Customer First !!!
Eurl LD Azouaou’s strengths in network and after sales support keeps the customer at the centre of all its endeavours, and has helped it to be one of top three players in the Algerian tractor industry.
There’s no trick to excellence. It’s about painstaking attention to detail rather than ad hoc sleight of hand. It calls for a deep understanding of the minutiae of running a business operation, understanding customer requirements and pain areas and a commitment on the part of the entire organisation to adopting best practices and following them so that they get it right every time. One remarkable example of excellence in action is Eurl LD Azouaou, Mahindra’s authorised distributor for tractors in Algeria. Today Eurl LD Azouaou has become Algeria’s no. 3 player in a span of three years since starting the operations. It has the nation’s best network in terms of infrastructure and reach for sales and after sales support is being provided at the door step of the customer. The company has achieved this through sheer hard work and a belief in one mantra that whatever you do has to be centred on the needs of the customer.
More about Eurl LD Azouaou
LD Azouaou started its operations in 2011. It has since grown rapidly due to high customer satisfaction levels and strong referrals. The company is headquartered in Tizi Ouzou, about 100km west of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It sells Mahindra tractors through its headquarter at Tizi Ouzou, branch office at Oran - port town in the East of Algeria, as well as via a network of 30 dealers strategically placed spread around the country. The company distributes Mahindra tractors ranging from 50 HP to 95 HP catering to different customer segments; they are being used in different applications in vineyards, open fields and for hauling loads. Eurl LD Azouaou is led by two very dynamic people Mr Lahlouh & Mr Omar. Mr Lahlouh is very passionate and hands on in agri and allied activities for more than five decades. He started his career as a government official in the agriculture department and worked towards improving the agriculture scenario in the country. He then moved on to be an entrepreneur and since then has been into agri business, constantly exploring ways to improving the agri mechanisation in the country. We got a chance to interact with Mr Lahlouh to understand the key success factors and the vision they have for the Algeria market. Some excerpts from the interview.
Q1: Starting the operations in Algeria only three years back with Mahindra, LD Azouaou has emerged as a major player in the territory you operate in. Could you take us through this journey?
Since the inception we had a belief that with superior performance of Mahindra range of products and with industry-leading after sales support that we had intended to provide to our customers, we will not only be able to penetrate the market but also establish ourselves as major players in the domestic tractor industry. We started operations from our headquarter in Tizi Ouzou and subsequently opened a branch office in Oran in the eastern part of the country. Since then, we have been expanding our network and today we have a dedicated network of 30 dealers spread across the country catering to all the major agri markets. In a short span of time, we have worked on achieving substantial market share and are continuously improving.
Q2: What special or unique propositions do you offer customers?
We score over competition as we offer one of the largest sales networks throughout the country. Our after-sales support is unmatched and never been experienced in the tractor industry in the country. We provide door step service to the customers which is catered to by our service personnel spread across the country and gives us an added advantage of being close to them, understanding and servicing their needs. Apart from this we are providing all the mechanized solutions, complete set of implements to be used in various stages of crop production along with the tractors, so the customer doesn’t have to go to any other place for their mechanization needs.
Q3: Service as differentiator is an attitude. How do you live up to this at LD Azouaou?
We have a large, dedicated team of trained mechanics. They are continuously trained on improvements in the products and also on existing and upcoming tractor applications. They are strategically based in different parts of the country to be closer to the customer and address the issues in minimum possible time. We have deployed 22 vehicles for mobile service to our customers across the country. There are three different types of vehicles which provide door-to-door service. The smallest vehicle has all the basictools to address regular service and minor repair requirements. Then we have bigger trucks which are loaded with special tools, water, oil & grease tanks. These trucks cater to complete maintenance oftractors in the field as well as breakdowns in the field itself. If the problem can’t be managed in the field then we have bigger trucks which carry the tractor back to the workshop, repaired and sent back to the customer. All this is done without any additional cost. In case of major breakdown under warranty, we offer a standby tractor to the farmer.
Q4: Providing door step service is definitely a very good initiative but at the same time attracts a lot of investment. How does that fit into your business model?
From the beginning we were very clear that we wanted to create an experience for our customers, so we established our operations in a way that our customers get industry leading and never-before-experienced pre & post sales process. The strategy has been to be connected to the farmer for his lifetime. This will create satisfied customers who will be our brand ambassadors and result in reference sales. This is one investment that has been giving us results and will keep on benefitting us in terms of increased sales and brand development.
Q5: What are your plans & aspirations for the coming year?
One of main priorities for the coming year will be to invest on marketing initiatives to reach out to farmers and educate them about the superior performance of our products and introduce the after-sales support that we provide. We have been regularly participating in all Agri fairs across Algeria which has helped in brand building. This would help us in increasing our presence and market share in all segments. Moving on, we are also exploring the feasibility of localizing tractors in the country. While working on these projects, our constant focus would be on increasing the network via appointing new dealers and in parallel making the existing dealers invest in branch offices.
Q6: What is the vision that you have for Mahindra brand of products in the long run?
We want Mahindra to be the most trusted & preferred brand of tractors in Algeria having a highly satisfied and loyal customer base.
Q7: What does the partnership with Mahindra mean to LD Azouaou?
Our association with Mahindra is now nearly three years old and it continues to grow stronger with each year. We value our partnership with Mahindra because they not only provide the superior products but also support us in running our business in a better way via various marketing initiatives and training programs. Mahindra is a well-respected global company with values and ethical standards, and we are proud to be their partners. We see a very bright future in representing Mahindra as the company is clearly on the path to become a leading global player.
Q8: What, in your opinion, are Mahindra’s strengths as compared to other tractor companies?
Mahindra’s strengths include the low cost of ownership advantage of its products, the company’sengineering capabilities, and its ability to draw on best practices and knowledge. Another strong advantage is its vastly diversified product portfolio, which puts it in a very good position as compared to other tractor manufacturers. The Mahindra Tractors have been adapted to local African condition. They are rugged, reliable and suitable for diversified African conditions. They are easy to operate and compatible with a wide variety of implements, trailers and harvesters. Mahindra is now focusing on capacity building across the entire agri value chain — from activities like agronomy and soil testing; to pesticides, micro-irrigation and farm mechanisation, to providing end-to-end solutions in agri business to the farmers by leveraging their group strengths and synergies.