ARB Electrical Wholesalers ( is one of Southern Africa’s largest black-empowered electrical wholesalers, who play a pivotal role in the provision of essential materials required for the electrification of large scale industrial and parastatal projects. ARB serves as a one-stop shop for customers of any scale.

ARB started from humble beginnings in Richards Bay in 1980, and has since grown into a nationwide and fully equipped Electrical Wholesaler listed on the Main Board of the JSE in 2007. ARB employs over 650 staff members who are dedicated to an uncompromising level of service driven by a passion for making their customers’ businesses run as smoothly as possible.

ARB has a strategy to accelerate on-going organic growth that enables the organisation to expand both nationally and across the continent, as well as continuing their penetration of new high-growth markets.

As one of the enablers of this strategy, ARB decided to invest in the development of their current and future leaders, and Optima was commissioned to develop a bespoke programme ( for the Exco and 40 senior managers as well as an additional programme for High Potential junior leaders which will be implemented at a later stage.

The senior programme, named Amped Up! is rather intricate with significant challenges for both Optima and ARB. The programme was co-designed by ARB and Optima using Optima’s exciting methodology for the development of bespoke programmes (

The Amped Up! programme consists of the following elements:

  • Classroom training (2-3 days per month over 5 months)
  • Workplace integration assignment
  • Individual coaching
  • Business driven action learning projects (
  • Group coaching (linked to Action Learning)
  • Psychometric assessment
  • A 360º Feedback Survey
  • Additional audio and/or video material
  • Presentations to a panel.

The programme kicked off in October this year with the Exco group, followed by the other 40 senior leaders. Optima is very proud to partner with ARB on this journey and looks forward to making the positive impact planned together.


This was the response of Blayne Burke (CEO of ARB Electrical Wholesalers) after the first sessions with Exco:

“The Leadership Development Programme (LDP) delivered by Optima will make a lasting contribution to our company’s future. Thanks to Johan Rossouw, Nickey Hart-Crosby and the rest of the Optima team for the above and beyond approach to bringing this programme to life.” ~ Blayne Burke, CEO of ARB Electrical Wholesalers.