Sparks Electrical News

WILLIE HARMSE owner of Megalight Electrical loves the current pace of technological and digital change and looks forward to new developments in the industry, especially when he can pass the benefits on to his clients. Willie leads by example and, having been inspired by a mentor is his youth, enjoys mentoring and encouraging his staff to be the very best they can be. Being the type of person who makes things happen, Willie, when asked what he would change if he could do it all over again, says he would work smarter and not harder!

Personality of the month Willie HarmseSparks: Where were you educated?

WH: I matriculated from High School Brits and then went on to study for my electrical diploma and wireman’s license at Tshwane South TVET College. I qualified as an Electrician at Olifantsfontein.

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

WH: I have been involved in the electrical industry for 23 years.

Sparks: When and where did you start your career?

WH: I began my career while doing my apprenticeship to qualify as an electrician at numerous electrical contractors for three years. In November 1996, I joined Paragon and worked myself up from Internal Sales to Branch Manager. I left Paragon just before it was sold and joined Premier Cable & Wire as a sales representative in 2010, where I worked until 2013.

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

WH: The greatest change has been the enormous progress in technology, and also product quality and reliability … they just don’t make them like they used to!

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

WH: Starting my own business, Megalight Electrical was certainly a major project and my greatest achievements are my two boys, Ethan and Dylan.

Sparks: Have you won any awards?

WH: I have won numerous sales related awards over the years.

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

WH: Peter Willson, the owner of Premier Cable & Wire motivated and believed in me.  He gave me the opportunities to better myself in life. Manny Netto, a former manager of mine inspired me and pushed me constantly to be the best I could be.

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

WH: There are three challenges facing our industry at the moment: the uncertain political and economic future of South Africa; the current economic climate in the country, which is hampering development and discouraging investors; and finally, inferior products which are being imported into the country.

Sparks: What do you enjoy most about your job?

WH: There is never a dull moment in my job. Each day brings new challenges and takes me a step closer to realising my dream. I love working with my staff and seeing them grow in something that is a passion to all of us. And, I really enjoy seeing my customers happy and satisfied.

Sparks: How do you motivate your staff?

WH: I am hands-on in every aspect of the business.  I motivate my staff by working with them and I make every attempt to lead by example. I encourage them to set personal and work-related five and ten year goals, and I assist them to achieve their goals in the workplace so they can use the same approach to reach their personal goals as well.

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

WH: When it comes to my career, I would work smarter and not necessarily harder. On the personal side, I would make more time for my family and hunt more.

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

WH: Yes, I absolutely encourage youngsters to enter our industry – there are so many opportunities and such demand for qualified electricians, not only in our industry directly, but also in specialised fields. Technology is ever-changing, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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

WH: Stay up to date with changing technology. This will enable you to offer your customers good value for money on brands that can back up their warrantees (in all electrical fields: cable, lighting, switchgear and general).

Heads up and keep strong – the future is bright. 

Sparks: What is your favourite quote?

WH: My favourite quote is by Mary Kay Ash:

‘There are three types of people in this world:

Those who make things happen,

Those who watch things happen and

Those who wonder what happened.’

Sparks: Name three things on your ‘bucket list’?

WH: I would like to travel abroad with my family; hunt a buffalo, an elephant and a hippo in Tanzania; and see my boys achieve their dreams.


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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