Commercial Director - Independent College Dublin


Located in the centre of Dublin, Independent College Group comprises two leading Irish education companies, Independent College Dublin and International House Dublin. 

Independent College Dublin (“ICD”) is a leading Irish third-level educational facility offering a combination of Academic (Degree/Diploma) and Professional courses, in the Business and Legal disciplines. 
International House Dublin (IHD), is an internationally accredited provider of English language tuition to foreign students and the leading provider in the Irish market. The Group was acquired in June 2014 from IN&M plc and is wholly owned by Donagh Barry (Chairman) & Padraig Hourigan (CEO).

ICD currently delivers 4 Academic and 8 Professional courses to approx. 750 students. There are 450 Academic students (90% international, b2b through international student agencies) and 300 Professional students (90% domestic, through b2c channels). As part of its ambitious 3-5-year growth plans, ICD plans to have 2000+ students completing 8-10 Academic and 20 Professional courses in Business, Legal and IT disciplines. Its target student mix will be 50% South America, 25% Ireland/EU and 25% Asia (new markets). 

IHD is recognised as one of Ireland’s pre-eminent English Language Schools with 4,000 international students attending courses annually, primarily from Europe, Middle-East and South America.

Independent College Group is currently engaged in a process of appointing a Commercial Director to lead the commercial functions of both ICD and IH and driving the commercial agenda of the Group through a transformational growth phase. The Commercial Director will report directly to Group CEO, Padraig Hourigan and be part of the senior leadership team responsible for delivering Independent College Group’s key commercial and operational targets. The Senior Leadership team will include; CEO, Chairman (Non-Exec), Commercial Director, Finance Director, Academic Director and Registrar.

Reporting to the Commercial Director will be:

Independent College
  • Student Experience Manager
  • College Operations Manager
  • Admissions Officer
  • Digital Marketing Manager (to be appointed)
  • Business Development Executive (to be appointed)

International House

  • Head of Sales
  • Sales Manages
  • Head of Admissions

The role will be based in ICD’s Dublin city-centre Campus, in Foley Street Dublin 1. The appointed candidate will have 4 primary role responsibilities and deliverables;

  1. Strategic and operational delivery of ICD and IH’s annual Commercial Plan. This will involve maximising student numbers and driving profitable revenue growth through a combination of;
    • Existing and new b2b channel partners e.g. international student Agencies and Universities.
    • Direct b2c sales to local and international students – increasing the proportion of direct/higher margin sales is a key strategic priority for both International Group companies.
    • Accessing new Asian and European markets.
    • Developing new, dynamic pricing models leading to more effective utilisation of key group assets.

  2. Effectively managing relationships with international Agency partners currently responsible for delivering approx. 80% of Group revenues.
  3. Developing and implementing annual marketing plans for both organisations, through appropriate b2b and bc2 channels. This will include responsibility for ICD’s re-branding programme currently underway.
  4. New product/course development, in collaboration with the ICD’s and IH’s’ Academic teams. This will involve;
    • Identifying new Courses of interest to target market students
    • Developing relationships with appropriate Partners/Regulatory Authorities
    • Overseeing the Academic team’s development of relevant Course Content
    • Marketing and sale of new Courses through b2b and b2c channels in relevant markets.

General Role Responsibilities

  1. Collaborating effectively with the SLT colleagues in developing relevant Strategic Plans and Operational systems, policies and processes, throughout the organisation.
  2. Leading in the development and fostering of company culture, vision, values and behaviours.
  3. Effectively leading and mentoring team colleagues and providing them with clear, accountable and measurable goals and objectives.
  4. Supporting the CEO and Chairman in key strategic initiatives including corporate acquisitions and integration.
  5. Representing International College Group with key external stakeholders including; regulatory authorities, industry federations, media, prospective acquisition targets and international partners.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Appropriate third level/Business qualification. MBA an advantage.
  • 10-year, proven track record in senior sales/commercial/marketing roles. Education industry experience not necessarily required but relevant experience in both b2b and b2c channels is desired.
  • Commercial acumen and proven ability to build profitable sales channels, generate new business leads, access new markets and effectively manage key third-party relationships e.g. international student agencies.
  • In-depth knowledge of relevant Digital platforms and traditional marcomms channels and ability to optimise both in the context of International College Group’s core target audiences and commercial agenda.
  • Enhanced relationship management and communication skills with ability to build and mentor high performance teams, focused on delivering best in class customer experiences.
  • Ability to use relevant technologies to support the delivery of key commercial objectives e.g. working with Academic colleagues to develop and deliver new courses through relevant on-line distribution channels.
  • Gravitas required to collaborate effectively with senior leadership colleagues including CEO and Chairman.
  • A committed team player but with an entrepreneurial mindset and ability to work autonomously when required.
  • Hunger and ambition with the singular focus required to be part of a team delivering accelerated revenue growth.
  • Resilience, integrity and professionalism, underpinned by the highest standard of business ethics.

A competitive remuneration package (including Salary, Bonus, Pension, LTIP), reflective of the seniority of the role, will be on offer to the successful candidate.

To apply, please email in strict confidence quoting Ref. No. 18598, giving full career details and summarising your relevance to:
Signium Ireland 
130 Rathgar Road
Dublin D06 KF22
Tel: +353 1 496 6500