An exclusive interview with Esin Ogunc, Head of International Marketing of Kale Grubu, on the launch of Kaleseramik in Bangladesh.
Tell us about the Kale Grubu legacy and the group’s global ambitions with Kaleseramik.
Kale Group developed its industrial journey starting with ceramic production, extending to the construction chemicals, logistics and aviation industries over time. Today, Kale Group, with its 17 companies and more than 5 thousand employees, offers its solutions all over the world.
Kaleseramik, the first company of the group is Kale Grubu’s flagship. It has been the leader of the Turkish ceramics industry for 66 years and is the largest tile manufacturer in Turkey, fifth in Europe, and eighteenth in the world with an annual production capacity of 56 million square meters. Kaleseramik is also Turkey’s first tile producer and exporter. Leading the industry with more than 4,500 different products across ceramic tile, ceramic sanitary ware, faucets, and bathroom furniture, Kaleseramik offers the market around 200 new products every year. The company delivers its products to its customers in 86 countries abroad alongside the national market.
The launch of Kaleseramik in Bangladesh sets another milestone in the growing friendship between Turkey and Bangladesh. What excites you most about the Bangladeshi market?
The journey from Turkey to Bangladesh is not just about expanding our business; it’s about forging a partnership that holds immense promise and potential. The relationship between Bangladesh and Turkey is deeply rooted in history and shared values. While geographically distant, our nations are bound together by a common commitment to economic growth, innovation, and progress. Both countries have made significant strides in recent years, and this collaboration is a testament to our belief in the bright future that lies ahead. Bangladesh has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, consistently achieving impressive growth rates. The country’s steady rise in the global arena is underscored by its robust manufacturing sector, which has made Bangladesh a hub for textiles, ready-made garments, and other industries. Furthermore, Bangladesh’s infrastructure development and investment-friendly policies have attracted foreign investors and its strategic partnerships with countries like Turkey offer a wealth of opportunities for mutual growth and development. This convergence of interests makes our presence in Bangladesh all the more exciting.
As Head of International Marketing of Kale Grubu, what approach are you taking to attract Kaleseramik’s Bangladeshi target audience?
We recognise the importance of implementing effective marketing strategies that will resonate with both key decision-makers and end-users. Our marketing initiatives are carefully crafted to not only capture the attention of our target audience but also build brand awareness and trust in this exciting new market.
First and foremost, our marketing plan is designed to appeal to the diverse range of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. We understand that in a market as dynamic as Bangladesh, appealing to intermediary decision-makers is crucial. To achieve this, we plan on partnering with local influencers and industry experts who can vouch for the quality and value of our products. Simultaneously, our marketing campaigns are geared towards end-users, who are the ultimate consumers of our products. We will utilise digital marketing channels and social media platforms to reach a wider audience and engage with potential customers in a meaningful way. This includes creating compelling online content, running targeted ads, and leveraging the power of social media influencers to showcase our products. In addition, our product portfolio is designed to adapt to changing trends and emerging projects in Bangladesh. We offer a wide range of products that cater to specific market needs, ensuring that we meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. By continuously monitoring market dynamics and consumer preferences, we are confident that our product offerings will remain relevant and appealing.
All Kaleseramik products are LEED-certified. In 2010, Kaleseramik was the first company in Turkey to receive EPD and also the first to receive the HPD certificate, which accurately, reliably, and transparently reveals the health and environmental effects of wall tile product groups and the content of products in buildings.
Tell us about the product lineup chosen to inaugurate the launch of Kaleseramik in Bangladesh.
Our product range is carefully curated to meet a wide spectrum of needs, offering not just individual products but an integrated solution for spaces. We are proud to offer a selection of wall and floor tiles, sanitaryware and bathroom fixtures, and our latest addition, large-format porcelain slabs. Each of these product categories has been carefully chosen to address the various aspects of space design requirements. Our wall and floor tiles are designed not just for aesthetic appeal but also for durability and functionality. With a variety of designs, colours, and sizes, they can transform any space into a work of art while ensuring longevity and ease of maintenance. The sanitaryware products in our portfolio have been crafted to blend seamlessly with different design aesthetics, offering both beauty and functionality. Our large-format porcelain slabs are a game-changer in the industry, offering limitless possibilities for creating striking, seamless surfaces. They are perfect for a wide range of applications, from countertops and tabletops to wall cladding and flooring. These slabs not only elevate the aesthetic appeal of spaces but also provide a sense of grandeur and luxury. We understand that design tastes may vary, and are committed to offering products that cater to the unique requirements of the Bangladeshi market. Whether you seek classic elegance or contemporary flair, the Kaleseramik product range can be customized to align with your specific design vision.
All Kaleseramik products are LEED-certified. In 2010, Kaleseramik was the first company in Turkey to receive EPD and also the first to receive the HPD certificate, which accurately, reliably, and transparently reveals the health and environmental effects of wall tile product groups and the content of products in buildings. HPD certificate, which represents the higher level of LEED certification – one of the world’s most prestigious green building rating systems – is considered one of the most important conditions of the Well certificate, which aims to increase the health level in buildings.
How do you observe consumers’ evolving tastes and preferences and design your products accordingly?
We employ a multifaceted approach that involves market research, data analysis, and a strong focus on customer feedback. We conduct extensive market research to understand current trends, emerging consumer preferences, and market dynamics. This includes analyzing industry reports, competitor analysis, and studying the cultural and economic factors that influence consumer behaviour. We keep a close eye on global and local design and lifestyle trends. By staying attuned to what’s happening in the world of design, fashion, and technology, we can anticipate shifts in consumer preferences. Before launching new products or making significant changes to existing ones, we often create prototypes or conduct small-scale product tests. This allows us to gather real-world feedback and make adjustments accordingly. Within our organisation, we involve cross-functional teams, including product designers, engineers, marketers, and customer support teams which ensures that products are designed with a holistic understanding of customer needs and market trends. Finally, we offer customisation options where feasible, allowing customers to tailor products to their individual preferences. This personalisation helps us meet diverse consumer demands.
What are your future plans for Kaleseramik in Bangladesh?
The launch of our showroom is just the beginning of our journey in this exciting market. As we immerse ourselves in the dynamics and intricacies of the local landscape, we are fully committed to adapting and evolving our strategies to better serve the needs of our customers. Our goal is not merely to establish a presence but to become a trusted premium brand leader in Bangladesh and the surrounding region. We are dedicated to delivering maximum growth and value, not just for our company but for the communities we operate in.
Photograph by Shihab Mohammad