RETAIL HOLDINGS

Qatar 2019 | RETAIL & LIFESTYLE | B2B

Diversified retail holdings employ economies of scale to create a more streamlined business with better operating dynamics and stronger financial muscle.

Faisal Sharif
FAISAL SHARIF
Managing Director
Domasco
Joe Lahoud
JOE LAHOUD
Group CEO
Marzooq S. Al Shamlan Holding

What is your growth strategy in terms of branding?

FAISAL SHARIF A key pillar of our business strategy and model has been to focus on both organic and inorganic growth. Around six or seven years ago, Domasco was only known for two brands, but now, there is a significant and sizable business in more than 40 brands. Our rebranding strategy has pushed Domasco forward; we have realigned with our group strategy and the new logo is receiving recognition internationally. We have built a stronger international presence, which has helped us attract a number of foreign companies to start global partnerships with us. Domasco is now well known for various global brands and a wider choice of partners. Rebranding in 2016 also helped us develop our customer base. In total, the rebranding strategy was the right move at the right time.

JOE LAHOUD Our growth strategy is clear: we want to grow in every segment we operate in while maintaining our business DNA. This DNA is quality premium products offered with premium service, delivering unique customer experience. We focus on excellent brands and product offerings to solidify our position as a market leader. We want to reinforce our position by building on what we have. For example, Goodyear recognized our Q-Tire operation as one of the best tire service stores in the world. Moreover, our automotive equipment arm, QTC, was recognized as the service provider of the year by Karcher Germany. The quality of the services offered, the equipment, the processes, and our aftersales are unparalleled.

What are your expansion plans?

FS Our core strengths are primarily in automotive and retail businesses, such as watches and electronics. The company has also started venturing into the commercial automotive segment; for example, we have been the market leader in trucks for the last two years. Within the market for trucks, we enjoy the largest market share in tractor heads, with a massive gap ahead of our nearest competitor. After branching into buses recently, we have managed to lead the market for the luxury bus segment. Domasco is also a market leader in niche products for light commercial vehicles; we have secured a 67% market share for small refrigerator vans, offering the only factory-fitted product in Qatar. The company's core strengths largely align with the dynamism gained by the Qatari market, especially by construction, contracting and infrastructure development.

JL We are ready for an expansion in the country; that was the idea behind restructuring and revamping our operations. Our presence at Hamad Airport is via our Marzooq Shamlan & Sons watch retail operations at the duty-free stores, as well as our cleaning contracts through our company Qatar Intercare with the airport. Our group supplied many of the materials and equipment in its facilities. Furthermore, in 2018 we won a major supply contract for Qatar Airways ground support equipment to supply it with all its tire needs through our company International Tire Center (ITC), the exclusive distributor for Goodyear, Falken, MRF, Lasa, and Camso tires. We have many opportunities in the airport and are ready for the expansion. The government is dedicated to expanding the economy as well and is working hard to execute strategies that drive change.

What is your outlook for the coming year?

FS With plenty of our business lines developing, we expect extraordinary results in 2018. Our partnerships with a number of automotive brands, like GAC, are projected to grow by leaps during 2018, even recording triple-digit growth rates in some cases. Meanwhile, our mature businesses will provide stability through mature growth levels that are better than the regional growth figures. There will be different challenges, but we know how to turn those challenges into our favor.

JL 2019 will be a year of consolidation and growth for us. Over the past two years, we have been restructuring our organization and putting things on the right track, and in 2019, we will start capitalizing on the work we have done. We see many positive signs for the economy. We expect many projects to be released and money injected into the system, which will help our business grow. Our main focus in 2019 is on growth. There is still a great deal of work that needs to be done before the World Cup, and we want to contribute to this transformation.