity to become Managing Director of the Heat Merchants Group which had been recently acquired from a liquidator. In 2012 the business had 45 locations, 221 staff and an annual turnover of €45m. During the past 5 years the business has undergone considerable reorganisation, and in 2017 the business has 44 locations, 286 employees and an annual turnover of €79m. It has been recognised as one of “Irelands most innovative businesses” at the recent 2017 Business All Stars Awards, and it has also been recognised as a “Deloitte’s Best Managed Company” in 2016 & 2017.

I am a member of the Institute of Directors (Ireland) and a member of the TC51 Technical Standards Committee of NSAI.

Prior to the MBA my business knowledge was gained through reading self-learning business books, “on the job training” or via advice from mentors. In 2015, I decided to formalise my business education and I entered the MBA programme at DBS. I was really seeking an affirmation that everything I learned over the previous 22 years was factually correct, and that I had the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully manage large organisations. I also wanted to reflect on any important management decisions taken over the previous 20 years with my new knowledge gained from the MBA course, and to evaluate if I could have done things differently.

However, what I did get was a fantastic learning journey. I definitely improved my existing skills, particularly in time management, strategy, corporate governance, financial analysis, all areas I would have previously felt I was strong in. A surprise outcome for me was my increased awareness of how I can influence the perceptions of colleagues in our organisation by listening better, expressing an empathy with regards to their own situation, and through better communications. During the past two years I received excellent advice and mentoring from the course lecturers, who always made themselves available to discuss the course content or elements of the business I am working in. I have also successfully implemented ideas I have taken from the course into our organisation, and they have absolutely contributed to the continued success of the business.

I believe I have made contacts and friends for life, not just students, but also some of the lecturers, and I would wholly recommend the MBA course in DBS.”

For information on all of the MBA courses at DBS click here.