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Marshall Motor Group's new five-year plan is all about the customer, says CEO Daksh Gupta

“As long as you fundamentally believe the internet cannot deliver those three things, we have a franchised retail business,” Gupta said.

But what of Marshall’s staff? Numerous dealers cite John Lewis as the epitome of a customer-focused, rather than sales-focused business.

Gupta is among them. And he knows the challenge is considerable and that it affects the way staff are treated, recruited, trained, rewarded and paid.

It is a cornerstone of the next five years or ‘phase two’ of the business plan.

Newly appointed sales managers, service managers and business manager are assessed on their people management skills, their working values – and if they can read a set of accounts – before they start working for Marshall.

“I’m looking for positive attitude. Do they display integrity, do they have a focus on customer value, do they really recognise that people are at the heart of the success of the organisation? Are they innovative, are they creative?”

Gupta said he was satisfied with his “top 100” senior managers, but there are 375 other managers who “manage the troops” – the remainder of those in the total 2,100 headcount.

And the troops are the most important since they are customer facing.

“If a salesperson looks like an unmade bed, we rely on our sales managers to take them to task. If a service adviser is talking to a customer rudely and not building a relationship, we expect our service managers to coach them.

“The most important level in our business is our line managers.”

Marshall has invested in its own training academy, it has two full-time trainers and line management assessments are now mandatory to address what Gupta calls the “rubbish” record of training in the sector. All new starters, wherever they are based in the business, have a one-day induction at Cambridge headquarters, they meet one of the directors, they are shown around the business and they are told what their “emotional contract” is with our business.


Training, training and more training

Service advisers and salespeople are put on a mandatory one-week residential course, no matter how long they have worked in the sector, and are trained on customer handling skills, relationship building, the benefits of service plans and other products of benefit to customers.

But is Marshall generating leaders or regiments of foot soldiers?

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  • Name Witheld - 14/04/2014 09:00

    Interesting, Daksh Gupta makes no mention of staff retention and satisfaction, having worked for this group I can honestly say that I have never worked in an organisation that has so little regard for employee wellbeing, retention and job satisfaction. Many of the employees I worked with were overworked, underpaid and felt undervalued.

    • Empolyee - 23/04/2014 20:03

      Avoid Daksh Gupta and MMG at all costs you have been warned!

  • Anonymous - 15/04/2014 04:28

    The reputation of this dealer group for bad service in the Cambridge area is still as bad as it ever was despite the media spin that comes from the ivory tower. Staff turnover remains high but reality is a long way off for their headline-grabbing CEO.

  • Anonymous - 15/04/2014 15:12

    It would be interesting to see some facts and figures on staff retention and employee satisfaction, My experience leads me to believe that they would be among the worst in the industry, ** edited for legal reasons **.

  • Anon - 14/05/2014 19:51

    This is so true the worst company in the motor trade to work for it is a joke. The worst name in the motor trade, pure greed at the top!!!!!

  • MMG Employee - 22/05/2014 14:57

    I work at MMG and actually the comments by all you anonymous people are not factual. I truly believe it is a great place to work and I have been here 10 years so under the old regime as well as the new. I have a suspicion that the comments below were made by poor performers who couldn't cut it....can't think of any other explanation as staff retention is no worse than any other group. Sour grapes perhaps?

    • Robert - 03/06/2014 16:28

      @MMG Employee - LOL must be the only one left or you are a family member to survive so long or you are Daksh, or did Daksh write this one him self like he fudges the staff turn over figures every year! Employer of the year nomination for motor trader, you can get any award if you know the right people!

    • MMG Employee - 27/06/2014 16:38

      @Robert - haha, no not Daksh and not family unfortunately! Just someone who comes to work and enjoys their job, and feels valued doing a good job. I dont see any fudging of figures though. There's a lot of us left that have been here years and years - the loyalty events show that! They are brilliant and we all had a fantastic time. Dont know many other groups that do that sort of thing for their loyal employees - maybe they do - but Marshall do it really well.

  • Anon - 30/05/2014 20:41

    Employer of the year nomination for motor trader awards is this a joke!!!!

  • MMG Employee - 01/06/2014 13:12

    No joke....they are a fantastic company to work for and deserve to be nominated and actually deserve to win this award

  • Anon - 04/06/2014 19:56

    I always remember the meal we would be taken out to before the employee survey was due to be done haha!!!!!

  • ImnotBatman - 20/04/2015 07:05

    I find these negative remarks rather amusing. Made by weak minded sheep who are all too easily drawn in. I am heading back to Marshalls after spending the last 2 years working for arguably the best company out there. Stratstone. On that note if you really want to know what it's like to work for a group that really "cares" about employee interests then I suggest you email your CV to them

  • Anon - 09/04/2018 07:27

    I was lured back for a second stint at a Marshall site in Peterborough, and found it had gone from bad to WORSE.......don't even think of going there, long hours, bad wages and rediculous staff retention problems throughout the group. Unhappy grumpy staff everywhere, was glade to 'escape' and will NEVER BE ENTICED BY LIES AND PROMISES TO GO BACK AGAIN, sorry to tell you all this buts it's all true.