Dunlop Tires Egypt is the exclusive distributor for Dunlop tires and Duracell batteries in Egypt and a long-time customer of Loyverse. They distribute through their own retail stores and other dealers. We were happy to have a call with Mohamed Walid who is the current Chief operating officer of the company.
How did you start your business?
This is a family business that started in 1968 and I am the third generation of the family. Back the business was a flourishing one because it was a basic model. You’ve got an importer, two or three wholesalers, and just a few sizes of tires and less variety of cars. Now things are different and competition is very high. The business model also has changed as well so everything is going towards retail shops. As a result, the power of the distributors lies in their ability to make deals with several retail shops or build their own retail chain. Right now, we do both but are also pushing towards owning our retail chains to be able to control the price and the quality of the service.
The biggest marketing distributors of tires have are the retail shops. Since advertising is expensive, working through retailers is the best option.
What makes your business stand out from the competition?
I could narrow them down to three things. First, we have a good reputation. We have been in the market for a very long time, our company is well established and the owners are known in person. The second thing is our exclusivity; we are the sole distributor for the Dunlop brand and Duracell batteries. And lastly, the financial credit facilities we offer to dealers.
How did the COVID 19 affect your business?
We were heavily impacted since we are in the transportation business. When the educational institutions went off, people moved to work online, and curfews were implemented. It took me one and half months to refuel my gas tank and at some point, I spent one and a half months not using my car. In some areas, the curfew was extended to 4 months. As a result, our sales had dropped significantly. Things are getting better now but not yet as it was in 2019.
Did you explore using online platforms?
We have a website that has been more of an informative platform for our customers. Our Facebook page on the other hand has been the biggest medium through which we get to engage with our customers. We have over 160,000 followers. Through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, our customers can easily get in touch with us. Since people predominantly use Facebook here, it is also convenient for us to run our ads on the platform.
What's the philosophy behind your business?
Our family business is not based on only profits. We focus more on supporting the dealers or customers by any means even if we will have to sacrifice a bit of our profit. This is the thing that did not change over time. Right now even with the increased competition, this is what has allowed us to still remain in the market and has kept the business alive until the current third generation.
How did you find Loyverse?
Actually, this happened at the beginning when we were opening our retail shops. I wanted a POS but I did not want to spend money on it without knowing if it was going to be profitable. I checked several solutions out there, but Loyverse was the easiest one to use. I found the Dashboard and the Back office to be the most useful apps for me while for the employees, the POS app and Arabic support were a great addition for us. We are currently trying to get our dealers to use Loyverse as well.
Do you have any messages for the Loyverse team?
I would like to say thank you very much for putting up an app that is really helpful and easy to use. I would say that actually, no one does what you do; I remember when you reached out to me to ask if I can possibly help you with translation to Arabic, I was happy to do so.
From our point, we can only provide suggestions and things that we think the customer or users here would prefer to have. We look forward to getting more updates and features.