Denis O’Brien is an Irish businessman and the founder and owner of Digicel and Communicorp born on 19 April 1958, In Dublin, Ireland.
He is the son of Dan, Denis O’Brien Sr and his wife Iris O’Brien. his father was a salesman for a veterinary pharmaceutical company. He has one brother and two sisters.
In 1997, Denis married Catherine Walsh. The couple has four children.
After completing his high school he went to study politics, history, and logic at University College Dublin and graduated in 1977. He won a scholarship from Boston College from where he completed his M.B.A in corporate finance in 1982.
After his graduation, his first job was as an assistant manager of Trinity Bank, a small merchant bank in Dublin. He, however, had bigger dreams for himself and wrote to Dr. Tony Ryan, the founder of Shannon-based aircraft leasing group GPA, asking for a job. In 1990, he founded Esat Telecom, a telecommunication company. Prior to this, he had unsuccessfully attempted to bid for Ireland’s communications satellite license. Over the next few years, Esat telecom applied to the Department of Communications for a telecommunications license several times and was finally granted a limited one in March 1993. He founded the aircraft leasing company Aergo Capital in 1999. Based in Dublin, the company also has offices in Chicago, Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Santiago. Aergo is ranked among the 20 largest aircraft-leasing firms in the world. Over the ensuing years, he significantly increased his ownership in the media house by accumulating additional shares in the company and became the company’s second-biggest shareholder behind Tony O’Reilly. By May 2012, he had increased his ownership to a 29.9% stake in INM, making him the largest shareholder.
- Along with former American President Bill Clinton, Denis O’Brien was a prominent investor of time and money in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010.
- He is the founder and owner of Digicel, a mobile phone network provider headquartered at Kingston, Jamaica, which has about 13 million wireless users.
- The network operates across 31 markets which include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and Vanuatu.
- The Moriarty Tribunal concluded that Ireland’s Energy and Communications Minister, Michael Lowry, had helped Denis O’Brien secure the mobile phone contract for Esat Digifone. It was found that Lowry had been bribed with a $50,000 payment. However, as The Moriarty Tribunal is not a legal entity, its findings were useless and not used legally.
Awards and Achievements:
- Denis O’Brien was presented with the title “Clinton Global Citizen” as part of an awards scheme connected with the Clinton Global Initiative think tank in 2012.
What can we learn from him??
Like Denis O’Brien, Never afraid to take the risk in life. No one becomes a successful person by born, If you want became the successful person you have to work hard.