Interviews

Ambition drive

Famco managing director, Paul Floyd, explains the company’s agressive expansion strategy that begins this year with the first steps into Saudi Arabia

Last month, Famco UAE became the exclusive distributor of Volvo Construction Equipment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, when the multi-brand franchise acquired the Al-Rehab Equipment and Machinery Company.
No mean feat, it is the first step in an aggressive expansion plan, that will see five outlets multiply to 11 across Saudi Arabia, along with the introduction of Famco Oman and Famco Qatar to the family.

“The relationship we have with AB Volvo is very strong we have been distributors of Volvo products since 1985, including their bus, truck and construction equipment,” begins Paul Floyd, Famco managing director.

“When the opportunity came along to take over the dealership in the Kingdom we were very interested because it’s a very big market and we believe that some of the things we do here in the Emirates and some of the standards we work to here we can replicate to in the Kingdom,” he adds.

In the context of both Volvo and Famco, the expansion is huge. Floyd, who has worked with Famco for six years has extensive experience of the region, and it has been his vision powering the focus on new markets.

“We don’t collect brands for the sake of it, if we have a brand we want to be the number one, two or three in the market and that is a core belief of the business. If we cannot be that we would rather not have the brand. We either do it properly or not at all. We are offered a lot of products, but believe in focusing on the best with the best principle brands,” Floyd says.

“It’s more about quality than quantity,” he adds, going on to comment on the potential of Oman and Qatar’s markets:

“They are smaller markets but if we didn’t think that we can build market share then we wouldn’t be doing it.”
The acquisition of Al-Rehab Equipment and Machinery Company was the icing on a successful 2011 for Famco, which saw the company awarded silver partnership status by Volvo last May. The accolade made Famco only the second company ever to receive the award from Volvo.

“We’re not arrogant and we’re not sitting here claiming to know how to do everything but particularly that revolves around the support, service and parts that we have developed here.

“So in these markets, from what we see we don’t believe the dealership standards are as high as the UAE. There are some good markets but if you look at the standards, we believe that if we can apply similar standards to those seen in the Emirates then we can raise the bar in those markets. That’s what we are aiming to do,” he adds.

People power

Floyd credits the success of the company to the talent of Famco’s staff; motivated by career development opportunities within the company through its training schemes. Floyd also reports that Famco exceeds nationalisation targets because it employs on meritocracy alone.

“When doing something like this you must surround yourself with the best talent you can, because moving into new markets is challenging. There are growing pains and you need to have the best people around you,” he says.
With a dedicated training centre and annual appraisal system supported personal development schemes evaluated with the ‘gallop system’, Floyd says such measures are crucial to managing not only people, but change, and that expertise is one of the greatest business assets.

“Having the ability to invest in that is important. You have got to make sure you understand the market you are going in to, define your objectives and don’t be over ambitious but stretch yourself. Be realistic.

“You have to have benchmarks and you have to know you can achieve everything you set out to. You can’t wander in without a very firm goal and a firm business plan,” he says.

 

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