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Managing Director, Ref: 1159321 – Online Interview Questions

Ref: 1159321

Nationality: South African
Highest Formal Qualification: M.Eng and B.Eng (power electrical), , ECSA - Professional Engineer (Pr Eng)
Annual Package Range: South African Rand - ZAR l) 1.35 mil - 1.5 mil, per annum
Total years experience: 20-30 Years

Managing Director

Current / most recent job title?

Managing Director

1. Primary purpose of current/most recent position:

Responsible for the complete business function of the company (with full P&L accountability),
with emphasis on sales, new business development, strategy development, key stakeholders (customers and suppliers) relationship and brand management,
as well as bottom line, cash flow and investment management.

2. Core elements or functions that must operate effectively in order to achieve primary purpose:

Effective people / human capital management and development (cultivating teamwork, team spirit and company vision buy-in by the employees of the company)

Brand management and key account (customers and suppliers) management

Financial and overall risk (commercial, financial, competition, technology disruption, corporate governance, legal) management

Strategy development & implementation and the translation of the same into company and individual KPI’s

3. Description of self, along with greater purpose and passions:

I am a people’s person with highly developed EQ, communication, mentoring, delegation, succession-planning, conflict resolution and change management skills.

I am passionate about people, effective people management and human capital development.

The biggest asset of any business truly is its (good) people, forged into cohesive teams of diverse, innovative and forward thinking individuals.

My career has gradually and naturally evolved, from detailed hands-on technical work to technical, sales & marketing, commercial, production, operations and general business management (with full profit and loss / P&L accountability).

I am a builder and a leader of multidisciplinary teams.
I flourish in high pressure situations.

People like to work with and for me and they give me their best, without being forced to.

I believe in innovating and following through to execution and standardization, therein leading by example.

At heart, I am a customer centric, service oriented person.

Nothing gives me more satisfaction than to exceed the expectations of my customers and stakeholders and to therewith build long term mutually beneficial and cooperative business relationships with them.

4. Ideal business title: 

Non-Executive Director (NED)

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Group Managing Director (Group MD)

Group Chief Operations Officer (Group COO)

5. Key responsibilities and accountabilities of ideal position:

Mentorship and human capital development

Strategy and business development, as well as corporate governance oversight

Full business accountability, including P&L and overall risk management

Key account (customers and suppliers) management

6. Skill area of competence:

People management and human capital development

Risk management

P&L management

Project management

Operations Management

Engineering and Technology Management

Sales and marketing

Business development

Highly computer literate

Innovation and entrepreneurship

7. Career summary:

Logistics, project management and import/export (3 years)

Heavy industrial equipment repairs and service (6 years)

Heavy industrial equipment manufacturing (6 years)

Batteries and related electronics manufacturing and sales (18 months)

P&L accountability (5 years)

Director positions (7 years)

Senior management positions (19 years)

Building and running my own (coffee roasting) business (12 months)

8. Achievements: 

I am a proficient project manager, having successfully managed and completed a 20 MUSD manufacture and supply project in Africa – on time and with profit margins exceeding budget.

Throughout my career, I have motivated and executed numerous complex CAPEX projects, thereby setting the companies involved up for renewed growth and facilitating changes in business strategy & focus.

I transformed a struggling manufacturing unit (with high scrap and high working capital levels) to a word-class manufacturing unit – thereby preventing the closure of the factories of the company and safeguarding the jobs of the factory workers.
This was achieved inter alia through the implementation of employee change management programs and various lean manufacturing / six sigma techniques.

I am experienced in Supply Chain (SCM) management, having pioneered and managed various stock management systems with a number of companies, such as JIT and ABC / XYZ stock management, stock value & stock turns, MIN / MAX levels, S&OP planning and procurement.

During my tenure, the yearly revenue of a company’s service division increased from 70MZAR to 120MZAR – with above budget EBITDA margins.
I also changed the strategy and mindset of the whole business unit, from being only manufacturing focused, to having a clear service and customer centric focus and mindset.

I have set up a business for renewed growth, by properly resourcing and empowering the sales department (via internal and external appointments and related product & sales training), as well as by drastically improving overhead costs control, expenditure effectiveness and risk management.

My financial acumen is highly developed, having been honed by ROI motivations & implementation verification for numerous CAPEX projects, as well as by my full P&L responsibility in a number of job roles.

9. What do you absolutely love doing?

I LOVE working with people and forging them into cohesive teams of diverse, innovative and forward-thinking individuals

10. Ideal company (culture and values):

An entrepreneurial and ethical corporate company with ambitious growth targets, that values and develops human capital



Write down two achievements from primary school, two from high school, two during college/university, and two post-college/university, with at least one of the two business-related.

Primary school –

I attended a German school (in Erlangen, Germany, whilst in grade 5), for a period of three months

I was a keen wood worker and made several pieces of furniture that I still use today

High school –

I played table tennis and represented Stellenbosch University (Maties) and Western Province (WP) in the same

I learned computer programming and wrote a number of computer games from scratch

University –

I won an award for my final year engineering project submission and was flown to Durban for the related awards ceremony

I completed both my B.Eng. and my masters (M.Eng.) degrees cum laude

Post University –

I completed my Pr.Eng. engineer-in-training period in a record time of only 3 months (with the norm for this being at least 6 to 9 months)

I have been very successful in my career, thus far, to make the correct career moves at the correct time – therewith transitioning from a technical hands-on person to a manager and a people leader with P&L responsibility

What’s the most interesting thing about you that’s not on your resume?

I love good food and good wine!

I collect good wine and store it in my cellar at home, for consumption with friends and family.

I also roast green coffee beans myself, instead of buying pre-roasted coffee beans in shops.

Tell me about a time when you had to get to the root cause of a problem to make a decision.

Root cause analyses was required to solve the persistent prevailing manufacturing scrap problem at Wire Systems Technology.

We used techniques such as the 5 Why’s, combined with change management programs, to solve this problem.