Customer preference is ‘at the heart of business success’

1 Feb 2024

Magnet Plus MD Patrick Masterson. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

With decades of leadership experience, Patrick Masterson discusses the key traits a business leader needs, the challenges Magnet Plus aims to overcome and the future of the connectivity sector.

Last month, Patrick Masterson moved up to the top position of Magnet Plus after more than two years as the company’s strategy and business performance director.

He took the managing director position with more than 20 years of experience behind him, holding leadership positions for various companies such as Quinn Group, Ulster Bank, Arnotts and Tracworx. But some of his biggest work achievements were with Oneview Healthcare, where he served as the chief commercial officer for nearly seven years.

“We grew the business across three continents – the US, Middle East and Australia – and successfully IPO’d the company on the Australian stock market in 2016,” Masterson said.

Masterson says he was recognised by Magnet Plus as a “trusted and valued member” of the senior management team, which helped the telecoms company achieve its financial targets over the past two years.

When it comes to what makes a good business leader, Masterson believes the key traits to have are “decisiveness, trustworthiness, empowering others, clear communication and resilience”.

“Leadership is about leading by example, providing clear goals and objectives, building trust, recognising your team’s strengths, allowing them to shine and supporting them when they need a little help,” he said.

“I think it is important that all staff understand our strategy and the role their function plays in achieving that plan. For me, it’s about leading by example by working hard and supporting staff to be the best they can be.”

The challenges of connectivity

Magnet Plus – formerly Magnet Networks – claims to be Ireland’s biggest connectivity partner, offering its services to businesses in every Irish town and city, thanks to its own network and interconnections with 185 Eir exchanges and 18 partner networks.

The Irish company is owned by Speed Fibre Group and provides telecoms, data connectivity and security services to customers throughout Europe, the US and elsewhere. Masterson has plans to expand and develop the business, but noted that there are challenges ahead such as improving customer experiences (CX), operations and cost efficiency.

“We also need to look at network growth and new technologies versus investment return and focus more on sustainability,” Masterson said.

The new MD said Magnet Plus has an extensive management programme that is focused on improving the customer experience. He also said the company sees CX as a “key differentiation” to win new business and build long-term customer relationships.

“We live in an era where the customer’s voice has never been more influential, where their choices and preferences are at the heart of business success,” Masterson said. “A positive customer experience brings many benefits to a business as it promotes loyalty, helps retain customers and encourages brand advocacy.

“No other operator here is doing CX well and we see this as a key unique selling point for Magnet Plus and one we plan to focus on even further in the months and years ahead.”

Future connectivity

Ireland is in the middle of a transformation when it comes to connectivity, as companies like Eir and National Broadband Ireland push to connect the country to fibre broadband networks.

Masterson expects the scale of services to grow in the future. He said some Magnet Plus customers are on 100GBps services and this is expected to increase to 400GBps circuits “in the near future”.

The MD also believes more broadband customers will move to dedicated internet access (DIA) services and include a backup or failover service “to guarantee service availability”.

“DIA offers exclusive and dedicated internet access that is 100pc dedicated to a single user or organisation, meaning it’s never shared, always secure, operates at a high speed fast and is completely under your control,” Masterson said. “A DIA connectivity solution is primarily suited and should always be used for corporate and enterprise-level businesses, while a standard internet connection is only suitable for home and personal use.”

For Masterson, his goals for the future include helping Magnet Plus hit double-digit growth figures each year with “a combination of organic and strategic initiatives”. He also plans to find the time to focus on his personal hobbies.

“As a keen brass musician and cyclist, I am very keen to make sure that I allocate time in my week to switch off for my wellbeing and health,” Masterson said. “I would love to do the Wicklow 200 cycle or learn how to score a piece of music for brass.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic