We are pleased to finally announce that international business journalist and broadcaster, Declan Curry, is coming exclusively to Offshore Post as part of our editorial team.
Declan has spent over two decades reporting and getting to the heart of all matters business, having spent much of his time with international broadcasters including the BBC and ABC News.
He will now be using that knowledge to give us all a better understanding and what’s really happening in our industry; what’s holding it back and what’s needed to push it forward.
Starting Tuesday, Declan will give us his first insight, giving us his analysis on the current state of the global oil glut and the ongoing slump in oil prices.
A Man Of Business
Some of you may have watched Declan every morning, either offshore in the galley or at home prior to work, as he kept us all updated on the global oil price direct from the BBC’s television centre. Some may have read his many articles across the international press.
Declan Curry and Naga Munchetty Presenting BBC Working Lunch
Either way, we sat down with Declan to get reacquainted and to find out what he will be doing at Offshore Post.
OP – Hi Declan, and welcome to Offshore Post, it’s great to have you on the team.
DC – I’m delighted to be on board and offshore, in the oil sense of the word, not tax !
OP – We know you’ve been in journalism and broadcasting for well over twenty years now, having worked for a host of international broadcasters including the BBC and ABC news. Can you tell us some of your biggest highlights during that time.
DC – There’s nothing more fascinating than the story of business. It affects each of us, every hour of every day. To tell it, I’ve toured Britain in a white van, pursued speed boats across the Irish Sea and slid down a Swiss mountain on a biscuit tin lid.
I’ve also tried doing other people’s jobs, to find out how hard they work and to discover the secret of daily success. I’ve served up school dinners, checked-in passengers at an airport, trained as an air traffic controller and endured a volley of abuse as a parking warden.
Declan Curry Interviews F1’s Lewis Hamilton
Thankfully for everyone, these were only temporary and I had a day job to go back to before I could cause any lasting damage.
One place I didn’t get an opportunity to visit was an oil rig. The closest I got to it was sitting on the patio at Southfork ranch in Dallas; home of the Ewing family. It was smaller than I expected.
OP – A large part of your time at the BBC involved interviewing hundreds of international business leaders. Do you have any personal favourites or ones that you remember for all the wrong reasons?
DC – So many busy people were incredibly generous with their time, and willing to share their thoughts with me and my viewers, often at ridiculous times of the day. I’m grateful to all of them.
And we were incredibly fortunate with the superb quality of our guests. James Smith, Shell UK’s then-chairman, told us about the search for future energy supplies. Sir Stuart Rose, the man who rescued Marks and Spencer, talked about the art of the retailer. Willie Walsh, then running British Airways, explained how he’d put the glamour back into flying while making it even-more affordable. And I always enjoyed my discussions with Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary about customer service. They were always quite vigorous – but good humoured.
Declan Curry With HRH Prince Andrew – Former British Business Ambassador
The most unexpected guest was Prince Andrew. I spent a day with him, as he carried out his duties as business ambassador. He’s a controversial figure, and gets sharp questions from the tabloids – but he knew every business he visited inside-out, and the executives I spoke to said he gave an enormous lift to their exports and profile. A lot of business leaders expressed regret when he gave up that role.
OP – Having interviewed such a large part of the business community, are there any lessons you’ve managed to take yourself, whether a reoccurring theme from the giants of industry, or something you’ve been told by a single business leader?
DC – Every business has its own lessons, shaped by its own environment and culture. But some factors shine through clearly: be distinctive in your product or service; listen properly to your customers; empower your workers and treat them with dignity and respect; always innovate; improve a little bit every day. And if you’re not enjoying it, get out.
OP – Surely you must have a list of names you’re still to interview, a bucket list if you like; who’s top of that list?
DC – You’d be surprised how many people from the oil industry are on that list ! It isn’t as open as it should be with the public, and not as proactive as it could be in talking about its successes and challenges. So too many view the industry unsympathetically, as a price-gouging, profit-hungry, earth-destroying monster. It has only itself to blame for that reputation.
Declan Curry At Offshore Post
OP – And finally, can you tell Offshore Post’s readers what you will be covering now you’re on the team.
DC – I love getting under the bonnet of a successful business: what makes it tick? what is the right strategy and how best do you implement it? what impact does that have on workers, customers and shareholders ?
It doesn’t matter if it’s large or small; I’ve interviewed the chairman of Shell and sole traders on the Aberdeen quayside. Gulliver or Lilliputian, they all have an interesting story.
I also enjoy examining the connections between business and the wider world: how will decisions in this business affect the economy? how does this business improve society (most usually do)? are politicians and regulators doing their job properly – improving the prospects for success while safeguarding the consumer and mitigating systemic risk?
Offshore Post already has an array of well-connected and amazingly well-informed writers who know your trade from the inside. What I bring is the outside perspective and a knowledge of how your industry shapes, and is shaped by, the wider world.
I’m looking forward to writing about the impact of oil prices, the search for future energy supplies, climate change and the post-carbon world, skills, the digital economy, innovation – and whatever else catches my eye. And I look forward to hearing what you have to say about them.