Sparks Electrical News

Ian Greyling is CEO of Electrahertz; he is passionate about skills, training and the development in the industry. While he has been involved in various projects over the years, his greatest accomplishment has been running a successful business over 35 years. His winning recipe includes encouraging members of his staff to be informed and to engage them so they feel part of the chain that forms the success of the business. Known for his positive attitude, Ian’s advice to anyone is simple, “Never give up!” Forever the adventurer, Ian’s bucket list included visiting Mount Everest, fishing in Alaska and seeing the Northern lights.

Ian Greyling CEO ElectrahertzSparks: Where were you educated?

IG: Christian Brothers College and Technical High School in Welkom.

Sparks: How long have you been involved in the electrical industry?

IG: Since 1973, so, some 44 years.

Sparks: When and where did you start your career?

IG: I started working in 1973 and completed an Electrical Apprenticeship at Welkom Gold Mine. I moved to Safmarine in the Merchant Navy where I learnt tenacity and to think 'on my feet' I was on the ships for about two years and at the time, I completed a diploma in Industrial Electronics.

Sparks: What are the greatest changes you have seen over the years?

IG: The change in technology is overwhelming. Industrial electronics have taken the world by storm with LED technology, solar power, fly-by-wire and many more.

Sparks: What major projects have you worked on and what is your greatest accomplishment?

IG: I have been involved in various projects over the years but I think my greatest accomplishment is to still be running a successful business after 35 years.

Sparks: Have you won any awards?

IG: No, nothing I can brag about.

Sparks: Who has been your inspiration or have you had a mentor who has influenced your career?

IG: There have been many people who have inspired me whether meeting them or reading about them. Emulating them has been a form of them mentoring me. Having a balanced life, different interests and giving back to various charities is also inspirational.

Sparks: What, to your mind, is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry at this time?

IG: I have noticed a great lack of people with technical skills and people who take pride in their work. It is very difficult to source good technical people and we really need them to sustain infrastructure and to minimise costs.

Sparks: What do you enjoy most about your job?

IG: I have a very diverse job and I thrive on it. I also enjoy dealing with people and solving problems for our customers.

Sparks: How do you motivate your staff?

IG: I am certainly aware that staff get demotivated and pessimistic at times. Training our staff, keeping them informed of products and management procedures as well as engaging them are some of the things that make them feel appreciated and they in turn develop a sense of belonging. As a result, they do not feel they just a number, but rather links in the chain that forms the success of the business.

Sparks: If you could 'do it all again', would you change anything? If so, what would that be?

IG: I would definitely not start an electrical business - there are much easier businesses to run! I'm only joking! I would not change much, it has been a winning recipe, except that if I had the opportunity to start all over again, I would spend more time on staff training, modelling, study opportunities and giving staff more responsibilities so that they can become more influential in the business.

Sparks: Would you advise a person leaving school to enter the electrical industry? And why?

IG: Definitely! We really need technical hands-on people in our country, and as technology grows, we need to keep up and grow with it. The electrical field gives a great background to 'spread your wings' into so many different areas.

Sparks: What is your advice to electrical contractors and/or electrical engineers?

IG: Never give up, good things come to those who don't!

Sparks: What is your favourite quote?

IG: I have two. The first by Vincent van Gogh – "What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" And the second by Alice Cooper, "Mistakes are part of the game. It’s how well you recover from them, that's the mark of a great player".

Sparks: Name three things on your ‘bucket list’ (things you want to do before you ‘kick the bucket’).

IG: I would like to be able to fly a helicopter; sit (not climb) on top of Mount Everest; and see as many interesting places on this wonderful planet as I can–Northern Lights, fishing in Alaska, experience Africa–the list just goes on!


Contact Sparks Electrical News

Title: Editor
Name: Gregg Cocking
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Carin Hannay
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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