Da Power Electric is one of the most popular family businesses on Maui and is looking to expand and begin serving Oahu and Lanai. Felipe Rodriguez and Solange Dotro Gamboa (husband and wife) have been providing their clients with fantastic customer service while instilling pride in their work and commitment to the job. On top of this, they offer a wide range of comprehensive electrical services to their clients and are always willing to rise above new challenges.
Thankfully, Felipe and Solange were able to take some time away from their business and share some fantastic insights about their business. Check out their answers to our questions below!
When did you get involved in the electrical industry?
Well, I (Felipe) have been in the industry for over 14 years now. I graduated from a trade school in Buenos Aires, Argentine back in 2005, and have been practicing as an electrician ever since. The first five years out of school were spent on an apprenticeship in Argentina. In 2011, after completing my training, I relocated to the United States, where I continued to refine my skills.
In 2014, I again relocated to Maui (the second-largest island of Hawaii) and continued my career. I sought further education from UH Maui College and attained my contractor’s license in 2019. With my electrical contractor’s license, I started Da Power Electric.
Having started offering your services in October 2019, how have you managed to accomplish so much within just a year?
Sol and I put together our business plan before starting the company. During this process, I was still working as an employee and managing my license to open the company. We dreamed together and projected on paper what Da Power would be today.
We defined how we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the rest. We considered three possibilities, to be the cheapest, to be the best, or to be truly unique, and we choose to focus on this last option. Being unique means not following the route set by the competition and forging our own path. We chose to abandon the conventions of the market about what can and cannot be done and go back to the roots.
This approach meant forgetting what we thought we knew, such as market research, sectoral analysis etc. and going right to the source that justifies our company: the customer. Our approach meant forgetting what we know and going out into the street, into the real world, and really understanding what the client needs (not what they say they want).
Today, we believe we have built a successful company because we focus on:
1) Satisfying the needs of our clients. Our efforts and strategies are directed towards providing them with the best service and providing some benefit to their lives.
2) Building and supporting our team. We offer our employees opportunities for development, schemes that encourage them to collaborate and have a balance with their personal life, techniques to keep them motivated, and fair compensation.
What was the most difficult thing for Da Power in 2020?
The most difficult thing was building the ideal team, but we did it, and we’re really happy! We love having a group of professionals with whom we share values (commitment, efficiency, responsibility, high quality of work, innovative and eager to continue growing). Our excellent team means we can handle absolutely any commercial or residential project that we have the opportunity to do.
What type of electrical services do you provide?
We provide a range of reliable and consistent services for commercial and industrial projects, as well as services for residential customers. We do new construction and remodeling too.
We can assist with electrical wiring installation/repair, the integration of smart home features, indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures, panel upgrades, and emergency repairs.
In terms of company values, what type of professional traits are most critical to Da Power Electric?
There are many qualities that we value as a company, and we make it our mission to ensure that all our employees develop these professional skills. For us, trust is vital. We understand that the client wants a provide they can trust and rely on, which is why we are never late and always offer honest advice before committing to anything.
We also value efficiency, which is something that our customers also desire and respect. For every project we work on, there is always a clear, concise plan of action, which outlines how we will achieve our goals in a timely, safe manner. Our company also respects strong communication, which is why our electricians always maintain a vital channel for dialogue with the customer. This way, if issues occur and productivity is stunted, we can begin diagnosing solutions to overcome these challenges.
Who makes up the backbone of the organization?
Well, I (Solange) am one of the co-founders (along with Felipe). My key role is to be the administrative backbone of the business. I have an MBA in Finance, BBA in Business and Bachelor of Accounting – so all the accounting and marketing aspects of the company are handled by me.
Felipe is the master electrician of the company, so he is the individual organizing all the business’ contracts with multiple stakeholders. He ensures that Da Power Electric delivers on all its promises and projects. However, Felipe is well supported by his team of electricians. John Paul Savage has been working in the industry for over a decade now, with an OSHA 10 certification and a graduation degree from IEC trade school.
David Hughes is a third-generation electrician, having picked up valuable skills from his family. He has worked on some of the company’s most complicated projects. Finally, Charleton Provost is an expert journeyman electrician, having served as a foreman for over 30 years. He is a master electrician who can quickly solve the most challenging electrical problems.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business?
We have been fortunate in Hawaii, in the sense that we haven’t been affected as severely as other states across the US. With over 1.4 million people, we’ve thankfully recorded less than 17 000 cases (as of mid-November). Indeed, while travel restrictions remain quite stringent, most businesses can operate relatively normally, primarily because community transmission has been so low. As a result, while the pandemic has undoubtedly affected our revenue levels, it could have been far worse (especially if we lived on the mainland).
Thank you Felipe and Solange for your time!