Godfrey Marema was recently appointed Eaton's new plant manager and MD for South Africa, where some of the power management company's manufacturing and distribution sites are located. He has over 20 years' experience in the automotive, chemical, and electronics industries, holding several key management positions, including COO for multinational electronics company Landis+Gyr.
Godfrey Marema, plant manager and MD for South Africa, Eaton
Marema is currently serving as vice chairperson of the Electrical Engineering and Allied Industries Association (EEAIA), a body that represents affiliated companies’ interests in the metal and steel industries.
At the Eaton, he is responsible for managing and working with the team to grow the business, coordinate local leadership efforts and drive stakeholder engagement, improve profitability, and ensure the company meets all legislative compliance.
We go behind the selfie with Marema to find out more about his new role, his favourite trend in the sector right now, and his secret to success.
Congratulations on your recent appointment as Eaton's plant manager and MD for South Africa. Briefly explain for us what your role entails.Godfrey Marema:
My role as plant manager and MD for South Africa at Eaton involves leading the manufacturing process at our Wadeville campus, while managing and working with the team to grow the business, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Is there anything exciting you're currently working on?Marema:
Eaton is going to play an even greater role in the energy transition that is now facing us, which I’m excited about. As a result, we are changing our processes, how we do things, how we train our people, and who we partner with, etc.
What's your favourite trend in the sector right now?Marema:
The manufacturing activity that has been increasing by over 10% monthly since October 2021. This is a good sign for our industry, and we hope the trend continues so we can continue contributing to South Africa’s economic growth.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?Marema:
My current dual role at Eaton, which allows me to get my hands dirty on the production shopfloor and work with the executive team to implement strategies that will help grow the business.
Where and when do you have your best ideas?Marema:
Throughout my 21 years of working in different industries and divisions, I have collected enough tools (academics call it “gravitas”) to come up with the best ideas in any environment.
Share with us your ‘secret’ to success.Marema:
I always tell myself “I’m not the brightest in the room”, that way I listen to others and ask questions. In my earlier years of working, I associated myself with the older and wiser people that had been in the industry for a long time, and I absorbed as much information from them, which I still use today.
Tell us something everyone should know about you.Marema:
I’m very passionate about employee development.
What are you watching/reading/listening to at the moment?Marema:
I love legal thrillers and currently reading The Client
by John Grisham.
Growing up, what were some of the things on your 'vision board' for your future?Marema:
As a boy from a rural area, I didn’t grow up with a vision board but I was always driven and wanted to be the best in everything I do. This hasn’t changed, and my journey continues.
You're president for a day. What's the first thing on your to-do list?Marema:
I would reduce the number of cabinet ministers and implement measures to contain operational costs.