Accountant sinks teeth into dental market

Apr 01, 2020
Colm Davitt, CEO at Dental Care Ireland, discusses life at the helm of the five-year-old dental business he founded with his brother.

What do you most enjoy about your current role?

My role involves acquiring dental practices and helping them achieve their full potential. It combines my background in business and accountancy with a passion for the healthcare sector. I love seeing the practices grow and evolve as we invest in facilities, services and management support structures. Our 15 practices are located all over the country, which means a fair amount of travel, but I enjoy getting out of the office every week to meet with current and potential practice teams.

What has been your career highlight thus far?

Two career milestones stand out. First, I passed my final admitting exams to become a Chartered Accountant at age 21. My qualification has been the foundation and bedrock of my career achievements to date.

Second, a major highlight was the opening of our first branded Dental Care Ireland practice. I first came up with the Dental Care Ireland concept in 2014 with my brother, Dr Kieran Davitt. Our vision was to create a group of established, high-quality dental practices nationwide. It has been a hugely rewarding experience to see that idea become a reality in just five short years.

How do you stay productive day in, day out?

I am a firm believer in setting goals. We have ambitious growth plans for Dental Care Ireland, so I review our objectives and targets at least every six months. I am also fortunate to have built a highly motivated team around me.

Our head office is located beside the sea and close to home, so I can walk to and from work. When I’m not on the road, it gives me some guaranteed fresh air and headspace. I try to balance work with plenty of family time too. I dedicate my weekends to watching my kids in action on the sports field or catching up on GAA. 

What changes do you anticipate in your profession in the next five to ten years?

I expect to see the large-scale automation of routine accounting and data processing over the next ten years. It will be essential for Chartered Accountants to remain commercial and value-focused. In general, I think the need for flexibility in the workplace will continue to grow, and employers will have to adapt accordingly. In the dental sector, we may see fewer dentists willing to run their own businesses due to increased compliance and administration requirements.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Stay true to what you really believe in. Being a CEO can be a lonely place, and there are many ups and downs along the way. If you believe in what you are doing, you will gain respect and trust from those around you.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with several great mentors and CEOs. They all had the ability to create a small but very loyal team, which is probably the most important lesson I have learned. Working with a talented and supportive team makes the days much more enjoyable and fulfilling.