Wednesday , 22 May 2019
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‘After working for nine years, the entrepreneur bug bit me’

An engineer by profession, D K Samuel’s, career graph includes two years  with Chowgule Industries and seven years with Philips India. His foray into business was as a share broker initially after which he moved into distributorship. Currently he is the sole distributor for Philips in the state and also the exclusive distributor for AOSmith and Tata Swatch. His is a partnership company. He says that, broking taught him risk management which is crucial in the distribution line too

 

Name: D K Samuel

Name of company: D K Marketing

Product manufactured, traded or service: Distributor of domestic appliances

 

  1. Why did you opt to start a business in Goa? 

In 2001, I wanted to start something of my own. I had learnt how to handle customers, keeping your cool at all times and understood the value of a satisfied customer. I happened to see an advertisement of a company called Apollo Sindhoori Capital Investments offering franchises for share broking trading. They were offering me Goa. I had recently got married and as my parents were settled in Panjim, I thought it was a good place to start business. So at the age of 30, in 2001, I started my first business in share broking. It was good initially, but I was not satisfied with the growth and changed to distributorship.

  1. Your toughest task in setting up the business?

Getting the right set of employees was tough. Initially we started off with absolute fresher’s. It was later that we could get the right people with the required skill sets. In Goa it is easy to get people who would do indoor or office tasks, but to get people who are willing to travel daily for sales or collection is hard. Most of my team are Goans.

 

  1. Have you achieved all your goals? If not what remains to be done? 

By the grace of God, we are doing a reasonable turnover. Despite changing market conditions we have been able to grow. Now, I would like my company to run on processes. That will require a new mindset. But it is essential as our performance affects quite a few people’s lives. That is my new aspiration.

 

  1. Your best business moment.

In April this year, Philips had a all-India distributor’s trip to Bali,Indonesia. There , to my surprise and joy, I was awarded the runner’s up award for being the best distributor in the western India region for 2017. Philips has got many old and very renowned names who have been distributors for years, Being recognised by a company that I deeply respect and love , and that too in front my family is one of the best moments in my business Life.

 

  1. Most difficult period. How did you overcome it?

In the appliance industry after sales service is crucial. In 2008 when I first started, the service setup was not up to the mark. Also for a few months, Philips did not have any distributor in Goa hence the products were just not there in the shelves. The competitor brands were able to take full advantage of this. It was a  mess! Luckily as I had spent time in after sales service we could solve the problem. But how to get the sales back? Philips appointed a new service franchise. In the initial days, I just concentrated on solving the dealer and customer service issues and getting the dealer confidence back. It was then just a matter of time for sale to pick up.

 

  1. How did you settle down and merge into the Goan lifestyle?

Goans are friendly and helpful. Language is not a barrier here. When you first come to Goa, life seems to have moved to the slow lane. But as time goes by you find it is a change for the better. While having one’s own transport is a must, one can freely travel anywhere without fear. Whenever I have to have lunch outside, Goan fish curry is something I must have.

  1. Customs or festivals that appeal to you.

Christmas and New Year time is the best. So many houses are decorated with lights, stars and cribs….The atmosphere then is just magical. It is a feast for the eyes, mouth and soul.

 

  1. State one aspect of Goa which has changed for better or worse? 

The vehicle population has become bigger by the day. Getting a place to park is tough and the same can be said for driving. To  go anywhere is taking more time than earlier. Accidents on the road are more frequent these days. But the good thing is that the government is spending a lot on  infrastructure  and this I am sure will make driving more pleasurable and safer.

 

  1. What changes would you like to see in the business as well as social environment? 

In Goa , after 1.30 pm the market just comes to a standstill. Most of the shops are closed and open only after 3.30pm or so. For a marketing or a delivery person, this is a big constraint. It affects productivity and increases the cost of doing business.

 

  1. If not a businessman, what would you have chosen as a profession? Why? 

When I was studying I always wanted to join  a MNC and work as a manager. I still vividly remember the day I got the job offer letter from Philips. It was a very joyous moment. But after working for nine years, the entrepreneur bug bit me.

 

  1. Your definition of susegado.

To have a life!! To get the time to indulge ones passions and spend time with family. I love to jog long distances. While it keeps one fit  it needs a lot of time so I get to do it three or four  times in a week. The pace of life in Goa  allows you to enjoy your  work  and at the same time live a balanced life. What more can one ask?