What needs drive the modern consumer? How can a business thrive in a constantly evolving market? What kind of service is most valuable in the volatile world of precious metals? These are just a few of the questions that inspire Moniruz Zaman, president and CEO of Toronto-based distributor Bullion Mart, to drive his business forward.
Concentrating on refining, production, and distribution of precious metals including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, Bullion Mart has been in business for more than 30 years, and has been headed by Zaman from the beginning. Buoyed by his extensive industry experience, Zaman leads his company in maintaining a steady focus on the most crucial element of all: the client.
“In the time we’ve been in business, we’ve learned it is absolutely essential to remain focused on the needs of our customers,” says Zaman. “Our longstanding experience in the precious metals industry has helped us develop a reputation for quality assurance, which we take very seriously.”
Bullion Mart delivers on that promise of quality by not only serving customers’ immediate needs, but also keeping them informed on the ‘big picture.’ It employs numerous research strategies to build a comprehensive understanding of the market, and dedicates itself to sharing that understanding with clients. Zaman says keeping customers, investors, and other stakeholders informed is a major company goal.
“We build clients’ trust by servicing their needs quickly and with their goals in mind, offering more purchasing options, access to quality products, and pertinent, real-time information,” he explains. “For example, Bullion Mart has implemented a system allowing individuals to purchase precious metals based on the current live-market spot prices. That’s important to investors and the precious metals market as a whole, as it allows them to benefit from immediate pricing fluctuations.”
Perhaps the natural companion of Bullion Mart’s emphasis on up-to-the-minute data is emphasis on the world’s most up-to-the-minute resource: the Internet. The company makes good on its commitment to offering customers responsive, need-driven service by incorporating a strong e-commerce component.
“There is no question the Internet has revolutionized all commerce, everywhere,” Zaman says. “It’s not just important for a company to have an online presence, it’s absolutely essential.”
According to market research portal Statista, in 2013, 19.5 million people in Canada used the Internet to browse, conduct research, or compare products. This year, that number is expected to rise to 22.5 million, or 63 per cent of the country’s population. (For more information, visit www.statista.com/statistics/379437/number-of-online-shoppers-in-canada.)
“Nowhere else can you get the kind of real-time data that is available online,” says Zaman. “In 2018, if you’re not online, you are nowhere.”
In addition to maintaining the company website and the real-time data it offers, Bullion Mart stays ahead of the digital game by establishing highly active social media profiles.
“Social media plays a huge role in today’s world,” says Zaman. “In business, this role involves connecting customers with the company on a personal level. This is why we strive to keep our social media pages up to date—in order to connect and market our brand.”
The company rounds out its online initiatives by putting regular effort into exploring the industry first-hand. Zaman and his executive team frequently travel to attend conferences, seminars, and other events, gathering information on the latest trends and market developments to better inform Bullion Mart’s business dealings.
Troubles of the trade
No industry is completely without its challenges—a fact of which Zaman is well aware. He holds a realistic view of the ever-fluctuating nature of the precious metals business, as well as the growing problem of supply and demand discrepancies.
“To cite a small example, the world’s gold depository would not be sufficient to even fill the Washington Monument,” he says. “Global gold supply does not even meet a fraction of the demand of India and China, let alone the world.”
So, in a world of dwindling resources, what’s a distributor to do? In Zaman’s case, the plan is simple: stay on your feet and trust what you’re selling.
“We go with the flow no matter what,” he says. “It is common knowledge the world economy has been rapidly changing the last couple of decades, and no industry has been safe from its knocks and turns. However, bullion is a time-tested and trusted investment, considered by many to be the ultimate monetary policy. Whenever there has been a global crisis, bullion acts as the captain of the ship, leading the world economy to safer waters.”
A trusted source
Even if a business is able to overcome the inherent challenges of the industry, it still ultimately relies on the trust of the customer—a matter Bullion Mart takes very seriously. Zaman stresses the importance of committing to ethical, transparent business practices and providing proof of responsible procedures. For instance, the company deals in London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)-approved gold bars and is an official partner of the Royal Canadian Mint.
“We always maintain the highest ethical standards in all our operations, no matter the scale of the client’s needs or interests,” says Zaman. “The fundamental principles of ethical conduct, integrity, and trustworthiness are our guiding values.”
In Zaman’s view, having respect for rules such as those set by the Royal Canadian Mint is one of the most important practices for any company. He also says full and regular screening of customers and suppliers is essential to providing excellent service.
“It may seem unnecessary to do extensive due diligence, but it is very important to ensure the legitimacy of transactions. Ethical practices should be promoted internally as well as externally,” he says. “That’s why it’s important to maintain good relations with suppliers, customers, and employees. There must be a level of commitment to providing the best-quality products and services in a timely manner.”
In other words, ethical practice doesn’t just mean ensuring customers and suppliers are treated fairly. Employee satisfaction is also a key part of the equation. Thus, Bullion Mart takes measures to support its internal staff as extensively as its external partners, letting them know they are valued and maintaining a positive environment in which they can work.
Zaman has no intention of letting his company’s growth slow down in the coming years. He plans to combine Bullion Mart’s digital platform with its core strengths of ethical practice and responsive, informative customer service to spearhead an ambitious growth plan, guiding the company to break the $1-billion turnover mark by 2022.
“This will be achieved through an aggressive plan of strategic global collaboration and a dramatic expansion of our footprint through extensive franchising, print, digital, and social media outreach, augmented by an expanded professional global sales and marketing team,” says Zaman. “Our strong customer service and reputation founded on quality assurance are essential to the continuous development of our company.”