Albox to make tremendous impression abroad Having realized many hotel projects abroad, Albox, one of the tlıree companies manufacturing tailor-made kitchen and architectural Solutions in Turkey, is planning to expand with dealerships in and out of the country this year. Founded by Osman Sağlam in 1976 and currently operated by family’s second generation, Albox manufactures kitchen and furniture designs in the most functional \vay. Olgun Sağlam the Chairman of the Board says they can also have their tailor-made projects applied on Standard projects. Adding that they vvill consider building nevv facilities in about 3 years, Sağlam States that -by means of the projected investments- they are to increase their production capacity to a high level. Would you teli us a bit about the foundation phases of Albox? Having been dealing with furniture industry and relevant creations since 1976 in Turkey, Albox, which is in the hearts of hundreds of homes and people, telis the whole world a three-generation story. Our brand, currently run by the third generation, is striving hard to create a more innovative and povverful brand with the next generation. Since founded by Osman Sağlam in 1976, Albox has been offering domestic and International markets top (juality products vvith high-end designs. What makes Albox stand out despite force majeure at times is the adoption of innovative approaches regarding material and production processes. Additionally, Albox is a brand that emerged at a time vvhen economic transformation changed lifestyles and vvhen furniture vvas ali about comfort, prosperity and pleasure. We are one of the leaders of such a change, to have proven how a certain product or a style -being classic or modular kitchen and ali vvooden home furniture- would affect social and cultural aspects of our daily life. How did your branding process go? First, vve moved to İstanbul, and then came our story of branding under a construction company. Follovving that, vve grevv further as a family business. In fınding a name for our brand, vve vvanted to choose a universal one that would make things easier at export. As a result, vve brought the vvords ‘al’, meaning ‘red’ and ‘box’ together and the corporate name Albox’ emerged. The starting point of the idea vvas to enliven spaces vvith colors. While our brand vvas emerging more professionally, different departments had to be built. I took över the managerial position. My brother Fatih Sağlam runs ali the organization related to production as the production manager. My other brother, Zikrullah Sağlam is in charge of ali the planning vvithin the organization and Emre Sağlam deals vvith brand management. We vvere a manufacturing company for long; then, came the idea of bettering our Business. We opened a store in 2010. İn 2011, we received a dealership offer to represent an international brand and we accepted it. We had been the representative of that brand for about 4 years. During the time of dealership, we bettered ourselves in many ways in terms of product development and design. The expertise \ve obtained contributed greatly to the development of Albox brand. Following ali those steps, we started to produce high-end products. We believe we have done the right thing and pressed the right buttons. That’s how vve successfully built our brand. How about Solutions you offer to your clients? It’s not just kitchens we manufacture. We also deal with architectural Solutions. We execute our own projects as well as projects of architectural offıces. Because the conditions have changed, we have adapted to them. We have already been doing our best to implement what is technically possible. We have got functional products that can be lovvered or raised according to needs. The wagon systems that come out of a cabinet, products that can rotate 360°, lids that can be opened with a simple touch, products that can be added to built-in devices, systems that let the kitchen hood move över the counter are some of the Solutions vve novv offer. We do have Solutions that can have a dual function, both a kitchen and an offıce table. In short, vve offer suitable Solutions to diverse needs. What do you pay attention to in the contract projects you have realized? We pay attention to the fact that it is qualifıed, suitable for our company profile, and its architectural structure is an exemplary and concept project. For example; In the Winter Olympic Games held in Sochi, Russia, vve made special production Tinder projects of 3 large hotels. Could you give more detailed information about this project? On which subjects did you do project works in these hotels? We implemented hotel furniture applications in the hotels vve built in the Olympics in Sochi in Russia. The parts we cali hotel furniture here consist of wine cellars, lobbies and doors. The doors we make are fıreretardant for 45 minutes. In other words, it gives you the opportunity to escape in case of fire. At the same time, the doors have features equipped vvith special insulation and accessories. In wine cellars, we have developed designs and applications where the temperature of the special air-conditioned room can be adjusted. In addition, in a hotel project in London, each room vvas given the names of respected scientists and artists knovvn in the world literatüre. In this project vvith 80 rooms, such as Albert Einstein, Piri Reis, Edison, Isaac Nevvton, Aşık Veysel, we designed the furniture of each room individually according to the personality characteristics of those names. What are the most difficult points in contract projects or what make your job easier compared to other projects? In this vvork, projects prepared vvith the desired visuals in the spaces such as residences, hotels, restaurants, ete., vvithout considering the produetion phase in the application, sometimes take more time of the producers. That is vvhy we must constantly improve our produetion capability so that vve can offer the shortest solution in technicjue and application. Starting from the subject I mentioned, the point that ınakes our vvork easier is the architectural projects that knovv the teehnieal details of the vvork and build the projects on this rhythm. Being able to export to a lot of different countries demands a solid produetion performance. Where does it come from? We have tvvo different produetion lines at our factory located in Ataşehir, İstanbul. One is the vvorkshop vve inherited from our ancestors. In addition, vve have a machinery park armed vvith industrial machines. Although it varies from time to time, an average of 50 employees are employed at our plant. We can produce 4000 kitchens and bathrooms and around 8000 doors annually. We plan to increase those fıgures in the future. We are planning to move to a new, 10 thousand sqm facility in 3 years. Food and its contact with outside material in the kitchen is a serious issue. In this sense, what is it you pay partieular attention to? Antibacterial products, for example, have already been in our lives for 10 years. We use it on ali countertops. Laminate, when exposed to a chemical, has a high rate of degradation, thus causes bacteria to form there. European manufacturers use it more than we do. To prevent it from happening, we are supposed to use the right product. Since some Chemicals may be released when they come into contact with air or water, what is important is to choose right products that Chemicals vvill not react vvith. As a brand, vve pay close attention to such details. In this regard, we work vvith reliable companies for raw material vve need because they produce quality products in a careful manner. How would you conclude your comments? If one counts three companies that make tailor-made production, vve are one. If one is able to implement custom-made designs, it can easily handle Standard ones. We vvant to be renovvned as a company that manufactures according to vvhat is personally vvished for. We are planning to up the number of our dealers to 5 by the end of 2021. They vvill be located in Ankara, Antalya, Bodrum, one in Black Sea region and one in Central Anatolian region. As for abroad, vve vvant to expand our business at our main markets, Europe and American Continent. We barely display 30% of our performance there. Our objective is to raise export share of our production to 60%.