No risk, no reward, Smurfit tells his business school graduates

Packaging tycoon says buying a business that was four times bigger than his own in 1970 risked ‘the entire Jefferson Smurfit and Sons’, but paved the way to incredible growth for the group

21st February, 2021
No risk, no reward, Smurfit tells his business school graduates
Michael Smurfit: the packaging tycoon took risks with his business, where if had gone wrong, ‘we were toast’ he said Pic: Feargal Ward

Risk-taking is essential to business success, Michael Smurfit, the packaging tycoon who built up one of Ireland’s leading companies, has said.

“There’s no such thing as success without risk,” he said. “It doesn’t exist. I gambled the business two or three times.”

An early deal, buying a business that was four times bigger than his own, was a case in point, he said, talking by...

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