Emax hatches plan to develop services business

Emax aims to expand services offering with repair, maintenance and installation expertise

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  April 10, 2008

Electronics powerhouse Emax is awaiting a trade licence permitting it to operate its own service centre in the UAE. In what will mark a significant diversification from its position as a pure product retailer, the facility will employ more than 20 people handling repair, maintenance and installation activities.

"It will be a good revenue generating division of the company, but more importantly it will announce Emax as more than just another retail company that moves boxes and forgets the customer after the sale," insisted managing director, Neelesh Bhatnagar. "We want to continue the relationship with the customer throughout the time that they are still using those products."

The service centre will be based in Sharjah where Emax operates its flagship ‘big box' electronics retail outlet. A service manager and technicians have already been hired, and the company is hopeful that it will get the green light to begin operating within the next 45 to 60 days.

In addition to offering extended warranty and break-fix services, Emax is aiming to turn the centre into the first port of call for customers that require any form of technical assistance, such as the installation of audio systems or other hardware.

"Installation, delivery - any support that the customer wants we have to be able to provide," said Bhatnagar. "If you look at the hypermarkets today then they only sell. Beyond that it is not their responsibility. In a way what we are trying to do is alter the way this industry works."

The launch of a service centre forms just one component of Emax's ambitious plans to establish itself as the largest consumer electronics and appliances retailer in the Gulf. Next month it will unveil a 90,000 square foot big box outlet in Saudi Arabia, which it hopes will generate more than SAR190m ($40m) a year in sales. The Jeddah-based outlet is scheduled to be the first of four stores it intends to open in the Kingdom by the end of the year.

Emax believes that the escalation of its business in Saudi, coupled with expansion in markets such as Bahrain and the UAE, will eventually afford it more buying power with vendors.

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