Rendering services with 5 outstanding brands Dogtas Kelebek Furniture Group was listed again in “Turkey’s Top 500 Enterprises”, which is issued annually by Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO).
İsmail Doğan, CEO of Doğtaş Kelebek Furniture Group, stated that after they closed the year 2019 with TL 600 million in line with their investments, they revised their targets for 2020 to TL 1 billion. Stating that they have been in the sector for 47 years and that they strictly adhere to the family constitution booklets they have formed on management, İsmail Doğan, CEO of Doğtaş Kelebek Furniture Group, made evaluations about their work reflected on the ISO 500 list.
By contributing to economic growth and exports of Turkey, Doğtaş took part among Turkey’s top 500 industrial enterprises in 2019. What are your main principles that bring your company to this position on this path to success?
We have been in the furniture sector for 47 years with the brand of DOĞTAŞ that our family established in 1972. In 2012, we acquired KELEBEK which is one of the notable brands in Turkey since 1935. We have been continuing our investments with 5 furniture brands now. As Doğtaş Kelebek Furniture Group, we are a family company and we have a family constitution booklet that was written years ago which sets all the rules determining our principles as well. All the rules written here are strictly applied, including the new generation of the family. Besides, one of our main principles is that we have never compromised the quality and the standard of our products for long years and we have managed all our system and investments accordingly.
How do you evaluate your position in the furniture sector? Do you have visionary goals? What are your goals and plans in the short, medium and long terms?
After spread of the COVID-19 virus across the globe, the furniture sector was one of the most-affected sectors due to measures to stem the spread of the virus. I can briefly say that we have successfully managed the pandemic period with our innovative approach and hard work. In Doğtaş, we attach a great deal of importance to fast and complete R&D investments which differentiate us in the furniture sector. During corona outbreak, we have not slowed down our investments, indeed we have increased R&D investments by 63% compared to the first half of the last year.
We have revised and increased our sales target to TL 1 billion as we have received a very positive impact by our investments. In 2019, we achieved TL 600 million sales volume. From the very first day, we have been figuring out the best way to overcome this situation; it was very important to adapt and take actions accordingly to the needs of the period. We started online sales with KELEBEK Furniture and we are working to go online for other brands as well. Respectively, we have even set up an e-commerce department immediately in our company. Besides, we will soon announce our new investments which combine the technology and design together.
2019 was an extraordinary year with negative developments in the global economy. What was your strategy in this period? How was the impact on your business and how did you manage the situation?
The COVID-19 crisis had a substantial impact on the global economy. As Doğtaş Kelebek, we have been trying to innovate to keep up the growth of our businesses before the hit of Covid-19 in Turkey. We have been taking comprehensive measures from the very first day in order to mitigate the negative repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak on our business.
During this period, we specially focused to develop our R&D systems for customer service to offer more technological solutions to customers, which became a more important key driving force. Despite the negative developments in the global economy, prioritizing digital merchandising and online presence helped us to navigate through this difficult time. Our digital activities include a series of webinars, virtual product tours, 360-view showroom presentations and more. We are always in contact with our customers over telephone and video chat systems and used 3D applications.
We have brought our architects and customers together on whatsapp with “HOME READY” 3D visualization application. Within the scope of this service we provide as free of charge, our customers convey the dimensions of their room they want to renovate and see the placement of the furniture they have chosen in 3D drawing. With this application, we have eliminated the negative effects of the process for those who will be newly married and who want to decorate their home. In addition, with the payment terms of up to 60 months, we also offered the customer an ease of payment.
As an internationally successful company; what would you recommend to the companies serving in your field to be successful in the international arena?
The investments we have made in R&D and innovation, are the biggest and strongest source of our success. To reach this point requires fast action by following up the sector and the developments both locally and globally. We have achieved to this point as a result of our systematic and sound work plan.
First of all, the brand should develop a global strategy to promote itself to different customers and cultures effectively in order to land smoothly elsewhere. It is also very important to act with short, medium and long-term planning and act on know-how. The global crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has pushed us further into a digital world. As you know, most of the furniture fairs has been cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak; and they are expected to be held on digital platforms. Therefore, the companies must have the technological infrastructure to take their part in this digital world and this necessitates a strong investment on technological development of the company. This may seem as an extreme point for now; but I believe the short term plan always feeds the longest one.
How do you evaluate the position of your brand in the global market? What do you owe your success in exports?
As a leading brand Doğtaş Exclusive has opened the first store in London last month, after opening in Palestine, Turkmenistan, Montenegro and Uzbekistan in a few months. We continue to expand into the new markets. We have also increased the number of our stores in Kelebek by sticking up with the scope of our vision becoming “A mass and global brand”. Our goal is to increase our global presence and to expand our network globally. We owe this success to the fact that we never compromise the after-sales services and provide the best service to our customers as well as our products. We are the only group selling furniture with a 7-year warranty. Being available and there for the customers increases our likability and accessibility; and this approach places us in a different level of trust in the eye of our customers.