5 minutes with Wihan Oosthuizen

5 minutes with...Wihan Oosthuizen, Commercial Manager, Office National South Africa.


Describe what you do in fewer than 20 words:

I look after our office furniture division, production of our catalogues and our national sales programme.

What was your first full-time job?

The South African Defence Force. In those days it was compulsory for school leavers to sign up for military service.

The worst job you’ve ever had?

Selling vacuum cleaners door to door – I hated it but learned a lot about people.

Who is the industry figure you most admire and why?

Managing Director of Rexel, Bill Bailey. He is a well-respected businessman and a gentleman of note.

Your favourite office product?

The Pentel Techniclick pencil – what a wonderful writing instrument!

The biggest change that has taken place in the industry since your career began? 

The biggest change in South Africa was Walmart’s part acquisition of one of the largest retail chains in the country (Massmart). This will see them opening a huge number of stores not only in South Africa but in the rest of Africa, making them one of the continent’s largest retailers.

Your favourite holiday destination? 

Mozambique, for those long white beaches and the unspoilt natural beauty.

If you could invite two famous people for dinner, who would they be and why? 

Liam Neeson as I think he is an extraordinary person and a great actor, and former South African President FW de Klerk for his wisdom and vision.

The first record you bought?

Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms. I now have it on CD – brilliant music. 

Your first car?

A silver 1976 Mini Cooper – I simply loved that car.

What is mankind’s greatest invention?

The cell phone.

What things do you begrudge spending money on? 

Traffic fines. I hate them but, hey, they keep us in line!

What makes you angry? 

People who possess the gift of criticism.

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do? 

I would take my wife for a stroll down the Champs-Elysées.

How would you like to be remembered?

As an honest person with high moral values.    

What’s the best way to spend a weekend?

Nothing beats fishing with my three sons, Jean, Renier and Emile.