Arriving in Kampala (the capital city of Uganda) one of the first thing people notice are how many motorbikes there are.
It’s the de facto mode of transport for getting taxied around the city, in a place where car congestion is heavy.
After walking in, the head of the office Pankaj agreed to an interview, and we spoke about the many customer types of motorbikes, considerations of importing unfinished goods, and the evolution of the personal transport market in the region.
Here are the key quotes:
“We are the sole distributor of Miracle Motors in Uganda”
Mahindra Group is an Indian conglomerate that manufactures many types of vehicles. We are concerned with motorbikes in Uganda.
“85% of Uganda is unemployed”
They are getting their employment through being motorcycle taxi drivers
“We have different types of customers”
Direct buyers, finance customers through banks, fleet owners and we provide spare parts across the country.
“Bikes are assembled in Uganda”
Bikes come in a box from India and are put together in Uganda. This is because there are lower tariffs when it comes to importing goods.
“Competition is tough”
There are many options in the motorbike market in Uganda. Around 5,000 bikes are sold per month.
“We offer a part exchange”
Customers can bring in an old bike and receive up to a 40% discount on a Miracle Motor.
“‘Two wheeler’ market is different to other vehicles”
It has many applications and uses which mean that there are lots of different customer types
“Our dealership networks exists upcountry”
People can come to us to get bikes and then sell them locally. We interview them, send 10 bikes, and go from there.
“Motorbike taxis used to be bicycles”
This was the main reason for starting in East Africa. People were already being used transported on two wheels, motorbikes gave more power and so it was something people wanted.
“Most customers are unaware of the benefits of our bike”
Our sales and service teams communicate to the customers the benefits of using Miracle Motors and how
“Miracle Motors are only in Uganda”
In East Africa at least. They may look to expand elsewhere.
“People need a more masculine vehicle”
Which means that the type of two wheeler that is sold has a higher CC as the market evolves. This type of vehicle upgrading is what we’re seeing in Asia.
“Even with a car, people keep two wheelers”
This is to avoid traffic that is inherent in congested cities. People will get cars, but still benefit from the time and cost savings of using a motorbike.
“Corporates buy two wheelers as a ‘company car'”
It makes economical sense for bigger customers to buy two wheelers for their employees to be driven around in.
“All motorbikes in Uganda are Indian, Japanese and Chinese”
They all send over boxes of parts and assemble them in Uganda. There are no Ugandan made motorbikes on the market.
“We do 360 degree marketing”
Billboards, TV adverts, telephone calls, test drives. The lot. It’s a huge operation that keeps the sales team busy. We have a mutual agreement with the larger Mahindra Group.
“There’s a social side to business here”
Not only are you selling them a bike, you are providing them employment.
“We teach drivers how to drive safely”
We check their driving permit, give them a free helmet, give them insurance, and go through how the bike works.
“We sponsored a football tournament”
Boda boda drivers get together an organise a football tournament. Miracle Motors sponsored it and also submit a team.
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