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Techwatch | 11/07/2019

MEET THE INVENT FINALISTS: Gareth Macklin, MD of Obbi Solutions

Gareth Macklin is a self-described family man. He’s dedicated the past 20 years of his life working for his family business, the Macklin Group. The company employs 650 people in healthcare, hospitality and construction. Gareth is from Randalstown, Co Antrim, but he tells me that the business is based in Belfast.

The years of business acumen that he’s accrued are now helping Gareth with a new venture – in software development.

“We had a requirement for a software to assist to run our business. Unable to buy what we needed, we embarked on developing it, and came up with Obbi.”

The end product of that homegrown effort, Obbi Solutions digitises business processes in HR, operations and health and safety. “It improves people productivity, reduces costs, and improves compliance and risk management,” says Gareth.

Gareth is a driven individual, with an aim to help the greater good. He says, “For my next adventure my team have challenged me to jump out of an airplane in August to raise money for two charities, the Alzheimer’s Society and MyMy (Mind Your Mate & Yourself).”

When asked what he does in his free time, Gareth immediately jumps to describing his family. “I married Rose and have two young children, Patrick and Grace. They are my world. Bikes, beaches, sand castles, swimming, slides – I come home from work and I get jumped on by the kids, and my focus reverts to them – that’s pretty much my life. I also play a bit of golf, surf and I love to snowboard.”

From a young age, Gareth has always been business focused. “When I was much younger in school I was running events, offering ticketing systems to concerts and discos. I was always into selling, right through school,” he says.

I ask how Obbi became involved with the Invent competition.

“We heard about the contest, and attended the semi-finals last year. I told my team that our 12-month goal was to be a finalist in Invent 2019. And here we are,” Gareth says.

ABOUT OBBI SOLUTIONS

  • The software has three key modules; Talent Guardian, Compliance Guardian and Incident Guardian
  • Launched in Spring 2018, it serves clients in hospitality, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and sports. Customers hail from hail from Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and Ireland, including Decora Blinds Lisburn, and Creagh Concrete
  • The cloud-based software automates key business functions: onboarding, training, audits, health & safety processes, team communication & engagement, risk management & mitigation
  • The software aims to achieve reductions in admin and onboarding time, while increasing staff retention

Obbi Solutions is a finalist in the Enterprise Software category in the Invent 2019 competition. The final awards night will be held on Thursday 10thOctober. Tickets are available here.