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Digital Business Ireland: Women in Tech Interview

Púca MD Eileen Carroll shares some career insights as part of Digital Business Ireland's Be Bold, Be Heard feature to mark International Women's Day

Digital Business Ireland: Women in Tech Interview

Púca MD Eileen Carroll was profiled by Digital Business Ireland for their Be Bold, Be Heard feature. Here is the article in full;

Eileen Carroll is MD at Púca and also co-founded Prommt which is growing rapidly amid increasing demand for secure, customer-friendly payment communications.

Eileen has been working on the commercial side of tech businesses for almost 25 years, making her something of an industry veteran.

Having spent formative years of her childhood “Down Under” she feels “very much an Irish Aussie” so in 1996 after completing a Masters in Gender and International Development in Warwick University she headed back to Australia because “the Celtic Tiger hadn’t really kicked off in Ireland and I was just drifting in a terrible job market, with zero confidence in myself”.

“I was always interested in business and technology and like all of us I just needed the right break”.

While living in Melbourne she interviewed over the phone with Javed Matin who ran Sydney-based Myriad Solutions, process and project management specialists. She landed a business development role with the firm. “This was a pivotal role in my career and equipped me with the confidence and skills to return to Ireland in 2000 and look for work in the tech industry back home”.

After a year with hiTouch a Dublin tech start-up who developed interactive starter kits on CD-rom for Eircom.net and other telcos, in 2001 Eileen joined partner Eamon Hession’s newly founded business messaging company Púca as Business Development Manager and is now Managing Director.

“A few years back Eamon and I were looking for a SaaS business model that we could spin off from Púca. I invested some capital in R&D and we came up with Pay2Sender (now Prommt) which was perfect because it addressed a universal problem for any business – how to get paid faster and more securely while delivering great customer experience. We knew it would work because it built on our end to end messaging expertise with payments added as the secret sauce. It’s going great and we’re working on taking Prommt global”.

Payment industry expert Donal McGuinness came on board as Prommt CEO in late 2019, and in mid 2020 they secured funding from Alan Merriman’s Elkstone Partners.

“It was definitely a challenging time to be raising money but we were confident and Elkstone bought in 100% to the strength of our proposition and business model. Alan is on the board with us and brings so much expertise to the table. It’s a really exciting time at Prommt”.

Balancing her time between her roles at Prommt and Púca with her home life with 2 teenage kids “and the obligatory Covid-19 puppy” can be challenging, and Eileen is candid about the workload.

“I admit that sometimes it gets crazy and I find myself doing 5 different things at once which never works. At that point I down tools and head out for a fast walk to clear my head. I’m fortunate to have great and talented colleagues, and I’m getting better at delegating or hiring in help when needed”.

Eileen has some advice for young women starting out or moving up in this industry;

“Be fearless and unapologetic about asking for the job you want. Make sure you take credit for your work and if you find yourself being talked down to take that person aside and tell them you’re not ok with it. I recommend training up in presentation and assertiveness skills. I’m a strong believer in mentorship – we all need advice and encouragement to get ahead so having a trusted mentor is vital”.

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