heycar meets Daksh Gupta
heycar editorial team
In part two of our series, we caught up with the Group CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings, Daksh Gupta. In 2017, Daksh was named the fourth most influential person in the automotive industry by Motor Trader Magazine. We wanted to know a bit more about what makes him tick, and some of the secrets to his success.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
There’s no obvious thing I find challenging as I really enjoy what I do. My job is so varied, you never get bored. The challenge for me is not getting enough time to spend with our people who I care about across our business, having time to get to know and talk to them.
In a business made up of 134 operations, there’s just not as much time to get to know everyone personally which I do miss. Twelve years ago we had 400 people and I knew everyone. Today we’re made up of 4500 people which makes it impossible. It’s something I do as much as I can because getting to know people from the grassroots up can really make or break the culture of a business.
If you were a car, what make and model would you be and why?
I’d probably be a Range Rover Sport SVR. Why? Because they’re hard working, they’ll go anywhere at anytime, they’re dependable and go at a million miles an hour!
What are your road trip essentials?
My iPad is definitely number one. My whole life is synced on my iPad and iPhone, emails, music, videos, calls - everything.
If you could take a road trip anywhere, where would it be and why?
I’d drive from the East to West coast of the US. From Boston down to Washington, across the US and landing somewhere like LA. I just love the US, there’s so much diversity from New York to the Rockies, to crazy times in Vegas, there are so many different cultures.
Marshall Motors are known in the industry for having a good handle on attribution of leads. How have you approached that challenge as a business?
If I look at the type of business Marshall is, retail businesses are highly operationally geared, making somewhere between 10 and 12% gross profit, of which we’re in the upper quartile. Expenses are high and margins are low, so you have to look very carefully at what drives that cost base. Within our cost base there’s a lot you can’t do a huge amount about, for example, rent and utilities.
Then you look at discretionary costs - like marketing. As a group, we tightly monitor all of our 8-figure marketing spend. You’ll see the usual suspects in there, including third party classifieds as well as our own marketing channels. To decipher where we’re getting the best return we’ve used postcode look up analysis on every advertising partner to tie each lead and sale back, so we’re at the stage of looking at profit margins by channel.
We’ve done this by getting into detailed analysis of ROI by brand and by location, based on an in-house system we’ve built to interpret the myriad data sources we have access to. To get to this stage it’s been a combination of people power and tech. We’re lucky to have some really strong team members who know the business inside out and have combined that customer insight with their technical knowledge to create a really strong attribution tool.
If you missed the first interview in our heycar meets series, check it out here.