Dealers across the UK found themselves in unprecedented times in 2020.
Forced to shut showroom doors and learn new ways of doing business, it would have been easy for dealers to focus on their own bread and butter.
In fact, the opposite happened with dealers and suppliers coming together to help each other out, and 2020 saw some individuals marked out as not only battling hard during the dark days of lockdown, but providing leadership and a sense of optimism.
Always a beacon of positivity with a side serving of straight-talking common sense was Marshall Motor Group CEO, Daksh Gupta.
A previous winner of the Dealers’ Dealer of the Year award, Gupta was named by industry colleagues once again in a year like no other.
Despite having a track record of being recognised and respected by industry colleagues, Gupta is still modest about scooping the prestigious award.
‘I’m wondering whether the people who voted are in our network at Marshall as to be honest I am very surprised,’ he joked.
Gupta recognises it’s a ‘huge honour’ to win the award, but it means a little more than that as he says it’s a reflection on the Marshall business as a whole.
‘We have a fantastic business here at Marshall,’ he said. ‘But it’s only fantastic because we have amazing people here.
‘I’m so proud of our people and our culture. 2020 is the seventh year in a row where we’ve been in the UK’s Best Workplaces list, and the 11th year named as a Best Place to Work.’
Many other CEOs in the motor trade know that the art of having a great team is motivating them, and that’s an area Gupta consistently shows a real skill for. But how does he do it?
‘A few things really,’ he explains. ‘As an industry we’ve all become quite agile and virtual technology has been very powerful for our business,’ he tells Mike Brewer in a video interview you can watch above.
‘One of the things we’ve been doing since November is filming videos; I’ve just finished my 47th video, and they’re typically five to eight minutes long and I speak about what’s going on in the business, and my view of they way things are.
‘I think these have helped to keep people engaged and is part of our open and transparent culture – anyone can email and speak to me personally.’
Gupta says a key component of the successful Marshall formula is having fun.
‘We also have a lot of fun – our executive committee meetings are three to four hours long and I am convinced they could be an hour shorter but there is so much banter – and we try and make things special,’ he says.
‘At Christmas there was no party, so we wrote to Santa and said we had a budget of £35 per employee (under the taxable threshold!) and asked him what he could do.
‘Santa organised his elves to go to Cadbury’s and send all 4,000 of our employees hampers. Little things make the difference and I am a big believer of “please and thank you” go a long way.’
Speaking of the award and the 2020 running of the Used Car Awards, Gupta said: ‘Winning Dealers’ Dealer of the Year is special because it is voted for by colleagues in the industry.
‘I’d like to thank them and Car Dealer in particular. During lockdown, the daily Car Dealer Lives were an escape from dealing with the virus.’
Waylands CEO John O’Hanlon and Car Quay’s Jamie Caple took the Highly Commended places.
- W: mmhplc.com
- T: 01223 377000
To find out who else won awards in the Car Dealer Used Car Awards 2020 click here.