From kitchen table to eight-figure business: The story behind Capital Switchgear’s rapid rise

Capital Switchgear Ltd AIBF
Chief Finance & Operations Officer at Capital Switchgear LTD Deirdre Mulhern.

Capital Switchgear is a dynamic Irish company offering a comprehensive range of low voltage switchgear products & services to a growing customer base.

The company was created in March 2012 by founders Grainne Behan and Michael Sinkey who designed their first panel on a kitchen table.

Within ten years Capital Switchgear has grown into a global business with an eight-figure annual turnover and 62 full-time staff.

Based in the Aerodrome Business Park in Rathcoole the company is planning to further expand their team with 20 new people by March 2022.

They currently have 10 vacancies for a range of job profiles.

We spoke to Chief Finance & Operations Officer Deirdre Mulhern about the company’s rapid rise and its bright future.

Deirdre, you’re part of a market-leading company in Capital Switchgear, what is the secret to your success?

It all comes down to having a brilliant team that delivers a quality product to a high standard.

Many of the staff that started with the founders have stayed with the company the whole way through its journey and that creates really a positive culture that people want to be a part of.

That work ethic and dedication to quality lead to repeat business from clients – our turnover last year was €8.5 million and we are on course to break the €10 million mark this year.

What do you think are the key qualities of a successful business?

Capital Switchgear Ltd provide switchgear products & services to high profile customers including Hanover Quay (above).

You’ve got to listen to your customer and you’ve also got to listen to your staff – they hold the keys to the success of your business.

I believe that while work can be busy and challenging it shouldn’t be stressful, It should be fun and enjoyable and I think the team here gets that part right.

What are the challenges that the electrical industry is facing?

The biggest challenge at the moment is trying to find experienced staff.

The market is saturated with data centres and big contractors, so it’s harder for smaller businesses to attract experienced staff.

What has been your solution?

We’ve responded by investing in our existing staff.

We have recently had six internal promotions. These people started on the production floor, in sales, or as engineers and project managers so we’re helping them to progress their careers, which benefits us as well.

We’re now looking to backfill those positions. We’re offering progression for those who want to work their way up through an organisation.

How would you describe the culture at Capital Switchgear?

Capital Switchgear Ltd provides switchgear products & services to an expanding list of high profile customers.

I think it’s a very positive place to work because we’re strong on development and we believe in investing in our staff. We want people to come aboard and we want them to take the journey with us.

We do a lot of training and development – most recently 14 of our staff from different areas of the business have gone on project management training. We believe that they can apply those skills in all of their various roles. It benefits them and it benefits us.

What does the future hold for Capital Switchgear?

We’re looking to expand further into Europe. We’re already delivering products across Europe and Australia – we want to continue that work.

We’re also looking into product development from a research and development point of view.

What kind of people are you hoping to employ?

We’re looking for general operatives or apprentice electricians who want to start on their career journeys. We’d like to take them on board and progress their careers with them.

They can be straight out of school and can come from a multitude of disciplines, they just need to have a passion for wanting to work in the electrical industry.

We also have vacancies for procurement as well as accounts and HR.

Why should they work for Capital Switchgear?

We are a forward-thinking company with staff retention and investment as core principles. We have an exciting product a fantastic existing staff and loyal customers.

Everybody is engaged and wants the company to do well – it’s a lovely place to work and a smart move for anyone who values career progression.

To learn more about Capital Switchgear Ltd, visit their All-Star showcase page here.