Daniel Wood: Leveraging Wide Service Portfolio & Excellent Client Service to Revolutionize the Hydraulic Sector in Lao PDR
Founder & CEO
Hydraulics is a part of science that deals with generating power by applying pressure on incompressible liquid and is used across a wide range of industrial applications. From lifting heavy machinery to steering vehicles or even slowing down an airplane on the runway, hydraulics has been an integral part of our lives in more ways than we know. One of the richest countries in South-East Asia in terms of hydropower resources, Laos is massively dependent on its hydraulics infrastructure. Even the significant impact of the mining industry as well as the gradual rise in the construction sector in the country has been driving the growth of the hydraulics sector in the country.
The growth opportunities in the sector have made many firms join the competition. However, one organization that stands out from the rest of its peers in the Laos market in terms of customer service, overall growth, and client base is Dara Hydraulics. Founded by Daniel Wood, Dara Hydraulics is one of the leading suppliers of Hydraulic parts, especially hosing and fittings. The wide service portfolio of the firm also includes transportation, import, logistics, as well as repair & maintenance services for hydraulic machines. Dara is the only firm in Lao PDR that offers filling, maintaining, and resupplying of a container of certified hydraulic products to various energy & mining companies and has been able to attract some of the largest firms in the energy & mining sector, despite the pandemic.
A Leader Without Prior Industry Experience
As aptly quoted by Michael Hyatt, “Leadership is not about experience, education or talent. It's about choosing to lead”. An interesting aspect of Daniel’s leadership ability has been his educational and prior professional background. Neither he has a college degree nor any prior background or formal education in the respective industries. “I have always believed that knowledge is power, but education isn’t always necessary for success. I saw a gap in the market and picked up all the skills myself. It’s also about finding and hiring people smarter than you. Getting them to join your business, giving them good work, and getting out of their way is what I did. That way, I could focus on the bigger picture”, says Daniel Wood, Founder & CEO.
Under Daniel’s inspiring tutelage, one of Dara's long-term strategies has been diversifying its portfolio. The firm initially started its journey in the Energy & Mining sector.
Over the years, Dara has been experiencing gradual growth and is currently partnering with different businesses and industries, which gives the firm the flexibility to handle finance and sustain growth. Clients appreciate the quality and certification of Dara’s products as well as the velocity of the firm’s services.
Daniel acknowledges the most commonly occurring accidents in the hydraulic industry due to hose leaks and firmly believes the root cause of it is due to using the wrong hose fitting types or incorrect installation. Apart from ensuring that all of its fittings and hose couplings comply with international standards, Dara also advises and guides its clients on the correct installation of the parts to ensure an efficient and reliable run of the equipment.
A Strong Focus on Technology & Employee Knowledge
Coming to technology, Daniel strongly believes in investing in technology as well as facilitating training for the team through attending industry conferences, devoting time to reading the news, prioritizing learning, sharing ideas with peers, or branching out with experts in the field, which helps the team stay abreast of the latest trends and technologies in the market. “We were able to retain our people during the pandemic and come back even strong. Very few companies in our industry can say the same. The secret is to keep on top of innovation, cost control, and long-term strategy”, adds Daniel.
Instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing, find the market gaps, see where you can find solutions to existing problems & fill that void
Daniel Wood , Founder & CEO
Coming to the future roadmap for Dara, Daniel is focused on helping Dara succeed, improve, and grow as an organization through a forward-looking approach. The firm is also planning to expand its business further by venturing into other countries in Southeast Asia and Europe shortly. Apart from Dara, Daniel is also the owner of a maintenance company in the UK and has various investments around the world including Midas agricultural group in Thailand and teak plantations in South America.
“I would tell young entrepreneurs to focus on learning the trade, listen more than they talk, and just believe in themselves and their product. That’s how you can become the best at what you do. Instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing, find the market gaps, see where you can find solutions to existing problems, and fill that void”, Daniel signs off.
Daniel Wood, Founder & CEO, Dara Hydraulics
Daniel Wood is an accomplished entrepreneur, leader, and the Founder of Laos-based leading supplier of Hydraulic parts and services, Dara Hydraulics. Even without a college degree or any formal education in the respective sector, he has been leveraging his strong business acumen and leadership skills to help the firm become a market leader in the Laos hydraulic market space.