Four Tips On Finding Success As An Entrepreneur In The Automotive Industry
Look at the automotive segment as a vast field with limitless possibilities- consider spare parts, technical training, maintenance, car care, accessories, and so much more.
The automotive industry is one of the most robust and growing sectors globally and locally, and it is comparable to real estate or any other mainstream pillar of a sustainable economy. In this region, the UAE represents just under a quarter of the GCC car sales market, second only to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to reports, an estimated 1.4 million cars were sold nationally in 2016, and figures are projected to grow with sales of 2 million expected annually by 2021.
Approximately 80% of the UAE automotive market is passenger cars, and the remaining 20% is commercial vehicles (trucks, vans, and buses). The country’s strategic positioning makes it a regional hub for car parts and components, and it has made itself a key player in the car parts trade within the Gulf and African region. Given these facts and figures, being an entrepreneur in the automotive industry is less of a bumpier ride than competing in other industries in the current climate. Here’s my take on how to achieve success in the automotive industry:
1. Know the problem you’re trying to solve Firstly, identify the gap in the market that you can capitalize on, which will allow you to have an edge, and of course, less competition. Knowing your demographic and what their demands are is the most important step, so that you can address it and provide timely, quality, and cost-effective solutions.
2. Have a limitless vision Look at the automotive segment as a vast field with limitless possibilities- consider spare parts, technical training, maintenance, car care, accessories, and so much more. Select one or more avenues you are passionate about, start small, and become good at whatever service you want to provide. Focus on customer loyalty to have repeat business.
3. Team up with big players Establish strategic partnerships with reputable names internationally and locally. This helps in building a reputation and becoming a reliable source for your customers. Investing time and effort in researching and signing up with the right partners and suppliers is worth the effort for long-term success. Once you attain the reputation and trust, you can pitch for institutional work with government organizations or corporations.
4. Stay relevant Never stop innovating. Keep an eye out for new developments like autonomous driving, electric cars, and the technology that comes with it. The automotive industry is evolving quickly, and in order to stay on top of the game, you need to be aware of what is happening in this industry, and what part you can play in it.
As a dynamic entrepreneur in the automotive industry, Oweis Zahran is the force behind launching innovative solutions in this sector in the Middle East. Born and educated in the USA, Oweis has a strong affinity to this region since his father set up businesses in the UAE under MZ Holdings in the early 90s. The Holding company’s 16 subsidiaries, in three continents, are primarily in the field of equipment supply, industrial manufacturing, automotive R&D, oil and gas as well as construction.
Before he joined University of Maryland as a business undergrad, Oweis was being mentored by his father and unlike other teenagers he was involved in major international business deals. This hands-on experience prepared him for a leadership role, which helped in the evolution and expansion of MZ Holdings’ B2C business. From setting up the largest auto remanufacturing unit in the UAE and expanding it to seven countries, to developing exclusive auto solutions with international celebrities, to launching a joint venture with the Government of Sharjah, Oweis, at the age of 28, manages three of its companies that include OWS Auto, Tatra Middle East and Transaxle ME.
As a serial entrepreneur, Oweis established Rafid Automotive Solutions in 2017 as a joint venture between Sharjah Asset Management and OWS Auto. Today Rafid operates diverse services that includes an accident reporting app, fleet of electric cars and provides vehicle emission testing to quick service and parts supply and more. In 2017, Oweis Zahran also launched Voltron Motors in the UAE and the US with Hollywood actor Tyrese Gibson, mostly known for his roles in The Fast and The Furious franchise. Customizing cars for corporates or individuals, Voltron Motors’ clientele range from Hollywood celebrities to corporate fleets to high profile people in the Middle East.
Oweis’s philanthropic endeavors match his business ambitions. The company runs a small yet significant operation of providing clean drinking water to families in Nigeria and Ghana. Established in 2015, with the collaboration of Nigerian ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Mohammed Gello, Oweis along with his brothers, have since established six drilling rigs in Africa.