Get involved, get your hands dirty and try to learn as much as you can about all areas of the business. People with enthusiasm and passion are hard to find.
Q: What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
A: I joined Nissan South Africa in their systems division, but I set a new record by being reassigned on my first day at work when the IT division was outsourced. I was then lucky enough to secure a different role in Nissan's volume planning department.
Q: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
A: Nearly doubling Audi's sales in South Africa and taking the Audi dealer satisfaction from the bottom to the top of the rankings.
Q: BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT IT TAUGHT YOU?
A: Not acting fast enough in addressing the inherent weaknesses in Fiat South Africa's business model.
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SURPRISED YOU?
A: The complexity of the business. It is the only industry that spans the entire value chain. If you think about it, what other industry involves designing, supplying, producing, selling, servicing and then re-selling within the same business? I can't think of one.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CHALLENGE AT WORK?
A: Setting up a global dealer network that spans more than 18 countries in less than six months.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
A: It's an old Chinese Proverb: He who chases too many rabbits does not catch one.
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PERSON CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY?
A: Get involved, get your hands dirty and try to learn as much as you can about all areas of the business. People with enthusiasm and passion are hard to find.
Q: IF YOU WERE CEO OF A COMPANY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?
A: I would ask the same three questions that I always ask when starting a new role. 1) What do I need to preserve? 2) What do I need to change? 3) What advice do you have for me?
Q: WHAT JOB DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE?
A: I am not really thinking about that now. The challenge of establishing McLaren Automotive as a global player in the sports car market will definitely keep me busy for a while.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
A: I am a real family guy. Time with my wife and kids is what I cherish most. I also love exercising. I try to train five or six times a week.
Q: FIRST CAR?
A: Fiat Uno.
Q: CURRENT CAR?
A: Mercedes E class.