It seems just the other day that I wrote a news story headlined ‘Advent names Julián Díaz new Dufry CEO as acquisition is completed’. In fact it was 16 years ago, on my birthday (1 March).
The business empire that he built was worth an estimated US$100 billion. Yet 78 years earlier when he stowed away on a ship to Japan, all the young Shin had to his name was 83 Japanese Yen and a copy of The Sorrows of Young Werther.
It’ s a winning formula based on doing the simple – and not so simple – things well.
The volumes involved were well in excess of any allowance other than that perhaps of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport arrivals duty free.
Tallink is generating enormous sales of Krug and Dom Perignon Champagne, for example, and luxury skincare brands such as Dior and La Mer. Just ensuring supply keeps up with demand is a constant challenge.
My final trip of the year, and indeed of the decade, is over. And what a great way to close out the 2010s it turned out to be.
Shannon Airport may also have lit the career touch paper of two young, dynamic and inspirational entrepreneurs who are wholly in tune with the consumer needs, trends and concerns of our time.
Chaps, like thousands of fellow Englishmen in Tokyo and back at home in the UK, was near delirious with happiness. And who can blame him?
If you watch one video of our industry this year, I suggest you make it this one.
None of us know, can even begin to comprehend, the pressures or despair which drove that person to a decision so blithely dismissed as cowardly and yet one that requires the ultimate courage.
Not only has Claire been a fantastic professional human asset to the company but she has always represented us with dignity, charm and her own very distinctive sense of class.
Sorry Dermot, I know you’re up there in the sky, maybe reading about Wipha on wifi but you might be about to take the family to an unexpected diversionary destination.
In both culinary and commercial terms there are plenty of exciting options on the menu.