Richard Nobbs

8th December 2017


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Full Name: Richard Thomas Nobbs

Position: Sales and marketing director at ElectroMechanica (EM)

Main Activity of the Company: EM is a specialised direct importer and wholesale distributor of industrial switchgear and products for automation and energy management

Date and Place of Birth: August 9, 1984, Johannesburg

Education: BCom

First Job: I started working as a warehouse picker at EM

Career History Prior to Current Position: I worked in the various departments of EM

Size of First Pay Packet: I was lucky enough to receive R1 250 as my first paycheck

First Job with Present Group: Warehouse picker

Value of Assets under Your Control: Over and above sales and marketing budgets, I supervise assets in excess of R900-million

Number of People under Your Leadership: The group has a headcount of over 200

Management Style: I strongly believe in an open-door policy and try to be directly accessible to my staff any time, day or night

Personal Best Achievement: Participating in the West Coast Baja motorcycle race in 2016. The race was incredible but, unfortunately, I could not complete it, owing to a mechanical fault on the motorcycle

Professional Best Achievement: Starting as a warehouse picker at EM and working my way up the ranks to finally become a director of the company

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: Dave van den Berg – I feel fortunate to be able to work with him on a day-to-day basis, doing what we both love, which is growing EM

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Not stated

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Elon Musk – that could be an interesting conversation . . . perhaps, we could compare products

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Howard Schultz, the head of Starbucks international

Philosophy of Life: The only way to do great work is to love what you do – Steve Jobs

Biggest Ever Opportunity: With hard work and taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded me, I was able to move from a mere warehouse picker to a director of the company

Biggest Ever Disappointment: Disappointments should only be seen as learning opportunities

Hope for the Future: To help grow EM – that is, employ more people and contribute to the growth of South Africa

Favourite Reading: Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Favourite TV Programme: Bear Grylls

Favourite Food/Drink: I appreciate many tastes and cuisines, but would have to admit that Sushi is my favourite dish

Favourite Music: Classical and reggae

Favourite Sport: Off-road motorcycling/motocross and Crossfit

Favourite Website: The new EM website that will be launched within the next few months

Hobbies: Crossfit and off-road motorcycle racing

Car: Mercedes-Benz

Pets: A French bulldog called Bric

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Inefficient or lazy people

Favourite Other South African Company: Not stated

Favourite Foreign Company: Google – its continual innovation is inspirational

Married: To Taryn, since October 2014

Children: Not yet, but there might be some big news in the next year or two

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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