African Safari


Godrej Locks Spreads Its Wings

A view of Mount Kilimanjaro from the plane en route
from Dar es Salaam to Arusha.

n 3 March, 2005, Minoo Panthaki accompanied me on a visit to M/s. Light Point Ltd., our locks dealer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We met Elias Hassanali, Director, Hassan Hassanali, Marketing and Sales Director, and Muslim Hassanali, Managing Director, of M/s. Light Point Ltd. After the initial discussion, we decided to obtain feedback from the actual customers themselves. Accordingly, we paid visits to a few retailers, and spent substantial time with the main retailer, Khuzema Jamalee of M/s. Global Hardware Co. Ltd.

While Jamalee provided us with vital feedback and useful suggestions, we were pleased to note that Godrej Ultra Locks with dimple keys have become an instant success in the Dar es Salaam market. Some officials from the Finance Ministry of the Government of Tanzania who purchased the locks from these dealers observed: "We knew that Godrej was manufacturing safes and filing cabinets because we have them in our office, but we never knew that Godrej manufactured locks!" This statement from the retailer encouraged us to go to Arusha, an upcoming city in Tanzania to meet another retailer, M/s. Africa Bulk Suppliers Ltd.

We took the flight to Arusha from Dar es Salaam the next day. Amar Pathak, the Manager there, was at the airport to welcome us. We met Rajab Nurbhai, the Managing Director of M/s. Bulk Group of Companies, the parent company of Africa Bulk Suppliers Ltd.

We talked to customers who came to the shop for their locks as well as other requirements. Minoo Panthaki conducted a short training programme for the sales people at the counter, explaining how Godrej Locks were superior to the other brands. Rajab Nurbhai plans to market our locks to the surrounding cities. He indicated that he plans to promote Godrej Locks and discontinue some other brands.

Play Safe With Godrej

n 4 March, 2005, our Security Equipment dealer in Tanzania, M/s. Business Machines Tanzania Limited, had arranged for a Customer Meet in Arusha. R. Kirubakaran, General Manager, BMTL, invited me to take part in this event as I was going to be in Arusha.

The Meet, which was supposed to commence at 7 p.m., started at 8.15 p.m. Apart from other products, there were Godrej Defender Plus Safes and Godrej Fire-Resisting Safes on display. I took the opportunity to explain the superior features of our safes to the customers.

Kirubakaran, in his address to customers who were mainly from the diamond industry, spoke of a recent attempted burglary in a bank in Dar es Salaam where a Godrej Class I Strong Door with Grill Gate was in use. The burglars, three of whom were from within the bank, tried their luck from 9 p.m. till 6 a.m. Though they managed to make a small hole in the main door, they could not cut open the grill gate. They had to abandon their effort the next morning and flee from the site. That morning the Branch Manager called Kirubakaran thanking him for the strong room door, which not only saved them from losing a lot of cash, but also enhanced the reputation of their bank.

This reference, coupled with the display of our safes, made a customer remark: "If my Managing Director were here, I would have placed an order for this safe (referring to the Godrej Defender Plus 41 Safe). Nevertheless, I shall consult him and get back to you."

The success of this Meet has prompted BMTL to arrange for another such event, where they plan to invite the top brass of the diamond industry in Arusha. Vishwesh Naik, Branch Manager, BMTL, Arusha Branch, personally thanked us for our active involvement in the event.

Fredrick Correa,
Godrej, Kenya