Eros: Engineering Transformation


January 27, 2022 | By Zubina Ahmed

It’s no exaggeration to say that Eros Group stands out in the UAE’s $4 billion consumer electronics retail business. As a 53- years reputed organization specializing in the distribution and retail of consumer electronics, mobility, IT, Home Appliance and convergence products, it has evolved from a one-store, one-brand distribution house to build a portfolio of world-class International brands and retail stores. “We started off from a small shop in Deira in 1967 and had our full-fledged branch and showroom in Abu Dhabi only in 1982.  Today we are a business with four diverse industries (Retail, Distribution, Air Conditioning, Lighting)”, said Mohammad Badri, Director of Eros Group. Having taken the reins from his father Yousuf Badri , this young Emirati business leader sets high business targets for the Group and has been responsible for Brand acquisitions, Exports, B2B and Marketing for them since 2012. The Group has been distributing the brand’s products across all consumer electronics such as refrigerators, air conditioning, washing machines, air purifiers, vacuum cleaners and more and has expanded beyond its borders to serve not only customers in UAE but also on select markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. 

Consumer electronics (CE) forms a multibillion-dollar industry, steadily progressing and developing with technology, and adding new product lines towards changing lifestyles. As an extremely competitive market, there are always new players entering the market, particularly from China, a global hub for manufacturing products. Consumers worldwide are forecast to spend 2.06 trillion U.S. dollars by 2023 on electronics. Distribution and Retail of consumer electronics are the core of the Group’s business with over fourteen international brands, 15 regional stores including Samsung and Huawei brand stores, three service centers across the UAE and employing a growing workforce of 1200+ employees. The Group continues to operate through a seamless logistical process daily to deliver on its core objective: Customer Delight. “ We have built a strong brand loyalty over 54 years wherein customers have chosen Eros as their preferred brand for buying electronics.”We frequently communicate with our customers to understand their needs and trends , stated Mohammad.  

Covid-19 pandemic sparked a strong increase in sales in many sectors of the consumer electronics market in 2020. In the first half of 2021, the global consumer electronics market grew by +18 percent, registering $42.8 billion in revenue. These developments were driven by the lack of entertainment opportunities outside the home and the shift to working from home. According to Mohammad, this upward trend in the demand has seen a distinct shift in consumer buying behaviour and Eros as a group was constantly looking out to expand it’s portfolio in line with the consumer buying patterns. “We did observe that brands with credible after sales service assurance and technical superiority took a larger boost in sales in Covid. This pushed us in introducing very relevant products to the changing times in the UAE market and become the ‘go-to’ brand”, noted Mohammad. Eros worked on a new strategy with its existing brand partners like Midea, Hitachi, TCL, Ariston to introduce more products in the segments where demand for products like Freezers, Large Size Refrigerators, Vacuum Cleaners and Cooking Appliances increased. In particular, this was fueled by the strong demand for more brands with better features. “We introduced seven new brands from Italy, China, Japan and India into our portfolio in past two years. We have added new brands like Vaio, Avita, Amazfit and Rinnai in 2020 second half and 2021”, added Mohammad. 

Mohammad pins hopes on  adopting technology for a better, quicker and a seamless shopping experience. Today shoppers are becoming more tech-savvy. There is a trend of the Fear-of Missing out (FOMO) on tech- innovations especially among the younger millennial customers. This has only been accelerated since the pandemic. The group recently revamped their e-Commerce website and partnered with banks and Postpay to give Easy Installment plan and Buy now Pay Later convenience to customers respectively. “Technology is shaping the future of retail, especially when it comes to the customer experience and helps us build delivery capabilities such as buy online, and develop support and payment competencies through automated customer service, digital payment service, etc. We have also adopted a robust CRM software to streamline our operations and for better agility.  While we are boosting our in-shop presence we are creating better avenues for touch-less shopping with our e-commerce store such as Dubai Mall and Dubai Hills. added Mohammad. 

Eros has gone through a transformation of its own and has made tremendous investment embracing the omnichannel fulfillment. In December 2021, the group had a major overhaul of its branding – both online and offline. They replaced ‘Eros Digital Home’ with a succinct ‘Eros’ and ‘eros.ae’ respectively for a fresh and friendly feel. The store network has been shrunk from 30 stores to “15-16”, with average store sizes of 3,000-5,000 square feet. Online made up to 20-25 per cent of EROS’ turnover, and the “objective ” is to get past 30-35 percent or more in the next 2 years. The new look offers a more engaging digital platform where consumers can browse, chat, search and buy with ease with various options available. On the other hand, EROS distribution teams worked very closely with online retailers like Amazon to increase its offering and stepping up investments on the delivery and logistics support to keep pace with the exponential increase in online sales and business. “Recently we revamped our Retail channel from ErosDigitalHome to EROS, bringing it closer to consumer with revamped website and stores. Currently, EROS has 7 stores across UAE plus we operate 3 Samsung Experience Stores and 2 Huawei Stores as well. Distribution is our strength, and we never stop building of Eros products portfolio even in the pandemic era. We have a close eye on consumer buying trend and develop wide range of products to serve the consumers’ needs”, explained Mohammad. 

Set out to conquer the consumer electronics world, Eros Group is continuously diversifying its portfolio . “We have expanded beyond its borders to serve not only customers in the UAE but also on select markets in the Middle East and North Africa region and we will continue to do so. We will be a Dh4 billion company by 2025 and we are confident to achieve this target through organic growth in business. Today, our annual turnover is ranging between Dh1.5 billion and Dh2 billion despite a slowdown in global economy. “We would like to chart a course for Eros Group to get into logistics services as well, a business line that is becoming increasingly vital to manage a smooth supply chain”, Mohammad concluded.

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