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Market Channels by Anurag, Head, Service Centres & Steel Products, Mabati Rolling Mills Limited

In the celebration of over 60 years of our operations in Kenya, Mabati Rolling Mills has set focus on expanding service footprint through the opening of multiple showrooms across various counties in the country. The recently opened Eldoret showroom marks the seventh showroom to be successfully launched this year following Kiambu Town, Ngong Town, Diani, Bungoma, Chuka and Naivasha.

In an effort to build on presence and capitalize on customer reach and accessibility, the MRM Service Centers offer a one-stop-shop service to the customers and further advances customer experience as they now enjoy a walk-in experience as well as a one-on-one consultation with an expert upon request.

“As a company, we strive to create absolute customer experience and engagement and we are doing this by bringing our services closer to our customers therefore creating convenience for them. We continue to invent and expand our product portfolio in the country and we want to ensure that we reach without fail, every end consumer from wherever they are,” says Anurag (Anurag Mishra, Head of Service Centers & Steel  MRM.)

He further delves into sharing the company’s outlook with regard to growth and expansion while focusing on the company’s intent on accessibility for the end consumer.

How would you define Market Channels as engraved in the Group’s Strategic Pillars?  

Market Channels are the physical and virtual routes through which MRM fulfils the stated and latent needs of its customers and partners. Such needs are not only about products and services but also about the information and interaction. Our market channels have evolved as per the changes of customer behaviour and technological advancements. For example, we have various market channels like traditional distribution network, Direct market presence through service centres and exclusive showrooms, e commerce platform, social media platforms, website, call centres and mobile communication etc.

What does growth and expansion of the company look like for you?

MRM is a change oriented, innovation driven company. We always welcome new ideas of growth and partnership. We have traversed a long journey of change for last 60 years in Kenya and have always tried to be the number one choice of our customers when it comes to fulfil their needs.  We have plans to grow exponentially in building solutions space by offering new products and services. We want to become one stop solution for the building needs of our customers. Our aim is to not only to remain as market leader in steel products but also become a leader in those products and services which are inherent part of building solutions.

What active measures have been taken by the company to support the above?

To achieve our growth spirations we have been working on many fronts. We are investing in creating new capacities, developing strong partnership with local and international companies, developing the capability of our workforce, adopting new technologies and building a strong market channel to reach to our customers. People are the most important asset of MRM, and the company is taking all measures to attract best talents, retain and grow them and make them future ready to take up any challenge.

What was the projection of the company’s growth this year and what’s the current status on the same?

It is well known that the business environment across the world has been going through tough times due to COVI-19 pandemic and its aftereffects on global supply chain. We had taken a growth plan in 2022 over 2021. We are committed to grow in this market condition despite various challenges. Up to now, despite uncertainties seen in the market, we have performed well. We hope that market will be stable very soon we will register a decent growth over last year.

We have noted the rapid opening of new showrooms across the country, what informed this?

The plans to open showrooms are not new. MRM has already had a huge presence in market through its various market channels. Through the new showrooms we have tried to provide a great experience to our customers where they can understand more about MRM and give us opportunity to listen to them in a better way. Due to COVID -19 our plans were temporarily put on hold. But as soon as the things became normal, we executed our plans and opened six new showrooms in first quarter of 2022. There has been intensive work in the background for last one and half years. This journey will continue, and we will open many more in coming months. We are now much close to our customers and partners. MRM showrooms are committed to create value for all our customer and partners by imparting knowledge, offering quality products and services and take care of all their concerns while addressing their building solution needs.

With respect to growth and expansion, how would you say you (MRM) rank in comparison with your competition in the market?

MRM has been the market leader in its segment of business for many years. The SAFAL Group, of which MRM is a part is the biggest roofing solution provider in Africa. This is due to the support and liking of our customers and partners in our products and services. We are committed to quality and service. We have always put our “CUSTOMER FIRST “in all our plans and deeds. Our vision is “Build Africa with Pride”. So in all our growth and expansion plans we seek to provide world class offerings to our customers and partners and this belief helps us in competing well in the market.

If you rank high, how do you ensure that you stay ahead of the competition and top of the market?

Our main strength is our people who are constantly innovating and changing our systems and processes to make it more customer friendly and efficient. The top Management team is always on lookout for providing best products and services and infrastructure to see that our customers get the best value for their money and be happy with us. We build long term relationships with our customers and partners, based on mutual respect and value creation.  We take care of post sales services and never leave our customers; concerns unaddressed. Out technical team assists in providing consultative suggestions to customers and ensure that they are well informed before making purchase decisions. Our aim is to provide complete building solutions to our customers on which they can trust and enjoy the benefits over long term without any hassle.

What has been the largest showroom to be opened thus far, and why?

All our showrooms have been designed to provide similar experience to our customers. So, it is difficult to say which one is largest. Some are bigger in terms of area, and some are smaller but all of them are well equipped to take care of our customers and partner’s needs.

What are some of the expansion challenges you have experienced thus far?

Main challenge was at concept stage where we spent lot of time to reach upon a design which would be liked by our customers. Other challenge was to execute the design as it involved lot of coordination and teamwork. When we open a showroom, it is often difficult to find a suitable place which meets our criteria which are intended to provide customer comfort and easy access.

What are some of the services offered at the new showrooms?

We have many services like design and estimation, on site measurements, roof design, offering quotations, taking orders, supplying materials to the customer’s site free of cost etc. We are also providing building solutions like SAFBUILD and ULTRASPAN building systems. There are various displays and interactive screens by which customers can visualise their houses in advance and get in depth understanding about the buildings. This helps them in choosing right products. We are also providing information about installers which are competent to perform the building construction work.  Our showrooms are centres of knowledge sharing where we train our Installers and make them aware of new products and methods to install them.

What additional value do the showrooms bring to your customers?

Showrooms provide an experience of MRM’s Modern Look and Feel, completely different from the traditional Mabati Company. They work as a single point contact for all customer needs and information. Customers also get familiarity about using our E Commerce platform. MRM showrooms enables customers appreciate the benefits of entire solution and not only roofing sheets. We offer innovative solutions and technical support like design, estimation, site inspection and Warranty certification through back up technical team via our showrooms.

How are these showrooms expected to carry the flag of MRM in the regions launched /opened?

We will keep MRM showrooms technologically advanced and relevant to the changing needs of our customers and partners. They will keep collaborating with our partners like Installers, Contractors, Quantity Surveyors, Architects and Engineers for development of building solutions. Showroom will continue to follow strong ethical standards and ensure all customers are serviced fairly and with utmost care.

How many more showrooms should we expect to be opened before the year ends?

We are planning to open at least 5 new showrooms by the end of 2022. This will take our showroom numbers to thirteen. However, we are going to open many more next year and years after based on the feedback and response from our customers and partners.

What is the company’s outlook for the remaining part of the year?

We are hopeful that the remaining part of the year will be good for business. We expect more normalcy in global supply chains and hope that customers will get best value for their money and fulfil their dreams of building their homes. We at MRM are committed to support them and serve them in fulfilling their dreams.