In growing and expanding businesses, one of the key factors often overlooked by business owners and managers is the customer. Customer satisfaction, next to business operations, is one of the key strategies employed by many successful businesses to not only retain their clients but recruit and generate more sales and leads through these same satisfied clients.
Somoco Ghana Ltd., a member of the Mohinani Group, and the sole authorized distributor for Bajaj motors in Ghana is one company that truly understands customer satisfaction and business relations and has accordingly inculcated same into its business model.
The company recently took customer satisfaction a notch beyond a mere frontline duty with the organization of a fully-paid trip for 20 of its dealers in Ghana to the manufacturing hub of Bajaj Motors and Tricycles in India.
The move, aimed at deepening its business relations with its dealers across Ghana, also provided a useful opportunity for the Ghanaian dealers to meet and understudy the business operation models of their counterparts in India. The 5-day trip took the dealers to Aurangabad, the manufacturing hub of Bajaj Motors, Bombay, and Pune where the corporate headquarters of Bajaj are located.
Girender Mohinani, the Business Head of Somoco Ghana Ltd. said, “Our decision to fly twenty of our top dealers to India was essentially to create an opportunity for these business partners of ours to engage with the team in India, to see the manufacturing process of Bajaj bikes and to have a feel of Indian culture.”
Girender further added that, “We see this to be a very useful exercise and we intend to replicate this gesture in order to afford more of our dealers the opportunity to learn from the Indian example so they can grow with us.”
Shedding more light on the trip, Shankar Sharma, Senior Branch Manager in charge of Sales at Somoco Ghana Ltd. noted that, “the other motive for the trip was to show them how Bajaj company runs; how big the company is; and how the products come out.
For us, we believe this gives a boost to the dealers and gives them the confidence and clear conscience that the products they are selling are of high quality and have passed through all the quality assurance tests,” he reiterated.
“One other important aspect of the trip was to expose them to the Indian business model at the downstream – to show them how the business happens in India; how their dealership runs, for instance; how the technicians work, how the deliveries happen; and how they follow up on after-sales” Shankar intimated.
According to him, “there are several things our partners here in Ghana can learn from their Indian counterparts and thus on the trip, we took them to visit the Bajaj showroom, factory, service department and also arranged for them to meet some Indian dealers – we want to help our dealers move beyond just sales into after-sales as there is substantial earnings also coming from that aspect of the business.”
Ajish Nambiar, Head of West Africa, Bajaj Two-wheeler, believes the trip offered dealers in Ghana and their counterparts in India an opportunity to connect. “We have been doing business in Ghana for some time now but we have never really connected with our dealers,” he said.
“We wanted to showcase the range of products and our entire strength and also prepare our dealers here to upgrade to the level where they can own their own service stations and, at least, spare parts shops so they can increase their income” he stated.
Tanko Amadu of T.A Tanko Company Ltd., a company based in Wa in the Upper West region, and one of the twenty (20) dealers who took part in the trip says of the trip as “one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life.
The company did very well – they accommodated us in the best hotels one can find anywhere, and our experience with our colleague Indian dealers has taught us a whole lot of things that we can use to grow our businesses back home” he added.
Tanko’s sentiments are shared by Sheriff Enn who owns a dealership by name Sheriff Enn Enterprise based in Kumasi, and who took part in the trip.
“Not only has the visit to India and to the Bajaj factory reinforced my belief in Bajaj Motors but it has made me even more comfortable selling Bajaj Motors” he added.
Sheriff, whose company employs eight (8) people at his shop in Kumasi, says he was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Bajaj factory and the quality tests the production process goes through. His major take-out from the trip, he says, is the “resourcefulness and high productivity of the Indian workers we met at the Bajaj factory.”
The Marketing Manager of Somoco Ghana Ltd Chamberlain Nyemi-Tei, further stated that with over 100 dealerships across Ghana, Somoco indeed is a leader in the motorbike and tricycle business in Ghana.
The company’s impressive growth and track record are underpinned by its strong belief in the Ghanaian economy, a situation which has led it to establish an assembly plant for its products in the country and currently employing over a hundred (100) people. This trip for its dealers thus reinforces its long-term commitment to Ghana.